The importance of challenging yourself

Hello everyone and welcome to the return of my blogs,
In this blog I will talk about one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences I have had. One where I have met some extremely talented people and made new friends. For those of you who don’t follow me on social media and only read about my life from this website I’ll explain further. A few months ago I set myself the challenge of organising a gig in memory of my brother Eoin who tragically lost his battle with depression and took his own life.
To start off I had no idea how or where to go about organising a gig, this was the first ever event that I had contemplated and was not quiet sure where to start. So to begin with I put up a post on social media saying that I would be organising a gig in memory of Eoin and to raise much needed funds for Pieta House. The reaction to this post was amazing to say the least,  I received so many messages from people that I had never met, offering to play the gig, telling me their stories and how they would love to be involved. I then decided that we would do the upstairs room in Whelans which holds approx 120 people. Never did I think we would ever sell this out so quick, I remember when finding out that the event had managed to sell out I was sitting in the car on the way back from Co. Clare and I started to think that maybe I could sell even more tickets. I decided there and then I would ask Whelans  if  the main room was available, although a big jump in capacity I felt it would be a good decision because it would mean we could get more people talking about mental health and raise more money for Pieta House. The room was available.
A few months later I was sitting down with one my good friends chatting about how we could push the event further, to  make  more of an impact in getting people to continue to talk,  he contacted one of his friends who was a videographer, who was willing to do the video and I then sat down with him a week later to do one of the most terrifying things I have ever done in my life. Having Autism I find social situations very difficult. So on top of this imagine meeting someone you have never met before  and then sitting down and talking about how you have self harmed, being bullied in school for being different and having a so called disability and being told by teachers that you would never amount to anything. Talking about the problems my brother faced, his time in St. John of Gods. I have always been very open about all of these things that I have experienced but telling someone that you don’t know on camera is a different thing to writing a blog about it. Never did I think that this video would go viral and have over 26 thousand views on my page. The reaction from this video was way above my expectations. I received messages from countless media outlets looking to share my story. My story featured on websites such as alustforlife.com, Joe.ie , Her.ie  
independent.ie
and many more.
The night passed off and was an amazing way to celebrate my brothers life and what should have been his 30th Birthday. We managed to raise over €5,900 for Pieta House but most importantly we managed to continue the conversation around mental health.
One thing I have learnt following this event  is that I need to stop looking down on my achievements and underestimating what I can do. I need to celebrate my achievements and believe that  I can do way more then I think I can. I also now know how important it is to put myself into situations that I am not necessarily comfortable in, as these will bring the best out of me, although they will be very stressful.
I hope one day in the future to run a second night in memory of my brother and as always to continue to be open about my life and encouraging other people to talk.

 

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