Q.  Does anyone really know me?  What's inside me?  Why I am the way that I am?

Q.  Does anyone really understand my journey?

Q.  Do you know me, really?  Do you really, really want to know me?

I've seen a lot of post this last week, regarding mental health & it has made me reflect on my own mental health.  The highs, lows, bumps, dips and the thrills but mainly this week, its just been,               ‘The Whys‘.

As some of you are aware, this year I've started to share parts of my childhood story, in the hope of helping others & shedding some of the baggage that I was carrying.

My First Book!

This has forced me to look deeper into my soul & try to understand myself, my story, mistakes & joys.

Thankyou #lockdown2020 because you have made it so much easier to STOP & step back in time.

I learnt very quickly as a child, methods and skills that allowed me to survive, resilience, try to see the positives & use what I have to improve or escape my situation and always in my mind…….

“You don't change your situation or anything by bleating or whining.”

I have always had the attitude of, if I want something or if I want to change something, that I must put in the effort to do so!

This does not mean that I have not been in the pits of doom at times, with darkness swiftly swallowing me up, filling my heart with despair and forcing me to hide in the shadows-because that's where I believed that I belonged.

As a child I was often deeply sad, lonely & invisible.  By the time that I had become a teenager the insecurities had taken hold, a very tight hold.

Toddler days! Here I am sitting on our front door step.

Even though others may have seen something else in me, I felt worthless, ugly, disgusting & low in everyway possible.

I passed through a series of disasters, collecting more feelings of worthlessness & shame as the years went by.

At 20 I tried to take my own life with a fist full of paracetamol, washed down with booze after a failed marriage, drugs, rape and a traumatic childhood.

The boy that I had met at 15 & married at 18 was from a highly religious family who just fuelled my feelings of disgust for myself.

Young Bride!

Following on from that experience I made a further series of bad choices & mistakes, dotted with a few wise & powerful decisions but each dependant on my lack of self worth.  So I never felt that I could reach for the stars, follow a dream or even have a dream!!

Then at 26 I got married again………wait for it!!

To my first husband, yes that very same man!                                                                    (As a note, pictures can follow, I wore a white dress & silver adidas trainers!!)

Right, I have no explanation for this, nothing that I can use as an excuse for my bizarre choice.  Maybe I was running away again, this time from too much partying!! I really don't have an answer.

But, by stepping back in time it took me back to that child of 15 again, vunerable, lacking in self worth, unsure, alone & unsure of my path.

This allowed others to take advantage, tease & taunt me, which in turn kept me caged, like a wild animal.

Do I need to tell this part……yes I do.  This marriage ended, again!

I use to be deeply embarrassed by this fact, that I made the same mistake again & married the same man but now it just makes me giggle.  You have to see the humour in yourself!!

This is when my growth begun again, really because it had to.  I had a 2 year old daughter & no family to rely on.  So slowly & simply I began to find myself after several months of deep painful grieving. Which very nearly consumed me I started to emerge from that wreckage.

And then bam! It all started again……

I met a man.

Younger than me!

Someone to boost my ego!

A little distraction & fun!

For a 30 year old women who's husband had left her for a younger woman and swiftly began a new family this helped me feel a little attractive once more.

Fast forward 17 years & we are married & added another beautiful daughter to our family.  Over the years we have grown somewhat together.                                        (Theres's obviously hundreds of pictures, in the wedding images, I'm 5 months pregnant!!!)

The Beautiful Daughter              

However this young distraction came with a whole lot of his own baggage that needed to be dealt with before he settled down.

This resulted in me travelling backwards once more, with the darkness taking hold on my soul quickly.  I felt…….

Worthlessness, fat, ugly, untalented, undervalued, anxiety, depression, post natel depression, darkness, lower than everyone else….the list goes on & on & on.

Once more I hide.

However, after some serious health scares, that seemed to be telling me that it was time to live, I started to delve deep inside myself & I decided to find ‘Sophia', no matter what it takes.

I was going to find this woman because if I didn't, she would haunt me.

I once more started to emerge, very slowly.  I began to follow people, read, I read loads, I surrounded myself with people of passion.  It was then that I began to find my dream, my passions, talents, skills & my path, oh my gosh, I, yes I had a path!

This allowed me to look back & realise how close I've been to death, surrender & distuction but what I now take from that is, at 49 I'm still standing, yep I'm still here.

Sorry, Elton!

I'm still here, pushing forward, stronger, powerful & with a buckets full of positive energy.

This is really only part of my story, the start, a little drip seeping through……..this is a small part of whats makes me…me!

But, what I take from all this reflection is, I never really understood how wonderful I was, (not oh look at me, I'm great……puke, puke) But I wasn't fat, ugly or stupid & a little pinch of self worth would have helped me see that 30 odd years ago…..but here we are.

We never really know someone else, their whole journey or their why……..so just go ahead & love them anyway.

It's ok to be down, broken, to fall, to stumble but it's not ok to stay there!

So get up!

” Rock bottom became the solid foundation in which I rebuilt my life”  J.K. Rowling

If you need help, support or just an ear to listen, YOU need to reach out!

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All my love Sophia x