I didn’t know what came next, I had no plan. Golf had become my identity over the years and I was deciding to take a step away from that. It felt unusual. Even with everything that had happened over the last year, golf still felt like my escape. But I finally realized what a bad place I was in and I knew things had to change.
The next few weeks were strange. I spent most of the year feeling confused and lost. Nothing changed when I stepped away from golf. I didn’t know how long I would take off, I didn’t know what help I would get and I didn’t really know where to start. The only thing I knew was that I couldn’t touch a club until I got myself into a better place. I wasn’t ready to start working with someone to talk about everything just yet. When I first got home, I felt I needed to find some direction and not rush into anything. I felt tired and exhausted. I truly didn’t realize how much I had pushed myself and how burnt out I was mentally.
It seemed like getting started was the hardest. I had many people offering their advice throughout the year, but everyone is different. I knew that what worked for others might not work for me. I never wanted to speak to anyone from the beginning. The thought of speaking to someone about my thoughts, feelings and emotions scared me greatly. I didn’t want to bring up the memories again. I was still trying to avoid them. I truly felt terrified. I didn’t feel ready to let someone fully in, but I did want to get help.
At the start I thought I could do everything myself. I believed I could work through this alone and just get by with my own research. I still wanted to avoid speaking to others. I spent a lot of time researching, reading books, and watching many videos online. It meant I could be in my room, isolated and not have to speak to anyone. I didn’t really want to leave the house and this suited me perfectly. I felt like I was learning and it wasn’t a painful experience.
I went away with my mum and my cousin and we travelled for a couple of weeks together. It was lovely to be with them, although It was strange. I felt like I couldn’t fully enjoy myself, I was there but I didn’t feel present. I almost felt like I was just going through the motions. I couldn’t tell you the last time I went on holiday but yet there were moments I felt miserable. I felt guilty and ungrateful for feeling this way. But there were days that were good, I saw this as a positive thing. I knew not everyday would be good but the more good days the better.
Looking back, this time away with my family was great. It truly allowed me to slow down and think. I always do things fast, I act impulsively and rush. I felt for the first time in months, I could see a clear picture. I saw that I was still running away from talking to someone and that I wasn’t going to get to the bottom of this by myself. I finally decided to speak with a psychologist and to speak to my family and friends. I started to open up about my thoughts and emotions for the first time. I began to feel like I wasn’t alone. I was freeing myself up and starting to feel like I was on a better track. This was a huge turning point for me. I love to think I can do everything myself, I’m very stubborn and determined. Therefore letting people in and feeling vulnerable was a massive step.
I could finally see some light, I finally could see a way out of this, I could see that things could improve and I felt like I had some sort of control again. Although I knew I still had a long way to go…
2 responses to “What Next?”
We are all so proud of you Olivia, you have tackled your emotional difficulties in a mature and professional manner. You deserve happiness and success in the days ahead. God bless. R.
Hi Olivia, so happy for you now that you opened completely about the challenges in your life. I find that getting out and meeting other people is a great way to feel good about yourself, and gives one a boast to your morale.
So looking forward to seeing you when you are ready to return to the fairway.
Love and best wishes, from your Enniskillen fan.