See­ing the light

Southern Gazette (Victoria Park) - - Front Page - Bron­wyn Dono­van

A se­vere brain in­jury left Norita Omar in a re­ally dark place but prac­tis­ing pos­i­tive liv­ing helped her see light at the end of the tun­nel. On Satur­day she will share her story, which in­cludes found­ing Strive and Thrive that ad­vo­cates prac­tices of pos­i­tive liv­ing, at a free Pos­i­tive Life Expo in As­cot.

NORITA Omar’s jour­ney to­ward pos­i­tive liv­ing be­gan af­ter re­cov­er­ing from a se­vere brain in­jury that is ex­pected to take about seven years to heal com­pletely.

In 2006, Ms Omar was earn­ing a six fig­ure salary as a casino man­ager when she feel off a stage, hit­ting her head sev­eral times as she fell.

She said the in­jury caused her brain to swell and made mov­ing, speak­ing and re­mem­ber­ing what she was do­ing just min­utes be­fore seem like an in­sur­mount­able task.

In 2010, Ms Omar was struck down again when she suf­fered an­other blow to her head, this time dur­ing the earth­quake that shook Christchurch, New Zealand.

“I fell into a re­ally dark place and be­gan hav­ing sui­ci­dal thoughts,” she said.

“The way I saw my­self back then, I knew I wasn’t a fail­ure and asked my­self ‘is this re­ally where you want your story to end’? It wasn’t.

“I went to my neu­rol­o­gist and for the first time shared how I had been feel­ing and asked for help.

“I re­mem­ber feel­ing a strength, a light at the end of the tun­nel and that was the start.”

To­day, Ms Omar is the founder of Strive and Thrive, a move­ment that ad­vo­cates prac­tices of pos­i­tive liv­ing though an on­line so­cial plat­form, with both on­line re­sources and work­shops.

She will present her story at the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s free Pos­i­tive Life Expo and Work­shop at the In­ter­na­tional On The Wa­ter Ho­tel, As­cot, on Au­gust 18

“Pos­i­tive liv­ing is not about be­ing happy and bub­bly ev­ery day, it is about be­ing OK when you are not OK – it’s about be­ing re­silient,” Ms Omar said.

If you are de­pressed or need­ing help, you can call Life­line on 13 11 14.

Pic­ture: Martin Ken­nealey

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