Today we’d like to introduce you to Nick Rimmer.
We all face challenges, but looking back, would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Not, the road that has led to this moment has been everything but smooth. I learned at a young age that nothing in life is given. This is what I learned in sports, but I also learned this when my parents got divorced when I was 13. On paper, it looks like my life has been pretty great, and I agree with that. However, my biggest struggle comes with people who make assumptions about my choices. It doesn’t seem like many people consider asking, “why?”
In a way, this has developed self-dependence in my life. Luckily for me, my mom has significantly influenced my life and always supported my openness toward my mental health. She taught me that being a psychologist was good and nothing to be ashamed of. I would not have been able to overcome some tough obstacles without her.
I was a late bloomer growing up and was always the youngest or the smallest in my grade. Additionally, I am the youngest person on both sides of my family. Being a younger person has never had a huge effect on me either. If anything, it gave me an extra edge to compete with older kids.
The biggest struggle I’ve had in my life is the one I have had with making friends. I love the people in my life and always show appreciation for them. However, as time has shown, I tend to make friends with people who would not feel the same way toward me. Yes, we would have fun together, but I would never get asked to hang out – I was always the one organizing the plans. On top of that, I would always seek validation from others. It wasn’t until after I graduated high school that I realized that I do not need validation from others; I only need validation from myself and God. This has allowed me to find my true potential. Funny enough, once I realized that I needed to find myself in myself, not others, my social skills improved! Who would’ve thought?
I struggled with my mental health during my second semester at Maryville University. I lived in St. Louis because I was on a golf scholarship at Maryville. I started to develop suicidal thoughts regularly in February-March 2022. I would try to mask these thoughts by practicing golf for 2 to 3 hours daily. I got so obsessed with practicing, and I thought golf was my only escape from my inner demons. However, my results on the golf course were struggling too. Because I was putting so much pressure on myself to perform well, but I was continually Playing poorly, my overall self-confidence started to plummet. My emotions started to get the better of me on the golf course. One time during a tournament, I angrily slapped my putter after I missed a putt – this sliced my hand open. I was able to finish the round, but in no way is it healthy to hurt yourself on the golf course. This was the first sign that I needed to get some help. The second sign came not too long later when I was playing a qualifier with my golf team. I put so much pressure on myself to perform well, and yet again, my emotions snowballed. This round took place on March 25, and this was the worst my mental health had ever gotten. My suicidal thoughts returned on the course, and I was on an emotional roller coaster. In my head, I’d be thinking, “if I ended it all, all these problems and thoughts would go away.” After the round, I opened up to my team captain, Austin Fauser. I told him about my thoughts on the golf course, and he was extremely supportive and helpful. He told me, “ golf is only a game; it’s not life or death. I think you should take a break from golf because your life does not depend on golf.” These were the best words I’ve ever heard, and they saved me from permanently damaging myself. I thank that man, Austin Fauser, for saving my life.
Next, I went to my coach and informed him about my decision to take a step away from golf. At the time, he was very supportive of my decision. I told him I planned to take a step away for the rest of the year, train hard over the summer, and return to Maryville in the fall of 2022.
Ultimately, I took a break from golf. This was met with some harsh resentment from the rest of the golf team. All of them, except for Austin Fauser, saw me as a quitter. For the last month at Maryville, no one talked to me. No one reached out to see how I was doing, and I felt secluded from the team. Why are people so quick to judge without asking, “why?” I fought with my roommate, who continually called me a “loser.” When I would try to explain myself and my reasoning for taking a step away from golf, it was almost like I didn’t care. Everyone on that team stopped caring about me except Austin.
But during that month away from the team, I started to find happiness in the things I do. I started to make music, write songs, and write about my experiences in a journal – this was my road to recovery. It is important to mention that I never quite the team. I still showed up for team workouts and yoga. I even took a trip to Indianapolis to watch them play in a tournament when no one asked me to. Instead of being met with appreciation for coming out and supporting, I had a teammate ask me, “why did you even come out?” We trained together as a team all year, and I felt obligated to watch, even if it meant it came out of my pocket.
I started to realize how negative and detrimental the dynamic is on the Maryville Men’s Golf Team. This was a red flag if I have ever seen one. The trust that my teammates had towards me was broken. Instead of appreciating me and my efforts, they would criticize me. All they would do was judge me for my actions, and because I wasn’t practicing golf, they no longer saw me as a teammate.
And finally, the final nail in the coffin came on my last day of school. My coach said in a one-on-one meeting that he was not giving me a roster spot next year (Fall 2022). This was blindsided, but I wasn’t upset. I took a break from golf to prioritize my mental health and recover from suicidal thoughts; what resulted from this? I got kicked off the team. This is exactly what I mean when I say there is still a stigma against mental health. If I had broken my leg, I guarantee I would still have a roster spot because that is an injury my coach can see. But because I endured a mental injury, it is difficult for my coach to evaluate my recovery.
Do you think that it was fair how my teammates treated me? Do you think that it was fair that I got blindsided by my coach? Do you think it’s fair that I lost my scholarship because I prioritized my mental health? Not. I got to see firsthand how the world can do better regarding mental health struggles.
I got to see firsthand how the world can do better regarding mental health struggles. What would’ve happened if Carey Price (the Montreal Canadiens goaltender) got traded to another team after taking a break to take care of his mental health struggles, addictions, and trauma? What would’ve happened if Simone Biles lost her spot on the US Olympic team after pulling out of the 2020 Olympics?
I don’t regret losing my scholarship because if I had kept pushing through my anxiety and destructive emotions, I might not have been able to talk about this today. Mental health is more important than physical health – A physical injury like a broken leg only affects one area of the body. A mental injury affects every area of the body. Next year, I won’t be in St. Louis, but this city has had the greatest effect on me out of every city in the world. I feel grateful for the ups and downs because through this journey. I have found myself and my passions – I will never forget the Lou
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what can you tell them about what you do?
I have developed a new mindset for the past year: produce in my spare time instead of consuming. I watch too many kids my age waste their time watching 1-2 hours of Netflix daily. There is no question that I won’t be young forever – so I try to do as much as possible at this age. I don’t want to look back in 10 years and say, “I wish I did ___ when I was younger.” I’m a proud risk-taker. I love taking risks because that is where I find myself the most. One thing I love doing is traveling independently. So far in my young life, I have tackled Nashville, Toronto, Quebec City, Montreal, and Edmonton on my own. I have some crazy stories from those trips – luckily, I’m working on a book, and you’ll be able to read about them in it.
I am starting a social media campaign called “Operation Unseen Scars,” which focuses on positively examining celebrities’ mental health – the opposite of gossip tabloids. We tend to forget that celebrities are people too. With our judgment towards them, I wish there was more sympathy. Out of anybody in the world, celebrities have some of the toughest battles with mental health. On top of that, gossip companies like People and TMZ always make matters worse. They act like wasps waiting to sting celebrities whenever they make mistakes. I want to focus on celebrities who lost battles with depression and use them as examples of how we can learn from our inaction.
I am focused on changing the way that our world views mental health. Even though we say that mental health is important, there are still many things that we fail to realize that contribute to the stigma. I want to help people take control of their emotions and their anxiety and emotions.
What sets me apart is the fact that I am a man who is open about his emotions. There has been a stigma against men opening up about their inner selves for too long. Too many men still see therapy as weak, but in reality, speaking out about your deep thoughts is one of the strongest and most courageous things you can do. No one will take the first step towards emotional well-being except for YOU. I know how beneficial it is for me to reach out and talk to the people I trust when times are tough, but I am well aware that countless people in this world do not feel the same way. They believe they are empty and alone. There is no worse feeling than feeling secluded with no road forward.
Focusing on personal accomplishments is the first step toward failure. I don’t want to be remembered for what I had but for what I gave to others. Giving someone a gift is the best way to show your appreciation for them. Additionally, giving has a reciprocating impact on your happiness – giving is a gift that keeps on giving.
For the past couple of months, I have started a social media/mental health campaign called @uzitheoctopus. It all started when I took a trip to Chicago and decided to take pictures of a reversible plush octopus – it shows a happy face on one side and a sad face on the other. It is important to mention that it’s named after Lil Uzi Vert.
In Chicago, I started to take pictures with Uzi everywhere (like a travel blog). While eating in the Nutella café in Chicago, I came up with the idea to take a picture with one of the staff members and posted it on Instagram. You could not help but notice how much his mood changed. This sparked another idea – I could potentially use Uzi as a way to unleash positive emotions in people. This mission continued throughout the trip to Chicago, and everyone who took a picture with him seemed to love Uzi! I decided to continue this side project, and I have taken Uzi everywhere. Who would’ve thought that a little plush Octopus could have such a great effect on people 😂.
For all I know, The people who took pictures with Uzi were having a terrible day. It’s possible that taking that picture improved their day – that’s why I do it. Another thing that sets me apart – my eyes are two different colors!
What would you say has been one of your most important lessons?
You never know how valuable a connection can be until you talk to them. In public, I am a massive extrovert. I try to meet as many people as possible because every stranger you see knows a great lesson that you don’t. On top of that, I’m not scared of being rejected. I don’t have a lot of fear when it comes to people judging me – that’s what allows me to always be talkative and curious with other people. Regarding your mental health, reaching out to the people you trust is important. But it Hass to be you who takes the first initiative to get better ❤️🩹.
You are the most average of the people you hang out with. If you hang out with alcoholics, you will likely become an alcoholic. If you hang out with positive people, you’re more likely to become a positive person. Pay close attention to the people you surround yourself with.
Making the right decision does not necessarily mean that everyone will be happy. Just look at me, I decided to step away from my golf team, and it was massively unpopular. If I could go back, I would not change a thing. My old teammates are just behind on mental health issues and their effects.
- Instagram: @nick.Rimmer & @operationunseenscars @uzitheoctopus
- Twitter: @rimmernick39
- Other: Tiktok: @operationunseenscars
MJT Tour Finnegan Stewart Edge School For Athletes