Hey guys! I have been having so much fun creating content, researching nutrition and writing blogs on various health topics that I’m interested in. But I thought now would be a great time to tell you about my life and my story. This is my first time really opening up about certain things in my life on social media and I hope that I can inspire someone who may be going through something similar. Because honestly, if I overcame depression in some of the darkest points of my life, I know that you can too!
The interesting thing is when you go on someone’s social media profile, it’s easy to assume their life is perfect because social media only shows the happy (and edited) moments of peoples lives. Most people don’t openly talk about their struggles or what they’ve had to go through to get to where they are today. But I want to change that, about myself at least. I am going to share my experiences and what led me to become who I am today. Because the tough times that I went through really helped me learn, grow and have hope that everything does in fact happen for a reason.
Unhealthy family relationships and grieving…
When I was 15, my father passed away very suddenly. It was extremely scary because he did not have any health complications, and it all happened in the span of one morning. My mom, my sisters and I were all devastated and in a state of shock for months. During that time, my sisters and I had to plan my dads funeral which to this day was the hardest thing that I have ever done. We didn’t have time to grieve, or be upset, we only had time to try and plan things the way that my dad would have liked.
My dad owned his own construction company and worked so hard. He woke up every single weekday at 5:00 AM to do jobs and sometimes wouldn’t be home until 10 at night. He made sure to provide my mom, my sisters and I with everything we could have ever imagined. Money was never a problem, and I strive to work as hard as he did. I am going to make him so proud.
I can honestly say that in that time, I lost a part of myself that I know I will never get back. Even looking back as a 24 year old now, I really wonder how I did it at 15. I was only in grade 10, and within a few weeks I started failing more and more classes. I barely made any friends in high school because I was so depressed. So many people spread rumours about me while I was away and I had teachers commenting on my situation while I was in class.
Luckily, I had my boyfriend and he was a nice distraction from everything going on in my life. My boyfriend and I met one year before my dad passed away, and he was really there for me throughout the whole funeral process. He made sure to always provide me with comfort and support, and to this day I love that he helped me through such a tough time. We were both only 15 when this happened, and he took it upon himself to make sure I was okay.
In terms of getting support from my mom and my two older sisters, I felt almost embarrassed to talk to them about how I felt. My father passing away really affected them and they refused to get any sort of help. They spiraled down a really bad path and became very toxic towards me. I had my mom tell me that my dad never loved me and that I didn’t even know him, which really hurt me. At the time, I let them emotionally abuse me because I knew they were acting out of a place of hurt. I’m also the youngest in my family, and speaking up was definitely not an option.
About a year after my dad passed away, my mom and sisters ended up kicking me out of my house. I was blamed for their depression and anxiety and I was told that they would be better off without me. I was sent out in the middle of the night while it was pouring rain, and my boyfriend ended up meeting me at a McDonald’s. It really was a life defining night. I ended up at my best friends house, and stayed there for a few weeks. I still tried my best to go to school everyday but had no motivation to really do anything. I missed my dad, and I missed the way that my family used to be.
After about a month of living at my friends house, I ended up having to go back home. When I went home, I asked my family if they wanted to do counselling with me, but was told that my relationship with them wasn’t worth it. Me going back home gave my mom and sisters every bit of power that they wanted over me. I didn’t have privacy and was put down on a daily basis.
Shortly after, we ended up losing our house and our car because we were failing to make payments on things that my dad got us. We moved into this small, old house in a lower class neighbourhood and things really did get progressively worse.
The emotional abuse was starting to turn into physical abuse. All of my birthdays started getting ignored and I was treated as if I wasn’t apart of my family anymore. A lot of it was because my mom and sisters assumed that I had my boyfriend, and I didn’t need them which is just ridiculous. Of course I needed them, and I tried my absolute hardest to include them in my life.
I continued living each day, but never felt genuinely happy. I was depressed, anxious and constantly on the verge of crying. I felt so lost and like nothing I did was ever good enough. If I did something wrong, I would have my mom and sisters behind me to harshly judge me and then give me the silent treatment for weeks. It took a huge emotional toll on me and I always felt left out. This sense of “not belonging” followed me every day and I felt so uncomfortable in social situations because of it. I started to judge myself the same way that they were judging me, and really started to dislike who I was as a person. I assumed the things they were saying about me were right.
Maybe me being interested in things like diet and nutrition was pointless. And maybe social media was a waste of my time. And what if everyone does think I’m stupid? I began emotionally abusing myself more than anything.
Getting kicked out
Like I said, things were getting worse and worse. My older sister had physically attacked me on multiple occasions and my stuff was getting stolen while I was at school. I accepted everything because I didn’t know that many people and felt trapped more than anything.
It wasn’t until the day that my mom decided to physically attack me that I decided it was time to go.
After getting in another dumb argument, I had my mom grab me by my arms and try to throw me out of my house in front of my sisters. I was so embarrassed and still remember my mom trying to provoke me to fight her back. It was really shocking because I watched her go from a loving mom, to someone who was overcome with depression and hate for me. It hurt. I locked myself in my room and had my two sisters banging on my door threatening that they would call the police on me if I didn’t leave.
I was only 20, I had no idea how to move out or really how to do anything. It was also my final week of exams at George Brown College and if I failed, I could lose everything. I was so scared but I knew that it was time.
Moving on from my family
I moved into my boyfriends house because I had no other choice at the time. It was so difficult for both of us because it was still exam week, and we could not afford to fail any classes. Luckily, our hard work paid off and we ended up passing everything, but it was not easy. I was literally crying every night, I even tried going back “home” a few times to try and apologize, only to be turned away. I brought my mom pink roses, because that was her favourite colour but none of my efforts were noticed.
At that age, I was only apologizing because I was deeply depressed, I had just lost my dad to a sudden death and I could not emotionally deal with losing my family as well. It’s crazy to think that my older sisters actually looked me in the eyes and turned me away now that I think of it. I would personally never treat any family of mine in such away, but to each their own.
After about three months, my boyfriends parents ended up helping me get a nice studio apartment. We rented a moving truck and drove to my old house to pick everything up. I wasn’t surprised to find all of my belongings on my old street including my mattress on the pavement with my sheets still on it with my clothes and shoes scattered everywhere. All of my old neighbours watched as I grabbed my things and I knew that they were told a different version of the story, but I had to just move on. Now wasn’t the time to worry about what people thought of me, I had to just move on.
I got into my new place and I honestly loved it. I finally had a safe space, privacy and somewhere that I could call my own. My boyfriend and I decorated it nicely with what we had, but we honestly had no money. We owed his family money for the apartment, and I also had to pay some stuff off from when I lived at home.
Luckily, I am First Nations which means that I can receive a three year sponsorship for any program I choose. I chose the Traditional Chinese Medicine program because I always loved natural health and nutrition, and I was also greatly inspired by my dad. I knew that I would be able to make a difference in the world and also help people get back on track in terms of health.
The sponsorship is really what allowed me to study what I loved. At that time, there was no way that I could afford a college education. It really motivated me and helped me gain the knowledge that I currently have.
I started the Traditional Chinese Medicine program in 2016 and at the time I had no family, no friends and no idea of what I wanted my future to be. I travelled to campus every single day which was a 2 hour commute, and tried my hardest to stay on top of things. But I was depressed, anxious and confused. I was falling apart inside and worrying about my grades didn’t make it any better.
What I gained from my experience…
Looking back now, I am shocked by what my own family put me through in my teen years and early adulthood, but I am so thankful that I didn’t give up!
I graduated from my program this year and I even started my own business to inspire people. It definitely was a long and emotionally difficult journey, but it was so worth it.
Honestly, it sounds cliche but the best lessons in life are free: the tough times, the heartbreaks, losing everything, feeling broken. Because in those times it’s then that you have to pick yourself back up. You realize that it’s you and only you. And although that thought may seem scary, it’s actually quite liberating!
I no longer care nearly as much about what people think of me because no one will ever be able to hurt me the way my family did, and from that I now have strength.
I started meditating, becoming more spiritual and reflecting inwards. If I felt anxious, upset or depressed, I started finding the root for my emotions. Of course, the majority of them stemmed from my past but knowing this allowed me to properly confront them and heal. Knowing my weaknesses, allowed me to also know my strengths.
I started liking who I was again. I know that I am smart, I know that I am heard and I know that the way that my family treated me was because they were hurt. I don’t have to let any of those times define me, because they don’t. If anything they make me stronger.
We all hold so much power inside of us. And I know that the school system or good times in life will never teach us or define us the way that the bad times can. I have learned that when you go through something difficult, you should take a step back and ask yourself what the situation is teaching you instead of letting it emotionally affect you.
Don’t become the emotion, observe it.
Every single thing we go through is teaching us something whether we see it or not.
We have to go through certain events to become the people that we are today. These events are what shapes us and makes us more empathetic, less judgemental and more understanding.
If you erase the pain and difficulty of your past, you also erase all of the knowledge that you gained from it. My life events shaped me into who I am today.
I have found what it’s like to be happy and most importantly I have found myself. I would never let anyone treat me the way that I was treated before, and I would never treat others the way that I was treated!
It’s been about 5 years and my family has still not reached out to me after kicking me out of their lives. For a while, I spent every day hoping that one of them would contact me. But I have moved on. I no longer need people like that in my life and I am better off without them. I’ve met so many amazing people since then who actually respect me as a person.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read about my life story and my personal experiences. It took me quite some time to write this blog because it has a lot of emotion in it, but I really hope it inspired you in some way!