In this blog post, I’m going to talk about why I kept going. Why, even when everything was so overwhelming and I felt like I was worthless and disgusting, I didn’t give up.

Things are very different for me now. When I have those moments when I just don’t know if I can keep going, the abyss isn’t as deep and dark as it used to be.

The abyss I was in back when I was homeless as a teenager can best be described as feeling the Dementors sucking out your ability to feel any happiness. Any hope.

It felt like I was being crushed alive from the inside out. Like the life was being squeezed or sucked right out of me.

I felt worthless. Hopeless. Useless. Unwanted. Irrelevant. Unlovable.

I tried taking my life many times, which I’ve talked about in other blog posts. At these times, I didn’t want to feel anymore.

Did I want to die? I don’t know. Maybe I did. Maybe I didn’t. I just wanted the feeling similar to a Dementor attack to end and I couldn’t see any other way of that happening.

What I wish someone had done for me is get alongside me and tell me a different story to the one that was playing in my head. There were people who tried but it didn’t really get through. I can’t really tell you why it didn’t, though. 

Back when I was homeless, there weren’t the support services around that there are now so I really was having to fight alone a lot of the time. I know I pushed the support that was there away at times which definitely didn’t help my cause.

I just know that had I had this consistent message from someone of being told that I was important, lovable, loved, valued and wanted, it would’ve helped immeasurably. Maybe I wouldn’t have stayed in that dark place for as long as I did.

Can you please trust me when I say this?

This world wouldn’t be as wonderful if you weren’t in it.

There is something so beautifully unique about you and what you bring to this world. No-one else brings what you do to life. Your sense of humour. Your wisdom. Your perspective. Your beautiful heart.

No-one else can make this world amazing the way you can. You are so special.

Back to my story. On top of the Dementor attack feelings for many, many years, I believed that what I went through when I was younger made me even less valuable. I thought it made me even more worthless and unimportant.

I look back now and I see what I’ve been through has made me special in a different way. In a beautiful way. In a magical way, I guess.

I think differently to so many people. Because I spent so many years in crisis trying to stay safe I have what’s called lateral thinking. I think completely out of the box. I often find I’m 20 steps ahead of others and I’m always trying to find ways to prevent issues from occurring long before they even occur.

The funny thing about my thinking is people pay lots of money to learn to think the way I do. Seriously – they do! I have what’s called lateral thinking and true lateral thinking is actually rare in the corporate world. I won’t go into detail about it now but if you’d like to know more, Google linear and lateral thinking.

Then, I have even more characteristics that I wouldn’t have had I not been through so much. Because I’ve spent so many years living in a constant state of trauma, I’m able to relate to almost anyone who is dealing with trauma in a really deep way. I may not have been through the exact traumatic event they have but trauma and I have walked alongside each other for many years.

I can relate to how people who are experiencing trauma are feeling and get right alongside them in a way that makes a huge difference to them. I’m not bragging when I say this. It’s just this gift of empathy that I have and I am only like this because of what I’ve been through.

What you bring to life is so beautiful and unique. There is a magic that you have inside of you that no-one else has. It is beautiful. It is perfect. The world needs your special magic!

You might not see it now, let alone believe it, but I want you to know your magic is there. It’s real.

This world really is a better place because you are in it!!

I know it’s hard to believe that when it feels like Dementors are sucking the life out of you but please – take it from me, as someone who’s been where you are, that it’s true. You are not what your mind is telling you you are. You are so much more than that.

You are magical!!

If you have people around you who care about you, be brave and ask them to keep telling you what it is they see in you that’s wonderful. Ask them to tell you over and over.

I can guarantee you that if you ask them to do this, slowly over time, the message from these people will get louder and the negative message you have in your head will start getting drowned out by this positive message. When this starts to happen, you will start to be able to look at yourself in the mirror and smile.

It’s not going to be an overnight thing to get on top of. It took years of whatever has gone on in your life to make you feel this way – to make this negative message so loud, but please trust me when I say it really will happen. The negative message will slowly be replaced by the positive message.

It happened for me and I’m no different from you. If anything, I probably made things harder by pushing away the very few people who were around me when it felt like the Dementors were sucking out my soul. As I said, the services back then were nothing like they are now. I had to do a lot of this on my own because of that and that was even before I pushed people away.

You, my darling, are wonderful. You make the world more magical by just being in it, even if you don’t see that. Those around you see it. They know it.

I don’t even know you and I know it.

Keep going. Please. I know it’s an horrific and exhausting struggle at times but this world would be darker and less magical if you weren’t in it.

Your magic makes this world so much better! Our world is so much better because you are in it!

All my love, Gretel. xx