How Skateboarding Saved My Life Sparkle

I am scared to share this. Not because I am embarassed, not because I think it is something that should be hidden away. Yet, I still do it. I hide it away.

I hide that I am struggling with mental health issues. Or, at least I never really bring it up anywhere. It feels safer not to. But I also feel like a coward sometimes.

I am scared, because I fear people’s judgement of me. I fear that friends will back away from us. I fear that potential future employers will exclude my applications. I even fear that friends and acquaintainces will treat me with pity. I don’t need pity.

I have an illness that will never go away. But I have learned to deal with it. Just like a person with diabetes deals with her illness.

I have learned to manage my ups and downs to a degree where I am totally able to live a good life – and one day I might even be a good wife. For now I just concentrate on being a loving mum, a caring girlfriend, a good student, a decent friend – and I am trying to have as much fun along the way as I can. And I can do this. I am doing this.

With a little help from my old faithful.

Skateboarding has a special place in my heart and here is why…

You see, almost eight years ago I was in a dark, dark place in my mind. It was so dark that I had to go to hospital for several months to see the light again.

The doctors prescribed me different drugs, I got therapy sessions, did yoga and mindfullness, came on a healthy diet and was allowed to rest and heal. It was all a combination that slowly, slowly brought me back to life. But one thing that really made a difference to me, and still does, was my skateboard.

I will never forget when my doctor ordered me to go skating each and every day. I thought she was kidding. She was not. She had seen what skating did to me. She had witnessed how getting out there in the streets made me happier. How I had a tiny bit more sparkle in my eyes when I returned.

I needed fresh air and I needed exercise. And I needed to feel free. Skateboarding gave me all these things – and more. It also provided me with a social setting where there was no judgement. Some of the friends I have made through skating has proven to be the most genuine ones out there. In fact, it was one of these friends who picked me up from the hospital when I got released back then. On his skateboard, but of course. To this day, he is still one of my most loyal friends/supporters. Even if we haven’t really seen each other for almost a decade.

It matters.

Skateboarding helped me through my darkest of darkest times. Yet, it also showed me the way to a happy place. A place where I regained my confidence and hope for the future. A place where I learned to focus on myself in a positive perspective.

A place where I keep returning to and it never fails me.

So when I take Abby skateboarding it is not only for her sake. Then again, indirectly it is – because it helps me to be a better parent.

And hey, all that deep sh*t being said, what it often really comes down to – it’s fun! We have fun together – pretty much the best medicine you can get.

I would choose a skatepark over a playground any day. Or even over being a gymnastics-, swimming- and soccer-mom.

Sitting on the sideline for footy or cricket can give me serious anxiety. It is stressful with the little sisters around and I get so socially awkward when hanging out around the other parents there.

Skateparks are different. I feel at home and relaxed. Even with three little ratbags in tow the skateparks around Brisbane are truly helping me feel more at home in Australia.

Oh, just for the record – no, I am not a very good skater. I started way too late. But I love it and it still heals me on dark days and makes me even happier on the good ones.

Just like writing makes me happy. I have actually missed writing in here, but I have been stuck on something to write about.

Once again, skateboarding got me going.

If you are following my Instagram (if not, go do it, ay!) you have probably noticed that Abby has fallen head over heals in love with skateboarding lately. So if my writing urge keeps up I will try and do a little something about her skating journey and generally how kids’ skateboarding is done (right) here in The Sunshine State.

Until then…

Skate or die!

Or do whatever gives you positive energy. Do it! Seriously❤️

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