As I reflect back on my story, I sit with the aroma of coffee in the air and take a moment to just ‘be’. At this very moment I am grateful and feel blissful with my life. I wake up to the warmest embrace of the man of my dreams whom I married a couple of years ago and take my time in the mornings to get my mindset to work in the most productive and positive ways.
I have a wonderful family whom I speak to almost every day, even though we are thousands of kilometres apart and I am surrounded by friends who are my cheerleaders and confidants in life. Every day I wake up on purpose and feel energised to work on exciting projects, changing lives and making a difference. If someone asked me to describe what heaven feels like, this would be close.But was life always like this? DEFINITELY NOT.There was a time where I was estranged from my Dad and constantly quarrelling with Mum. A time where I had a lot of anxiety and depression around relationships because I made poor choices about the men I let into my life. There was a time where I gave up on goals such as love, marriage and family as they felt so far away and hard to achieve.
I came from an emotionally messy family, where wealth, suspicion and deceit were their top values. So, although I lived a very comfortable life, I also witnessed arguments, fights and domestic violence around matters involving money and extended family. On top of that, I had a mother who was an over-sharer to everyone including me. Externally, people saw me as lucky, but behind closed doors there was a lot I was afraid of. I feared being abandoned, feared being alone, feared not being good enough, feared the screams when the fighting and hitting started and most of all, feared not being loved.
Leading up to my 29th birthday, I felt like I had enough of life! Nothing seemed to be going right. I felt stuck, I had quit my job as a teacher to start a childcare centre, but realised I really didn’t enjoy it at all whilst gaining experience in one. I couldn’t find another teaching job once I had decided that owning a childcare centre was a bad idea. I had moved back with mum who was in denial about going through depression herself (as mental health is a stigma in our culture). My parents were going through a really messy divorce which I was dragged into, mentally and emotionally. I was really hurt and angry, constantly quarrelling with mum and completely cut off from Dad. I started sabotaging my own relationships because I believed that I was going to end up like my parents (distrust, abusive, domestic violence) and then began attracting the wrong kind of guys that made me feel ugly, disempowered, not good enough and unworthy. I was no longer eating, sleeping or doing. I was going through my own kind of hell, going through depression.
I knew something had to change and I knew this wasn’t the life I wanted. Soon after, I left Australia and moved halfway across the world to start afresh. At first it was amazing! I felt free, I had breathing space away from my family and their problems to look at the bigger picture. I travelled, had fun, made new friends and new memories and experiences. Life felt good for the first time in a long time. Little did I know that this was just a cover up to what I hadn’t dealt with. Little did I know that all I was doing by moving and travelling was shoving what I wasn’t dealing with ‘under the carpet’. I was essentially just running away from my problems.
In the winter of my 31st birthday, I decided that I was ready for love again. I had met an amazing man (my now husband), someone who was almost pulled out of the pages of my own happily ever after. Caring, kind, thoughtful. But very quickly I began sabotaging that relationship, testing it and pushing its boundaries. I felt unloved, unworthy and had a lot of anxiety around the relationship. Within a few months, that perfection had become the cause of my depression. It was the same feeling I had felt before I had moved. I knew I couldn’t run this time. Where was I to go if I did? I had just begun to make UK my home.