Kayla Bauer has released her new book Life in L Plates, a journey of her suffering and understanding of mental illness. After suffering a relationship breakdown, Kayla found herself battling depression, riddled with anxiety, enduring daily panic attacks and an over-whelming amount of self-hate. After hitting rock bottom, she decided to write her way out of it. Setting out on a journey of recovery; wanting to understand mental illness, what causes it and how it can be improved. What she didn’t expect to find was the correlating statistics – how many Australians are suffering in silence. Based on this discovery and her own struggle, she used the concept of living life in L Plates as a way to get through the dark times.

Through her own dark times, Kayla used her book as a kind of therapy. “At times, this book became my motivation for living. It gave me a goal, a future. A way to get through each day and work towards something. At other times, I used it as a safe place— a place that was honest, real and unfiltered.”

Life in L Plates is a concept every person can relate to. Similar to mental illness, it does not discriminate. We are all, at some stage, learners. Whether we are a student, a new mother, a CEO managing employees, a professional athlete or anything in between. At some point we will all face challenges, setbacks and life will seem overwhelming, but what Kayla explores is the notion that this struggle is okay and everyone will experience it.

Kayla left her mark on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland with her OneWave Group. “Each Friday morning people meet at the beach dressed in fluro, go out in the waves, surf it out and talk about it – helping each other to free the funk of a mental illness.” Kayla lives and loves simply. But most importantly, she knows that every single day she – like everyone else – is still a learner, still trying and still (proudly) living life in L plates.

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