04/10/20 #SameHere Hero: Harrison Potvin

Today’s #SameHere🤙 Hero: Harrison Potvin from @thementalcornee. What I love about Harrison’s story is that his reason for sharing so openly, stems from his own experience of knowing how lonely and isolating it can feel to struggle.  He shared to let others know they are far from alone!  Please welcome Harrison.

“I’ve had my fair share of experiences from severe bullying, toxic relationships and cheating, betrayal from close relationships, the divorce of my parents, to the attempted suicide of my cousin, to the loss of family members, etc. 

The experiences I went through caused me to bottle my emotions up and eventually become severely depressed and suicidal; not only affecting myself and my loved ones but also impacting my swim career completely. I often was labeled as a ‘hothead’ because the only way I felt my feelings could be expressed was through anger and frustration. I was diagnosed with depression in my first year of university. 

I was always reluctant to go get help even when my close friends and family knew, until a situation in the fall of 2019 where I was brutally close to taking my own life. In the final moments before the incident, I thought of my family and friends and realized that I was not done here. Seeing a therapist at my university was so difficult, but with the help of my close friends, I was able to go and get the help I needed. 

There are a couple of practices that really helped me. Firstly, therapy and opening up about my situation helped me significantly and made everything get out of my head. Mindfulness and breathing practices were huge for when I would experience panic attacks, being on the varsity swim team at my university helped for general exercise. Additionally, I took medication (despite having doubts) that helped me through the recovery process. 

I decided to share my story because once I had gotten into a better head space, I reminisced about how alone and helpless I felt at my worst, and that was something that I would never wish on anyone. So I wanted to use my story as evidence that you’re never as alone as you think you are. 

Immediately upon sharing my #SameHere story for the first time, I had an incredibly positive experience. I had people that I had never talked to come up and tell me how they were in a similar situation and that my success story inspired them. My family was hesitant at first and unsure but they were incredibly supportive. My friends were all way more supportive and accepting than I had expected, which was a beautiful surprise.”

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