If I could count the people who’ve told me I’d inspired them, I’d struggle. But I don’t get it. We’re all dealt cards in life, we all have to deal with what life throws at us. Don’t we?
The phrase ‘Keep calm and carry on’ could be my mantra for life, though I haven’t always been calm. Instead I choose to use the saying ‘You always have a choice’. This has got me through some tough stuff. Here’s a whistle-stop tour.
Pregnant at 16! Tough decisions to make, very lucky to have supportive parents. It wasn’t an easy decision; I thought through seemingly impossible options; eventually, the only choice that felt right was to keep the baby and get on with it with the support of my partner. So that’s exactly what I did. At 18 I left home to move 160 miles away to a strange city I’d never even heard of. My family unit was important to me, my partner would continue his studies, and we could be together. Life felt pretty bleak at times. I was lonely, depressed, in fact, miles from home with a toddler, but I put on a happy face and kept going.
My darkest times were aged just 20. My second son Jay died in utero at full term – to my horror I had to deliver him. There are no words for this kind of loss; I must move through it and heal if I’m ever to see any ‘reason’ for suffering such a devastatingly sad loss. It seemed to me that not everything happens for a reason.
I ended my long term relationship when I was 27; it wasn’t working. I found myself caught up in another relationship which was to become my undoing – for many years to come. My youngest son was diagnosed with autism, aged just 5. I felt like one of the lucky ones, at least we had a diagnosis. Life got really tough, and I was stuck there. At 28, I painted a pretty picture of my newly married life, I had myself convinced too. There were many red flags, but still, I ‘keep calm and carry on’; after all I was lucky to be with someone at all, wasn’t I?
Evicted from our rented home aged 34, life was incredibly strained; I could have chosen so differently at that time but holding my family together mattered to me – over everything else. Who would take the strain if not me?
Aged 39 – I’m fighting for my life, pinned to a wall by my throat – by someone who purported to love me more than life itself. Dark times ahead.
I’m 41 and free! It’s time to learn to love myself so I don’t repeat the patterns that found me here. Life’s about to get really good…
Aged 42 – loving myself leaves me free to be loved – I meet my soulmate at our perfect moment, our happiness spreads a wave of love all around. We deserve this, and we know it. Thank you for the lessons; it’s time to live at last.