Each time I share my story, I leave a piece of my heart. I am honored to do so and share it with you today.
My name is Brittany Cooley. I am 28 years old and I reside in the state of Florida. I have my bachelors degree in social work. I left my career in mental health case management in 2016 to follow my passion of helping others as a health and fitness coach and motivational speaker.
I thought by sharing my health and fitness journey and weight loss transformation I could help inspire a lot of people, and I most certainly did. However, my physical transformation has given me the confidence and inspiration to share a more personal transformation story, the one of the transformation of my mind and improvement of my mental health.
I have struggled with depression my entire life. I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder in 2012 after I made a very serious attempt to commit suicide. Leading up to my suicide attempt though, I had made big strides in life. I was the face of strength in the midst of adversity. I had overcome more than most 23 year olds would ever have to face in a lifetime. However, I failed to take care of myself mentally which put me in a deadly situation.
When the lights go out at the end of the tunnel, there is literally nothing anyone can do for you. If the decision has truly been made, there is no going back. You cannot see outside of the darkness. Everything is out to get you. You trust no one. You can’t see outside of your own internal anguish and pain. This is why I have made it my life mission to help spread hope, happiness and awareness into the lives of those who struggle. It is my dream to empower those who struggle to go from simply surviving to thriving!
When I woke up in the ICU the night of my attempt, I had a realization, a light bulb moment if you will. I realized that I had the power to create the life that I wanted to live, one that I loved living. I knew that it was going to take hard work and sacrifice, but I had the power to make it happen. Instead of backing away from the mountain that I faced, I laced up my boots and began to climb.
It would have been easy for me to become an invalid after my attempt. I could have easily lived off of the system, never gone back to work, and had people spoon feed me for the rest of my life. I can honestly tell you that I did in fact consider that option long and hard. After all, no one would have blamed me or been surprised. I had a difficult path, and I cracked and broke. But, instead I chose the hard path. I believe that I survived so that I could thrive and help others along the way.
I had all the cards stacked against me, yet I am still here doing what I do best. Thriving. I failed business 101 in college and barely scraped by public speaking 101 because I was terrified to speak in front of a class of 20 people. Today, I have spoken before thousands and I have my own health and fitness business. Through my struggle I realized that I determine and define my future. I had the control to become anything I wanted to be.
In turn, if there is something in your life that you are unhappy with, I want to challenge you to change it. I love the quote that says,“ You are only one decision away from living a totally different life.” Stop spending so much time doing things that you hate, and do more of what you LOVE!! If it is your passion, you need to pursue it with everything that you’ve got. I truly believe that if you have a heartbeat, you have a purpose. You can make your dreams a reality no matter what you face. You need to realize that where you have been has nothing to do with where you are going. If you believe in yourself and your abilities to find success, you will do just that.
You can read more about my journey here. www.brittanycooley.com/my-story