"15 weeks of Inner Ninja"

15 weeks ago my idea and dream, which first entered my head when I was in hospital, came to life. In the mist of my darkest hours, when my life seemed like it couldn't get any worse, this little voice started to talk to me. This little voice being my Inner Ninja. I didn't know why this constant thought of "If I come out of this alive, I need to share my story. I need to let other people know they aren't alone" kept getting louder and louder the stronger I became. It was the little bit of hope I needed to keep me going. 

My favourite song during my time in the mental health and drug rehab facility was "Inner Ninja" by Classified. The words went straight to my soul. I came to realise that all I actually needed was myself. It didn't matter if I had the best professionals around me or people who cared. At the end of the day no one could pull me out from where I was, it was all me. Of course it helped to have an amazing support system. Who, when I wasn't ready to fight, did it for me. 

Fast forward to today. 3 and a bit years on. One major thing I had to learn again was trust. Beginning to see that I could trust people again, but most importantly learning to trust myself. This was extremely important when I decided to start "The Inner Ninja Foundation". I couldn't let just anyone in, nor could I make sense of my ideas on my own. 4 main people come to mind, when I reflect on this. (Other amazing people come to mind as well, but I am focusing on these 4 this time). 

The person who encourages me the most and constantly builds me up, is my partner Michael. Knowing that he has my back all the time, eases my anxiety in a massive way. A huge inspiration and advice giver came in the form of my great friend David Kelly. Once I told David my idea, he supported me all the way through. Another person who became a massive support for me is my good friend Pat Lawson (Founder of 3words; I Need Help). Pat was one of the first people to contact me, letting me know that he wanted to help in anyway he could. Pat became a great sounding board where I could bounce different ideas off of him and also collaborate together in a larger scale. 

I will forever be grateful for the unconditional support from these key people. Without these amazing humans I am sure things would've been a lot more difficult. At times when things get a bit overwhelming, knowing I have incredible humans around me makes all the difference. The common element here is we are all self made. We all used the most horrific times in our lives, to make ourselves better and save the lives of others. I think it makes it so powerful to know that no matter the challenges in life, if you have self belief you can do anything you set your mind too. 

Live, breathe, embrace. 

Stef. 

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Tenille Westerhout