So, first off. #skatetofight’s purpose, as we have said, is to prevent suicide. This is 100% our purpose. But ever since we have started this project, I (and I’m assuming James) have heard incredible stories from many people of how they used skateboarding to overcome drug addictions, deal with their family troubles, to help them become a better person, etc. So this brings me to my point. Yes, #skatetofight is geared around depression, mental illness, and skateboarding, because that’s exactly what it is for me and James. But our other purpose is to HELP and INSPIRE people. So we want to hear your stories of how you overcame other problems in your life, so that we can learn to help you with those things as well. In the end, we want to help. As much as we possibly can.
Second, I want to talk about Passion. Passion is what I personally believe to be the best possible way to “fight” your depression, anxiety, or any issues you have. I understand that skateboarding isn’t for everyone. Some people are just not into extreme sports. So my challenge to all of you is to find your passion, or a second passion, or whatever.
For you skaters, skateboarding may not always be there for you. You may get injured, or maybe the weather will be bad enough for weeks that you simply aren’t able to get out on your board. In those situations you need to have a healthy, reliable way to cope with your struggles. For me, my other passions are pottery, this project, and my family. If I can’t get out and skate for whatever reason, I try to get myself involved in something that makes me happy in some other way.
Sometimes, and for some people, passions aren’t as easy and tangible to discover as these things were for me. I was recently trying to help a friend find her passion and for a while we couldn’t really nail it down. After a few weeks, she told me that she had figured it out. Her passion was people. Learning what made everyone a good person, what people’s trials and struggles are, and ultimately, who they really are.
So go and find your passion. It’ll be hard. Learning something new is generally difficult, and not enjoyable at first. But when you find something you want to work at, and learn to love, you will learn that it can truly save your life. Just as skateboarding, and #skatetofight, have done for me.