I left home at 15. I don't start with that so you feel sorry for me. I tell you that because I want you to know that I didn't start out happy, healthy, full of enthusiasm and supported by a wealthy, well adjusted set of married parents (not that I begrudge anyone who DID have that because hey, that's pretty freaking awesome if you did).
I started at rock bottom. Not a thing to my name, a drinking problem, a lack of boundaries and an addiction to unhealthy ways of seeking attention. I was angry. I was depressed. I hated my life, I hated myself and I felt like everyone else could see right through me and I'd never ever measure up.
I trashed my body. I sabotaged good relationships. I revelled in bad ones. I was lost and broken (and broke to boot). I never thought someone like me could do anything worthwhile but all the while, I was dissatisfied with that. I wanted something more.
I knew somewhere at the core of my being that I wanted to contribute to making the world a better place. For a long time I thought that that meant I had to become a big music star before I could talk to anyone about 'making life better'.
At first I thought if I was famous then maybe I could talk to teenagers about learning how to follow their dreams. Then I thought I could talk to everyone about learning how to love themselves and how to stop talking to themselves like a piece of sh*t.
Eventually I realised there was so much I had to learn and I had to deal with my own crap first. I had to take time to get healthy. To deal with my own self-esteem issues (and they were there believe you me). I had to learn to be OK with my scars and the bits of my past and my self that I didn't want to face let alone share with the world. I had to learn that life isn't about being famous or wealthy. It's about LOVE. Being able to love yourself, and love your family is the first step. Then from that space, where I learnt to be OK with me, where I learnt to be kind to myself, I learnt that success and inner peace can come no matter where you come from, no matter what your history is and it's sooo not connected to how much money you have in the bank or how many people follow you on Instagram.
The moment that I knew this, I knew I had to help other people as well. I started to share my journey at my concerts and in my songs. I went on The Voice as well as a number of other different things and I began to really pursue my dreams as a way of being able to help more people.
Years of trashing my body and putting myself in dangerous situations had trashed my nervous system. After The Voice I took some time off and I realised I didn't want to play music in pubs and clubs anymore. I wanted to help people more than ever. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and I hit rock bottom once again. I had to learn how to not just be OK with myself, and stop hating myself and sabotaging my life, I had to learn how to look after myself.
I learnt about proper nutrition. Balanced exercise. The nervous system. Fibromyalgia. Depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue, PTSD and how these things can affect your body and wear you out.
I learnt how to nurture my body, my mind, and my soul and went from a diagnosis that I was told would basically just get worse and crying every single day from the pain, to a happy, healthy, vibrant and enthusiastic human being once again. I realised just how much of the stuff I had learnt we don't learn in schools. We don't learn from our doctors. Even when I was diagnosed they had no answers for me besides medication to take the edge of my pain. There was no information about supporting my immune system, supporting my nervous system. I had to do my own research. So I became passionate about sharing this stuff because I knew it wasn't just me who was sick and tired of being sick and tired.
I'm now studying a bachelor of health science majoring in nutritional medicine. All the things I've learnt about my mind, my body, nutrition and how it's all interconnected have helped me really get my life back. Through studying further I know I'm going to be able to help so many more people to do the same.
I love that my pain has purpose. That all the crap I've been through can help other people. So I share my stories. The heartbreak. The pain. The stupidity. The lot. I share them through songs, through the blog and through the podcast and I also share the lessons I have learnt and really try to ensure that people know that there is hope, because no matter where you are right now, you don't have to stay there.
You can learn. You can grow and together we can do this.