Watching Rachel Homan and her team struggle in the round robin at the Pyeongchang Olympics is not easy. They are such a strong team and opening at 0-3 is definitely uncharacteristic for them. Not to mention no Canadian women’s curling team has ever opened an Olympic Games with 0-2, let alone 0-3.
At the time of writing this, they are standing at zero wins and three losses. Thankfully, they have a more than 24 hour break between game 3 and 4. They need it! I hope it helps.
I’m a relatively new fan of curling, only really gaining interest in the sport after watching two of my cousins play in the 2012 Alberta Junior Provincials in Medicine Hat, while I was living there. I later became a fan of Team Homan shortly after Joanne Courtney joined the team as second in 2014.
Being the only team currently without a win, I couldn’t help but wonder if maybe they came into the Olympics feeling a little over confident and possibly a bit unprepared for things to not go in their favour.
Between their games in Pyeongchang, I kept thinking to myself, they just need to take it one game at a time. They need to try not to put too much focus on the final outcome of the event. No one is expecting them to be perfect. (If anyone out there is, you’re an unrealistic jerk, because that’s not how life works!) They need to try not to think so much about what’s ahead and what’s in the past. I know it’s hard when you have high expectations for yourself. That’s certainly much easier said than done, I know! Trust me, I am no stranger to thinking that I’m not good enough or that I’ve screwed everything up in my life. Not to mention they want so badly to bring home the gold for Canada.
And they have a good record. The team went almost undefeated at The Scotties last year – I actually attended the one game they lost in St. Catharines, Ontario because I moved to the area a three years ago – and they went entirely undefeated at the World Championships in Beijing.
Although I cannot speak to what has been going on in the minds of Rachel or her teammates, it wouldn’t surprise me if they’ve put too much pressure on themselves to perform perfectly at the Olympics and are now suffering the negative effects of that. I can only imagine.
After thinking about this for quite a while, the morning after (my time) their third loss, and thinking about how I would respond to a similar situation and that I don’t know if I’d be able to handle it, I suddenly realized, this is the exact perspective I need to be taking in my current mental health struggle. I’ve been having a very difficult time with my depression lately and it would be so easy to just give up. I’ve come very close to giving up, multiple times, in the past few months. That’s pretty difficult for me to admit.
About two years ago, I thought I’d found the right combination of medication and therapy, and things were going well. For the first time in my life, I was looking hopefully into the future. Problem was, I was not as prepared as I thought I was for my mental health to take a turn in the opposite direction.
I suddenly found myself so deep into the black abyss of depression that I didn’t have a clue how I’d gotten there or any idea how to get out of it. I later realized that I’d been headed down that road for some time, but it was so gradual that I didn’t even realize it happening until it was too late. I kept brushing it off as a bad day, but I wasn’t keeping track of how many days were bad, so I didn’t recognize the pattern.
After several medication changes, and always feeling like I was taking one step forward and two steps back, I became increasingly hopeless. I couldn’t seem to get back to the place I’d been previously. I felt stuck. Trapped. It seemed like there was no escape, until I realized the only way out was to give up. There was absolutely no purpose to my life. Nothing was ever going to be good again and I would never accomplish anything. The only answer was to give up.
This certainly wasn’t the first time I’d experienced suicidal thoughts, but it was the first time I’d ever reached the point of actually making the decision that I was going to do it.
Even though the logical part of my brain knew it wasn’t true, it was nearly impossible not to believe the lies depression was telling me. It’s still hard!
Thinking about Team Homan’s current situation though, it would be so easy for them to give up and stop trying because they had a few, not necessarily bad games, but games that just didn’t go their way. It would be so easy feel like there’s no point. So easy to think that it could cost them their Olympic dream.
In reality, though, they still have a chance! No one knows what’s going to happen. And to be fair, the team’s they’ve played so far have been playing really well! Team Homan has just been a little off, not horrible, just not at their best, but that’s perfectly okay. It happens!
We can’t dwell on the past, or the future. We need to keep moving forward. Because right now hard, we have to focus on right now. Team Homan needs to just concentrate on each game as just one game. Take it one game at a time, while also learning from their mistakes and trying to improve upon them. Once they regain their confidence they can use their experience to help them in the future, but until then, it’s best to focus on one thing at a time.
In the same respect, right now, I need to take it one day at a time and not get caught up in what’s happened in the past to bring me down and worrying about whether or not I’ll be doing better in the future and the things I’m missing out on because I’m not doing well right now. I need to just work on changing my perspective so that I move forward.
Of course, it’s hell of a lot easier to say all this to someone else than it is to say it to yourself and actually believe it. Even now, as I’m writing this, I’m really struggling to convince myself that it’s true and that I even deserve it. It’s so hard not to believe that I have nothing worth contributing to the world. But I can’t give up!
It’s so important to remember, that we don’t have to be perfect. When you’re struggling, do what you can to get through the moment and keep going.