How my past troubles and hitting rock bottom catapulted me onward and upward to where I am now.
I don’t come from a rich family. Most of my family live in council houses and claim benefits.
What I remember of my younger childhood, it was fun. We were a close family. There would be so many of us squeezed in my Nan's little council house, my brothers, cousins, uncle, aunty…. we’re a big family.
We were mischievous and got up to all sorts, we were care-free, it was so much fun growing up, we were all so close. I had no idea of the hellish future that was waiting for me.
My dad worked away most of my younger childhood. He worked so hard to get the money together to give my mother, my brothers and me a better life, with a home of our own and little holidays.
My dad was the outsider to my mother’s family, he didn’t fit in, he was different to us. When my dad would come home on weekends, he would whisk us away. We visited different parts of the UK, visited different water parks, zoos, aquariums, it was amazing, I felt so much excitement and happiness.
As I grew up, I started to feel like I was different to my cousins and friends, I was becoming the outsider. They weren’t whisked off to all these amazing places like I was. They didn’t have to follow any rules or be home at a certain time like I did. I began to resent my dad, it was his fault I was becoming the outsider.
I became an awful teenager. I was wild and uncontrollable. I can’t bring myself to write the sort of things I got up to. I was closer than ever to my cousins and our friends, they said I was crazy. They loved me being around, I was fun, I was a thrill seeker, I was the one taking all the dares. I just didn’t have a care in the world. I wasn’t scared of anything.
I realise now, I was reckless, irresponsible and desperate to prove I fitted in with my cousins and friends. I put my parents through absolute hell.
In my mid-teens I ran into troubles, things that I can’t bring myself to write about publicly. I could see the disappointment and heart break in my dad’s face when he looked at me, and it hurt. My life was spiralling out of control. My cousin was my rock, he was my shoulder to cry on, the only person I could really talk to, he understood me, but he had his struggles too.
My cousin died of a drug overdose, we all grieved together, but things spiralled even more. My uncle died of liver failure because of alcohol abuse, a friend committed suicide when high on drugs, the list goes on.
Things needed to change, I grew closer to my mam and dad and worked so hard to make up for all the trouble I had put them through. I got myself a job, studied at night school and worked hard for three years getting the qualifications and money together to go to university. But, I had very little self-worth and found myself in an abusive and highly violent relationship.
The closer I got to getting into university the worse the relationship got. I failed my first year of university and hit rock bottom. I felt so stuck, scared, confused and in love with someone who had completely tore away what little was left of me. I didn’t recognise myself anymore.
I felt so alone. There was no one I really felt would understand. I couldn’t talk to my mam or dad, I couldn’t bare to see that heartbreak in my dad’s face again. I missed my cousin so bad and I thought about ending my life, but I could never do that to my family. I ran away, literally! I grabbed a handful of things at 1am in the morning and I left him. It was the darkest place I have ever been and the hardest decision I have ever had to make.
I moved to a new country. Got my head down into my studies and changed my life around. From that point onward, I wasn’t going to let anything, or anyone hold me back anymore, no obstacle would stop me from achieving the life I longed for. Life could throw what it wanted at me, I would get through it and come out stronger. I took control.
It’s been a difficult road, I have battled for years with anxiety and depression. But now, I’m living the life I longed for and I am so happy.
It feels like I’m a stranger to most of my family and friends now. Those people I once felt so close to, those people who I went through so much grief with, they feel so distant. But that’s the sacrifice I had to make to get the life that I longed for, full of happiness, love, wealth and positivity. I wouldn’t have survived in that world, it would have killed me, I'm sure of that.
I moved back to my home town in 2014, a stronger better woman with a professional career after three years away. I married a true gentleman who has a heart of gold and makes me laugh every day. I gave birth to his daughter who brings us so much joy and I can’t wait to extend our little family. I couldn’t imagine a better husband or father (except for my dad of course, they’re on par).
When I moved back to my home town it was difficult. Of course, it would be, I was back in my home town where I faced triggers every day that leak feelings from my past. It’s been a battle and I still face these battles, but I am the winner, because I take action on those negative feelings.
Of course, life still likes to throw curve balls my way, that's life! I could have easily allowed things to get in the way of my success, but I didn't. I refused and still refuse to let any obstacle hold me back from my desired lifestyle. I'll always fight for the best life for myself and my family.
I really hope that my story will help to inspire other women to follow after their dreams. No matter how hard life can be, you are worth so much more and you can have anything you want in life, I am proof of that!
Go after yours dreams, and don’t let anything get in your way of success.