As a kid I was often described as "overly sensitive". I spent a good chunk of my young life feeling deeply hurt by others, or on behalf of others and wondering why I was the only one who was in constant emotional turmoil.
Then, when I was a teenager I lived through a lengthy period of terrorism. I hate to be morbid but I experienced horrific shootings, witnessed suicide bombings and their gory aftermath, attended some 60 funerals (including one with a 2ft coffin) and lost friends and family members.
All before I turned 15.
This is not to garner your sympathy, but rather to put into context the mindset work I've done. I am well aware that many people around the world have traumas of greater magnitude than mine. Including my own grandparents, all of whom were Holocaust survivors.
Anyway, I developed severe PTSD. I suffered from recurring night terrors and paralysing hallucinations. After 5 years of petrifying anxiety, I began to emerge from the fog, enrolled in therapy and completely rewired my brain.
I have since got married, had four children, launched my business and gone through some "run of the mill" stressors like moving country and solo parenting. I am forever grateful for my earlier experiences for forcing me to strengthen my mindset.