My Story

It’s not an easy thing to do, to hold your hands up, feel vulnerable and say “I am struggling and I need help.” I’ve always thought it was easier to keep pushing on alone in silence, until I couldn’t do it anymore, I hit breaking point. 

 So many emotions and thoughts…The panic attacks, grief, anxiety, confusion, tears and even thoughts that I didn’t want to be here anymore. I look back and wonder how I let this situation get this bad and why I feel the way I do. I’ve had broken bones, I’ve had health issues, but nothing has ever felt like this. The lack of control, the uncertainty, the hundreds of questions with no answers that run through my mind daily. Waking up every day feeling trapped, like I’m in a dark room and it’s closing in on me. Just my thoughts and me, no one else around. All control felt like it was gone. What would the next day bring? I never knew the answer.

First, let me introduce myself…

My name is Olivia Mehaffey. I am a professional golfer from Northern Ireland and an Arizona State alumni. I would describe myself as sociable, friendly and outgoing. Things felt close to perfect, I rarely didn’t have a smile on my face. I had a loving, supportive family. I was popular, had a great childhood, traveled around the world playing the sport I loved, representing my country. The transition over to America was as smooth as it could be. I loved it, new friends, new challenges and new opportunities. I had a great GPA and a very successful college golf career, which included being a 4 time All American, PAC 12 champion and NCAA Team Champion. Everything felt under control, just how I liked things to be. I was always told I was a strong person, it made me feel like I was indestructible and like nothing would ever break me down. 

Fast forward one year, that life feels far away. At times it feels like I am trying to chase the end of a rainbow, knowing that I can’t reach it. I no longer have my dad, I no longer feel like myself and at times I no longer want to get out of bed in the morning. The thought of socializing with people and them asking me how I am scares me. I just want to hide, and avoid any situation talking about how I am feeling. 

 I never fully understood mental health, I recognized that people struggled. I couldn’t fully relate to them. I thought it was hard to acknowledge the feelings, emotions and thoughts, when I had never had a lot of them before. I never thought making it through the day would give such a sense of relief and I never thought those demons in your head would completely exhaust you. 

I recently decided to take a break from golf, so that I could get the help I need and give myself time to heal. I realized I couldn’t carry on, I couldn’t push anymore, I hit breaking point. I shared this decision on various social media platforms, expressing my feelings and giving an insight to what was going on in my life. I was overwhelmed with the amount of people who reached out to me and said they were having similar issues. 

Over the next coming months I am going to share my story and journey weekly. I will share what I have been through, the help I am getting and what is working for me on this journey to getting better. I want to try to help as many people as possible and if sharing my story can do that, it will feel very worthwhile.

10 responses to “My Story”

  1. Olivia! Thank you for sharing this. I know it’s not easy to be vulnerable but it’s so incredibly important to talk about mental health- so thank you. I know some of these feelings all too well and it is not easy. I’m always here if you ever need to talk❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. HI Olivia, so lovely to hear from you, and that there is now light coming through, at the end of a long dark tunnel in your life. This positive news fills me happiness, and good tidings for the future. Now that your reaching out to other people that have similar issues in there lives, can only be a positive step for you and others like yourself.
    Love and best wishes
    from your Enniskillen fan.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Takes a stronger person to say I need help then to “suck it up” and stay silent. As a father myself I can say Dad is proud of you for this blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well done on your blog Olivia, so personal and so touching.
    Hopefully it won’t be long till we see you on the course doing what you do best and love.
    Best Wishes

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks Olivia ,
    You are a role model for a lot of young people, Sharing your health issues with other people is admirable and I hope you get back to being your old self.
    You are a credit to our wee country 👏.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This totally resonates with me. I lost a friend 5 years ago and until that point, I felt like mental health was something that would never affect me as I too always had a smile on my face. Thankyou for sharing you’re journey. Keep striving for your dreams and can’t wait to see the progress and your next chapter.


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