My Mental Health Story

By Jeremy McDonald

Over Spring Break, I mentioned about Mental Health and a massive mental breakdown I had at 26-years-old.

I feel like it is important to talk about it because it’s true, not everyone is immune to mental breakdowns or mental problems.  So, I figure I’ll share mine and go from here:

As I’ve been saying this year, I’ve been writing for six years.  I’m 30 now so I was roughly 24 going on 25 when I started.  When I started in 2013, I had got my Journalism degree in hand and was just finishing up my Health and PE degree when I moved to Sacramento from Southern Oregon.

I worked my way up the two-years down there, but something changed towards the end of the second-year in Cali.

So, I had been writing for free that year for several newspapers (as I have been up here since starting the site), and a golden opportunity came to get some money in my pocket writing for a site and writing for the newspapers I’ve been writing for.

Here was the turning point.

About a month in, the CEO of the company of newspapers I wrote for had one of his editors ask me to choose between them or this publication.  The editor brought up a good point of experience of an editor looking over me versus just a check.  And they had a few bucks to kick my way.

Being a dumb twenty-something year old, I chose money.  Thinking I love the people here with the newspapers I’ve been freelancing for, but how long will the money last this time?  I had family riding my ass about the importance of money my whole life that I let my reasoning why I got the journalism degree and what sports meant to me slip.

The site folded two-weeks later.

I was down.  Shit borderline depressed at this point.  But it wasn’t the worst of it.

So, one of the guys I know from that site talked me into doing another site, don’t crawl back because of what the CEO did.  His theory was he may do it again if I talked to someone associated with a site in the area in the future again.

I went with it without knowing much about this dude.  Strike two.

I had next to no time to hang out with Amber or just simply recollect my thoughts.  This dude had me grinding the gears so hard that I burnt out a month in.  I down on myself, snapping at Amber cause of fatigue.  I didn’t want to do anything with the little time I did have cause I was exhausted and fearful if I got a call from this dude to swing by he’ll guilt trip me into ‘I gave you a platform to write after they kicked you to the curb’.

The ultimate decision was to move for my mental mindset personally.  Amber wasn’t a fan of California only because of all the traffic, but loved being close to everything in Sacramento.  She wanted me to tell this dude to fuck off and go back to the newspapers I wrote fore, but I was fearful if I went to a game locally he would confront me over it.

We moved back to Oregon, to Wilsonville first in 2015 then Keizer two years later.  But the third strike came when I saw the company I use to freelance for bringing in writers and a few of the looks I had to freelance up here dried up.

I was down, depressed.  Shit I walked to the Boeckman overpass twice in Wilsonville at night and looked down and wondered ‘what the hell happened?  Is it worth it?’.  That was mid-to-late September of 2015.  Something stopped me from doing anything both times.

I wish I could say church saved me, I went to a therapist to figure it out or some other route but I didn’t.  I slowly pulled myself out of it on my own, I had to get back out there.

The first several months, that first year of the site my confidence was shot.  But by the end of Spring season into the Summer, I slowly started to pull myself together.  Remembering why I majored in Journalism and what sports meant to me growing up (even though I was a career benchwarmer haha).

Now I’m far from perfect.  I’m still get down on myself.  Doubting if I made the right decision with the site when I first started or am I doing enough now?  I’ve had writers not like me over the site, others like what I’m doing, others trying to copy me.  That got me still to this day, still got to battle through it on a regular basis.

Yeah I’m 30 right now, but mental health issues has no age limits and I just wanted to throw mine out there because it’s important to talk about it.


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