This is one of those stories that may’ve flown under the radar screen this wk – bc the news world is filled w stories – Kobe, the Super Bowl, politics, etc. But…what this man, DJ Carton, from The Ohio State University did, is one of the greatest acts of bravery we’ve seen in a long time.
A freshman PG, getting real mins, for a big time basketball program, w his whole career ahead of him, announced publicly he was stepping away, citing the need to work on his mental health.
He didn’t start calling out disorders he suffers from…didn’t go into great detail abt diagnoses…& bc of that – the idea that: WORKING to IMPROVE our MH, just like we can work on healing from a physical health injury, became that much more of a realistic & dare I say, “normalized” approach.
I’ve been in athletics my whole life. I share these only for the pt of comparisons to MH, but I’ve: torn my ACL & had reconstructive surgery, torn ligaments in my ankle more times than I can count, been elbowed off a rebound & had 30 stitches placed in my eyelid & cheek, have had my teeth break through my lip getting hit in the mouth on another rebound, broken a wrist, broken my fingers so many times that a few have healed where bones are fused together. In ALL of these cases, there was zero shame…friends wanted to hear the gory stories…& I was applauded for my “toughness” in my play.
W/o any questions, I was given time to heal & rehab from those physical health injuries – whether it was months of long hours of PT for my knee, or just wearing a cast for my broken wrist to heal. It was accepted.
Now here’s the “crazy” thing – & I know this is just for me personally, but maybe some can relate – I would take any of those injuries 10x over, vs the 2.5 yrs of misery I felt while laying in a bed bc of my MH. Yet…again, most would say “warrior” for the physical injuries, while – at best – be weary of the time I spent on my MH injuries, needing to step away from work.
We must get to a point where having MH injuries (from past experience or genetics) is NO DIFFERENT than having physical health injuries. DJ got us a step closer to that reality w his bravery. Thank you 🙏🏻.