For Mental Health Awareness
Hello my name is Karl Robathan. This is my story of my journey living with the struggles of every day pressures in our society. Though out my life I have always struggled with anxiety. In 1991, I opened my own business, which was a huge step in my life. During the weeks following the countless hours of renovation I had my first panic attack, this left me helpless and living in fear! Through counseling and medication the next 7 years of struggle became my new reality with the constant feeling that I was going to live the rest of my life with a bottle of pills!
Although my business was doing well, I still had a dark cloud above my head, having constant visits with my mum and dad asking for comfort, a hug, anything to help me. Unfortunately, anxiety was a mental health issue that was not talked about very much then, let alone understood! I felt great comfort knowing I wasn’t alone when I met people who were open enough to talk about it. My father always brushed it off as his response was “come on, you’re OK, what do you have to worry about, this is crazy! Smarten up! “ I found myself lying on my mum and dad’s bed with my mum rubbing my head. Yes, I was 25! However, at the time, this distressing condition was not understood!!
Thankfully, through exercise and changing my lifestyle I was able to overcome my anxiety. However never a day goes by since when I don’t fear of its return!
Years pass, my business is doing well, I am married, and have a new home and a beautiful daughter Madaline. My father passed in 1999, and my mother came to live with us in a basement suite. As years passed, my mother’s health deteriorated to a point that we needed to get home care. Failing memory and confusion were the signs of dementia with the year following being a struggle as I was giving her meals, doing blood work and giving her medications, along with my sister, so we were able to keep her at home!
THIS IS MY MUM - MARIE ROBATHAN
The coming year changed my life forever with the countless hours of support leaving me run down and once again fearful of my own health. I knew had to change my way of life. I quit smoking and started to change my ways, introducing exercise and setting life goals such as running. Never in my life I thought that I could ever run, however in 2017 I completed:
West Van Run 10k Coho Run 14k
Sun Run 10k North Van Run 5k
BMO ½ Marathon 21km
I was ecstatic!
With my will power and determination along with the support from my friends, this display with my race numbers hangs proudly in my office. I used social media to post my daily activity and goals along with photo’s as my hobby and love is photograpy. After such an active period of training and races, I was unable to run any longer as my knees really took a beating . I started to use my bike as a alternative for my cardio, and still being outdoors.