Colby Bauer CEO

Mental Fitness with the CEO

Posted 2021 Apr
L Lauren Turley

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and mental health is something we're passionate about. Our CEO Colby Bauer has had his own mental health journey and was brave enough to share his story. He inspires us every day with his kindness and empathy towards others, his work ethic, and his priority of people always. Without further ado, Colby Bauer. 

Give us a summary of your mental health journey!

"My mental health journey has been kind of my whole life because I've had so many family members who've struggled with one thing or another, whether it be OCD, or addiction or depression. I have several close family members that have fallen into mental suicide due to their inability to find the right coping mechanism that works for them. From my experience, the difficulty in mental illness is the chain reaction it can have on others. I was heavily effected by my uncle and my mom. I had to dig deep and figure out ways to exercise my mental fitness. 


What have you learned through going to therapy?

One thing that I've learned through my journey has been just to be vulnerable. I think that was one of the things that built out for both my uncle and my mom and other family members has been just not being able to communicate the issue at hand, and not feeling like anyone could be sympathetic. Awareness on the issue wasn't very broad. So I started seeing a therapist and just learned a lot about just mental health problems in general, but also what I suffer from or what I deal with on a day to day basis which is anxiety and ADD. I learned a lot about my own personality and my own mind. How I react to certain things and and how do I navigate them. How do I prepare my mind for a potential trial or anything like that. Ultimately from therapy, I was given a lot of tools and resources and just an understanding of the problems I faced. So now I can combat them when issues come up. My dad didn't maintain mental stability and he just let it compound and compound and eventually it just broke and things started collapsing in all different aspects in his life. Not dealing with problems can be subtle, like you might think “ Oh, I could deal with it” and then when you're quiet, you hold your tongue it builds up and then over time until it breaks you. That's really what got me to therapy and I'm grateful for that. 


What tips would you give for being kind to your mind? 

The one that came to me first was making sure that you're just aware of issues that you personally have. And then second, being vulnerable with those issues, because you'll find that when you're vulnerable, so many people, the mass majority of people deal with something that's very similar, whether it be anxiety, depression, addiction, OCD, the list goes on and on and on. But you'll find that when you're vulnerable, other people will open up as well. And that creates a good community and a good place to open up, and you can confide in other people, which just brings you more strength. As an example, my mom, she's kind of getting off of some antidepressants. And last night, she was feeling really depressed, which she had herself for a while. And so she texted my sisters and I was just open about it very honest and just vulnerable about the feelings she was having. And everyone else came and kind of came by her side and was said, This isn't abnormal. This is common, you know, we suffered through things like this too, it's gonna pass and that just being able to voice it, my mom said it was just like, a weight off her shoulders. So I think being vulnerable is probably the biggest thing that you can do to be kind to your mind. 


What impact does Thread’s Carry On narrative have on you?

What I think Thread does well is the light side of the story, not the darkness side of things. We talk about the dark periods of life, but really, we focus on what helps people carry on so highlighting the things that bring stability to the mind. That for us is action sports, outdoors, art, design, photography, traveling, anything like that. I think that that's what Thread really promotes and encourages people to do. Where you can find the mental fitness is through recreation and creativity. So I appreciate the stories that we tell. I also think part of being kind to your mind is pursuing what you're most passionate about. I think it's easy to forget your passions. As you get more into life, whether it be school or a job or a relationship, you begin to forget what really brings you fulfillment and joy, and then you stop doing it. It then comes back with a vengeance. Ignoring your passions is slow suicide. It comes on very slowly and sometimes you don't really even recognize it. Make sure you're always keeping on top of those things." 

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