Andy James of Kelowna’s EZ ROCK Reveals Reason Behind Absence

 

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By Andy James

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Friday August 5th, 2016

 

To begin, I should say that I’m normally an incredibly private person, and the thought of disclosing why I’ve been away is something I’ve ruminated about for some time. That said, I felt that I owed it to all concerned, particularly, you, our loyal listener. While the speculation about my absence lead to some rather interesting rumours, (like I’ve been in rehab or that Tj and I had split up) I can assure you that none of that is true.

The reason I’ve been away, is that I’ve be living with Anxiety and Depression for the better part of my adult life and it finally caught up with me. We (Tj, Boss Burley and I) decided that it would be in everyone’s best interest, if I took the time away to get healthy again.

To say things were dark, very dark, would be an understatement and the impact on the people around me has been more than significant. Getting out of bed to go to work felt like an insurmountable task, the thought of emceeing any event, an impossibility. Even simple tasks, like grocery shopping had become paralyzing.  Anxiety and Depression aren’t something you can simply say “Come on Andy, let’s feel better”. Anxiety is a form of Depression and both are forms of mental illness. As I’ve learned, both require proper treatment. I’ve been blessed with a great support team from the medical side, but also some incredible friends and family. When I hit rock bottom, I was very fortunate to have a support team that gave me a life line. This journey has made me realize who really ‘has your back’, and for that, I am eternally grateful. Anxiety and Depression also take an incredible toll Tj has been an absolute rock, not only holding down our radio show, but also keeping our vibrant family and home running smoothly. That, takes an incredible person, which is one of the many reasons I knew I had to get better! She is the love of my life, and my best friend, and her fortitude, support and commitment has been the integral force that is bringing me back. I’ve spent the better part of the last 6-8 weeks, at our cabin at Hatheume Lake. Time to disconnect and heal, with many alpine hikes with my furry friend Kimi, casting a few flies, and lots of self reflection and ‘homework'(as assigned by my psychologist)

I also have to thank our team at EZ Rock and Bell Kelowna. I learned that Bell’s “Let’s Talk” mental health initiatives are not just lip service, they’ve been a life saving resource.

As mentioned, I am an extremely private person, so why am I sharing this journey with you? Because I feel a responsibility to use my public voice to help! If ONE person(you or anyone you know)is hurting, or in need of support, PLEASE reach out! Talk to your family, your friends, your Doctor, your Psychologist…ANYONE!

 

Some links that helped me:

http://letstalk.bell.ca/en/

http://www.heretohelp.bc.ca/screening/online/

As one of my dear friends and ‘support team’ members said, it takes “one small key to open a 1000 lb door”! Find your ‘key’ and get the help you need to open the door to better mental health! Am I 100%? Let’s say, I’m sure working on it everyday. Thank you for your patience and support!

Much love

Andy

 

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Published on August 5, 2016 at 1:23 pm by Voice Over

Comments

August 5, 2016 - 1:56 pm

Bruce Pollock

Been there…done that. HANG IN THERE…It’s worth it in the End…very best of luck to you!!


August 5, 2016 - 2:05 pm

I Can Relate

Hello Andy,

All the very best to you. I admire your courage sharing your challenges and know that with the proper care and support, you will be able to overcome them.

It’s refreshing to know that a company the size of Bell actually does care. I used to compete with your GM in another market and think that he deserves a nod for being a good and caring person.

I used to work with a smaller broadcaster; one that I thought was an industry leader. That was until my own issue caused a problem and I was tossed aside with the door FIRMLY closed behind me. That’s even after seeking treatment and doing all that I could to demonstrate my sincere regret.

Didn’t mean to go on about myself. It was just an interesting contrast between corporate cultures. Nocrap!

All the very best to you Andy!


August 5, 2016 - 4:57 pm

Mike

Wow! That took courage. And I am grateful to PSR for letting you share it with us.

If I may comment on you’re being a private person. I have always found it odd just how many of us are, as you describe yourself, “extremely private.” And how about “extremely shy?” I remember once I had to emcee something with Don Harron, who was to appear as Charlie Farquharson. (And boy Andy, I can dig what you said about that penance — emceeing.) I summoned up my courage and went to introduce myself to him backstage to get the particulars emcees need. He was, and this is the only word that accurately describes what I saw, cowering. Don Harron! He was at the height of his fam and, I daresay, fortune, and yet ….


August 7, 2016 - 2:21 am

Ronald Rogers

Thank you for sharing your story. I have had to go off work for depression and anxiety in the past. The more person’s in the media shared their stories, the better the public will be informed. Good luck on your journey.


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