Tanya Smith - Building a Life I'm Proud Of
Hello Beautiful Disaster, thank you for your time in reading this message.
What makes me a Beautiful Disaster?
I believe that I am a beautiful disaster because life has handed me a stack of cards that haven’t always been the best. Regardless of this I wake up and rise up everyday! I face my hardships with fierce resilience and courage.
Every line of clothing and statement resonates with me on a deeply personal level. I love hearing the story’s of the tribe members and admire the strength within them.
My long story made short: As a child I was bullied really bad, was moved away from my family, and had limited support. I started using substances when I was 11 to cope with my social anxiety addiction the pain of being bullied. This downward spiraled when I was 13 after a significant sexual trauma. It was when I was 13 that I started using drugs and alcohol daily, and this pattern carried me through the next 16 years. Throughout that time I experienced multiple traumas as a result of physical and psychological abuse and lived a life of homelessness.
My rock bottom story involves a near death experience where I was almost murdered because of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. It was then that I realized I wasn’t going to survive the life of addiction. I ended up in detox the next morning. From there I fled the city and started over in Lethbridge, Alberta. I stayed in the domestic violence shelter and got some things together before I went to treatment.
Since my recovery journey started 7 years ago, I have been successfully raising my daughter, completed a university degree in social work, and now I work with people that live with addiction. In May 2021, I return to school for a masters degree in counseling psychology, and I will specialize in addiction and trauma.
I am a firm believer that although my life has been tough, my experiences are my strength in times of adversity. My hope is that I can use my story as a message of hope to others experiencing hardship.
My life is something I do not take for granted and I am deeply fulfilled by helping others. I have built myself a life to be proud of. I still struggle with my mental health regularly, but I never allow it to define who I am. I can honestly say that I am a strong woman that can overcome anything life throws my way!