When you are a kid you watch things on tv and you dream that it will be you one day. Watching a beauty pageant you imagine how it would be to be gracing down the runway and then accepting your big win, or little boys imagine how it would feel to score the winning goal for the Stanly cup. Or maybe theres someone who dreams of being on the middle tier at the olympics accepting the gold.... all of these dreams, all of these things that stay just that, dreams.
I remember watching ESPN and watching the fitness girls doing their routines and dreaming that would be me one day... Fat chance, i couldnt even do a cart wheel as a child. So i filed that dream away with the rest of them and put it at the back of the closet and thats where it remained until last night, thanks to someone who believed in me and an amazing organization that believed in making dreams come true.
As i sit here the day after my 2nd place finish in best body and my 3rd place finish in fitness at the INBF classic in Calgary Alberta, I cant help but think where i was just 2 years ago. It is exactly two years ago this month i was sitting in a hospital room on the pysch ward, scared for my life and wondering if this was my destiny, medicated, watched for every move i made, crazy....was this me, was this who i was supposed to be?
Many have read my story before and know what im talking about here, but for those that don't let me explain.
I had been going through some really stressful times, with my mother being sick and, working full time and trying to go to school full time. I thought I was invincible and i thought i could take the world on, so on top of all that I tried to follow and keep up with my so called friends that couldnt see that there was something seriously going on with me.
It started with not being able to focus when someone was having a conversation, i couldn't keep track of what they were saying, then my foot went numb and it spread to half my body. I would have crying break downs at work and finally went to see the doctor and they told me i was having a burn out and gave me time off work. But then it just got worse. I couldn't write, or sign my name it was just scribble, i couldn't tie my shoes, type on the computer, talk properly, think straight, i walked funny, i would faint, have panic attacks, black out, have seizures on a daily basis! I would have episodes where id black out and do crazy things that i wouldn't remember. It was totally insane! They did every test you could think of, I've had the works.. mri, eeg, cat scan, spinal tab over 100 blood tests..etc they did all that because i was showing all the signs of a neurological disorder. everything came up negative!!!
Months had gone by and one day i just broke from reality and blacked out and did things i dont remember doing and was rushed to the hospital. In the middle of my black out i actually ran away from the hospital and when i finally came to and let them take me back I was admitted immediately and put on protective watch for a whole week because in their eyes i was this crazy person. After being in the emergency pysch ward for a couple weeks i was moved to an actual pysch hospital for 5 weeks which was the most awful, terrible experience of my life. They did nothing for me in there! no therapy, no compassion no comfort no nothing. I was treated like i was in jail. Wasn't allowed outside, wasn't allowed visitors until 5pm...was told when to take a shower, when to eat, when to sleep, when i could use the phone. They would drug me and leave me! No therapy at all! If it wasn't for my family and friends i would have never gotten through it.
After 5 weeks, i was getting a little better on my own none the less and i was released but had to attend a day hospital. There was my saving grace, i had lots of therapy, and FINALLY was told what i had. Its called conversion disorder, Conversion disorder is a condition where a patient displays neurological symptoms such as numbness, paralysis, or fits, even though no neurological explanation is found and it is determined that the symptoms are due to the patient's psychological response to stress. Conversion is a psychiatric diagnosis.
Conversion disorder symptoms may occur because of emotional distress or psychological problems.
Symptoms usually begin suddenly after a stressful experience.
Some doctors falsely believe that conversion disorder and similar disorders are not real conditions, and may tell patients that the problem is "all in your head." However, these conditions are real. They cause distress and cannot be turned on and off at will. Research on the mind-body connection may eventually increase understanding of these disorders.
The only way to cure this is therapy, once you find out what caused it (i.e.: what caused you to get so stressed) and you deal with the stress then you deal with the conversion disorder and it will get cured!
So therapy is what helped in the beginning. and like i said i was on all kinds of meds and because of them i gained so much weight. I must have gained 50 pounds! i also used to smoke a lot to get the edge off. i slowly started to get better, and then i started to work out to get rid of my stress and clear my head and that's when i got addicted to it and started training so much and quit smoking and started feeling soooo much better, better then i ever had. I started walking in my area, every morning. I would power walk to my favorite tunes on my iPod and just walk. It was so nice to be outside with the fresh air. I finally felt alive again. I was a new person better then the old person i used to be! If you knew me back then and you knew me now, you would think i was two different people, I'm sure a few of my friends can confirm that! I'm also so happy to say i don't take any more meds its been almost 2 years, and i really honestly believe its the healthy lifestyle i have adopted. Within not even a year of being out of the hospital I was on the fitness stage and even came first place in Fitness model and overall.
A few months after that i decided to move out here to Calgary and have a fresh start. After a few months here i attended a seminar at the gym i was training at, for the INBF, just to get an idea of where i wanted to do my next competition. The moment I met Matt Park and the rest of the INBf team i knew i had found my new home. All of the amazing team have always made me feel important and lik i mattered as an athlete!
They introduced someone new to the team, her name was Dallas Rae. She was here to introduce fitness to the INBF. FITNESS??? my dream that i had filed away many years ago. She asked me if i worked out, if i had strength, if i had rhythm, yes i answered, and her response was then you can do fitness.
Could this be true? something i had only dreamed about, something only 2 short years ago if you told id be doing i probably would have asked they put you beside me in that hospital room. Was this really happening??
It was...and it did!
So the girl who had once just dreamed, the girl that once had been labeled insane, the one that had lost herself, the one that had died inside, had been reborn on the INBF stage.
A special note for Dallas: Like i just said above I had died, and you revived me. You showed me im not a nobody, you showed me what im capable of, you showed me that dreams dont need to be put away and filed in the back of a closet. You made a part of me come to life that i never knew was there.
And thank you INBf for letting your stage be where i finally found myself. For some its a t-walk, for some its a pose down, for me its life. I have been brought back to life.
Theres always a light at the end of the tunnel, ALWAYS. No matter how low or how dead you feel it will get better i promise. You need to find something to turn to. Something to be passionate about something that makes life worth living. For me it was fitness and for you it may be something else. Find something you love and pursue it! YOU CAN DO IT!Don't be ashamed to admit you feel a certain way. You could do anything you set your mind to and don't let anyone hold you back! You are your biggest fan, you are the one that controls your destiny! You are in the drivers seat of YOUR life, make it a good ride, because you only get one shot!