My story entails some darkness but is the epitome of light at the end of the tunnel, so I will ask the same of you now as I will at the end, please, keep going.
My life took a huge turn when I was run off the road & left for dead. I was returning home after being surprised with a beautiful set up of candles asking me to the ball, I was on unfamiliar windy country roads & around a blind corner an SUV was well across the centre line & did not react, therefore I was forced to overcompensate to avoid collision & could not regain control over the gravel smeared road. The last thing I remember is realising I was about to die and feeling the immense pull as my car started to flip, my head smashing against the window & road as it did. The SUV did not stop to see if I was alive & instead fled the scene & left me for dead. I suffered severe PTSD and did not receive mental health support. I tried so hard to ensure my suffering was hidden so as not to burden anyone else, I wore a mask for many years & managed to fool even my family who love & care for me unconditionally. I made myself feel so alone in my struggle & suffered far more than I should have.
Though moving forward, my life, future & dreams as I knew them were ripped away from me by chronic conditions & disease. I was an elite athlete in multiple teams & coach to 3 teams, whilst also studying full time at university towards a Bachelor of Health Sport & Human Performance. Exercise was my life. I’ve danced since I was 3 years old up to 6 classes a week among other sports & got into the gym & weightlifting as a teen. It was a significant part of my identity & was also my therapy. I relied on it & all of a sudden my health started to deteriorate drastically. Many times I was rushed to the ER with debilitating pain that nothing wouldn’t subside and I would remain in hospital for days or weeks at a time with tests, scans and surgeries. The time I spent in hospital became so significant that every other aspect of my life started slipping away… I couldn’t train or coach with any of my teams and being the main base & dancer, I was letting my teams down every time. I couldn’t keep up with university or attend a lot of the crucial classes & events. I couldn’t receive the therapy & dopamine that I always had consistently from constant exercise. I started to lose myself completely. When I was diagnosed with a chronic condition. I lost any possibility of fulfilling my lifelong dream of becoming a pilot. I was then forced to abandon my degree and my beloved teams I had dedicated so much of myself into training with in and coaching. I had organs fused together, ovarian cysts that would rupture, implants including one that shut down my ovaries and put me into menopause at 19 which meant I could never carry my own child. I had 4 diagnoses, and I was told the conditions I am facing have no cure and will be with me for the remainder of my life and I also had my partner at the time abandon our relationship extremely suddenly & unexpectedly. I felt like I lost everything that gave my life & future purpose & I felt all aspects of hope & happiness fade to nothingness. I fell into a depthless dark hole; I fell so fast I couldn’t have the capacity to even consider all of the love & life I still had to live for. I reached rock bottom when I opened my drawer full of strong medications and took handful after handful until my body shut down completely. Sadly, my friend decided she would come round to collect the things she had left at my house weeks before and found me face down on the floor. It took the paramedics hours to revive me, and I agreed to be voluntarily admitted to their mental health institute & remained there for about a week. I saw first-hand the pain I had caused my family. I was forced to witness the suffering I had transferred to all that loved me in an attempt to escape it. How could I have not considered this at the time? I felt like the world and everyone in my life would be better without the burden of me & my lifelong conditions, and my suffering in that moment completely consumed me, it was so immense it seemed like the only option & escape. But it did not eliminate that pain or suffering, it simply transferred it to those I hold so dearly. I made a promise to myself & to everyone that loves me that I would never let myself get back to that place, that I would find a way to navigate my life moving forward despite the hand I had been dealt & that I would strive to find happiness.
Fast forward to today, I have spent the last 6 & a half years digging deep within & shining light on all of the darkness, healing every aspect of myself. I have built a beautiful life for myself & can often manage my conditions so well some people won’t even realise that I suffer with multiple chronic conditions & live in constant pain. I find gratitude every single day even when it gets hard, when you’ve been lost in the darkness you learn to appreciate everything that shines & I never realised that immense suffering also opens your heart space & allows for immense happiness & the capacity to love harder than you could’ve otherwise.
It’s not to say that I haven’t suffered since. I’ve had many ups & downs, to name just one of my heartbreaks, that friend that is the reason I’m still alive, I dedicated my all to afterwards. I had been forced out of everything in my life so I had all day every day to do anything & absolutely everything I could to help her & my family in any way I could. Everyone joked that I was her mum as I became her chauffeur, bank/ATM, I’d cook & clean everything & cater to her every request only to have her use & abuse the immeasurable guilt & generosity I gave and had it all thrown back in my face when I tried to step out & move on from all of this by starting a new life overseas, she had been stealing from me the entire time, broke my phone, laptop & damaged my car & made an immense effort to spread lies & attempt to make as many people hate me as she could. She is now an influencer with a substantial following and as deeply as she hurt me I continued to protect her, kept secrets that would’ve prevented her from getting to the influencer status she so desperately desired and have always only wanted the best for her which shows me how strong I really am & that I never really lost myself completely despite it feeling as such, time & time again.
If you rearrange the letters in depression you get “I pressed on” and if there is one hope I have for humanity it’s that when you find yourself struggling, that no matter what, you find it within yourself to just keep fighting. Your current situation is not your final destination and I promise the best is yet to come. How I got through my suffering has become a survival guide. It’s a journey filled with breakdowns & breakthroughs, finding it within yourself to ask & receive the support we all need & be patient, kind & loving to yourself along the way. I still suffer immensely in many ways, as we all do, but the deeper I dove within & the more I worked toward gaining control of my mind, my reality changed completely & my perspective forever more. I never thought I’d be grateful for the pain I had to endure, but I am not a victim of my trauma. I am the warrior I created from the depths of my suffering & it is my greatest honour to be her. Please, please keep fighting. I promise, one day, you’ll be so thankful that you did.