ClaireSteve-69.jpg
SHE TURNED HER CANT’S
INTO CANS
AND HER DREAMS INTO PLANS

My childhood was full of love but a little on the chaotic side, my parents divorced when I was young and I spent my time bouncing between my small seaside home town in the UK and my Dad’s new home in Spain.

I proceeded to grow up way too fast in all the wrong ways, encountering some terrible situations that I was ill-equipped to deal with, and by my mid-teens I had a litany of self-harming behaviours, both physically and emotionally.

I didn’t go to school very often, bouts of ill health and a tendency to skip the country meant that I studied alone – astounding many with decent exams results which I then proceeded to do nothing with, preferring to continue my apparent downward spiral.

A new relationship and subsequent pregnancy aged 20 was my turning point. I wanted to create genuine change in my life and build a life I was proud of for myself and my unborn son. We moved to the city, found a home and jobs, adopted a puppy and built a stable life that appeared full of possibility.

All of which came tumbling down in September 2002 when our beautiful son Louis was stillborn at 41 weeks.

I was 21 years old and my already fragile life completely and utterly disintegrated.

In the year that followed I lost everything. The future we had built was gone, the relationship crumbled. I was alone, penniless and facing a grief so raw and complex that I was diagnosed PTSD. I would go out drinking, partying like I was the life and soul only to go home and contemplate how to kill myself.

There was no defining moment of recovery or earth shattering revelation, in truth I was a mess for a long long time, but slowly I began the slow process of rebuilding…something.

Hope came in the form of good friends, a kind University Lecturer who took the time to understand my situation and helped get me onto an excellent degree course which I excelled at, and my beautiful dog Molly, who was truly my most loyal companion in the darkest of hours.

Success and transformation are rarely easy or quick to achieve, my early twenties were a dark time and I had no idea then that there was actually any real hope for my future - life was very difficult and for a long time there was no apparent light at the end of the tunnel. 

It took meeting a very special person for me to feel brave enough to share my hopes for a better future – and (rather quickly!) in 2007 we welcomed our beautiful daughter Amelia. In the space of five years I had gone from being the most wretched and broken imaginable to having a family, a home, an upper class degree that I was so proud of achieving and had joined my partner in creating a successful business.

Family life became my safe harbour, after years of what amounted to struggle, desperation, stress and grief I was amazed to find myself at the centre of such a safe and loving family.

By my early thirties our wonderful youngest daughter, Poppy, had just been born, our advertising business was thriving, we had recently married, and I had developed a love of running and travelling. But something was missing, I felt as though I was ticking all the boxes but still falling short. I kicked myself for not being more grateful – after all I had come so very far.

A SHIP IN HARBOR IS SAFE ~ BUT THAT’S NOT WHAT SHIPS ARE FOR
— William Shedd
ClaireSteve-63.jpg

 

What the hell was wrong with me?!

I began Googling and reading, exploring everything, looking for something that I couldn’t define. I discovered bloggers, Marie Forleo, Tony Robbins, artists and coaches. I devoured everything I could find and I began to feel hope, that maybe I could do something different, just for me.

On a whim I started my own blog, rediscovering an abandoned love of writing, telling the story of loss, heartbreak and transformation. I was astonished when emails began to pour in from women who understood my journey, understood me. An invitation to write for other websites followed, including the Huffington Post, where I became a regular contributor, along with writing two fiction novels for a US publisher and launching a successful freelance writing business. I also gained certification in Coaching, Positive Psychology and Transformational Coaching.  

Life was busy and full when in 2016 we decided to relocate for a year to Southern Spain, with our UK based business allowing us a flexibility we had worked hard to achieve. The narrative of the emails I received during this time began to change – there was still grief and comradery but there were now also questions on how to rebuild, where to start, how to start a business, how to write a book, find a publisher or live abroad. I realised that I was genuinely helping people…

Although my blog was never intended to create income it led to so much more – it gave me back my voice, my confidence and ambition. It led me to Coaching, even though I didn’t realise that’s what I was even doing when I started, and it made my writing dreams come true.

I’m no longer afraid of the future or doubtful about my dreams – I’ve seen first-hand what a little motivation and self-belief can achieve.

We are so much more than our past experiences.

I find myself drawn to women who feel misaligned and misunderstood. Those who have overcome grief, personal difficulties or had to start over but who now find themselves lacking the confidence to go after the life they really want.

The Mother's who describe themselves as shy, unsuccessful or lost but who are bursting with quiet ambition and visions of a better future - writers, dreamers, EXTRAORDINARY women and ENTREPRENEURS in the making.

 

I’m proud of who I’ve become and I’m so grateful that I gave myself permission to dream BIG and stop settling.

If you know you want more too...you're in the right place.

Email: joyandpops@gmail.com