Rich on a bench tying his shoe lace, getting ready to run
Why I Mo: Rich BreezeImage by: Rich Breeze
Rich on a bench tying his shoe lace, getting ready to run
10 May 2024

Why I Mo: Rich Breeze

3 minutes read time

A few years ago, I experienced some extremely dark moments. To the outside world I was the same jokey, chatty, borderline annoying Rich. But the mental exhaustion of masking how I was really feeling, made me feel worse.

I’ve had anxiety for as long as I can remember, but never to the point it consumed my mind in the way it did back then.

I’d be at work, trying to act as normal as possible and have to either pretend to need the toilet, or take an important phone call, just for an excuse to find somewhere quiet to try and talk myself through a panic attack.

" It was frustrating because I had no idea why I was feeling this way. "

At its worst, I remember one night walking home from work; it was dark, foggy and I was feeling so low that I burst into tears, but I didn’t know why. I was fed up of feeling how I did and couldn’t see how it would ever go away. I turned the corner to my street and had to get my smiley game-face on, once again, because I didn’t want my kids to see me down.

It didn’t go away overnight. There was no moment of feeling “oh okay, I’m all better now”. It just gradually got easier to deal with. I started recognising the things that triggered it. I even started challenging that annoying inner voice that was telling me something bad might be about to happen. I’d adopted a “do your worst” kind of attitude.

This all happened because I started opening up to people and realising that so many people had similar struggles. Everyone had things to share that got them through dark moments, or made them feel better. The realisation that so many close friends and family had been through, or were going through similar challenges, reminded me that I was certainly not alone.

I decided to do the 60K running challenge for Movember, because I’m very aware of how many people go through what I did and don’t make it out the other side.

I hadn’t done any meaningful exercise in about two years so this was a huge challenge for me. I decided to document my running struggles on social media.

Me and my silly little moustache got through 5K every other night until we hit 60-kilometres. I may have complained and, at times, even used some colourful language! But the truth is, by the end of the challenge, I’d grown to enjoy running again. I realised that exercise and being outdoors became another tool to help in those moments when you’re not feeling yourself. I can’t recommend it enough.

With it being my first year doing Movember, I had no idea what to expect, so I set my donation target at £100. To my amazement, my incredible family and friends helped me to smash that target and raise £500!

I was blown away by everybody’s support and kind words, and I’m already looking forward to the next Movember challenge!

I feel it’s so important to shine a light on those who can help when times get rough. I am truly blessed that I have such amazing family and friends who were there for me when I needed them, but not everybody does. A lot of men feel too proud to open up, or that there’s something wrong with them for feeling down and become ashamed of it.

Starting these conversations and raising awareness of how to overcome this is a huge step in the right direction.