‘Focus'  has been my word of the month, for the last couple of months actually!  I had things that I needed to accomplish, jobs, tasks and dreams, that could wait no longer.  Those projects that I had continually added to my ‘to do list'.  I needed to make the effort to fulfil my duty to myself and I did that with the determination of a dog chasing a squirrel and I wasn't going to let it get away.

 One of those projects, that has been whizzing around my head and heart for some time but I have chosen to keep it there rather than completely face it,  is writing about my childhood.  Which was full of the kind of daily dramas that you expect to see on the TV. 

 I've known for a long time, that I needed to tell this story, for my own sake but also in the hope of helping others, who maybe are travelling the same path.

 However the fear, shame and guilt that I felt held me back and if I'm truthful it was easier to hide.  I chose the easy option for so long.  I didn't have to face up to anything. I didn't have to allow others in and I didn't have to feel anyone's disapproval.

 The trouble with that was, that I also was not living to my full potential.  By hiding my story, I was also hiding myself and that made me feel like I was still the little girl, who sat crying while her mum who was so drunk, had passed out in the living room, leaving me to fend for myself.

 When the opportunity arose for me to write a chapter in a book with the title, The Girls Who Refused To Quit, which is the brain child of the most amazingly talented author Cassandra Farren.  I had to say yes!  It wasn't easy to say yes by any means but there was a small light deep inside of me, pushing me to say yes, to step firmly out of my comfort zone.  I had a strong knowing that this was a path that I had to travel and that now is the time.  No more hiding, no more pretending, it is time to tell my story, or at least a snippet of it, to release myself from my past's firm grasp on me.

 So I spent the latter part of last year and January preparing my chapter.  Remembering events that once brought me great shame and trauma.  It wasn't easy and I nearly gave up, several times for several reasons, shame being one reasons but also because I thought that I couldn't possibly write a book or even a chapter, because as a child and a young adult I couldn't read very well and my spelling was completely off the scale.  

 I'm so glad that I pushed through with the encouragement of Cassie and the other wonderful ladies who are also sharing their amazingly inspirational stories.

 I felt the fear and I did it anyway!

 So I laid myself bare in the pages of this book, offering a small insight of an event in my childhood, a time that I once hid in shame, a time that I once allowed to limit my self-worth.  I have to tell you, that I feel so different to how I believed that I would feel after sharing a portion of my past.  I feel as if I have unloaded a backpack that I have been carrying around for 48 years, that was filled with all kinds of rocks of pain.  I don't feel the shame, guilt and disgust about my childhood anymore, its gone, it doesn't hold me in its grip any longer…..I've waved goodbye to that beast for the last time.

 In fact, I can now see how far I have come and how much I have achieved after starting far behind in the race of life.  I could have been another statistic and allowed that evil cycle of life to continue…….well I didn't, I stuck two fingers up at that awful soul destroying monster.

 So, if you are interested in real-life stories about overcoming all manner of adversity and coming out the other side stronger and more complete, told by the ladies themselves, in a passionate, truthful and open way, The Girls Who Refused To Quit, is a book for your reading list.

 My full story Escaping Bohemia will be following suit at some point in the future, its where I share many more stories from my childhood, that was full of trouble, sadness and so much pain.  However,  now as I look back, some of the stories, do have a twist of humour, that seem unbelievable.  I look back now with more knowledge and understanding.  It's now time to share the story of a little girl, who was always so sad and lonely.

 So, here's to being truly visible, warts and all.  Not just the information that is shiny and enticing but showing the real story that makes me, me!

 Thank you for all your lovely support and encouragement.  Without which I wouldn't have been brave enough to jump firmly out of my comfort zone.

 Love Sophia

“What matters most, is how well you walk through the fire.”

The Girls Who Refused To quit is available as a paperback and kindle edition on Amazon and other bookstores in their online catalogues.