A YOUNG woman from Mountmellick has overcome anxiety and depression to become a finalist in a national beauty contest.
Sarah McManus says she had to learn to build herself back up following a traumatic experience when she was 15. Five difficult years later, she wants to help empower other people who are struggling and show them that there is light at the end of a very dark tunnel.
The 20-year-old freelance model has reached the finals of the 2017 Miss Bikini Ireland competition, which will be held on Friday 1 December following weeks of public voting.
She explains: “I never thought I would be where I am today and that’s why this competition is so important to me. I entered the contest because I have had experiences in life that have knocked me down. People judged me and criticised me and, worst of all, I was my own enemy listening to the monster in my head.”
Sarah says that after a traumatic experience at 15 everything about her changed and she was unable to deal with what happened. Most days, anxiety and depression defeated her and she was unable to see a way out of her misery.
She recalls: “I even lost weight from suffering with these illnesses but I have come out the other side. Now I want to help empower other people to do the same. I’m fighting for people who thought they wouldn’t be where they are today and, most importantly, I’m fighting for people who can’t see light at the end of the tunnel now.”
People can vote for Sarah by texting Bikini 134 to 57003. Each vote costs €1 and network charges vary. Lines will close at 9.30pm on finals day of 1 December.