Standing tall

Megan wearing her "Adolescent Mental Health" shirt

Raising awareness: Megan will be riding 500 laps of the Tom Flood velodrome to raise awareness of and funds in support of adolescent mental health needs.

Life can be made up of deep valley to mountain top experiences and is often the deeper the valleys the more our character is shaped and formed. There are not often many who follow others into the deep valleys preferring to remain observers at an arm’s length.

In year 6 Megan began to experience minor health issues that did not completely manifest until year 9. In the ensuing years there were fainting bouts which were diagnosed initially as a cardiac condition. The fainting continued with prolonged bouts of dizziness until Megan progressed into losing consciousness coinciding with seizures, panic attacks, anxiety and depression. The frequency of the attacks increased as did the stigma surrounding Megan’s predicament of still not knowing  the direct cause or treatment required to regain some life balance. Stress levels reached new heights with up to ten seizures in a single day.

Thankfully there was a light shining brightly at the end of the tunnel and deepening valley edge. Family love and caring school members became a guide for Megan that she could lean on and uphold her self esteem  which was being transferred into a will to fight harder to overcome the affliction of the unconscious states of body and mind. With the continued positive affirmations and physical and emotional support being offered Megan has been able to transform her ‘sick kid’ thinking into becoming a young person with a desire to be on top of her health and well being. This has not only become a foundation of Megan’s testimonial journey but she has now realised that her own experience can become a catalyst in helping others that are near the bottom of the valley.

Their journey can shape and form their character and can either make or break them. Megan’s mother and father, Jacquie and Michael, both being keen cyclists and appreciative of the value of the cycling network and its spirit of camaraderie in lifting up others when they are in need, worked on encouraging Megan to ride, understanding that the exercise helps to relax the mind and strengthen the soul.

Cycling requires as much, if not more, mental strength and control than physical and Megan is coming to appreciate this aspect of her recovery using cycling. Cycling requires commitment and setting short, medium and longer term goals, all conducive to assisting the easing of anxiety and stress of mental health. This combines well with the network of riders that are impartial in accepting all comers to cycling.

After being diagnosed with psychogenic seizures Megan was told she could not be medicated, however  Megan can see the silver lining in the cloud has been the fact that she can face her fears while still young. Megan recognises she will always be an anxious person but this condition has taught her how to be strong enough to move on with life and enjoy experiences that come along, and she now has strategies that allow her to deal with issues as they arise.

The 500 laps of the Tom Flood cycling track on the 14th October will be a time to share with others the awareness of adolescent mental health and make a financial contribution to St Lukes and Headspace. You are welcome to witness this event and drop a donation in towards the cause.

Looking forward to seeing you on the road soon God willing.

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