After years of suffering from anxiety and depression, Sam McMaster will tackle his first distance run at the Asda Foundation Derby Half Marathon on Sunday 9th June.
Sam knows the vital importance of openly discussing mental health issues.
As he frankly admits:
“I wouldn’t be here today if I hadn’t had the support from my family and friends to talk and be open about my feelings.”
The 31-year-old, who lives in Nottingham, will be raising money for the mental health charity Mind.
“It is so important to discuss mental health and make others aware of what you are or have been going through. Since an early age, I have battled through not really understanding why I couldn’t get out of bed or why I felt that I needed to hide away from the world.
“In 2014 I moved to Nottingham after a spell of being in my room, not going into work and having to have friends and family come to help me. I saw a professional and was given medication and therapy.”
A year later Sam met his wife, Lauren. The couple have two children, two-and-a-half-year-old Penelope, and Jesse, who is aged 3 months.
“After the birth of my daughter, I really struggled to come to terms that I was a good dad as I thought that I was rubbish and had no confidence in myself.
“Everything started repeating itself, I was in a job I hated so found it hard to get out of bed. I had a bad temper and struggled really badly with anxiety.
“My wife took me back to the doctor who put me back on medication. Unfortunately, after eight weeks these still weren’t kicking in so I had to go on a higher dose.
“I am still battling with my demons. I’ve decided that I still need to talk out through things that happened in my past.”
He took up running to lose weight but found it also helped his mental health.
“Running takes me away to re-evaluate my actions if I have had a bad day and helps me through those times.
“It’s hard for me to give advice because I am still trying to work my way through. If I had to say something it would be that I wish I had been more honest or tried to recognise my depression sooner so that I hadn’t of fallen so far before having to try and pick myself back up.
“I think I will always be on medication now but things are looking a lot brighter and I am wanting a goal to achieve and that’s what the half marathon is giving me.”
Sam’s fundraising can be supported by clicking here.
Entries are available for the Asda Foundation Derby Half Marathon at www.runforall.com.