Been thinking I should really add something but didn’t really have much of a reason and over the weekend while I was working on some stuff, I flipped Religion of Sports on for some background noise to keep me focused. I don’t know if you are like me and need to push something out of your head to keep it from wandering to 157 different places when you are trying to get something done, or are more like the wife who needs quiet and calm to think. Bring on the noise!!!
Anywho, the episode was titled “Ingo the Brave”. If revolves around the Icelandic national soccer team and their being the smallest country to qualify for The World Cup and the man who was not playing with them. I’m not going to butcher their full names but an Icelandic rising star in the football world, on the cusp of going big time, found himself suffering from anxiety and panic attacks in a world of Norseman and Vikings who pretend to know nothing of weakness or pain. So for years Ingo hid his hurt and concern until it could no longer be disguised and he blew up on the field and found himself on the outs.
After some treatment and adjustment he was able to speak out about what he had been dealing with. Now, whether it is related to the stigma in Iceland and the rest of the world or what people had come to believe about him while he was playing, Ingo finds himself watching the team play in the seats instead of on the pitch. I wonder how different it would have been had he felt comfortable saying something or, someone identified the problem years before, or the intensity of the stigma of mental health was decreasing faster than it already is.
Sad for him, brave as he is, it may be too late for his athletic career (hopefully not), but he may be even more important to his country as an advocate for those who are quietly struggling. It has always amazed me how the strongest people are typically those most broken by manageable mental health issues. Don’t be him then; be him now. Or even better, be you, faults and all. And if they become a too much of a pain, do something about them!!!