LPGA veteran Christina Kim finds strength in talking about her mental health | LPGA
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LPGA veteran Christina Kim finds strength in talking about her mental health | LPGA

Christina Kim, as told to Charlotte Gibson

Read the complete story on ESPNW.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story includes descriptions of a suicide attempt. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide or is in emotional distress, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK(8255) or at suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

In the summer of 2012, LPGA Tour veteran Christina Kim wrote a personal blog post about her experience with depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts. It was the first time she went public with her story. After earning her Tour card in 2003, Kim became infamous for her bold style, contagious laugh and outgoing personality on the golf course. In 2004 and 2005, Kim won two victories on tour and found herself living out her dream as a professional golfer. For the next five years, she’d remain on top of her game. But after experiencing injuries in 2010, the California native struggled with her ball striking and began to question her self-worth and value. The next year, Kim thought about attempting suicide.

This September during National Suicide Prevention Month, Kim shared her story of mental health as part of the LPGA’s Drive On campaign dedicated to celebrating the hard work, focus and tenacity of the women on tour. As Kim enters her 20th year on tour, she explains in her own words how she found strength in publicly talking about her thoughts of suicide and why mental health remains a daily topic for her.

WHEN I WAS younger, my mother used to tell me, “Even in the darkest of nights, there will be a beautiful sunrise.”

It wasn’t until I was in my darkest of nights that I could fully understand what my mother meant when she uttered those words. Of course, it could be viewed in various ways. At times, I thought it just meant that the world is going to carry on with or without you. But I don’t view it that way anymore. I look upon it more as when you’re in the darkest depths, just remember that there will come a time when things get better.

My darkest depths came in the spring of 2011.

At the Nations Cup, a Ladies European Tour team event in Alicante, Spain, I struggled on the links. I missed several six-foot putts for par. I couldn’t hit a green. My back injury was on the fritz, and my ball striking was the worst it’s ever been. During a practice session after my round, I broke down in tears. I couldn’t stop crying. My boyfriend Duncan tried his best to comfort me, but nothing seemed to help. I was in the middle of it. The moments of brilliance that I experienced early in my career were becoming more and more rare. The last few years, I struggled physically on the course and that impacted me mentally. And in that moment, I didn’t know what was going to happen next.

Read the complete story on ESPNW.