WHEN I was 18 years old, I was broken.

Same applies for when I was 19 too.

On the cusp of adulthood, at a time when life should have seemed full of opportunity, excitement and happiness, I was in the darkest pit of despair I have ever crawled into.

Broken. Shattered. Basically ripped apart.

From the outside most people would never have guessed my inner turmoil and misery. I looked the same. I smiled the same smile. And crucially, I said all the right things.

But inside I was wretched.

A poor shadow of the bright, sparky young girl I’d been just a few years earlier.

When your spirit is broken, when the essence of who you are is smashed to smithereens, everything around you in your world starts to reflect that too.

So my relationships with the main people in my life were full of cracks. I could only ever attract broken people. And my life was a total mess.

As I fell apart, so did everything around me.

And for the life of me, I could not hold things together.

I was, at that time, the kind of person that you probably would have really disliked.

Bitter, cold, hard and angry.

I hung out with bad people. I dated a guy with a shady background and an even shadier present. I partied too much and cared too little.

Instead of taking time out to nurture the emotional bruises I was wearing from an abusive relationship and unstable background, I went the other way and was hell bent on hurting myself as much as possible.


Because pain was familiar.

When you’re in pain, you only know pain. It becomes part of who you are and your existence depends on it.

And so I did my best to create much more of it.

And as much of it as I could.

As a young woman, I hated myself. The world and (bar my loved ones), pretty much everyone in it.

And for a very long time, I believed that I would never be fixed.

That I was ‘un-fixable’.



Damaged beyond repair.

I didn’t believe I would ever be able to find a glue strong enough to help me stick my shattered little pieces back together.

So what did I do?

I took my broken fragile remains and jumped in the gutter. Where all the truly broken people hang out.

In the place of despair, lost hope and self hatred.

I stayed there for quite some time too.

Occasionally I imagined a different existence but most times I stayed exactly where I was. Rooted to my rotting spot.

But then, over time, glimmers of light began to shine some light on my dark environment.

Black turned to dark grey and then to lighter shades.

And the light kept coming.

Streams of light. Rays of hope.

Little reminders of what my future could perhaps be. And of what I could become, if only I dared believe it.

Eventually I got stick of hanging around in the dark and craved more of that pretty light.

PoutingFINAL 70


And so I gathered up my little pieces of my fractured self, pulled myself out of the gutter and started to work on putting myself back together.

My handiwork was all a bit wobbly at first. I’d repair a bit only for it to fall apart later.

Sometimes pieces didn’t want to fit together again.

Others I lost and had to replace.

But piece by piece, bit by bit, I managed to make myself whole again. (With a hell of a lot of glue.)

Now at 35, I can still trace the little cracks and feel the odd chips that are missing.

I can still see some areas which need a little more filling.

A little more attention. A little more work.

But finally nearly twenty years on, I feel, not unbreakable, but most definitely stronger.

In our culture, there is a belief that when things are broken they become unloveable. Which of course means that we discard them.

So we chuck out old toys, throw away chipped plates and ditch things that are no longer of value.

We give up on broken people.

And sometimes, like me at 18, we even try to give up on ourselves.

But in Japan, when people break a treasured object such as a pot or a vase, there is a tradition which sees them go out of their way to fix the object by filling the cracks in with gold.

There is a belief there that when something is damaged and has a history, it becomes more beautiful, not less.

I am that damaged item with precious cracks.

I was that broken treasured thing.

And when I look in my mirrors now, that is exactly what I believe too.



With love,












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76 Discussions on
  • Beautifully emotive post, Katie. I was similar at that age. You’re right, we need to fill in those cracks. All of us have cracks that need filling in – it’s that vulnerability that leaves us open to loving and being loved rather than hard and unbreakable after trauma and difficult experiences. And compassion, kindness, and empathy oozes out of those cracks as it does with you, darling Katie. Very proud you are my friend. Much love xxxx

    • Thank you my darling. I’m INCREDIBLY proud that you are my friend too. The way in which you conduct yourself and pour your soul out on your blog is tremendous. Much love xxx

  • You are very beautiful, very motivating and very inspiring. I cannot begin to imagine the hell that broke you, but I know light is more powerful thank darkness and life heals when we step into it x

    • Thank you Mary. That’s very kind of you to say and yes you’re absolutely right. Life is all about the light! x

  • Hi, Just found your blog through the naughty forty diaries. First post I read had me sitting up straight with tears in my eyes. Inspiring words! Now I’m off to make a cuppa and have a wee – I think i’m going to have to get comfy for a while!!! Much love Tracy x

  • This is a lovely post Kate. I love the idea of cracks being filled with gold. Our cracks and weaknesses make us beautiful because it is our cracks and weaknesses that make is human. X

  • This is how I have felt a couple of times in my life, one period I am mentally bracing myself to tell very soon. Your post is very heartfelt and honest, I believe what broke us down made us stronger in time x

    • All the very best people I have ever met have been broken at times. It’s how we fill in the cracks and how we put ourselves back together that counts. Good luck with telling your story x

    • You’re never alone Sophie, even when you believe you are. There is always hope, there is always light, there is always a way to be fixed. Don’t give up. Much love x

  • Beautiful post Kate, very heartfelt. I’m sorry to hear you went through a really dark time but it shows your strength that you were able to pick up the pieces and glue them back together with gold. Now those experiences shape the person you are today. x

  • I didn’t realise we had quite so much in common my lovely, we’ve certainly come a long long way from the gutter. Gorgeous post darling. Here’s to the other side xxx

  • I can identify so much with this, Katie. I was quite a bit younger than eighteen, but I think the journey to recovery was similar.

    We’re survivors and we saved ourselves. How amazing are we? Much love to you, strong lady.

  • I can really relate to this post. In my early twenties I upset a lot of people with my anger and bitterness, as a result of being very unhappy in a unhealthy relationship. Thank god I found my way out, a new bunch of friends and most importantly my wonderful husband. It’s only now I look back I can admit what a mess I was! Life moves forward, not back thank goodness. Love your story x MMT #sundaysstars

    • It sure does! And as you say, thank goodness. I truly believe that we have to go through dark times to find a greater source of light. I’m so glad to hear you found yours too. x

  • Wow, I could have written this. It’s sad when I look back at how self destructive I was and how close to the edge I lived. It was such a horrible time in my life and I look back and see a completely different person than I am now but I guess that’s what’s made me, me and I wonder if I’d be as happy as I am now if I didn’t have that bench mark to measure myself by. That was a fabulous read, I really should swing by more often! #sundaystars

    • Thanks Ali. Hindsight and looking back is a beautiful thing. I honestly don’t think I’d be half the person I am now, if I hadn’t fallen apart. I’m far from perfect (Who wants to be?!) but I am a stronger and hopefully a kinder human being because of it. X

  • Wonderful post. I am glad you pulled through that time. quite often we have to loose everything to build it back up again. I like the analogy of the house with such poor foundations that continuing to build would only create a wobbly house. In life too taking everything down gives us the opportunity to build back up again but in a more robust and honest way. I agree with your assessment of our society. Through adversity can come real strength and insight and this is something that is not recognised. Thanks for sharing. Kirsten

  • You could be writing about me here, I feel everything you have written here and you write it so beautifully. You are clearly a gifted writer. Love you to come by and check out my Friday Reflections Linky I could see it suiting you. I wrote this week on would I erase someone from my past if I could, I too was at a bad way at 18, 19 and in a very dangerous relationship, but like you say here I have filled my cracks with gold. Thank you for sharing you thoughts. Found you on #Sundaystars

    • Thanks so much for popping by and your very lovely comment. Glad to hear you’ve filled those cracks with gold too and yes I’d love to pop over! Will try and do so this Friday, sounds like it will be right up my street. x

  • This is such a beautiful ending. I love what they do in Japan. What an incredible thing to do with things that were once broken. I completely agree that sometimes we have to break to become whole. Those moments of complete brokenness, even though we don’t realise at the time are what make us the person we are. Much of what you said at the start, about pain being all you know so you attract more is very much like the book ‘The Secret’. You attract what you consume yourself with. If all you’re thinking about is pain, more pain will come. If you think positive things, you will feel positive. It’s the same thought process as ‘if you believe you can, you will.’ I can relate a lot to this post. I was broken quite badly and the last 5/6 years I’ve been slowly repairing myself Even though we can never be brand new and shiny it doesn’t mean we can’t become something great. Just like each sunrise on a new day, it’ll never ever be the same sunrise but that doesn’t mean it won’t be incredible. x #sundaystars

    • Exactly Chloe, exactly. I actually really do agree with the Japanese broken vase analogy. All the best people I know have been broken, often more than once, but come back stronger and even more beautiful. Well done you. x

  • Oh my goodness, what a beautifully written post. I am SO sorry you were broken in the first place. How utterly despicable. You are very precious and I am so impressed with how you’ve moved forwards. I love the way you way write!

  • Two of my favourite quotes to get me through rough patches: ‘The world breaks everyone and afterwards some of us are strong at the broken places’… and ‘whatever doesn’t break you, makes you stronger’.

    We are all a little broken but I reckon it’s us crackpots that make the world a more interesting place. Great post x

    • Oh goodness! I’m sorry for the tears but I hope they are happy, reflective ones?! Us china vases are precious indeed. Don’t ever forget that :-) x

  • Sending so much love, such a brave and beautiful post. We all have broken parts of ourselves and you’re right, finding the continued strength to hold the pieces together makes us whole and strong xx

  • As always you manage to write and convey your feelings and emotions in such a beautiful way. Sounds like you’ve come along way from those dark days and that you have so much to be proud of. On top of that you are now helping others who may be in that same dark turmoil, with your kind, positive words. Great post!

    Thank you so much for linking up to #SundayStars and sharing your story xxx

  • Beautifully written, Katie. Your story shows that it’s possible to climb out of the pit of despair and build your life anew.

    Nowhere near as dramatic, but I went through much of my 20s feeling like a complete failure and with my already low confidence at its lowest ebb. I was still functioning but I had convinced myself I was a second-class citizen and inferior to everyone around me. It took me 6 or 7 years to turn myself around and start to value myself for what I am rather than being dragged down by past ‘failures’, It’s such an important lesson that so many of us learn the hard way.

  • This post made me fill up Kate, you know sometimes I look back at the things I have been through and am amazed at where I am now – I am sure your the same, so glad you came though that hard time thanks for linking up to #sundaystars x

  • This is so beautifully written, a familiar account of feeling broken, I found life very difficult at that age, and then again a couple of other times until now. I love your analogy about broken things and throwing them away, it has been tempting to do that to myself in the past. Thankfully I feel much repaired and it sounds as if you do to, but I will now try to remind myself that I am that damaged but beautiful thing, its a lovely way of putting it. xx

    • Thanks so much Alice. Amazing how so many of us have been broken and are now much repaired :) Just goes to show that from our breakage, we can only ever become stronger. So glad to hear you are now repaired! x

  • When I was broken and found that I needed help I found it difficult to ask. I am a shadow of that woman now. I am more confident and happy. Such a moving post and a very positive message xx #sundaystars

    • Why is it so hard to ask for help?! I dunno Jess, I think perhaps when you’re broken, you don’t think you need anyone or that you’re perhaps undeserving of that love and attention. So glad to hear you are confident and happy now. Here’s to a big ol’ cheers to that :) x

    • Thank so much. It’s a beautiful idea isn’t it? So much beauty to be found in our flaws, imperfections and breakages. Embrace those cracks! x

  • This is a beautiful post, if a little sad. You are such a strong woman and I love the comparison to putting a precious vase back together. We should definitely fight to help put others and ourselves back together and this goes to show it is possible.

  • Wow this is such a beautiful and inspirational post ♡ You can tell this really came from the depths of your hear and soul. I’m glad that you found your way out of the darkness and that the light kept on coming.

    Visiting from #brilliantblogposts

  • Isn’t it funny, when we’re broke instead of grasping hold of a helping hand, we choose to stay in the familiar. It hurts too much to ask for help, in case we are disappointed, again. It hurts too much to love, in case our hearts become broken again. It hurts to much to hope for trust, because one more betrayal could completely break us. I think that the strongest most beautiful people finally give up the dark, ask for help, decides to love and begins to trust. It’s the hardest thing to do, but it will end up making you better, stronger and able to move forward into the light. Congrats to you, you are that person.

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