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I cried and hid away throughout my teenage years, I had zero self-esteem and confidence. I felt ugly, unwanted and unlovable. I took no pride in my appearance as I just didn’t feel worth it.

 

I was born as a result of an extracurricular something (still not sure what)

 

I don’t know anything about my birth father never-mind what ethnic origin he had gifted me with. My mom was nonmaternal and very unforgiving. I attempted to take my life at the age of 14, I was a very depressed child and teenager.

My childhood was by no means the worst and I’m grateful for every experience… okay, almost every experience.

The reality is your childhood moulds your adult self, you can’t change that, but you choose whether you adopt a victim or a survivor mentality.

I ran away from home at 14 only to end up in a car crash that brought me home before being kicked out permanently at 15. I spent many months sofa surfing with all my worldly goods in black bin liners. No one could tell by looking at me that I was homeless, I was ensuring I was bathing daily, always in clean clothes.

 

I was adamant I was not going to be a prototype of my current environment

 

I vowed I wouldn’t end up on the streets in any way shape or form. I was around prostitution, crime, fake marriage scams, drugs you name it, I was exposed to it all. Sleeping alone in a car at the back of a closed down garage was probably the lowest moment but it pushed me to do something that had to be done. So on my 16th birthday, I checked in to a homeless hostel, where I spent the best 8 months of my life so far.

Yes, I thought life was hard and I asked “why me?” on numerous occasions. I cried almost daily for at least 10 years of my life. I was convinced that I had been a bad person in a former life, I was being punished for something. Eventually, my thoughts shifted to recognise my struggles as lessons. I had so much to be grateful for. This made me stronger and resilient. All I knew is that I would make a success of my life, I would not be spending my life on benefits. I was planting positive seeds; I chose not to focus on the negative situation I was in. I chose gratitude, education and positivity.

Winter and Christmas became my lowest points of every year as I was reminded that I had no sense of family to gather round. I hated Christmas due to what it represented as well as not having many happy Christmas memories. After years of this cycle, I decided to go abroad and be in the sunshine. My holidays were booked into the last quarter of every year or the first quarter during the winter months. I transformed my sadness and my holidays became my therapy.

 

Then something beautiful started happening

 

I met people who saw my greatness, who believed in me and pushed me out of my current reality. I kept meeting genuine, positive and generous, selfless people! This was a new experience for me, and it had a profound effect as it flicked switches in me. It reaffirmed my thinking that positivity does work and that I’m not broken or deluded as I was led to believe.

Even though I had left school before sitting any exams, I am self-educated with two degrees and I spent time in leadership positions. My internal, embedded script was still running in the background, in that I was just kind of going along, focused on being grateful for my growth and what I had in life but limiting myself to think that this was my ceiling, I was never going to enjoy financial freedom or success on a grand scale. I was still playing small. I was an impactful leader, making a difference in the lives of others. I just wasn’t good at self-love, at cheering myself on. I was holding on to pain, guilt and self-doubt, I felt I should put up and shut up, that I need to think of others and forget my own needs.

I should be grateful that I have a man who loves me and is faithful to me. I was in a 16-year relationship that was starting to become draining. I started to feel unhappy and frustrated. I wanted more out of life and started to ask for more and seek more. I had decided to get out of my 9 to 5 grind the year before and do something for myself. I started putting it out to the Universe, stating my heart’s desires and then I was introduced to network marketing, which was a key turning point.

 

Fast forward a year or so later and I decided that was it

 

I left the security of my 16-year job and the security of my 16-year relationship. I had to stare some of my inner securities in the face, part of me didn’t want to be alone, part of me thought I had to hold on to this relationship as this man worshipped me and would do anything for me. I asked myself deep questions: what am I afraid of? Is loneliness that bad?

I realised through this process that I was not lonely anymore, I wasn’t that 15-year-old anymore. I was resilient, I was an eternal optimist, refusing to think negative. I had developed and strengthened my growth mindset.

In February 2018, I left the security of my full-time job, left my secure stable relationship and invested in setting up my own online coaching business. It was so liberating. I’m at such a peaceful time in my evolvement. Living life on my terms. If this woman can then any woman can!

We have one life: this is not a rehearsal. Do what makes you happy.

If you are concerned about the mental health of yourself or a loved one, seek support and information by calling Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800.

Georgina O'Hanlon

Georgina O'Hanlon is a proud mother and grandmother. Despite childhood homelessness and a suicide attempt, she is now a mindset and leadership coach. She uses her positive outlook on life to inspire and motivate others.

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