Happy, outgoing and funny. But he was depressed, and no one knew.
Money, hockey and the NHL. Christ Burns faced a devastating injury and overnight he went from elite to bed ridden. His career was over, but he lost more than a job. His life was on the line.
His friends thought he was the funniest person they knew. His Twitter hashtag is @onefunnybastard, but his humor and personality masked his quiet depression.
“I’ve probably suffered from depression for 10 years. For six of those years, I had no idea.”
He is an athlete, he has a six pack and a great life but his depression still sandbags him. He went from hockey to wrestling and despite his success he couldn’t shake his depression.
“He didn’t want to kill himself, he just didn’t want to live.” Chlelsea Burns
Chris Burns is a former goalie and an athlete, and he is teaching his kids about the importance of good mental health. Many boys are taught that “boys don’t cry,” but mental illness can be a light that can force the darkness to bleed daylight (lyrics, Bruce Cockburn).
Facing mental illness calls for a different kind of strength and can make you a better man. It teaches you to not be defined by one small part of your personality or your career. It teaches you to become more aware and to realize that your needs are important. And it teaches you that taking care of yourself is taking care of your family.
“Depression is teaching my kids a whole different side of what it means to be a man.”
At the Good Men Project, we tell the stories that can break you out of the box. The man box wants to keep you quiet, but we know that real men talk.
Keep it Real
If you want to share your story about depression or mental illness, The Good Men Project wants to hear from you. Contact me at [email protected] for more information.
Photo by Abe Novy