The 4th of July – Independence Day

This is the kick-off of something I’ve been postponing, at least in English. Last year, I broke a five and thirty year silence and revealed to the country the chief reason my ties to powerlifting are so strong. I owe it my life. On the 4th of July of 2005 I survived a suicide attempt – a serious and miraculously prevented one. As early as 1981 I was diagnosed as a serious case of bipolar disorder. I have also been diagnosed with epilepsy and post traumatic stress disorder, resulting from multiple sex abuse and rape episodes. For decades, I was heavily medicated with psychotropic drugs until I decided there was no dignity in this type of life. I dropped the meds and started strength training. For the first time since my athletic adolescence (I was a fencer), I improved. But eventually my training degenerated and the disease came back with a vengeance. In 2005, on the 4th of July, I had to face it again. I slashed my throat, the jugular was partly cut and so were some facial nerves. I have little sensibility on the left side of my face. I lost about 1 litre of blood. This happened on a dirt road near a beach, someone was passing by and took me to a small clinic in 5 minutes, where they stitched me as best as they could.

In 2006 I discovered powerlifting. Since then, I have been leading a life that can quite safely be called a good life. No, there is no cure. No, I am not symptom-free. But the danger has been dramatically controlled, with no seriously self harming behavior. A few years ago, Gabe Sorensen wrote, in his Power Unlimited script, that you take from powerlifting what you put into it. I have put my life in this sport and it gave me back one I didn’t have anymore.

The doctors predicted I wouldn’t live for more than a couple of months after the 2005 attempt. They gave me a 5 year deadline, though. On the 4th of July of 2012, surviving two years of my predicted death, I have traveled to Colombia to lift and win the WPC South American Championship.

I decided to share this because it is time to do it. I have done this at the magazine bellow, in Brazil, last year, because my family and friends asked me to do it (for years, actually). I think I managed to help many mental and neurological disorder patients. I have also managed to raise angry reactions from the psychiatric mainstream establishment. I don’t give a damn.

I am alive. And I am lifting.

Ela tem a força (She’s got the Strength)

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