Me/Who am I? I am a happy, secure, fun, positive, appreciative, loving, caring and confident woman.

But not 18 months ago. For then, I was ‘just’ me – self-conscious, low self-esteem, withdrawn, scared, lonely, sad, depressed, suicidal, and trapped.

Eighteen months ago, I finally took a leap of faith and left my relationship of 19 years (married for 16). Scared but determined. Unsure how I’d cope, but determined.

It wasn’t just me, though, as I am me, plus two (2 x kids, 8/10). Every ‘me’ decision became an ‘us’ decision – our fate was in my hands.. Every decision, fear, thought, and concern was all multiplied.. where would we live? how would we cope? Would we be ok? How would we manage?

I endured many sleepless nights, full of repetitive mind chatter, focusing on everything that could or might go wrong. All the issues that might cause problems. Time and time again; it just became easier to stay. To tell myself that things weren’t too bad for us and to stay/keep the family together/ do the ‘right’ thing for the children… But I was slowly dying on the inside every day. I knew there was no love or spark in the relationship. I knew the physical smiles were fake. I knew I didn’t belong there. I hated being touched physically. I was not ‘ready’ mentally. I was a deer on a road with a truck coming, shining its bright headlights in my eyes. Too scared to jump left; for fear of the unknown.. too scared to jump right, as that could be bad too. But knowing I was in trouble anyway by the truck about to kill me anyway.

My life spiralled in and out of very dark spaces. Suicide was an option – and the perfect, easiest “out” for me. Thoughts that the world would be a better place without me. That the children deserved better. That I was incapable of being me. That I was a nobody; and simply good for nothing. I remember packing all my clothes and belongings one day, loading them all in my car. Every item… I did not want anyone to have to sort through or pack up my things once I was gone.

The two things that kept me going were my children. I could not leave them. They are my reasoning and purpose for pushing on. They are my inspiration for my new life. I have two supportive little buddies that rely on me. I am needed. I have a purpose here. I am a wonderful mum.

I am not suddenly cured. I am not new, but I have changed. Like a caterpillar going into a cocoon; then changing into a butterfly. Yes, I am now a butterfly learning to love my wings, fluttering instead of crawling. Sharing my beautiful colours with the world.