Interview

Cody Ware on Mental Health – “Only way I got over my demons was to lay it out on the table.”

By: Ashley McCubbin

It is believed throughout the United States, at least 40% of adults are struggling with something surrounding their mental health. As a result, suicide has become the second-leading cause of death among individuals aged 10-34 – and eventually in everyone’s life time, they will be affected by someone choosing to end their life early.

Cody Ware is one of those individuals who has dealt with depression and anxiety all of his life, stemming from a traumatic event that happened in high school. He is trying to turn it into a positive and create conversation to help others through sharing his battles on social media.

The decision to share his story stemmed from the inability to go have lunch without suffering an anxiety attack due to being so on edge and angry with himself and everything happening.

“The only way I got over my issues was making myself vulnerable,” he told NEWS FROM THE PITS. “The only way I got over my demons was to basically lay it out on the table, become an open book, and wear my heart on my sleeve. Definitely a jarring approach for some people, but it’s what has helped me grow.

“I have talked very openly about my attempts with suicide in the past, and I use to that as a tool to talk to people who may be dealing with the same things. I don’t use it as a crutch, or thing that negatively affects me to this day; I use it to help people, and that’s what matters at the end of the day.

“I drive cars for a living, and it’s a real blessing and an honor, but the real things that matter when it’s all said and done and I’m on my death bed is did I help people? Did I make a positive impact on the world? Because even if I went out and won the Daytona 500, that’s not going to make an impact on the world, to help people, and I want to make a true impact on this world, even if it’s a little one, even if I just help one person. That would make me happy.”

His story has allowed him to offer encouragement to others, including the ability to get off both anti-anxiety and anti-depressants as of December after taking part in some experimental brain wave treatments used to treat people with PTSD.

“After two weeks of very intense therapy there, I was able to get off the meds,” he shared. “I actually quit valium cold turkey which is something that even my doctors were not ecstatic about in being a hard core drug to be on for years and years. So it made me feel pretty proud to get off medicine as I never believed I could. My mom always believed I could and 10 years later we’re finally there.”

Going into this season, Ware is ready to take this story to the next level, looking to partner with a few companies to combine together and spread a bigger message off and on the track.

With everything he has experienced, Ware’s biggest advice for people going through similar issues is to make yourself vulnerable, and be willing to share your story with a one or two people you’re close with.

“What I learned is I tried medicine, I tried therapy and all these things, but I was stubborn about it,” he explained. “I really didn’t believe what I was working go and it didn’t matter what medicine I took, what therapist I went to, it wasn’t going to work until I took the time to say, ‘Hey, I’ve got to become vulnerable – not weak, but vulnerable, but put myself in a position that I have to grow and want to grow.’”

“The first step in that is having a discussion with somebody – a real true, blunt conversation; not just I’m dealing with some things, but really lay it out there, pour it out so somebody can be there for you and relate to you. Once you feel a comfort in being like that, then you can really get the help that you need.”

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