I know what it's like to be living a life less than the one you are capable of living.
I know what it's like to wake up each day wishing it to end, feeling lost, confused, frustrated, conflicted and hopeless.
I know what it's like to be emotionally and physically exhausted - constantly.
I know. That used to be me.
As a child, I grew up seeing my parents work extremely hard, yet seeming to constantly struggle; which left me feeling hopeless for the future ahead.
At school, I was bullied constantly, cried daily and moved schools to avoid the rumours and going exclusion.
My dad, aka my best friend, moved away when I was 5, coming home only for the weekends, which bought me immense joy, then tore me apart - every. single. weekend. For 10 years in a row.
By the age of 14, I was so sad that I tried to take my life. Fortunately, I didn't succeed.
Above everything, I recall those feelings - the misery, the carelessness, my seemingly endless sense of despair.
My unhappiness lead me to a complete disrespect of myself: I treated myself with contempt and believed I deserved all of the pain I was in. I continued to spiral in and out of hospital for multiple reasons - depression, anorexia, a combination of them both. At the tender ages of 15-17. While everyone was out 'enjoying' life, I was completely miserable. And I stayed on this path for years.
However, I vividly recall, the one night it all changed. Laying in my hospital bed; on a Saturday night, whilst everyone else was out at a birthday party; I had a realisation: if I don't get better, I will continue to miss everything - family and friends celebrations, events, birthdays, holidays, completing school, having a partner - life. If I don't get better, I will miss out on life.
At that moment, I knew I had to change. I didn't know what I wanted exactly, but I sure as hell didn't want to be hospitalised for the remainder of my life.
From that moment, I decided to accept, rather than resist, support.
I decided to reject negativity, doubt, self hate, limiting beliefs - including any thoughts, attitudes and actions which demonstrated it - including denying myself happiness, the permission to enjoy myself and to eat food I liked.
I decided that I HAD to get better, NO MATTER WHAT, I HAD to TRY to care for my life - It was the ONLY way forward.
I figured if others were able to enjoy their life, I could too - I just had to learn how.
It wasn't easy.
It wasn't overnight.
But it did happen.
With a LOT of support I may add.
For MANY years.
But now - I could not be in a more different space.
See, learning how to overcome self doubt, find clarity within darkness, limiting beliefs and reprogram my belief system didn't just help me rise from darkness - it is a skill that I have used to continue to optimise my life, month by month, year by year.
Opening myself to personal growth with a 'anything is possible - just a matter of HOW' mindset means I genuinely believe I can evolve and master anything I truly desire - and as I continue to grow, I find this to be more true with each challenge that passes.
Overcoming the above difficulties in my earlier years now serves as one of the best things to have happened to me: I have now undoubted faith, certainty and confidence in my mental capacity to overcome anything and everything - reaching any goal I truly desire.
After being sick, it was my goal to reach optimal health. And now that I am in optimal health, it is now my goal to help others achieve the same. Because I know how painful life can be; and conversely, I know how amazing it can be. And I know that essentially, it comes down to our mental perception of it which distinguishes between the two.
Reflecting upon the most critical component of the journey thus far; it is rest - and more importantly, giving myself permission to do so. Daily.
Prioritising my fundamental human need to rejuvenate, above other priorities such as work and studies, has allowed me to become a clear thinking, healthy, balanced, happy individual.
Rest has enabled my mind to think more effectively, creatively, strategically and consciously.
It's allowed my body to feel physically energised, relaxed and ready for action.
My personal relationships flourish as I am present, considerate and caring - meeting my physiological needs for restoration means I do not drain my relationships; rather, I only enhance their value.
Resting has empowered me to travel, to experience the richness of each day and the joy of the smaller moments found within them.
Ultimately, prioritising rest has allowed me to become my best me.
I genuinely wake with a smile and feel a sense of ongoing peace, tranquility and satisfaction for the time at hand, and excitement for the future ahead.
And I know the reason for this is found within the daily decisions I make to prioritise my need for restoration first and foremost.
My life isn't by chance: it is by choice. And I choose for it to be everything I ever wanted.
And because I know how amazing this feels, I want everyone to feel the same - you included.
Come on the journey to become your best you - I'll show you how.