Blog

Mar28
2013

Becoming Strong From the Inside Out.

By Amy Clover

If you had told me eight years ago that I would be touring North America, teaching bootcamps to raise awareness and funds for TWLOHA and their message, I would have laughed at you.

I was never the active kid. I was always the uncoordinated loner, sitting on the sides of the playground listening to a walkman instead of playing sports with the others. I never wanted to participate because I was intimidated and, frankly, the active kids were the ones who made fun of me for being nerdy and “different.”

After I was diagnosed with clinical depression and obsessive compulsive disorder in high school, it made a lot of sense why I felt so different. After years of struggling to fit in, it seemed like everything was against me. I felt I had been given these life sentences with no hope to come out of them. I sank further into depression, using drugs, alcohol, and relationships to try to feel better.

I was so desperate to get rid of the pain, but I refused to talk to anyone about it. I was struggling all the time. I didn’t think there was any other way to live.

In 2005, the pain got so heavy and unbearable that I felt like I just couldn’t handle life anymore. I decided to end it.

Thankfully, my roommate at the time stopped me and begged me to go find help. The next morning, I was admitted into the inpatient suicide watch program against my will. It was the most frustrated I’d ever been—and it was the best thing to ever happen to me.

When I got out of the hospital, I decided to start trying. As futile as it might be, I decided to fight for my life and my happiness.

After being in therapy for years, it was only when I started committing to my physical health consistently that I was finally able to implement the tools I had learned to cope with my depression and OCD. Having that physical outlet through which I could release my negative energy and focus solely on strengthening myself, inside and out, was crucial to my recovery.

I’ve been free of suicidal thoughts for years now, and I give all the credit to a blend of therapy and fitness. Now, I’m a personal trainer and creator of Strong Inside Out, a blog that empowers people to overcome life’s obstacles through fitness and positive action. My mission is to convince every person that their story is important and to help them lead the thriving lives we all deserve.

When I found To Write Love On Her Arms, I wished I could have had such a resource when I was struggling. Having been in a dark place, it is obvious to me how effectively TWLOHA speaks directly to a person in that state. I knew I had to help as much as I possibly could, which is why I’ve launched the The 30×30 Project: a 30-city fitness bootcamp tour across North America to share my story, raise awareness for the fact that hope is real, and benefit TWLOHA. My goal is to complete all 30 cities by the time I turn 30 years old in November, in celebration of the birthday I almost didn’t have.

In every single city I go to, at least one person comes up to me and tells me their own story of wanting to give up and how they overcame it. These people who are doing amazing things all had points in their lives in which they didn’t want to keep going.

As dark as it may seem right now, please know hope is real. We want you here, and we are here to help. Reach out, talk, find an outlet (creative, physical, therapeutic, or all of the above) and fight for it.

With hope and fire,
Amy Clover

If you get the chance, go see Amy on her 30-city bootcamp tour and help celebrate her birthday by making sure others see their next one. If you can’t make it, you can follow along on her blog, Strong Inside Out.

 

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Comments (2)

  1. Kimmy Holmes

    I just want to give a great big thank you to Amy and all of the people and communities supporting this amazing cause. I had the opportunity to meet Amy and briefly talk with her in Edmonton Alberta while she was leading a bootcamp at my lululemon athletica store on Whyte Ave where I work. When I heard about this project I was so incredibly moved because I too have struggled with depression, suicidal tendencies as well as anorexia nervosa. After finally allowing myself to be admitted into hospital and reaching out to my support systems I was able to heal. It was the moist difficult journey I have ever endured but I am so grateful and appreciative for the second chance at life I have been given. I am working day by day to use my story as motivation for others to reach out and use their hardship as a learning experience in finding themselves and learning to live a happy and authentic life. I can tell you that I was hopeless. I didn’t believe I deserved to feel any pleasure or live on this earth one more day. My way of life was to suffer and create self-harm until it killed me. It nearly did. But I am here and I continue to gain strength every single day. I am living proof, as well as Amy, that there is HOPE even when you don’t feel it. Trust me, trust us. Life is worth living and happiness can be yours. Reach out and learn to love and respect yourself. XoXo

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  2. Kimmy Holmes

    HOPE was not a word I was familiar with by any means. For years I had struggled with anorexia nervosa, depression, self-harm and suicidal tendencies. From age 14 to age 26 (2.5 yrs ago), I battled with these demons due to negative life experiences that I kept as secrets from my family and friends. These secrets ate away at my mind, my heart and my soul. So much that I got to a point (on several occassions) where I attempted to take my own life and thankfully was unsuccessful. I finally gave up control and allowed myself to be admitted to the hospital where I spent the next 6 months discovering how to gain some healthy control in my life. Much work took place during this time but even more so afterwards. The fighting journey doesn’t end. You are always in recovery I feel. But today I stand tall because of amazing friends and family and my courage to let them in. Asking for help was one of the most difficult things for me, and today I still struggle with. I once saw it as a sign of weakness but now realize it takes much strength to reach out your hand and turn to someone or something to help lift you up. I am a living example that HOPE exists and is POSSIBLE. I promise you. Happiness is something anyone can achieve once they learn to love and respect themselves. Being strong and brave doesn’t mean dealing with difficult circumstances on your own. It can be having the strength to allow yourself to break down and cry. To admit defeat at times. To acknowledge areas in your life and yourself that need to change in a positve way and rediscover who you are and what happiness means to you. HOPE is sitting in your pajamas in the moring on your porch with a warm cup of tea and finding comfort in the sunrise. HOPE is looking into the eyes of your cats (yes I have 2!) and realizing you have someone else to take care of. HOPE is finding a hand written addressed letter in the mail that shows someone was thinking of you and only you for a single moment. HOPE is POSSIBLE. HOPE is REAL. I believe in it for me and you. Take care and take some time to love yourself. Pass on the message by living and finding HOPE in the smallest of places. XoXo

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