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The sun will always rise- a mental health story

I first heard the phrase – ‘The sun will always rise, and we will try again’, from a friend when she showed me her sunflower tattoo. It has become something that I often remind myself of during difficult times.

Sport was my safe place, the place where I was able to feel truly myself and somewhere I could always go and put my worries and thoughts aside. When I reached a point in my athletic career when I no longer felt excitement or desire in going to training every day, I was broken. My battle with mental illness had led me to feel like I had lost not only the love for my sport but the joy of waking up every day.

It was my best friend, hospital treatments and a lot of resilience that got me through a year when I was struggling to get out of bed and face the day. During my battle with depression and other mental illnesses, I lost hope and I felt like I had lost myself too. I denied it to myself, my friends and doctors for months, I struggled on every day and fought against an invisible opponent in my life. Eventually I took the professional help that was being offered and I started to fight my way out of the dark. Believe me, it was not easy, in fact it might have been the hardest thing I had to do – but I am so grateful that I did.

I had been independent and outgoing my whole life, whilst I always knew about mental health problems, I never thought they would affect me. As an athlete, I thought I could be strong and push through. I was wrong. Mental Health affects every single one of us. We are all fighting battles that people cannot see.

I am happy to say that after everything I have went through, I am still here, and I am here to say that no matter how hard that life may get sometimes, you are strong and resilient enough to get through it. And most of all, I want to say that it is OKAY to be confused about your emotions and thoughts, it is OKAY to reach out for help and it is OKAY to advocate for yourself.

There are so many resources out there that can help you. Be brave, seek and accept the help and always keep getting up. Choose to fight. Choose to stay.

And remember that even during our darkest days, we can still have hope that the sun will rise tomorrow, and we will rise too.

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