“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” ~Rumi
The hardest battle I’ve fought is an ongoing one. It’s an all-consuming shadow of dread that never leaves, only resting long enough for me to catch my breath.
Depressed is something I have experienced. It almost feels like I am at home when you feel hopelessness and pain.
When I was eleven years old, my thoughts were, “Wow, this seems all meaningless.” I had become awakened by my consciousness and overwhelmed by emptiness. I knew then that there was more to life than what I was perceiving. These were fleeting moments, but they were continuous.
My family was unstable and I lived with all of them. It was all temporary. Nothing made any sense. My depression got worse as I grew up. I was unable to feel love and security. I also felt like a burden for everyone I knew. Every day, I felt ashamed of myself for being here.
The Story of How It All Started
I was drawn to the sex industry because I was part of the wrong crowd, and by the time I hit my early twenties I had completely lost all will to live. I had no desire to even try to function in society as a “normal person” should. It was a place where I could indulge my self-hatred by abusing drugs, alcohol, and my body.
It was overwhelming and heavy to carry the pain with me. People who could understand me was what I needed. They were people who also gave up on life. Although we had no direction, we had a sense of belonging and a feeling of home, which was something we craved. Our pain had brought us together, and that was all that mattered.
Our traumas and secrets held us bound. There was no place in the world where you could be mad at others. This was where I called home and this were the people who welcomed me.
There is a great myth that women enjoy being sex workers. The pay is incredible, the hours are short, and sometimes it’s just one big party. I can’t speak for others, but from my experience I can tell you it is nothing like Pretty Woman. There is no one coming to save you.
No little girl ever dreamed of growing up to be a sex worker. Most women working as escorts were victims of some form of sexual abuse as a child, including myself.
I know you’re probably wondering why I would do something so extreme and thinking that surely I had other options. My depression was paralyzing, so this seemed like the ideal option for me. This was my ideal match. I couldn’t get the help I needed, and keeping a job or getting out of bed was almost impossible.
I believed for so long that I was lazy; I was useless and good for nothing else. Gosh, I could hardly pull off being a decent prostitute!
We don’t do this because we love sex or for that matter even like it; we do this because we feel trapped financially, or we’re desperate to survive our addictions and mental state.
And sometimes we’re so consumed by our desperation that we’re oblivious to the dangers of being raped, attacked, or even murdered—and the worst part is that we don’t even care. Our brains have been brainwashed into believing that nobody cares.
How I changed my mindset to find my purpose
When I felt alone and had no one to call, I began to write and uncover my creative spirit. Writing was no longer just a form of cheap therapy but a way home to myself. It was a safe space that wasn’t invaded. It allowed me to express my emotions and thoughts.
My feelings of shame, inadequacy, and lacklustre were all reflected in my writing. I thought no one would love me after the dark life I’d lived. And worse, I thought I deserved to be treated badly after everything I’d done.
It was a feeling of being abandoned and alone. I also wrote that it made me feel desperate to live normal, normal lives.
It was impossible for me to keep running away from myself and sit by as my life crumbled around me. My suicide attempts were endless. I was at rock bottom. My mind had to shift.
I read books about myself and started listening to podcasts.
It was hard to stop using drugs and I started seeing things more clearly. It was the hardest thing I’d ever done, especially without any professional help, but I did it.
I learned that I’d made the choices I’d made based on how I viewed myself, so that had to change.
To reprogramme my brain, I made a conscious effort to get into a healthier routine.
I also forced myself to cry, which I’d hardly ever done because I’d been so numb.
I removed everything from my life that was doing me harm and didn’t serve the future I was trying to create.
My body has been in better shape since I began to get more rest, eat better and exercise regularly.
It was a lesson in gratitude for the experiences I had and a way to let go of my fear.
After doing these activities for some time, I noticed little moments of joy that kept me going. Listening to my body is now a part of my daily life. I also pay more attention to the thoughts in my head. Negative thoughts are sent away when they arise.
I stopped fighting the world and running from my trauma, took a deep breath, and realized that the world wasn’t out to get me. The world was not against me; it was actually my worst enemy. Accepting that I was worthy to live and accepting my humanness, with all of its beautiful and ugly aspects combined, was the hardest thing I did.
I know that it won’t be completely smooth sailing from here, but I know now that, despite everything, I am worthy.
Being in such a dark industry I’ve always had to fight. Fight for my voice to be heard, fight for my safety, fight to survive, and fight to be seen as a human being. There is no need for me to fight. I am free to be.
I now believe that my suffering was my spiritual teacher, and these experiences happened for a reason—so I could help others somehow, even if just one person.
Courage is the best treatment for trauma, while expression is the antithesis of depression.
Here I am now, proud enough to admit my mistakes and tell my story. By doing so I let the light in, the light that I can now share with you.
About Nicole Lauren
Nicole, an elderly soul obsessed with human behavior research and healing, dedicates her life helping people to find inner peace. Her two cats are her best friends.
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