From pain to purpose...
I started my journey when I was 6 years old... I was being abused and bullied and had a really difficult time at home, and I remember feeling completely worthless and like I was some sort of freak. I remember saying to my mum that I didn't want to be alive. I was just 6 years old. I struggled on, as a young carer for my mum, having barely any friends and still going through abuse behind closed doors. When I was 14, I went through a traumatic event which led me to go on a downwards spiral that I couldn't escape... I started to self-harm, hear voices, and other 'unusual' experiences, and I had to be hospitalized numerous times because I was a risk to myself. I was also struggling with addiction and an eating disorder. Then, when I was 16, an abusive relationship I was in ended traumatically, but it was the start of my journey to healing. I started getting support, I started volunteering and I started college. When I was 17, the birth of Evolve came about, and with no members in our first session, I wanted to give up before I had even really begun. Now though, almost 6 years later, Evolve is still going strong, and I'm happier than ever. I still hear voices, and I still struggle with things, but I'm learning to love myself, and I'm learning to accept and have compassion for the parts of me that are still hurting. I'm on a journey to be happy and peer support is crucial to getting there.