I can NOT thank these individuals and organizations enough for all of their support!
Defeat the Stigma Mental Health Awareness Group: I spent the majority of 2015 in and out of psychiatric hospitals, detox facilities, and eventually in a 28-day inpatient treatment facility. How could someone who was always on top of the world (so it seemed): school, 6-figure salary at the age of 25 and climbing the corporate ladder quickly, then working her tail off to qualify for and then finishing 69th at the US Olympic Marathon Trials, find herself hopelessly depressed and wanting to end her life? Turning to alcohol and eventually becoming so dependent on it that she couldn’t go more than a couple of hours without it? So dependent that I was willing to do anything for the next bottle, and that mattered more to me than my husband, daughter, safety, or health?
I am so thankful to have had so many around me that pushed me to seek help when I didn’t want it. I have been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder, which I’ve likely had my entire life, helping me to achieve, but the highs and lows became very evident with the hormone swings after the birth of my daughter.
I thought my prior successes made me immune from mental health problems. Truth is, though, mental illness doesn’t discriminate! It’s also nothing to be ashamed of. If you have mental health issues, you have a choice: be consumed by them, or manage their symptoms. Reach out! Let’s Defeat The Stigma around mental illness! I am always available to talk about my struggles – email me at nichole.porath (at) gmail.com.
Seven Sundays: As I try to get the most out of my body, I need to fuel with the best food possible. Instead of looking for something fast and unhealthy mid-day, I pour some museli on top of my plain Greek yogurt for a protein-rich, great tasting and NON-PROCESSED snack. It’s often my breakfast in the mornings too. The more I can fuel with simple, wholesome foods/ingredients, the better I’ll feel and perform. A huge thank you to Seven Sundays for fueling my dreams of coming back to racing at a high level!