I was born in Bristol, the youngest of three children. An unremarkable child with an average family and life. When I was nine years old, something happened that changed how I thought about myself and seen the world around me.
My confidence dropped, I began to feel fearful and anxious. I felt scared of everything. As a teenager I found it hard to fit in with friends who appeared to me, to be confident, unphased and secure in themselves. I began to smoke to give myself a grown-up edge. I drank alcohol when no one was looking to heal my pain of not being like my everyone else. I would sometimes rage at my Mum - completely out of the blue. Internally I was suffering, yet my outbursts could be deemed teenage behaviour. This was possible because the majority of time I portrayed a 'good' girl and covered my internal battle with a bubbly personality that other people seemed to like.
As I grew older, I had a full-time job in accounts, got married and had two children. To most people I appeared like everything was good, and there were some happy times. However, I felt anxious, suffered bouts of depression, doubted myself, and lacked confidence. I feared almost everything and had a sense of worthlessness and shame of who I was. In short, life was miserable and at times, didn't feel worth living.
After three months of a very deep depression, family members persuaded me to see the GP. I sat there telling my story and sobbing for 45 minutes, after which she recommended counselling.
Slowly but surely my life began to piece together. I was less scared of everything and my confidence began to grow. I began to understand who I am. I discovered my values and boundaries and why these were important to me - this made it easier to hold these. I found my voice and my ability to articulate how I felt and what I needed. I felt calmer and safer within myself.
How was this happening? I was just talking to my counsellor every week. I became curious enough to join An Introduction to Counselling course. The first night I was like a rabbit in headlights. Yet the people were lovely and the subject fascinated me. I left the course with a new passion in life and for life itself. I also left with two new friends for life and signed up to train as a counsellor.
I continued having counselling throughout my training. The more I learned about myself through counselling and my knowledge trough training the further my fears and anxieties drifted away. I couldn't wait to be fully qualified and apply my learning and life experiences to help other people overcome struggles that they might be facing. To help them find clarity, confidence, the courage to be who they are and live their more fulfilling life.
I am by no means perfect, or have a perfect life. I'm pretty confident my husband and children would agree. I have trials and challenges like anyone. It's just, now I have the courage and confidence, to face and work a way through them.
My wish is that my story will give you hope that life can be better. Being counselled gave me hope. Training as a counsellor give me hope for people like you. No one needs to suffer.