The Andy Jackman Show – Jake Malby tells his story to the Hold Fast Project

The Hold Fast Project – You’re not alone, we are all fighting our own demons so fuck the stigma and lets get our stories out there. I got to meet Jake threw my buddy Dave when I was telling him about the project he said he had a couple mates that would be down to get involved and Jake was one of them. This dude got my attention straight away I read a bunch of articles and listened to some podcasts that he done and fuck haha what a dude! Jakes story is one that is truely inspiring and it connects with me big time as he found a passion that pulled him out of a shitty place in his life much like I have done with photography. please take whatever you want out of his story but make sure you check out his instagram. Get behind him next month when he has a crack at 31 marathons in 31 days, each marathon will be dedicated to someone with a special story. Jake hats off to you brother its a privilege to have meet you mate. I’ll shut up now the following is jakes story. Hold Fast Project Jake Malby

People are suffering in silence all around us. It’s only in this day and age that very few of us have found a voice, and are willing to share our story in the hope to pull someone up from the gripping claws of mental health…. I started feeling the hold of depression and anxiety at the age of 16, set off by facing adversity and having to put my big boy pants on at quite a young age. I had been medicated for a number of years but to me, I never really felt like myself. I used drugs and alcohol as my escape, and I guess to just “fit in” and forget about the demons I would be fighting in a conscious state. Having mental health issues in my family and dealing with anxiety and depression made me aware that it was a problem for many, but somehow I always felt like I was the only one suffering. It wasn’t until the middle of 2015, when I had to attend to my own mother attempting to take her own life.. I had these ideas in my head for many years, but to see the strongest person you know try and give up, it only left me thinking what hope do I have? After the paramedics took over from me I realised what had actually happened, and then I had to process why? At first I thought it was so selfish and I couldn’t bring myself to understand why her thoughts became actions.

It was 2016, after years of my partner trying to help me deal with everything, it all became too much for her and she needed to leave. I was rock bottom. August 2016, the only thing at this point that kept me going was my pug, Manor. Having to get up out of bed to walk her a couple times a day and to make sure she was fed and had water in her bowl was my only driving force at this time. After not been able to get out of bed or eat for over 2 weeks, I started to think more and more of my “how”. The easiest way to leave this earth pain free. At this point the last thing that crossed my mind was who I was leaving behind that loved me. It was this point when I felt my mothers pain and why she wanted to leave this earth. After getting as high as I could on my prescription medication and pot, I pulled out the chair and belt and put it under the door frame, unlocked the door and went and sat in the corner of my couch to write two notes. The first one was to my partner at the time, I didn’t want her feeling like any of this was her fault, I was battling my demons long before her. Their wasn’t much emotion writing this note, no feeling, it was almost like the calm before the storm. I started writing the second note to my family… this note hurt… with tears rolling down my face I got to the end and something in the back of my mind was telling me to pick the phone up and call my brother Ben. At this point my family knew I was in a dark place but it wasn’t until this phone call that they knew how dark my mind really was. As soon as I heard his voice I started crying.. I couldn’t even string together a sentence. Ben knew exactly what he had to do, and that was to get me out of the place I was living and to give me the love and help I really needed. Ben came and picked myself and manor up and took me into his house to live with his partner, Darcelle and little Artie, who at the time was only a couple of months old. Ben had run Ultra marathons for years and I always thought to myself, WHY? Why would someone want to put themselves through such self torture and run for hrs and if not days straight at a time.

It was the 2nd of October 2016, after a month of looking after myself and my nutrition with the help of my brother, I laced up my shoes with no training and no idea of what the next 3hrs30mins would hold for me. After crossing the line of my first 25km trail race, I felt the most incredible feeling that no drug has ever given me before. I turned to Ben and said “I want to run a marathon”. A month after the 25km trail run I flew to port Douglas and ran my first marathon. Of course once finishing this I had to think, what next?. A 50km ultra followed a month after. I had found the power of movement and for the first time in my life I was able to stay in the present moment. Something I haven’t been able to do since the age of 16. I was either living in the future or the past. It’s taken me almost 3 years to be able to talk and open up about my mental health, but knowing how many people it effects, I’m more then happy to stand up and talk for all of the people that can’t. This year I’ve started doing work with LIVIN, a mental health organisation that are breaking the stigma attached with mental health. In august I will be running a marathon every day for 31 days straight. LIVINs quote “it ain’t weak to speak” is something that if I didn’t do, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I’m Sharing my story in the hope to break down the male masculinity stigma and put all issues involving mental health directly in the spot light, through using the power of movement. My tool to a now medication free life.

Hold Fast Project Jake Malby

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