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Some may not know Josh’s story, but it defies the public’s perception of a ‘depressed person.’ Before his suicide attempt, Josh Quigley was crushing life as a successful entrepreneur. As the founder of an award-winning digital marketing agency, Josh was a star in the Scottish business community. Life was perfect for him, right? Why would he possibly try to kill himself?
But depression doesn’t care who you are, what you’ve done, or what dreams you have in your life. Depression seeks to consume and destroy at every turn. People don’t realize that. The uninformed think, if we only achieved more success, our depression should go away. That’s why so many were surprised by Josh’s suicide attempt.
He wasn’t thinking about his fortune, his rising fame, or his success when he deliberately crashed his car at 80mph. He just wanted the pain to go away.
“No one attempts suicide because they want to die. They do it because they want to stop the pain and suffering.”
After his attempt, he began talking about suicide and sharing his story. It all started with a heartfelt and revealing video he uploaded to YouTube.
“I just felt like someone my age had to start talking about this stuff and help other people.”
Many responded to Josh’s video with encouragement, support and solidarity. Even more, Josh’s honesty saved lives as some who planned their own deaths, changed their minds as a result of viewing his video.
Determined to not let depression stop him a second time, Josh was just getting started when his raw video went live. Depression certainly hadn’t taken Josh’s sense of ambition yet and he was going to do something great with his second chance at life.
On May 26th, 2016, exactly one year to the day after his suicide attempt, Josh leaves Scotland to attempt to change the world. He’s using his second chance at life to cycle to over 80 countries on six continents to raise awareness and begin the conversation about suicide and mental health.
At each place he visits, he’ll share his story in front of a large audience to spread the word about mental illness and suicide.
Through the Tartan Explorer project, Josh hopes to create the world’s largest online community for mental health awareness and to make suicide a thing of the past.
“Around two people in Scotland take their own lives every day – almost 700 a year, my dream and long-term goal is to eradicate suicide from society. It is not enough to say I want to just reduce that figure to 100 a year.”
For Josh, it’s not sufficient to survive his depression; he intends to impact the lives of millions of people struggling along with him and he knows it starts by having positive conversations about mental health and suicide.
Depression tells you that it’s over, that there’s nothing that can be done to save you. That’s a lie that you can’t believe. You must fight it with all your strength because your life matters and plenty can be done to make things better.
“In my opinion it is preventable. People only take their own life because they are suffering and feel things won’t get any better, but that doesn’t need to be the case.”
Josh, like many of us, hopes that our stories of pain and struggle will help others realize that they aren’t alone and that things will, in fact, get better. You just have to keep going.
Please join the rest of the Sad Runner community in celebrating another Depression Fighter who, not only survived, but he’s using his life to save others.