Captain’s Log: Mental Health is Always Key

Chris Morgan Mug Shot
Chris Morgan

You may not know me, but if you pay attention to Muskie sports at all, my name will immediately come to mind. I’ve been writing all about sports for what seems like years now. It’s been my bread-and-butter, the topic I know the most about. However, this sports guy knows a lot more than just that, believe it or not.

This year’s column from THE Captain Morgan focuses on all sorts of topics, especially topics that deal with things that are going on around Muskingum University. These topics could sometimes be sports, but overall, you’ll see my opinions and personal stories on so much more this year.

The past week has been Mental Health Awareness Week on campus. Students were given the opportunity to find out just what exactly Muskingum offers to those possibly suffering from mental issues, and given tips on how to deal with stress or how to tell if someone else is in danger. To help put this in perspective, here is my personal story.

This time last year, I was going through a really hard time of my life. I was adjusting to having a new position at Orbit Media, had just gone through a rough breakup, and was feeling all of the stress of trying to juggle class work with my many jobs on campus while still trying to have some sort of personal life.

I let all of that eat away at me throughout the fall semester, to the point that I just began to shut down mentally, emotionally, and physically. My already questionable temper got worse as I just started flying off the handle at the simplest things. I became so withdrawn that I would’ve much rather just stayed in bed and slept all day most days of the week. Sometimes I actually did.

I still remember it like it was yesterday. The day I finally told my mom what I was going through is a day I’ll never forget. I was sitting in my room, just thinking about anything and everything. I felt the urge to text my mom and ask her who I could talk to about getting some sort of medication to help. We eventually decided on making an appointment with our family doctor all the way back in Norwalk, OH. My parents drove three hours just to pick me up and take me home.

The running joke now at Orbit Media is that my mom reads almost literally everything on, and I’m sure this is no different. She’s heard it before, but once again from the bottom of my heart, Mom, thank you.

Some of my closest friends at school and back home knew exactly what was going on at the time. Some included some close friends in Orbit Media, others were my fraternity brothers, even my academic advisor, Dr. Lisa Marshall knew.

That’s the beauty of this small little community we have at Muskingum. No matter what you’re going through, there is always going to be someone you can talk to. There will always be someone that will just be there to talk you down from the ledge, or to give you a hug when you really need it.

When I talked to my brothers in Phi Kappa Psi about it during our chapter meeting, the love and support I received afterward was almost unexplainable. Whenever I talked to anyone in Orbit Media about it, they always listened. Class of 2016 graduates and Orbit Media alumni Kayla Rausch and Christine Holmes especially helped me carry the load from week to week, always offering to help with things when I needed it. One of my best friends in both groups, Brad Roberts, was and still is someone I constantly talk to about things I’m struggling with from time to time. I can’t even begin to count how many late-night Circle K runs we’ve been on in the past year just to take time to talk.

Depression is something that doesn’t really have a cure. Sometimes I still deal with it, even today. Talking to people helps. Taking medication helps. Heck, even sometimes taking a mental health day to just stay away from things and regroup helps. Overall, I’m better now than I was a year ago. It’s simply a process, so to speak.

The moral of the story is that even when you’re facing what could be your darkest hour, there will always be someone that you can talk to. Sometimes it’s an advisor. Sometimes it’s the campus counselors, Leah Shire and Tracy Bugglin. Sometimes it’s your fraternity/sorority. Sometimes it’s the people you work with, who can also be your closest friends.

Whatever it is that works for you, just remember this one thing. Your mental health is always key.