It has been a month since my last post. It has been a really hard month – I started chemo, had an allergic reaction to one of my medications and had to withdraw from uni. This last month has smashed me. I have been feeling constantly sick, nausea, mentally ‘foggy’, depressed and suffering from insomnia. I entered such a dark place where I wanted to give up. I was tired of taking my medication because of how it makes me feel physically and mentally.

I believe the opportunities I have been blessed with to compete at a number of different sporting levels has taught me how to manage and deal with pain. But dealing with mental illness is an excruciating and debilitating experience. I was exhausted and it felt like the last things/goals that I was holding onto, like finishing university this semester, were slowly slipping through my fingers. Too fatigued and weak to go outside, I was spending my days in bed and in front of the TV. I felt like my days were purposeless.

Something unexpected happened this morning. I woke up this morning with a clear mind and not feeling nausea. A woke up with a bit of a ‘Tim spark’ that I haven’t had for a long time. I was able to unload the dishwasher and take my clothes to the laundry. Admittedly, these two small tasks exhausted me and I had to rest for a few hours. But I did something! Feeling a bit adventurous, and wanting to make the most of this unexpected and extraordinary day my most wonderful mum, my gorgeous girlfriend and I were able to go evening church. It was so wonderful to see people, to get away from home for a bit and feel just that bit more normal for a few hours.

God so greatly encourages and I have been so blessed by the support of so many around me. In the space of a few days I have been transported from a place of desperation and suffocation to hopefulness. With huge tears rolling down my cheeks I want to say thank you for your words of encouragement and affirmation. This journey is so hard. It has changed my life. But God has been constant through it all.  The power of love and encouragement continues to transcend and breakdown the bondages of depression and discouragement. There may still be a long way to go on this journey. More mountains to climb, hurdles to jump over and waters to wade through but there is purpose in all of this. That purpose is not always clear but I know that every trial, pain and struggle is a precious and unique gift that can be used to encourage those around me.