I really struggled to create a blog post, much the same as I have battled with my depression addiction in my head. So finally, I feel freedom from this due to being put on some amazing medication that has totally changed my life. It is changed the place inside my head from darkness to light, finally. Amazing.
So now I have the stability to finally get this blog up and happening. As I’ve shared, I was planning to try the under-ice breath hold world record attempt in Finland in March. That’s in 39 days.
The journey has not been smooth sailing.
Last year I suffered from depression so badly and battled with an injury. At the start of last year, I had a pain in my ankle that I discovered two months later was, in fact, a fracture. As I had been walking on it, it would not heal so I had to have an operation. This was terrible. I could not do anything for six weeks, not even drive. So that also meant no training at all until the middle of last year.
I then returned to Berlin and contracted pneumonia so that also affected me trying to get back into any physical shape and fit. I was thinking of returning to Egypt to train but decided to return to Cape Town to get the metal removed from my ankle as it was bugging me.
I returned to Cape Town battling terrible depression. All I could do was cry and all I wanted was to go the bottom of the swimming pool and disappear – basically end my life. I phoned a physiatrist and the receptionist said there was a two-week waiting list. I just burst into tears on the phone and she took my number and got the doctor to call me. The doctor prescribed me miracle medication that has totally changed my life.
I then had the metal taken out of my ankle and gave myself a couple of weeks before committing to the world record attempt by paying the deposit. When I had my ankle operation and was using crutches as a result, I had irritated a small hernia I had in my groin area. Because I’m not on medical aid, I first tried to ignore it and later tried to get it operated on by the state. It got to the point where I couldn’t ignore it any longer and asked my father for financial help to get the operation done. This meant another 10 days out the water and no training.
Now I am hernia free, metal free and back in the water again. I have also managed to find an amazing sponsor, Cipla, who has the same message around mental health as me: Depression is not a label.
I will not let depression get in the way of my dreams.