Nickayla Rivera is revealing how she got out of a “dark place” following the sudden death of her older sister, Naya Rivera.
On Monday, January 10, two days before what would have been the Glee actress’ 35th birthday, her little sister posted a YouTube video sharing the details of their upbringing, her modeling career, and the impact Naya’s passing has had on her life.
“In July of 2020, my sister Naya passed away. And when that happened, I was in complete shock,” she said in the video. “My whole family was in complete shock. It was like someone pulled the rug from under us and we didn’t see it coming. The dark place that I was in before only progressed when that happened. At that time, I had no thoughts of my future. I had no thoughts of myself really. I was only just experiencing pain.”
The 28-year-old continued, “I realized that the pain that I was experiencing wasn’t going to go anywhere until I decided to find the good in this world. So, from then on, I went on this journey of discovering who I was.”
Nickayla went on to say that one of her first steps was quiting vaping, a habit she picked up two years prior. “That was really hard. But when I did, I felt so empowered,” she said.
“I felt like I could do anything after that,” the model admitted. “I picked up journaling and started writing about my feelings. I started therapy. I said no to doing a lot of things that I didn‘t want to do, but normally would for other people. I started putting myself first. I became mindful and observed how I felt each day.”
She went on to say that Naya’s sudden and unexpected death prompted her to appreciate each day and each moment, knowing just how precious life really is.
“I started asking myself the tough questions of, what’s stopping me from being myself?” she asked. “What past hurt am I still holding onto? And why am I not living like every day is a gift? Because it is.”
Naya Rivera died in July 2020 at the age of 33 after a drowning accident on Lake Piru in Southern California.
When the actress didn’t return the boat she rented on time, staff found it on the north side of the lake with her now-6-year-old son, Josey, sleeping on the boat alone. Authorities later said that she likely saved her little one by putting him back on board before she drowned.
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Original posted at www.hola.com