Aly Raisman is sharing an update on her ongoing recovery.
“Had a productive, but exhausting therapy session yesterday,” the 25-year-old athlete shared in an Instagram post on Tuesday.
“I feel completely drained, as if I just finished an intense training session. My body aches,” she continued. “At first I felt alone like no one would understand, but then I remembered so many of you who have kindly supported me and also have been brave enough to share your own stories with me.”
“I hope you know you gave me comfort and hope,” she told her supporters.
“The road to recovery isn’t easy,” Raisman admitted, getting candid about her journey. “Some days I feel like I am moving forward and then the next day it feels like 3 steps back. Sometimes when I feel like I am beginning to heal from one part of my trauma, another memory pops up. When this happens I feel so sick that it is hard to have an appetite and it is hard to sleep.”
“I just wanted to send a note out to anyone who felt the same way,” the three-time Olympic gold medalist added. “I hope you know you’re not alone & no matter how hard the PTSD gets we won’t feel like this forever. Sending a hug and love to anyone who needs it. Just wanted to let you all know how much your support has meant to me. I hope you feel my support. I stand with you.”
In December, Raisman opened up to PEOPLE about how she is moving forward after suffering sexual abuse from former Team USA gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.
“It’s something I still struggle with,” she said at the time. “It’s still hard for me to speak on it, and there are moments where I feel insecure and I worry what people think of me. But I think that’s very normal.”
A post shared by Alexandra Raisman (@alyraisman) on Feb 18, 2020 at 12:30pm PST
“I shared such a vulnerable part of my life,” the gymnastics champion continued. “But I think it was so important for me to come forward because people don’t understand that you don’t just suffer in the moment from sexual abuse or any kind of abuse or trauma. So I wanted to be honest with my fans, or anybody that was willing to listen, so they understand that everyone processes their abuse differently.”
Raisman added that speaking with her teammates and going to therapy are two ways she copes with the trauma.
“I’m very grateful to have all of my teammates support, and I do a lot of therapy and self-care to balance it out,” she said. “I’ve definitely had moments where I worried I’m always going to feel like this, but I’ve learned through therapy that I’m not going to feel like this forever. And so hopefully, the more I speak on it, the more people I can help. Even if I just help one person it was really worth it.”
Last month, Raisman announced that she will not be competing in the upcoming Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
“Just before the holidays, I was cooking dinner when my mom called to tell me she was watching news of my retirement scroll across her TV screen. It’s true I’m not going to be competing in Tokyo,” she wrote on Twitter, explaining that “the past 10 years have been such a whirlwind that I haven’t really processed all that has happened, and sometimes I wonder whether I ever will.”
“I’ve lived a pretty fast-paced life and sometimes I have to remind myself to slow down, unplug from technology and take the time to appreciate what I’ve experienced and learned,” she added.
Raisman said that while she won’t be competing in Japan, she hopes “to do everything I can to make it safer for the many wonderful people in the sport and all the little 8-year-olds out there who will be watching the gymnasts in Tokyo dreaming of one day making it to the Olympics themselves.”
Nassar is now serving up to 175 years in prison.