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Build a Tribe

by Devan Kane (@devan_kane30), Founder of "Heart to Heart;"

 

Hey squad, it’s me again. 


The “I’m Fine” girl from a few months ago. BACK AT IT to write a little more on mental health, and more importantly how I took my personal story to make a path for others to follow and have the hope and knowledge that it truly is okay to not be okay. 


For those of you who are not familiar with my story, I went to Sacred Heart University from 2014-2018 and played on the Women’s Ice Hockey team. A long (so absurdly long) story short, I had 5 surgeries over my 4 years there that on a pretty consistent basis left me sidelined and unable to play or unable to play at the level I once was able to. This led to my struggles with depression, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, and an attempt on my life. 


To me, depression, self-harm, and suicide are all avenues that are taken in a state when you feel like you’re not happy when you should be happy, and that you believe you’re hurting people and are a burden. Those illnesses have a way of making you feel and believe that life for everyone else would be better if you didn’t exist. What people tend to forget about suicide is that for lack of a better word, you are almost brainwashed. At that point in time, you feel that it’s the perfect answer to make the other pain stop. 


You’re stuck in a state of thinking it will all be better if you can just disappear. My attempt did not make any sort of sense at face value: I have a wonderful family, wonderful teammates, a great roommate, great friends, and I knew deep down I could come back from this injury, but that’s just it – mental health doesn’t need to make sense. 


Now, there is a light at the end of this tunnel, there is a journey of hope and healing. But let me just make this clear: I still have depression, I still have days where I let little things bug me into feeling like I don’t want to get out of bed. However, through the road of healing that I am still very much on, I have learned of the people in my corner who I can lean on, who I can call, who are there for me, and I started to believe in my own words. To this day, I still need guidance and friendly reminders (or if you’re my good friends, usually an absolute no BS smack that they love me). 


Enough about me. 


I am here to talk about the path that I created with my story. A path of hope, a path of knowledge, and a path of inspiration to be the best person you can be each and every day, to never EVER give up, and to KEEP GOING. 


Devan and Casey

As I mentioned, I was a division 1 athlete at Sacred Heart, and through my experience, I realized there was no way that I was alone and the only athlete, or student, that was suffering. 1 in 5 people suffer from a mental illness while 1 in 4 student athletes suffer from a mental illness. In a classroom of 30 people, that’s 7.5 people, on a team of 30 people, you got it!! 7.5 people. 


I started “Heart to Heart;” with the help of my athletic trainer Casey Quinn (a true full blown hero, let me