Angela Cooke: My Mental Illness And Drug Addiction Ruled My World
My name is Angela Cooke. I'd love to tell you a little of the beautiful mess my 47 years of life have been and what 'Beautiful Disaster Clothing' means to me.
I happened up on the brand somehow, not exactly sure, via Facebook a few months ago. I immediately checked out every inch of your page and website. Once I was done there, I hurried to YouTube to watch videos to learn the meaning behind the clothes. Hearing the stories of so many beautifully disastrous lives, brought forth so many emotions from deep within my soul; emotions that I didn't know where capable of reaching the surface.
My story begins at a very early age as a victim of childhood molestation by a babysitter's husband. Depression and anxiety were my reality by the age of 14. At age 17, I married the first of several abusive husbands/boyfriends. From there, I hopped from man-to-man so that I wouldn't feel alone. Little did I know, I would continue for years feeling alone and lonely, no matter how many people were around me. I've managed to have three failed marriages because I was looking for the wrong things in a partner.
By the age of 21, I was a full blown drug addict. That addiction would continue for 18 very hard years with very few clean/sober days, as did my addiction to men/relationships. I managed to have three sons by two different men during those troubled years. They are now 20, 15 & 13 years old.
When my youngest two sons were 5 months & 18 months old, their father kidnapped them and ran all over the country with them for 12 years. For the first year that they were gone, I tried my best to kill myself every single day. But God obviously had better plans for me.
I was in and out of jail, and living on the streets of Memphis TN (when I was without a man), and doing as many drugs as I could beg, borrow and steal. There were also several failed suicide attempts. My mental illness and drug addiction ruled my world.
On March 23, 2008, one year after losing my boys, and almost losing my mind, I was arrested in my small hometown in Mississippi (while my father was running for County Sheriff). I cost my dad the election and spent 8 very trying months in that small county jail. It was the best thing that could've happened to me. I found God, Peace and Sobriety in that tiny jail cell.
I have now been clean just over 11 years. But my story doesn't end there. I had been clean for about 5 years and discovered that I had stage 4 throat cancer. Doctors told me I had a 20% survival rate, and that if I got lucky and survived it, I would without doubt lose my voice. I didn't believe a word of it for a single second. I survived 8 months of very aggressive chemo & radiation and am now still in full remission with a very strong voice.
To make my beautiful life complete, on September 11, 2017, my, now teenage, sons finally made it back home to me. That was the greatest day of my life. They have major PTSD & social anxieties from a horrendous life with their abusive, controlling father. We are all currently in major trauma therapy and dealing with life one day at a time.
The struggle is still very real for us, but what a truly beautiful mess it is. We are all getting to know one another and making sure to make beautiful memories every single day.
Your mission: "To Empower The Beautifully Broken and Perfectly Imperfect" is our motto! No other statement could be more real to us.
We haven't been able to afford to order any of your clothes yet, as I have had to quit my job and we have moved back home with my parents. My priority is to focus on my family and try my hardest to make sure all three of my boys are happy and healthy and that they don't ever have to struggle unnecessarily another day in their life. We all do; however, have some of your powerful clothing pieces on our must-have wish lists.
God Bless you for what you are doing. You are changing lives and giving power back to those like us......The Beautifully Broken and Perfectly Imperfect!