Wednesday, November 3, 2010

THIS IS IT - the FINAL BLOG of the SAD no more CANADIAN TOUR 2010

After 99 days on the road - we are heading back to Calgary today to complete the final short leg of this long journey

                 a final look at the Sunshine beast in all its sunny glory!!


For all those who have been following along this will be the final installment of the blog and I apologize if you go through a bit of blog withdrawal - it's self limited and non life threatening and you'll get over it soon enough. Keeping the blog going this long was a labour of love, much more effort and work than I ever would have predicted.  The same way we kept on schedule with the road mileage, the committment to posting each and every day never faltered and I hope you enjoyed the efforts made. 


We had a very good public forum today in Edmonton hosted by the CMHA-ER. A big thanks to Jessie, Corine and Ashley for their involvement in this event.  They were a pleasure to work with and this was a very enjoyable way to finish things off on the road. (Tomorrow there is an event in Calgary with the CMHA but we are really not "on the road" at this point) Thereafter there are a few educational events already booked in the future - but these will not officially be part of the actual SAD no more Tour schedule.  

The Final Chapter

We’ve been on the road since the last week of July and we are finally home, safe and sound.  Travel on busy highways always has an element of danger whether this be running or on a bike or in a 25 foot RV, so it is a great relief to have driven some 20,000 kilometers completely accident free. 

This has been an extremely intense time for both of us.  Not to say that we weren’t doing what we loved to do BUT this was not a holiday.  We worked hard mentally and physically and there will be a let down after it all finally hits. We completed 7608 road kilometers, some 40 presentations with much media work throughout. 

Successfully running and cycling across the country will not just go down as a “check-mark on a bucket list”.  This tour has changed my life, not in an earth shattering way, but in a subtle yet very pervasive way.  The challenges of overcoming mental illness discrimination and stigma will now haunt me and force me into action in the future.    

So what now? Everyone keeps asking. will go on, it always does.

Given that I am moving my practice from one clinic to another will be enough to keep me very occupied and busy for months.  I really doubt there will be any idle time.  I need to get back to a little songwriting and playing.  Regular exercise is non-negotiable and has become entrenched in my life and will definitely continue.  Even with SAD I am looking forward to this winter to do a few projects which I have had time to think about throughout this tour.  Awareness to action can be a motto for more than the SAD no more tour. 

Monique keeps telling everyone that she will be semi-retired by 2011.  Compared to all the work that has been done before and during this tour – an 80-hour a week job would probably seem like semi-retirement.  A lot of her medical admin work when I was at my previous clinic will now be fully taken care of by the new clinic so in many ways this should free up a lot of time for her to pursue all the things she loves to do which have been pushed aside in the past year.  An exercise program, neglected reading and the prospect of a lot of creative gardening in Kelowna next spring and summer will easily fill the hours.

Will there be further tours in the future? If you ask Monique, she will say it will have to be with my 2nd wife as she is not interested.  Have we become ardent RV-ers after all the time in the SUNshine Beast? - not really.  While it was exceedingly effective, efficient and convenient during the tour, we are not convinced that this would be a mode of travel and adventure in our futures.  If we knew before what we know now, would we do it again? no hesitation - YES! Was the tour successful? - you be the judge. We accomplished our mission. Hopefully the Canadian medical and mental health community and the Canadian public has been brought up to date about SAD and this awareness has led to action, a positive change. 

Thanks again to everyone involved in any way with this tour - whether it was someone just looking at the website to our major sponsors and everything in between.  We have met so many great people right across the country who we will hopefully keep in touch with.  There are so many people doing important work in the mental health arena and to them I offer my greatest admiration and thanks. These are the people who have inspired me and I am grateful for them.  Hopefully I have thanked everyone appropriately in my previous blogs. I can never thank Monique enough for everything she has done, her support was unwavering, her work meticulous and organized and her commitment far beyond what anyone could ask for.    

To anyone suffering from depression or SAD, there are so many treatment options in 2010 - use them and use them as aggressively as possible.  You don't have to suffer in silence. If you have not sought professional help and guidance - you need to now! If you are already diagnosed, procrastination is not a viable treatment option, use as many therapies as possible which can include combinations of things, whether it be anti-depressant medications, lifestyle changes of a regular exercise program and a healthy diet, (early morning bright light therapy if you have SAD), alternative and complementary therapies such as omega 3 fatty fish oils (1000 mg a day total), and counselling (CBT). Don't forget to keep doing the things that you love and that make you laugh - socializing with friends, doing your hobbies, going on vacations EVEN if you don't feel like doing it.  Mood disorders make all these life-giving activities seem like far too much effort, but take that first step and do them. By doing "normal" activities you will start to feel more normal and every bit helps. So even if you feel like "a faker" or that you're just "going through the motions" - you may have to do this at first until the mood elevates enough to start to make you feel a bit better so that you actually have the energy and motivation to do the activities that you enjoy.
Learn more about depression and mental illness - there's so much good information out there if you look.  The references posted on the website are a good place to start. 

So there it is, I have given it my best efforts - physically and mentally

Together we can be SAD no more
Ted Jablonski
Nov 3, 2010




  1. And so to end...road weary and road worthy.

    Two roads diverged in a wood and I - I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.
    Robert Frost

    The middle of the road is where the white line is - and that's the worst place to drive.
    Robert Frost

    Hell is a half-filled auditorium.
    Robert Frost

    Always fall in with what you're asked to accept. Take what is given, and make it over your way. My aim in life has always been to hold my own with whatever's going. Not against: with.
    Robert Frost

  2. Thank you, Merci, and Amen! The Lion sleeps tonight!.......yes......finally all family is safely off the Canadian highways. A successful trip you bet! Nothing to be sad about and every reason for life long pats on the back for jobs more than well done for the good of the whole! Your dad would of been so proud of you, and the rest of your family sure is! Bravooooo! xox

  3. As Dad famously said...
    "Jablonskis aren't quitters"
    He would be so proud.

    Know of my thoughts and prayers with ALL your transitions back to your new life in Calgary.

    The extended retreat experience you've been on will reveal its wisdom gradually throughout the extended future.

    Enjoy the unfolding! Great job on the blog...Really enjoyed your journal insights!

    Lotsa love and Congrats,