My name is Svenja and I’m a 29 year old artist.
I faced many difficult challenges throughout my life. From an early age of 13 I struggled with eating disorders anorexia and bulimia followed by self harm and a suicide attempt. There was a lot of shame about being me and my body. I didn’t feel like I had a place in this world. There was something wrong with me. I had a difficult childhood, not because my parents didn’t love me, they certainly did, but my mothers illness and a dysfunctional family dynamic lead to missing out on learning how to take on life in a healthy way. After spending years in therapy and finally managing my weight and eating habits the root cause of my troubles still remained and I started drinking heavily to numb myself. I couldn’t bear to be me. I made many mistakes that I’m not proud of. I’ve been through abusive relationships and rape which left me feeling lonely and even more ashamed.
About four years ago I made a cut and left Germany to start over in New Zealand. It was a difficult time. I was alone, new language, foreign country, I went from job to job and tried to build something from nothing. I had hope but unfortunately I couldn’t outrun my past. I was still drinking four bottles of wine a day and couldn’t manage to do anything before my morning drink to soothe the withdrawals. I tried to stop so many times I lost count. Something needed to change at my core. How I saw myself and the world around me. I was very fortunate to meet some amazing people along the way and it took me another few years and the support of my partner, friends, family and colleagues to finally make a change, to do everything I can to be a better person. Striving for the best version of me. I had my last drink over a year ago now and I am happier than ever. I forgot that there was a me that loves life and can see the beauty of it. As if there was a dark cloud hovering over my head and the more I opened my heart the more it dissipated.
I’m honored to have this opportunity to share my story and it is just the beginning of it. I still have a long way to go, every day comes with new challenges and it’s certainly not easy but my mindset and my intentions have changed over the past years. I’m claiming my life back. I learn to be responsible and to take care of myself and I am so grateful for the people, the love and the opportunities that have come my way. Instead of being ashamed of my past I try to see it as a part of me now that needs healing. I can’t change what happened but I can change who I am today and do better as well as supporting others moving forward.
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