Fighting Your Battles
Walking Life’s Journey
Article written by Kevin Bateman
I was born in Adelaide but grew up in country South Australia near Waikerie in the Riverland which is 2hrs N/E of Adelaide. I had a good upbringing, completed year 12 in high school, and worked hard around the house and on the fruit blocks that my Dad managed.
I played AFL football and basketball during my teen years.
I became a Christian at the age of 18 and served in the local church in youth leadership. I met my high school sweetheart Kristin in the Church, and then followed her and her family to Adelaide where we both served in a local church in which we are still involved in today.
We married in 2000 and we attend LIFE (Church), where we still serve in the Church. We have two children Hannah who is 16 and Jackson who is 10.
In 2003 my Dad who was a Pastor for 9 years passed away and this was a sad time for my family, but you have to move on while you are grieving. We enjoyed a great Australia Day weekend before he passed away in his sleep.
In 2008 I was working at a company about 45 mins away from our home, our son was born, we were renovating our house, and I was volunteering 10+ hours a week at church as Floor Manager for Sunday services and Project Managing large conferences. I started falling asleep on the freeway, up at 4:30am to get to Monarto by 6:30am, Working 10+ hour days. There were two deaths on my work site, which required investigations and risk assessments of all tasks and machines, which added to the stress I was already under.
I ended up burning out quitting my job and started suffering migraine attacks. It was thought that I also had sleep apnea.
I had many scans, tests and tried various medications. The scans showed nothing wrong physiologically and the neurologists and psychologists could not pinpoint any reason for my medical condition.
From 2008 until now I have had more than 12 jobs, most of which I quit due to migraine and mental health challenges such as depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts. Although I haven’t worked much at all in the past few years which put a strain on our marriage and finances, I continue to try and manage my Safety business and a Chaplaincy Care business.
In November 2016 I drew a line in the sand and made a conscious decision to seek help, seeing my local GP, then being taken to the Emergency Department, then returning to my GP to receive a Mental Health Care Plan. Part of the ongoing plan was to also see a Psychiatrist and Psychologist.
As I did, if you are struggling with your mental health you may:
- Become Insecure.
- Begin to Isolate.
- Believe you are Insufficient in life.
I have been a Sports Chaplain now for eight years but I have still struggled at times with my thoughts and negativity.
How could (I) the Chaplain be the one who needs help when I am the one who is supposed to be helping others? At times we all need help.
In my role as Chaplain, I find that helping others, helps me.
If you or someone you know struggles with Mental health, You (They) may notice you or them;
- Stop doing what you (they) enjoy,
- Start letting insecurities control you (them).
- Stay home because of fears.
- Step away from serving/helping others.
- Struggle with day-to-day activities.
We all need to Speak up, Seek help, Surround ourselves with caring people and Stay strong.
Beyond Blue: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/
Black Dog Institute: https://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au
ACT Mindfully: https://www.actmindfully.com.au
Pain Health: https://painhealth.csse.uwa.edu.au/pain-module/mindfulness-and-pain/
Centre for Clinical Interventions workbooks: https://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/Resources/Looking-After-Yourself
Head to Health: https://headtohealth.gov.au/
Migraine Australia would like to take this opportunity to thank Kevin for his time and for helping us bring migraine #OutOfTheDark