I could start this story with how I discovered that alcohol ‘solved all of my problems’ at the age of 17, or how having a fit as a result of drinking all day everyday nearly killed me. And then, after not being able to cope with a clear mind, I was introduced to crack and heroin whilst homeless, and became a drug mule with horrific things happening to me during that process.
But, really what I want to start this with, is to tell my story about how beautiful the journey has been growing into myself, finding who I am, and realizing that my passion comes from within my soul, and not from the poison that I was pumping into it.
In November 2013, I was sectioned against my will and spent 10 months in a psychiatric hospital. It was during this time that I discovered my love of writing poetry. Admittedly, the poems were dark, and can still haunt me when I read the things I wrote at that time, but I truly believe it was what saved me. Don’t get me wrong, spending all of that time in a psychiatric ward, being treated for a host of problems surrounding the abuse I had endured during my childhood in no way ‘fixed me’, I was straight back to the drink, and eventually drugs when I was finally discharged. But through absolutely everything, I never stopped writing.
Even when I literally had virtually nothing, I always had a notebook and pen. I still have every single notepad I have ever written in, and some of it makes no sense at all! Yet I found so much poetry that was deep, and meaningful, and helped me to learn so much about myself. I realised I wasn’t broken. I was just lost, and I had an epiphany that to find myself, it had to stop. The life I was living was dangerous, and I was on the edge of death for so long. I didn’t simply want to exist anymore, I wanted to live.
Getting sober, and eventually getting clean, is without a doubt the hardest battles I have faced, and I've experienced some pretty horrific things in my 28 years. I have been sober for four years now, and clean for two. I am so proud of my achievements over the last two years, things that I never could have imagined I could achieve. I have written a book, currently recording an album and am facing my demons, one by one, day by day, without drugs or alcohol to numb the pain.
I didn't finish school, I was kicked out when I was 15 and spent last year (at the age of 27) getting the grades to start my social sciences degree in February. I am so passionate about psychology, sociology and the politics behind pretty much everything that is involved within the lower classes of society here in the UK. I plan to become an advocate, and set up a non-profit organization for sexual abuse survivors and people suffering with addiction once this covid-19 crisis is over.
I guess, through all of my rambling, I want people to know there is HOPE. There is a REASON. I cannot put into words how much richer my life is, how much more fulfilled it is, living clean and inspiring people at every opportunity. I never, ever imagined I would stop. I couldn't see the point, why would I ever choose to be anything other than numb? Well, I would tell that person who thought that and felt that, that numb isn’t a way of life. It’s a way of slowly dying. I would tell that person to choose life, because there are SO many reasons to. And it is never too late.
Hayley is a young beautiful woman from England who has been to the gates of hell and back and is living proof that there is a solution and living a clean and sober life is a life worth living. We thank you Hayley for inspiring others to change and sharing your story so courageously with all of us.