Yesterday, I learned that one of my Supermen features Mark Eisenhart; accomplished and honorable fireman, mentor, life coach, trainer, athlete and author had taken his own life. Even as a I write these words I struggle to make sense of it. I had conversed with him just a week before. He was eager to learn when In-spire LS would be producing digital covers again. He knew that he was a worthy candidate for this and I never at any point disagreed with him.
We skyped 3 times; we spoke about goals, focus, vision, health and fitness; as well as about nutrition. We spoke about his father; his best friend and confidant Budd Eisenhart who had passed away a number of years before.
I shared with him my despair and issues that were plaguing my psyche; and he in return told me how he took the tumultuous steps to changing his life around. He told me that I had the power to be, do or have anything that I wanted and I trusted his every word. Mark had the power to instill positivity in all he coversed with; he just possessed that intrinsic sense.
Mark had already risen from the brink of death a number of years before. After the passing of his father Mark was deemed as the ‘walking dead’. Mark weighed over 455lbs, he had high cholesterol, diabetes, esophageal reflux disease, irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes, anxiety, depression, a mood disorder and 25% loss of hearing in one ear and 15% in the other.
Mark turned to health professionals for help and guidance; but as expected, he was prescribed with numerous pills and potions; none able to reverse the damage he had already caused by neglecting his body; eating an abundance of full fat and high sugar content foods, while not partaking in any fitness activity.
Mark nearly died; yet, somehow prevailed and turned his life around. He trained hard, changed his eating habits and made the selfless decision to be apart of the ‘solution’ by helping others to change their lives for the better. He went around and painstakingly toured around the US and parts of Europe sharing his story with others.
Not only did he succeed in helping many people take charge of their lives by turning around their relationship with food but also restored their faith in their abilities. He made them believe that the ‘best was yet to come.’
Those were Mark’s last words to me. I wish I had ventured onto Facebook to see the always positive dialogue he shared with his followers alter to the negative and worrying words that followed days before and on the day of his passing. I am not saying that I would have been able to make a difference; yet maybe I would have been able to remind him just how valued and important he was.
Mark had depression and he was battling with demons that no one would have imagined someone like him would ever be dealing with. He was so good at putting other people and their issues to the forefront that it was so easy to assume that everything within his own life was manageable.
Learning that Mark had taken his life was a hard pill to swallow. He was always so positive and forward thinking and it was extremely hard to accept that he had given up. It was painful reading his last message on Facebook; the internal agony he was feeling was apparent in every word and I am so saddened by the fact that he was unable to find the peace he was so desperately seeking.
I write this as not only a tribute to the exceptional individual that was Mark. But this is also a tribute to the thousands of men and women; some we know very well who are fighting a daily battle with their mental health.
Within the UK alone, 1 in 4 people will suffer from mental health issues; many of which will go un-diagnosed. It is essential that if you know any one; that you feel is dealing with this. To take the time to offer your assistance in helping them to find help because it is out there.
The stigma of mental health is still very much prevalent within society; this cannot be argued. However, the literature is out there and if you feel that you are becoming unwell; I encourage you to seek help. There is nothing to be ashamed of and you must recognise that true strength is exuded by the individual who not only recognises they have a problem; but who takes the steps to do something about it.
Mental health issues are real and it affects more people than we recognise. Take time to speak with those closest to you. No one ever needs to feel alone or sense they are battling against their issues with no support.
It was an honour to have worked with Mark and I am truly blessed to have connected with him in the way I did. I ask that people read his interview with me and remember him as being a selfless individual who strove to educate, empower and encourage everyone he came into contact with.
R.I.P Mark Eisenhart. (July 4 1969- February 16 2014)
Read my interview with Mark HERE
For support with mental health issues click HERE
W| By Sasha Shantel @SashaShantelVIP