I couldn’t believe it. What do you mean a tumour? I am only 23 years old...

I have learnt that life is filled with so many blessings , joy , laughter , love ,  wonderful opportunities  However life also has funny way of consistently being perfect and can throw the most toughest , darkest battles at you. 

 Hello , I am Amy O’Leary I am 23 years old and at the age of 13 I was diagnosed with a mental illness along the way growing up it hasn’t been easy and its been a struggle however with perseverance I haven’t given up. I have 100% been in situations where I have felt the only to make it better is giving up but if there was anything I could say to you its to not give up. I have learnt that NOBODY is perfect , what even is perfect nowadays ? Mental illness or not we are all battling life and  its consistent uncertainties and struggles. WE ALL are going through something or have imperfections or our own insecurities. WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT and that’s what is so amazing and we shouldn’t be made to feel like this isn’t normal. I want to normalise TALKING as we are made to feel weak , embarrassed or scared that we aren’t normal or judged that talking about it isn’t normal. This is all NORMAL. It isn’t easy but I genuinely think you are the strongest person ever if you battle a mental illness everyday and KEEP GOING or have taken yourself out of the deepest darkest hole that is pure STRENGTH. Weather you have a mental illness or not everyone has been in a position where they have felt like giving up or patch where they haven’t been OK. I can’t preach it enough I just want to normalise that being perfect isn’t actually normal and this life we see on social media isn’t real because we know ourselves life isn’t perfect. 

Amy's mental health story with a brain tumour

With having a ongoing battle with mental health I would be lying if I didn’t say how hard its been for me. I have 2 significant nightmares 31st October 2019 and December 2020, I was in the deepest darkest place I genuinely believed I had gone my mind just wasn’t there anymore it took over me. these dates will never leave me and I am not embarrassed to say it I attempted suicide and if it wasn’t for my family I wouldn’t be here typing this today. I got in a place that was so anxious and dark I felt suffocated like there was no way out but me taking life into its own matter. I get so anxious and my mental illness at times can trick me into thinking life better off without me. But there’s a space in this earth for EVERYONE and the truth is everyone of us has problems or is battling with trauma , grief , mental illness , eating disorders, insecurities. I know myself Its not that I wanted to die it is that I wanted the pain to die and be taken from me because I couldn’t handle it but I couldn’t see that at the time. I have learnt that I won’t be free from my diagnosis. I have had it since the age of 13 and currently now that’s life I will always have it. It won’t go away  However I can understand it more and its learning to deal with it and putting techniques in place so that it doest become overwhelming and hard to manage. It is not easy and its not quick fix or cure for me personally I will always have this and I will have times where I am happy but I know I will feel it creeping back and that’s OK.I feel like this year I have finally got to a place where I am happy probably the happiest I have ever been this has taken consistent therapy , eating healthy , physical exercise  , sleeping at the right times , surrounding myself by the right people and 

Last but not least being on the right medication. I am not embarrassed about this its taken me 4 different medications and a year off not being on medication and trying it naturally to see what works for me. This is why I say you have to keep going because 5th time lucky and what I am on now is PERFECT  for me and my diagnosis I feel like I can get through the days so much better and all the other elements play a massive part its not just being on medication its a accumulation of those factors that have had a positive impact and if one of them is out of sync this has a huge impact on your mental health. I just feel like I can breathe again and everything feels less heavy and intense. I can deal with everything life throws at me the good, the bad,  the ugly without feeling overwhelmed and out of control.  PLEASE DO NOT GIVE UP. 

 *Time for some sad news * 

Finally feeling like I have my mental health under control. AGAIN AGAIN  life decides to throw something my way. With some on going health concerns I was ignoring,  I decided to get advice from my doctor. He requested for a brain scan to be done. I was very anxious but also at the same time saying to my parents I am FINE HUNS hahaha , why would I need a brain scan both me and my parents trying to work it out like hmmmmm strange but we went with it hahaha and I had the Brain scan. 

 I rang the doctor for my results a week later , both my parents went to work because again I genuinely didn’t think I needed support because I personally thought they would say ” nothing showed you are fine “. However it turns out that I am not fine and I am a poorly girl at the moment the results showed a tumour on my pituatry gland in my brain. I crumbled i couldn’t believe it what do you mean a tumour I am only 23 years old what is going on ? 

Amy's brain tumour story

I remember ringing and ringing my parents and texting them like MUM !!! DAD !!!!!!. It felt like my worst nightmare. I remember mum calling me I had to explain to her it was an emergency and that she needed to try leave work and go to quiet space. I remember us both crying but mum consoling me that me and your dad will be here every step of the way and we are not going anywhere we were all in shock. I was referred to my local hospital , Kettering general however because of the seriousness off it I had to be referred to coventry hospital. I am currently have had to have no end of tests , scans , blood tests you name it. I am told I am starting treatment , then I am not , then I am. I then I get told I have been referred to see a surgeon so I am like WHAT no treatment just straight surgery  !!!!!!  Surgery on my brain this is MASSIVE and nobody is telling me what is going on. You can’t help but feel petrified,  Unfortunately with the pandemic having a huge impact on hospitals its slowing everything down for me, I am down as an urgent patient but there’s such a back log consultants , nurses ,doctors , receptionists are all under pressure trying to give everyone the treatment that they need. However I am just here feeling more ill which symptoms worsening.

I am in the process of waiting for them to make a final decision , ANOTHER BLOOD TEST ANOTHER REFERRAL TO A DIFFERENT SPECIALIST. I  wouldn’t be human if I didn’t say I really am scared now.

 However I have completely surprised myself with how I have turned a negative into a positive. Life is so special and going through this has made me realise how lucky we are to be on this earth and experience LIFE. with all the sad news I have not given up and trust me there has been days where I have.  I have decided to walk 50 km a total of 32 miles In September for The Brain Tumour Charity supporting those who have closely been affected , Those who have lost loved ones and to raise money for better technology , resources to find a quicker diagnosis and cure. 

Everyday I try and go for 2/3 long walks a day. I haven’t stopped I am putting my all into training for this walk. I keep going , keep challenging myself and keep rising to face each day. This so hard and I am not here to tell you life is perfect as you can read my story and realise life has been quite tough on me but within all the ache  I have had positivity , amazing memories , fun along the way. I have the most AMAZING Mum , Dad and brother and Friends there constant support and reassurance is really what truly keeps going. 

 Life is so special cherish the beautiful moments while you can. look after your mental health and physical health as they are so important we need them both to survive. I continue to rise and I will continue to do it a thousand times a day despite what life throws at me because I know I can get through anything and so can YOU. I know you can. Everyones journey is different try not to compare it to everyone around you. I hope from reading this that if you are struggling that eventually you will get there but life isn’t here to constantly be perfect and I know when we are struggling we just want to be happy in this fairytale land of perfect however life isn’t perfect so we are striving and chasing for something unrealistic. What we want to be able achieve is dealing with whatever life throws at us and handling whatever we are going through. Being able to handle life’s great qualities but also the dark hard challenges along the way and some need help for this and that is OK.  

I have recently decided to set up a little Mental health business on Instagram I am in the process of starting it But please please 

Follow my account if you believe we should normalise talking about mental health. This is going to be a safe space and I hope everyone can share they’re stories and support each other check it out - @my.mindandme. 

 Thank you for taking the time to read this and remember we will get through this. 

Love and positive vibes 

Amy x x 

 

 

 

 


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