suffering heartbreak, taking your life, and coming out strong

Yesterday I was featured on Warm Pears’ blog on a series she is running called “Heart Story” which is about heartbreak and overcoming it. The stories being shared have been beautiful, inspiring, while also bringing tears to your eyes. She is running this series all month so be sure to check back to view the others, but if you’d like to read about my story, a time that is very dear to my heart and sheds light on the journey I traveled to get where I am now, read below or check out Warm Pears’ blog.

I grew up thinking I was never pretty/cool/talented/cleaver/blessed enough to reach my dreams and lead a life that reflected that. I remember sitting on the edge of my bed, wrapped in a blanket given to me by my late grandma, with tears running down my face wondering what I had done to deserve this life I was living. I had been laid off for the second time, my fiance had ended our engagement, and after living on my own for almost 3 years I was suddenly back in my parent’s house. I felt like a complete failure and I was convinced I was destined for continuous heartbreak.

Completely shattered and depressed: I slept 15 hours a day . When I expressed my frustrations or concerns I was told I had not dealt with something with God. When a person is completely broken and shattered, that was the worst thing to say because all I did was pray, thinking I had no control in the situation and that it was all in God’s hands.

One day, I had enough and decided I’d take my own life. While driving home from another failed job interview I was about to drive my car off the road. I didn’t want to have to tell everyone what a failure I was. Before I was about to force my car into an unnatural state, I had a thought… “I am the maker of my own success.” – That day changed me. I pulled my car back into the driving lane and decided to drive towards my dreams rather than my demise. I’m forever grateful for fully taking my life into my own hands and feeling 100% responsible for it.

“I always knew that I was supposed to be living a life of love, thankfulness, blessings, and richness in life but in those years I honestly didn’t see how I would ever get there”

 I came across a quote by Albert Einstein, ”Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – After years of doing the exact same thing that I had been taught was the correct way to deal with negatives in your life (pray and trust God that his will be done) I knew that something had to change because my track record was showing me that nothing was going to change. That is when I decided that I needed to take my life into my own hands and stop relying on someone else to make it happen. I didn’t know what to expect, but I instantly felt a weight lift off my shoulders. Within months I was happy and felt like I was finally in control of my life. Within a year I went from feeling confused and wondering where my life was leading me to knowing exactly where I wanted to go and took steps to get me there.

“It took me a really long time to forgive my childhood version of God. But the process of taking control of my life and finding a different faith then the one my childhood really helped me find forgiveness in my earlier ideals and what I had thought was the right way to live life.”

I realized that I was supposed to hit rock-bottom so that I would be completely grateful for the life I am living now. I completely changed my life around and achieved dreams that before I didn’t think was possible like; changing my job into a creative field, going back to school for something I really loved, finding someone who loved me completely and didn’t ask me to change, quiting the creative job and starting my own business, and deciding to live our life in Europe.

Hitting rock-bottom is the crappiest thing to endure. I stayed there for far too long, but I stayed as long as I needed and wanted to and when I decided to finally stand up and get out of my own misery it wasn’t all butterflies and rainbows, it was hard work. But when you’re ready to take a stand and change things, you’ll know and your spirit will be ready.

I believe we were destined to live life in joy and not suffering, peace rather than chaos. Some experiences are completely out of our control but how we react to it, is totally up to us. A small change can make all the difference.


“In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” – Mr. Darcy Pride & Prejudice.

Thank you Gina, for asking me to be a featured writer, you’ve helped me accomplish another goal!! 🙂

  • ginaFebruary 14, 2012 - 3:44 PM

    thank YOU for sharing it with me, truly … an inspiration and motivating reminder to keep believing we make ourselves happy.ReplyCancel

  • anouschkaFebruary 14, 2012 - 4:24 PM

    Beautifully written Lesley! A very powerful story indeed!ReplyCancel

  • Denise (Modern Love Photography)February 14, 2012 - 4:46 PM

    My goodness Lesley I honestly love you, not in a silly passing thing you say to the gals you pal around with “oh, I love you” but I really have come to love the incredible, kind, patient, insightful, wise, driven person you are. After reading this, what I have seen in you and what I love about you make even more sense to me. I think you are an incredible person and I am so fortunate to have you in my life. I am grateful for the first email and every single one since!


  • bill tetlowFebruary 14, 2012 - 5:03 PM

    From a Dad’s perspective: Wow I did not know about your life ending thoughts. I suppose we all have those at our low points. But I agree that we must expeience the big lows if we want to enjoy the big highs. I have always been proud of you Lesley and would have a huge hole in my life without my daughter. Love YouReplyCancel

  • Bev LeederFebruary 14, 2012 - 7:24 PM

    Hey Pumpkin, God was with all that time, he wasn’t going to let you go, he needed you for Adam.
    Remember the poem about Foot Steps, that was for you also.

  • Tanja A.February 15, 2012 - 3:43 AM

    Thank you for the honest post. We are indeed the creators of our own lives. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • KseniaMarch 20, 2012 - 5:18 PM

    Amazing life story, definitely something to think about when things are not going great. I am happy that you had the strength to make it happen 😉ReplyCancel

  • WeverJanuary 7, 2014 - 2:14 AM

    I love your story. Thank you for sharing it to us especially to me.ReplyCancel