Mark McDougall- After Walking the Way

Date: 20th April 2016


It is now 4 days after I completed my challenge, and my legs are still recovering. They will settle soon, but what I don’t want to settle is the buzz, confidence and belief that my achievement has sparked in me.

Over recent years I have had mental health problems, impacting on all aspects of my life (particularly my family). It is only this year that I have been able to start to turn things round, with the help of various support measures (including Mindfulness, which I would thoroughly recommend). In the past I have been prone to setting myself unrealistic expectations, or not being able to do anything for days at a time because of my mood. Therefore to have organised, attempted and completed something so physically and mentally demanding means more to me than I can begin to put into words.

What has also given me a huge lift has been the kind and encouraging words of support from so many people, and the fantastic amount of donations that have been made. All this has shown great belief both in me and the reason for my fundraising, and I am truly grateful to you all for this.

It has been a long, rough, journey for me and my family due to my illness. However I have now, at last, accessed support strategies which have given me tools to cope. As a result I feel better than I have done in years, and ready to get on and make the most of life.

In this regard there are some similarities with Down’s syndrome (DS) and Down’s Syndrome Scotland (DSS). Ds obviously has a huge impact both on those with the condition and their families / carers. DSS is able to provide essential support and management advice, strategies, and tools, in order that each individual who has Ds is constrained by the condition as little as possible and can reach their own full potential in life.

Thank you Down’s Syndrome Scotland.