"You go on the set, and you play a badass character, and you walk through fire, and you speak to hundreds of people, and you're being asked to … work as hard as you possibly can. And that became the thing that just saved me from considering my own mortality, yeah."
COMING UP #SundayMorningApril 5, 2019
Clarke went on to share that second aneurysm nearly took her life, and forced doctors to have to act quickly to determine what her quality of life would be going forward.
"So, they literally were looking at the brain and being like, 'Well, we think it could be her concentration, it could be her peripheral vision' [that was affected]," she said, then joking, "I always say it's my taste in men."
"The brain injury," Clarke also said, "grounded me in a way that nothing else could."
In her op-ed, Clarke revealed that she first became aware of her medical situation while training after the end of Game of Thrones Season 1.
"On the morning of February 11, 2011, I was getting dressed in the locker room of a gym in Crouch End, North London, when I started to feel a bad headache coming on," she shared. "I was so fatigued that I could barely put on my sneakers. When I started my workout, I had to force myself through the first few exercises."
"Then my trainer had me get into the plank position, and I immediately felt as though an elastic band were squeezing my brain. I tried to ignore the pain and push through it, but I just couldn't. I told my trainer I had to take a break," Clarke continued.
"Somehow, almost crawling, I made it to the locker room. I reached the toilet, sank to my knees, and proceeded to be violently, voluminously ill. Meanwhile, the pain — shooting, stabbing, constricting pain — was getting worse. At some level, I knew what was happening: my brain was damaged," she confessed.
Clarke went on to recount her journey through the next several years, eventually revealing that her doctors have given her a clean bill of health since.