I often wonder how I went from being the life and soul of a party to a person invited only to make up the numbers. In my teens and early twenties I would burst into a room bringing an energy people were desperate to be around, but these days I feel quite self conscious about socialising and rarely do so anyway. The disparity between then and now is monumental but entirely necessary.

I had a dysfunctional childhood and suppose you could say I was dragged up. I have many war wounds from my past which sometimes haunt me when I’m sleeping. I left home at 15 with no money or eduction, but a series of fortunate events meant I’ve never gone hungry or been homeless. I’ve travelled the world and have an amazing and adoring husband. Holding onto my sanity at times has been difficult, but against the odds I consider myself to be a well rounded dependable person – a good mum, wife and friend.

I cut ties with my mother almost a decade ago, and although I miss not having a mum, I don’t miss her and the drama she used to bring to my life. I’m also estranged from all my aunts, uncles, cousins and the half-siblings I grew up with. Although lots of people I know have issues with their family, I’m the only person I know of that has actually walked away. It probably says a lot about me as a person.

For the first year I felt utterly bereft, and went fully into self destruct mode – using alcohol and partying to numb my pain – something I’d been doing for quite a while at that point. When I hit my rock bottom towards the end of 2006, it came with the realisation that I was totally alone and needed to change my wicked ways. I worked hard to become a better person, one I actually liked and could stand looking at in the mirror.

Fast forward six, seven years and here I am surviving to tell a different tale. I’m not an alpha mum and neither do I strive for perfection. Our house often looks like it’s just been burgled, but I really have no intention of keeping it spotless just in case someone pops round. I don’t bother trying to keep up with the Joneses, and do things my own way. We have no extra pairs of hands, so it’s all about the four of us. Although motherhood and marriage are the best things that have happened to me, the weight of responsibility can be immense. Ultimately though, the happiness of my girls and hubby is all that matters. The rest just isn’t important.