She was the incredibly inspiring army corporal who not only made it through 54 days of Australian Survivor but managed to find love along the way, and now El Rowland has opened up about her debilitating struggle with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after welcoming her son Darcy.
It’s something the mum feels so passionate about, she’s since revealed she’s quitting the army after over a decade to launch her “Belle of the Ashes” support program.
“I am saying goodbye to 13 years of serving my country full time to welcoming a new season of bringing hope into the lives of those who need it. Particularly young women,” El wrote on Instagram.
Helping young women is something El feels passionate about, following her struggle with mental illness following Darcy’s birth in 2012.
“It was at my most rawest point, where I lost all my identity, hope and didn't know who I was anymore,” she told the Daily Mail.
“I almost died in those months I was suffering and being tortured by my mind.”
The 33-year-old's struggle with “PTSD, panic attacks and depression” came following a posting to Brisbane.
For the young mum, who has been deployed to countries such as Indonesia, the UK and Lithuania during her long career, her story has inspired her to reach out and help others.
“I managed to get through it and learnt how to think and have a beautiful mind again,” El explains.
For El, who found love with fellow Survivor contestant and dad-of-two Lee Carseldine, it seems the dark days are behind her as the couple blend their families with “ just the right mix of chaos and love”.
“So blessed to have this amazing man in our lives. He is literally the best Dad in the world and such a inspiration to do life with,” El posted on Instagram.