“When something is broken it never quite goes back to what it was, but that’s the beauty of healing.” Those are the words of a woman who survived abuse.
Amy Fox is passionate about fitness, health and wellness. She qualified as a level 3 personal trainer, CrossFit coach and health and skincare therapist before moving to Dubai to live her dream of improving peoples lives through fitness.
She was about five or six years old when she started being abused. Amy had no idea what was going on, but she knew on a deeper level it wasn’t right. “Being so young I didn’t know how to handle the situation so I suppressed it and stored it deep down in my memory bank,” she says. Women’s Health spoke to Amy on why she decided to remain positive, even when the odds were against her.
A coping mechanism
“I didn’t even know it then, but exercise has always been my way to through anything and everything in my life,” she says. It was only after Amy’s abuser had passed away that she opened up about her abuse. “I was 18 years old at the time. I started seeing a psychologist and dancing was my way of escape. It’s taken me over 10 years of ups and downs to feel close to what I imagine ‘healing’ feels like,” she says.
Amy came back stronger, more self-aware and with a new understanding of what forgiveness really feels like. “I’m still healing, and always will be, but what brings me comfort in knowing that I’m not alone in my battle. I am not the only woman, or man, or has been through battles like mine,” she says.
Tools to be happy
Over the years, Amy has learnt that no one can make you happy except yourself – and this has been a big part of her healing process too. “Meditation, yoga, training, eating well, getting into nature and making time to do what I love makes me the happiest and doing at least one of these things on a daily basis is extremely important to me,” she says.
“If you are in a state of unhappiness, you are the only one to blame, as harsh as it sounds.” Amy believes the only way to change your state is to change your mind. “I always start my day with simply thinking of three things I’m excited about or something I’m grateful for. It’s a game-changer and a start to changing the way you think about life” she says.
READ MORE: “Going To The Gym Gave Me The Strength To Leave My Abusive Partner”
Don’t allow the past to define you
I strongly believe that we grow the most through times of suffering and struggle. It makes us who we are and the quicker you accept that the better! Now I don’t think about the abuse as something that’s happened to me but rather for me. It’s enabled me to see the world in a different light. “Abused are abusers” – a statement I’ve heard countless times. Let’s put this statement to rest! This doesn’t have to be the case because you are in charge of your fate. You are in charge of your future. I’m living proof.
Every experience has a lesson
“I’ve never learned so much about myself than I have through this experience. I know if I could get through that experience I can get through anything. I was angry for a long time, with the world, with myself, with the people around me, and it got so bad sometimes that I felt lost in it. I felt like it controlled my every thought and action, until one day I decided it was enough!
“I needed to take control because I was the only one who could help myself become better. It just takes time and the more I learn about myself the better my world becomes. Forgiveness is such a complex emotion I sometimes wonder if I’ve mastered it, but I think about it like this: My abuser was sick, he had a problem and although it was his fault and he had a choice, I think it’s way more complicated than that. He still deserves forgiveness.”
READ MORE: 7 Women Share What Got Them Through Suicidal Thoughts
The Ulcerative Colitis condition
In addition to overcoming the abuse, Amy suffers from ulcerative colitis, an auto-immune condition where inflammatory bowel disease causes ulcers and long-term inflammation to the digestive tract. But it hasn’t stopped her. “I’m on medication at the moment, but I truly believe that through diet I will one day be able to reduce the inflammation and hopefully be able to live in remission.”
It’s been a year and a half since diagnosis and she says it’s been a rollercoaster ride. “People are always so surprised to hear I suffer from a disease, but it can happen to anyone. It’s how you deal with it that counts. Fitness has again been my biggest blessing coping with the disease,” she says.
READ MORE: “Depression And Drug Abuse Was The Catalyst For My Transformation”
The importance of being… active
Being active has many perks. It not only stimulates your mind and body but keeps you in great shape too. “Being able to move is an absolute blessing and I will never take it for granted,” says Amy.
Pearls of wisdom
Don’t keep quiet, no matter what. The power of connection is everything and this is why Amy is sharing her story. “We are never alone in our battles. You are never alone and there is always hope. Feel the pain, go through all the emotions, then let it go. It will no longer serve you to hold on. This is all part of the healing process. Acceptance and mindset will be your greatest servers.” she says.
This article was originally published on www.womenshealthsa.co.za
Image credit: iStock