Where do I start? My mental health ruled over me for so long, I’m sharing my story as a final farewell as I release this ‘victim’ mindset, honour my past and embrace where it has brought me. Through my pain I brought change, obstacles in life are a chance to choose pain and suffering or growth and expansion.
I’ll start with my childhood, I grew up singing and dancing. I loved performing for anyone who wanted to see, I would even sing and dance on my driveway for passers-by. My mum was practical, down to earth and loving. My father was reserved, moody but kind. As a child you don’t really know the stories around your parents and as I grew up I learnt that my mother was mentally, physically and sexually abused in her first marriage, she found a saviour in my father, the most self-less, giving person I know. My dad took a turn after suffering a major head injury at his job; picking up damaged cars on the motorway, he got majorly depressed and distanced himself from my mum and I, now aged 5.
It was me and mum against the world. We would do everything together while dad stayed at home, I didn’t like being around my dad because he’d ask me questions like “who do you love more, me or mum?”, which no child feels comfortable answering.
Mum would try and re-kindle her crumbling marriage and one night they went for a meal and left me with my uncle. My uncle invited his friend over, a man I’d never seen before, I’d never met someone like him, he had a tattoo on his neck, missing teeth and I remember being mind blown when he told me he didn’t know how to read.
My uncle told me to go to bed while they watched football. A few hours later, I went to the toilet. I heard footsteps. My uncles friend pushed open the door and I sat there frozen in confusion. He smiled at me and put his finger to his lips. I have never told anyone this story, even to this day. He held my hand while he touched himself, I don’t know how long it lasted but time froze.
The biggest struggle I had with mental health as a teenager was eating. I now see that my anorexia and bulimia as a mechanism to hopefully one day feel ‘good enough’ and my body dysmorphia as a result of no self love. I hit my worst at the age of 16. My diet for the whole week consisted of laxatives and water, I was in a science class and went to collect a worksheet from the front of the class. Next thing I remember was being in hospital on a drip. 2 months before my prom I was told that I could die at any second. From then I told myself to cut this shit out, at some point I knew my life would be worth fighting for.
After ‘recovering’ I had several re-lapses and I even had started to bring alcohol and drugs into the situation. I worked for a vintage shop, which turned out to be a cover business for a cocaine dealer, I’d go out with my boss and snort my weekend wages. I would drink before school as a coping mechanism, to numb myself to the reality I wasn’t okay, I ate a lot better but defiantly hadn’t healed the wounds, I’d often romanticize the idea of suicide as a ‘way out’ or ‘reset button’.
I’d go to every party I was invited to and at one particular house party, there was a boy that all my friends were trying to pair me up with “you’d make such a cute couple!”. I was upstairs and he came up to me, he talked for a bit then leaned in to kiss me.. I felt powerless and obliged to go along with it. For some more privacy he pulled me into the spare room. I was screaming ‘no’ ‘stop, I don’t want to do this’ but nothing came out of my mouth… a few painful seconds later, I unwillingly lost my virginity. He went downstairs to celebrate and I lay there in tears.
Flash forward and I decided to cancel my place on a Nursing degree course at uni to peruse my love of acting, I moved out of my home to live and study in Liverpool.
The course I’d enrolled on was fairly new, many people in my class were younger and didn’t care about acting, for them it was just an easy subject to ‘blag’ their way through a qualification. I had no true friends, other than my boyfriend at the time who had gradually moved in with me.
My boyfriend was my first love, best friend through high school and in 2017 (age 18) I decided to release him of the friendzone and I kissed him… he was the most supportive, loving and honest person in my life, I couldn’t imagine a world without him. He was my comfort blanket, my biggest fan, my cheerleader, my soulmate. The true light in my life. We’d planned to grow old, move to Australia, wedding, kids, dogs the lot!
Unfortunately, the nights I spent alone; while he was at home got darker and darker. One night walking home from school I jumped in front of a fast car. Luckily it swerved but when I got home the depression took full control. I bled, cried, screamed. I felt hopeless. This was my lowest low. I was emotionally numb for so long, just floating through life, I didn’t want to talk because I didn’t want to be ‘the sad girlfriend’ ‘looking for attention’ or a ‘party pooper’.. so I kept it to myself, and my diary.
On the acting course, they introduced compulsory yoga, my mind instantly went to ‘yes! skinny yoga body here I come!’ and so I practiced and practiced, even at home.
Then, I had a breakthrough, every inhale in yoga filled me with joy, every exhale released this negative tar that was built up inside me. So I practiced more. I fell feet first into spirituality and self help, reading ‘The Power of Now’ and watching spiritual people on YouTube. I cancelled my uni application yet again and bought a one way flight to India to do a teacher training! Unfortunately, visas, flight cancelations, floods and more, showed me that the universe wanted me to look elsewhere.
So off I went to Spain! My teacher training changed me in every way. I began to master my mind, find love from within and truly HEAL, I’d never felt so much euphoria, bliss and love for myself and everyone in the universe. I was taught there that what you hold onto, what you feel you can’t live without is holding you back and you will gain great strength from ‘detaching’… was my boyfriend the thing I needed to let go of? He came to visit me in Spain and I broke up with him after a 2 and a half year relationship and 7 year friendship. I felt nothing but the ‘yogi zen’, meditation has a great way of distancing you from emotion. Refusal to be sad or feel ‘attached’, I was a robot. I stayed in Spain while he moved out of my house in the UK. I then worked at a hostel where I fell back into drinking and partying, but this time from a positive place of celebrating life, I still meditated and did yoga.
I also met a guy there, 17 years older than me but we really got on.
I go back home and feel lost without my boyfriend, he comes over for coffee and we decide to remain friends… until that weekend, we dance in the bar we worked together at to ‘I wanna know what love is’ and kiss, I cry like I’ve never cried before and declare my undying love.
We get back together gradually but it doesn’t feel the same, I loved him and wanted him there for me but something told me he wasn’t the one. I get a message from the Spanish guy and I reply, I hoped to move back there at some point and wanted to know at least one person I could meet for coffee. It turned flirty but was over within 2 mins.
Days later, I’m in the shower and my boyfriend bursts in “WHO TF IS THIS?!” He saw the messages. I have nothing to say, this was our first argument. I felt a sickness like nothing before. After a few gut wrenching days, he agrees to look past it and work on the relationship. But I couldn’t get over the guilt, the trust I knew I’d never get back. I felt it every time I looked at him. I decided to break it off again and this time he agrees that I wasn’t putting effort in and he could never get over the situation with the Spanish guy.
It took 2 months for the heartbreak to hit. And it hit.. HARD. 3 days I couldn’t eat, sleep or speak through the tears, I listened to nothing but sad break up music, I call him at 3am to confirm that its truly over, and it definitely was. I paint, write and get all of my emotion out.
Then.. A shift.
This is what I needed, this was the pain I needed to go through. He was my comfort blanket, my biggest fan, my cheerleader my only support. All of these things I looked for in him, I lacked in me.
Suddenly it all became clear, I needed to smash to pieces in order to build myself up from the ground, and build I did!
I built a relationship with myself, promising to love, embrace and accept every part of myself right now. I felt empowered, I rise and continue to rise and my mission in life is to teach others about wellness and how to love themselves.
I’m finally going to uni this September… if I don’t cancel it again.
Thanks for reading!!! 😀