09/19/2022 The 222 has days to go. Donate now.

The time has come


After 42 and a half complicated, unsettled, uncomfortable and at many times, incredibly unhappy years, the next chapter of my life will finally begin.

I can’t explain how important The 222 is to me.

It’s the first thing I’ve ever done – unapologetically – just for me. It’s the first time in my life someone has sacrificed their security (physical, financial, emotional) to help me grow. It’s the first time I’ve ever asked for help from friends, and from strangers, with no promise of repayment. And it’s the first time I’ve ever set a goal which I’m more than likely not going to be able to achieve.

I first started talking about this adventure in a previous life, and it’s burned inside me ever since. I didn’t have the personal strength or resilience to tackle it back then; nor did I have the unflinching support from loved ones that’s required to make something of this scale a reality. Since I escaped my previous life, I’ve lost all of my best friends – sometimes my choice, sometimes not – but in every case because of something to do with my mental health. That‘s made the steady hand Courtney has offered me since I mentioned it to her on our very first date all the more extraordinary. I warned her that I would do it – she simply said “Let’s do it together.” I knew at that exact moment I’d found my person.

I’ve been honest (to a fault) about my own mental health issues, and I’ve paid a hefty price for the blunt force I’ve used when dealing with them. I’ve learned over the last 5 years in particular that many people don’t yet have the knowledge, or the empathy, or oftentimes, the capacity, to handle, understand or tolerate really direct conversations about depression or anxiety or suicide. I’ve learned some people just don’t want to know – no matter how much I might want them to. And I’ve learned that my judgement has always been questioned because I’ve been so transparent about my muddled head.

I’ve also learned over the last 18 or so months that I’ve been an ordinary friend who has expected too much of others, and not enough of myself. Ive been too quick to judge but I’ve been equally as quick to get upset when I’m judged. I’ve let my mental frailties dictate almost every interaction I’ve had throughout my adult life. That stops today.

While I can’t take back the hurt I’ve caused others (and myself) while I’ve been navigating my way through my own complications, I can change my narrative, and hopefully redeem myself in some small way by proving – mainly to myself – that I’m capable of much better. I’m capable of doing something great – and perhaps – helping others along the way.

So, I’m tackling the The 222 to not only help myself heal from a lifetime of bad decisions, fraught relationships, difficult conversations and – my god – so many mistakes, but to also, perhaps, make those moments and interactions and relationships just a fraction easier to navigate for the next person whose head makes the simple things difficult and the difficult things next to impossible.

I don’t know if I’m capable of completing The 222. I don’t know if the training I’ve done will be enough. I don’t know if my body will hold up, or if I’m strong enough mentally. All I know with absolute certainty is that if I didn’t try, I would have already failed, and I’m done failing.

Wish me luck!