Among the hundreds of thousands waking up to walk from Darkness Into Light on Saturday May 12th at 4.15am will be Dublin GAA star Nicole Owens. As a Darkness Into Light ambassador for Pieta House, Electric Ireland spoke to Nicole about her own struggles around depression and why sport can help with positive mental health.
"There were weeks when I would cry myself to sleep every night. I tried to figure it out all alone. I would hold myself together all day looking forward to the night where I could finally fall apart and let all these emotions out. I would roll over the next day and start again. It became my routine. I would be confident and full of energy for a day or two but then I would expect and prepare for the dark days to come. One day someone said something small to me, something to slag me and suddenly I had this attack where I started to cry uncontrollably in the middle of a lecture. I had to ask my Mom to pick me up. It was only when I started really focusing on the therapy side that I felt that I was really starting to get on top of it.
There is this misconception that only certain people can be affected by mental health issues but I had to realise that even though I was in my best form, was healthy and active and successful playing GAA, that depression could still get me. Becoming a Darkness Into Light ambassador for Pieta House gives me a huge amount of pride. Now I feel that I can not just become a successful player but someone who represents mental illness, its effects and the positive role sport can play in overcoming it."
You can register for Darkness Into Light anywhere around the country on Saturday May 12th at 4.15am and walk with hundreds of thousands in helping with suicide prevention in Ireland. Visit www.darknessintolight.ie.
If you or a loved one ever need help, call Pieta House on the Freephone number 1800 247 247.
Thanks to Peter from Humans of Dublin for taking the time out to talk with Nicole.