BENEFITING: DEPRESSION AND BIPOLAR SUPPORT ALLIANCE
EVENT DATE: Jul 11, 2016
Roughly 28 million people in the US suffer from depression or bipolar disorder.
Make that 28 million and 1.
In 2012, at the age of 35, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. My name is Iain Middleton, or Euan Morton (depending on where we met), and for years I have been living a life that swings wildly through mountainous highs and deep canyons of despair. For such a long time I had no idea what was happening to me. I thought I was literally going mad. The swings between mania and misery sometimes came within hours of each other. At other times, one or the other symptom would crash upon me and last for days or weeks.
As Euan Morton (my stage name), I am a TONY-nominated Broadway actor and singer, lucky enough to have worked with some of America’s finest theatrical actors. As Iain Middleton, I am lucky enough to have had good friends and much love in my life. However, in both cases, bipolar disorder made things so bad that something had to change or I wasn't going to survive.
Help came in the form of a wonderful doctor. With his diagnosis and prescription, I began to take control of my situation. Help also came in the form of a wonderful charity called Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA). They work tirelessly on behalf of depression sufferers and their friends and families, advocating for them and running support groups and helplines, all free of charge. Believe me, DBSA are a lifeline to those who find that many of the other resources available to relieve the suffering of mental health issues are prohibitively expensive. They literally save lives, mine included. You can find more info about Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance at www.dbsalliance.org or www.facingus.org and there you’ll get a greater sense of who they are and what they do.
Before I met them, I had been running. Running from situations I’d messed up, running from people I’d hurt, and running from my personal demons. They taught me that it’s time for me to slow down and get to know who I am. To find that combination of Euan and Iain that makes me whole.
So, I’ve decided to slow down from a run to a walk. A very long one. A 2,500 mile journey across the US from New York City to Los Angeles. I'll walk and walk and maybe, along the way, I'll find some inner peace for a while. And maybe, with your help, I'll reach my goal of raising $12,500 for DBSA. I’ve chosen to do this for DBSA as a thank you for their love and support, not just to me but to the thousands of people who utilize their services every year. 95% of your donation will go directly to DBSA with the remaining 5% to the typical credit card processing fees and Crowdrise. Not even one penny will go to me! (I'll take care of my own expenses by performing fundraising concerts and journeying as simply as possible with a backpack and tent.) Oh, and as a donor, you will be the first to know the minute I take-off! Precise time and date TBA, but my goal is to depart at the end of July.
$12,500 is a mere 50 cents a mile! I know we can do that. Empty out those change jars and I bet there are a few good miles in there…
So that’s it. Story told. Project launched. Thank you in advance for your support. Mental health issues can haunt lives forever and your understanding and munificence will go a long way to helping DBSA exorcise those ghosts.