Dave Banham

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My Activity Tracking

929
kms

My target 155 kms

I’m taking on the K’s for R U OK? challenge!

This July, I’m making a commitment to move every day and clock my K’s for R U OK?

I’m taking on the K’s for R U OK? challenge to stay connected, develop consistent habits, and create a world where we're connected and protected from suicide.

This is a cause that is close to me, having suffered with Depression, having had suicidal ideations and having seen mates go through hell with this insidious affliction.

I am determined to make sure other men reach out when they need it, and that we remove the stigma around suicide. That's why i signed up 8 years ago as a #conversationmate for RUOK? 

Please support my efforts by donating, and together let's get everyone asking R U OK?, starting conversations and changing lives! 3 in 4 suicides are men.. lets change that with a simple R U O K?

Dave

My Updates

The run to the finish

Thursday 30th Jul
The run to the finish of this challenge. Its been a little slower than i expected, however, with that slowing of pace came an increase in mindfulness, of being aware of my own self a little more, and of being more conscious of my efforts to undertake the 5 k's a day and checking in on someone every day like i had committed to at the beginning. Now, no doubt some of you are thinking  "mindfulness?... what sort of hippie shit is that?". Truth is, it is what is required nearly every day by those who find themselves challenged by mental unwellness. Its not all sitting crosslegged, pinching your thumb and middle fingers of your upturned hands together and humming. Its taking the time to recognise your individual signs of mental unwellness, and to take steps to mitigate them. It is unwinding at the end of a long day by simply sitting still, and taking stock, and 'being'in your surroundings. It can be whatever you need it to be. For some, peak mindfulness comes during a run, for others like me, peak mindfulness comes when i have black line fever and am simply churning out the laps in the pool, with nothing but the slosh of water in my ears, and my own breathing to contend with. You will find your peak self awareness in your own way, and that's as it should be. If the current pandemic has taught me anything, it is that we should all take the time to be a little more mindful, of ourselves, and, indeed others.
With that in mind, i wanted to take this opportunity to again, thank everyone who has donated from the depths of my soul, you have overwhelmed me with your generosity, you have vindicated my own internal conflict to come public with my own struggles with Mental health, and i know that this organisation that you have donated to so willingly is doing everything they can to decrease the stigma that still sadly exists around mental health, and suicide.  I have completed my 5 k's a day, i have checked in on numerous friends, and i will continue to keep up the work that i have started here.That is the least i can do to honour your gifts.
It would take me forever to list all the wonderful human beings who saw my vulnerability, and opened their hearts and their wallets for RUOK?, in recognition of that, but know that i will eventually get around to thanking you all individually.I pay a very special thanks to my three very special donors, Matty Wade, Paul Parrotte, and a final and incredibly heartfelt thanks to the beautiful soul that is Alix McFarland for this stunning photo, that now adorns my office wall. I purposely have to look up at it, to remind myself that there is always something to look up to, and i still marvel at the beauty that is the Hay Plains, and the hope, and perpective that is so embodied in this image.

Downhill slide

Wednesday 15th Jul
Two words that can often describe a person's descent into mental unwellness. In this case however,  two words that describe my journey with this challenge for the month.  After somewhat of a strong start,  committing  to a daily 5k's, and punching them out with success,  I have found myself in somewhat of a slump. After a wonderful relaxing few days visiting my parents who live 4 hours away,  I have found it hard to get back into the swing of things,  despite the best intentions. Whilst I'm still broadly on track km's wise,  I've had a few days where I've just not found the time to knock out he required km's for the day. 
This also describes my overall mental state this month and more long term. Whilst I've been ok, and on track in a broad sense,  there have been days where I've found it increasingly difficult to maintain a level,  and to do all the things required of me. I'm still on track,  but I know I need to do some work on me if I am to maintain my health. 
The biggest knock to my psyche came when the news was delivered that the triathlon I had begun training for just a few days after my 40th in November was postponed, due to COVID. I had placed such importance in this triathlon as a sort of 'birthday present' to myself that the news hit me harder than I expected. Whilst most blokes going through a mid-life crisis get a new motorbike, or a new missus, i had decided that I didn't want a party, and that I wanted to challenge myself and get waaayy out of my comfort zone and complete a triathlon. It is quite interesting to analyse this in my own head sometimes,  as only a few short years ago,  I would have laughed at the idea of taking on a challenge like that.  It just goes to show though how important goals, and indeed exercise are to the maintainence and stability of my own mental state. Take them away,  or change them,  and i can feel myself getting unsettled, and restless.   Anyway,  with the postponement comes extra time to work on my training and to make sure I'm in the best shape that this dad bod can be in when I hit the deck for whichever triathlon I chose to take its place. So look out! I'll be back into the 5k's tomorrow with avengance, and tackling the challenge, and tackling my disappointment by searching for another challenge to overcome. 
Until next time,  
Dave

Hope and Perspective

Wednesday 8th Jul
Before today,  I knew I had friends,  and I knew that I was liked. But when I opened a package that arrived today from my beautiful friend Alix,  I knew I was truly LOVED.
My beautiful friend Alix is the brains behind  Alix McFarland Creative, and she is an incredibly talented woman with a wonderful eye for beauty. Oh, and did I mention she is a stunning photographer! 
I have been watching her wonderful work from afar,  and  a while back made a single comment on a truly beautiful photo she took of a set of sheepyards at sunrise. Lo and Behold that stunning image was what greeted me when I opened the package resting on my door. 
I was, I am, honestly brought to tears by such a simple gesture.
The words on the card are words that Alix meant for only me to read,  I'm sure,  but two words resonated deeply with me...Hope,  and Perspective. 
These two words jumped as equally from the photograph as they did from the card, something that i am sure Alix knew was more than serendipitous. Her grasp of the underlying themes and concepts and her ability to bring these into focus in a photo,  is something to behold.
Similarly,  Hope and Perspective are two words that are sadly lacking from the mindset of those who are suffering from Mental Health issues.  For them there is no hope, no way forward,  and no way out of their current predicament.  That is why 2 in every 3 suicides is male,  because our brains, under the influence of a lack of chemical receptors lack the neural connections to see that there is hope,  and that all that is required to have hope is to reach out,  and seek help.  Seek help from friends,  or from your GP. Then,  and only then,  there is hope. 
Perspective is another thing that can overtake our lives. It can seem like our problems are the biggest issue we face,  that they are insurmountable and unable to be overcome,  because of their size. That we are the only ones whom are suffering,  and that our issues are so overwhelming as to cause us to lose the very thing we need... Hope. 
The path to mental health needs these two concepts in spades,  and it is moments like today that provide those to me in abundance. 
Simply,  I can not thank her enough for her wonderful gift.  It bouyed my spirits immensely and it is, as they say," going straight to the pool room" or in this case,  it will take pride of place,  front and center in my office at home,  where I can gaze upon it and be visually reminded of those two words,  Hope,  and Perspective. 

Hope and Perspective

Wednesday 8th Jul

Keeping up Appearances

Friday 3rd Jul
NO, this is not a post about the British Sitcom. *Half the audience gets up to leave* Whoa there... hang on, and i promise you'll be interested in the contents of this post!
Its actually about  Keeping it real on Social Media.
Since my admission to the world of my inner torment the other day, i have had so many people reach out and express their dismay  that they 'thought i had it good'  or that i had a great life, beautiful family, and had so much energy because i was doing Ocean Swims, Aquathons, and the like.  All those sorts of comments because all they saw of my life was through the pinhole of social media. They were unaware that i was struggling, or that things at home weren't great.
See thats the problem, Social Media encourages you, or at the very least steers you towards, only posting the  good stuff about your life, i mean, after all, who wants to see photos of their FB friends lounging around in their PJ's drinking wine at 1 in the afternoon because they have had a shit day? Or photos of their FB friends struggling to even get out of bed because the kids have had a shit nights sleep, they had a fight with their spouse the night before and don't really want to face the shitshow that is sure to be another day.
Therein lies the exact issue with Mental health. Social Media encourages us to only share the best of us, and not the worst, and thereby masks to the world the struggles that so many of us face on a daily basis just to get up and put a smile on our face and face the day. I for one, am going to take a personal pledge to keep it a little more real on Social media. No that doesnt mean that my feed will now be flooded with me having shit days, it just means that i am going to be more conscious and post a little more of the less happy and glamorous stuff, so that you know that i have shit days too! I mean, obviously i have shit days, otherwise i wouldn't have tried to end my life, right?
Anyway, these are the most cogent and coherent thoughts i could pull out of my head  after going for a 5 km walk with the Speed Noodle this morning. Its funny, its cold as a Mother-In-Law's shoulder (not mine, might i add, she's awesome!) at 6 in the morning for the last couple of mornings that i have got up and gone for an early morning walk, but with that freezing start to the day, its a great chance to organise my thoughts and to be able to express them here, and, i must say, it has led to a more productive day at work!
I look forward to seeing a little more reality and honesty in others feeds, as you can now expect in mine.
Thanks for sticking with me on this post, i hope you got something from it!

Humbled

Wednesday 1st Jul
I posted  about my own battle with depression and my suicide attempt last night, with a link to my fundraising page  and i was both humbled,  and honored to see the outpouring of support and the donations that rolled  in from friends, family, and work colleagues. It is easy to hide things,  especially something with as much gravity around it as suicide,  and that's what I did. Until last night.  I opened up and was surprised to see so many people envelop me with love and support,  some who I haven't spoken to in years,  and have only connected with on Facebook. To all of you, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kindness,  empathy and most of all,  generosity.  You will make a difference to mental health awareness,  of that,  there is no doubt. 

Thank you to my Sponsors

$161.82

Matt Wade

$104.40

Enzo

Well done Dave 👍👍

$78.30

Dunne

$52.20

Paul Stevenson

More of us suffer than actually admit it, and each goes through their own silent battle until they're able to share, so good on you for reaching that point and bravely facing the world. Hopefully the beginning of the next leg of the journey you're on.

$52.20

Alix Mcfarland

Thank you for your courage Dave.

$52.20

Ian & Baxter

$52.20

Caitlin And Scotty

$52.20

Marien Stark

$52.20

Peter Tracey

Good luck Dave. Never give up. Its the journey that makes us who we are.

$52.20

Sam Reid

Hey Dave, I just read your post on FB. Thank you for sharing. I've seen a lot of your posts over the last few months and were inspired by them. I'm even more so now. Keep up the great work!

$52.20

Annette Warren

Love you Dave and Fi and kids. I never knew this and am ashamed that I didn't. Know we are always here for you xx

$52.20

Bud & Niki

Good on you for taking on this challenge. xxx

$50

Anonymous

Remember we are here , part of the band family.

$26.10

Emily Simpson

$26.10

Aly Bunton

$26.10

David Mcleod

Good on you Dave , you’re. Top bloke

$25

Jemma Banham

Always loving you 💕

$20.88

Dave Banham

$20.88

Kate Briggs

Dave, You’re a legend!