An Introduction to The Lemonade Kart

You can read the entire article or click on play icon below and listen to our first podcast episode. It talks about my struggles with mental health and why I eventually decided to start The Lemonade Kart. The Lemonade Kart is now present on all social channels and has a dedicated website.

The Early Years

I have struggled with mental health issues from as far back as I can remember but especially from about the age of 11.

My issues are very clearly that I suffer from anxiety. Prolonged periods of anxiety can then lead to period of depression and total lack of interest and energy.

The anxiety I experienced at a young age was towards school and school exams or tests, as they were called in Primary School. The symptoms I got was a sick feeling in may stomach, sometimes so bad that it would actually cause me to vomit. The fact that I felt sick could cause me to look for the day off. This was to avoid having to face whatever situation I was anxious about.

It was a short term fix for something that I would struggle with all through school, college and into my working life.

There was many a time that I visited my doctor and explained what was going on. He simply used to tell me to lose a few pounds and go home to my lovely wife. I did see him a few times but in the end I just found him to be extremely unhelpful. In the end I moved onto a different doctor.

Vitamins for The Brain

My anxiety wasn’t diagnosed until I was well into my twenties. I explained to Dr. Mary Behan my symptoms and she told me I needed vitamins for the brain. From the start I wasn’t overly convinced that I needed medication to fix the issue. As a result I was bad at taking the medication. After a number of years of the medication not really doing anything, I decided to shake myself up. I needed to take the medication as prescribed. The dosage was adjusted and finally I was able to begin to improve.

Medication Side Effects

While taking the medication can help the anxiety and depression. Not taking the medication correctly can be very harmful. If I ever “forgot” to take my tablets I would get very bad headaches and become extremely irritable. SO my advice is, if you are going to take the medication, you need to commit and do it properly.

Volunteer Work

It’s not something that I looked to go and do but I found myself volunteering for Meath River Rescue, to help out my pal Jamie Rennicks. People are known to jump into the Boyne to take their own life as it such a fast moving body of water. I was involved in two body recoveries over one particular Christmas period. While working on them the thought struck me that the two men taking their lives could have been avoided. Why did these two men decide they couldn’t go on? In one case it was the mans second attempt to take his life by jumping into the river. If these people had someone to talk to and work through their issues would they still have jumped?

Its OK Not To Be OK…..

That was the big campaign around the same time we recovered those two men from the river. Yes the statement was in fact true. But I felt it fell short of the mark.

Its OK Not To Be OK, But Please Talk or Reach Out For Help….

I felt that the second part was the important part of the issue. As individuals we can often struggle. Rather than just hiding away knowing that it’s OK not to be OK, we should look for help. Or help should be offered to us.

#weareteam

The notion of The Lemonade Kart and the hashtag We Are Team was born. We are all part of different teams

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Workmates
  • Club mates

When you are part of a team, the whole team needs to be working well and BE OK for the overall team to function well and achieve. It’s then in our best interests to ensure that we are all OK. You can ask your other team members for help and likewise they might spot something wrong and offer help to fix it.

The reason I chose the name of The Lemonade Kart was very simple and clear in my mind:

When life gives you lemons you make lemonade – a nod to remaining positive even when things are tough.

The Kart I had in mind was a tram that you see in San Francisco – a vehicle that you can jump on and off as you need it.

San Francisco Tram – also known as a “kart”

Therefore The Lemonade Kart was something that you could hop on and off when times got tough and you could pick up your daily dose of positivity!