I have this friend. He is kind, funny in the nerdiest of ways, and just as willing to hang out with his nieces and play board games as enjoy some Bears football. One more thing, on his 40th birthday, he came to the realization he was depressed and needed to do something about it.
You see, our spouses both decided to throw us surprise parties this year for outrbirthdays and while eating lasagna at mine he told me what happened at his. He told me he walked in to find a bunch of his family and friends waiting to surprise him and he didn’t react. He wasn’t surprised, happy, uncomfortable, nothing. Some small part of him knew the lack of reaction wasn’t right. And thankfully, he listened to that small part.
Since then, he has been doing some work. Learning what helps (friends and sunshine) seeing a professional to get some chemical support and finding some mentors. For him, Brandon Marshall is a beacon. An athlete and a bit of a rebel who has a supportive wife and a thriving foundation whose mission is to remove the stigma of mental illness and create awareness for all types of mental illnesses.
So here’s what’s happening, On the summer solstice, June 21st, he is taking a Top Gear style race against the sun up the Pacific Coast Highway, one of the most beautiful drives in the US. Here’s the hitch. Instead of doing it in the California sun, he will be doing it overnight in the dark, to signify what it feels like to experience life’s beautiful moments with the dark cloak of depression.
As an added layer, my friend is raising money for the Brandon Marshall Foundation and is soliciting donations to his crowdrise page. Every penny he raises goes to the foundation and helps build more awarness for mental health. If you can, please donate a few dollars or just drop us a note of encouragement. https://www.crowdrise.com/solstice/fundraiser/dougstubbs
For my part, I am priviledged to be his copilot on this leg of his journey. We will be meeting up with friends at Santa Monica Pier for the start of the journey and just across the Golden Gate bridge at the end. Throughout the drive you’ll be able to check in with us via Facebook, Twitter and Google+. I will be working the technology because my friend is going to be responsible and keep his hands on the wheel as we Find a Way Through the Dark.