Road to recovery with 2100km trek for depression
IT'S been a long road for Michael Casey, but his journey has only really just begun.
The musician, who is currently embarking on a more than 2100km trek from the Gold Coast to Cairns, this week, celebrated the milestone of walking his one millionth step as he crossed the Bundaberg border.
Mr Casey, also known as 21Hundred, has taken on the gruelling challenge to raise money for RUOK, inspired to raise awareness for the charity after his own battle with depression.
The father of two separated from his wife last year and was in the process of moving out of the family home when his wife took their children across state borders without his consent. He has had very little contact with the children during this time.
"My children mean the world to me and to not having access to them has been the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with," the multi-instrumentalist said.
I basically hit rock bottom, I wasn't sleeping but I would stay in bed all day and night. It was really tough.
After talking to friends Michael decided to try exercising as a way to help him work through his thoughts and emotions.
"I started walking everywhere, all over Brisbane, sometimes all through the night," he said.
"I eventually realised that I was walking more than 20km per day.
"It took a while, but after some time I started to feel a lot better, I lost about 20kg in the process and started eating and treating my body a lot better."
That's when the popular Brisbane artist, who performs under the name 21Hundred, decided to plan a walking tour from the Gold Coast to Cairns to raise awareness and money for RUOK.
"During my ongoing custody dispute, I discovered that 21 fathers die by suicide every week because of family access issues," Michael said.
"This is shameful and a situation I very nearly found myself in.
"I want this tour to highlight this issue - I hope it will eventually see loving dads given the support they need during these complicated cases."
While this is a gruelling personal challenge, the journey is also about Michael's music and trying to have some fun.
"Each day I want to connect with people and play music," he said.
"Along this journey I want to meet people, share my story and do that in a really personable way."
Michael is documenting his journey through social media using the hashtag #21HundredKMwalk and aiming to complete his trek within 100 days.
You can follow Michael on Facebook and Instagram and donate to his cause here https://www.gofundme.com/21hundredKMwalk
For more information about depression, go to http://www.news-mail.com.au/news/how-identify-signs-depression/2959075/
Read local radio host Lachlan Cosgrove's experience at www.news-mail.com.au/news/radio-host-opens-up-about-his-battle-with-the-blac/2980807/
If you are suffering from depression, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.