Totally self-indulgent.

inspiration_blog-301543Forgive me. This is a totally self-indulgent post. If you’ve ever had something unexpected happen that has filled you with overwhelming joy and if you like a faith filled post, then please read on and share my proud moment. Otherwise I look forward to seeing you for my next post!

Like many mothers I cherish my children as the most amazing and the most special of all beings. My daughters bring me so much joy on a daily basis and are a constant blessing. But this week brought me something unexpected and precious.

“The soul is healed by being with children.”  ~Dostoyevsky

Fifteen years ago, in the weeks before Easter, I was in the depths of the biggest physical and emotional breakdown of my life.  Admitted to a secure psychiatric ward I was addicted to alcohol, suicidal and without a future. I was completely broken in mind, body and spirit.  The world had nothing to offer me and I had nothing to offer the world.

A whisper of hope and a speck of faith were all I had. And many times I believed that this was never going to be enough. But it was.

It was enough to give me the courage to give life one my try. And I did.

“when we are powerless to do a thing, it is a great joy that we can come and step inside the ability of Jesus” ~Corrie ten Boom

Fast forward fifteen years to this week, the week before Easter. I was attending my twelve year old daughter’s first parent-teacher meeting at high school. With every teacher telling me how high her averages were and how wonderful she was as a student,  I became more and more up-lifted.

Then I met the religious studies teacher. Like all the other teachers, she smiled and shook hands as I introduced myself, but somehow this felt different. Again I was congratulated on my daughter’s excellent grades, in particular for her assessed assignment, but there was something that I just couldn’t put my finger on. Like the teacher wanted to say more, but wasn’t sure how to. But just as I got up to leave she asked whether I had read the assignment, which when I replied that I hadn’t, was quietly placed in front of me.The task was ‘to describe a person who inspires you in your faith’.

                                                      My inspiration.

My inspiration is my mum, Carolyn Hughes. She is special to me and she’s my inspiration because of her shining personality, her strong faith in God and her achievements in life. She has achieved many great things in her life, like a degree in psychology and social policy, a very successful blog called ‘The Hurt Healer’ and fifteen years ago overcame a drink addiction. My mum has raised a lot of money for ‘The Kenwood Trust’, a charity which provides treatment and support to anyone with an addiction to drink or drugs.

My mum has a strong faith in God and prays every day. She prays to God for everything and believes that without God, we are hopeless and helpless. It was through God that she overcame her addiction. She says that she has been overwhelmed by God’s grace and mercy and her reward has been a fantastic family of her own. Her religion and faith are extremely important to her and she has greatly helped me believe and understand my faith better.

My mum’s personality is amazing, as she is funny, supportive, clever, kind, generous and creative. She is also a great cook, writer and most importantly an extraordinary mum. She is my inspiration and I hope, after reading this, you will see why.

By Rebecca Hughes  🙂

I’m normally quite good with words, but I have none that can describe what I felt as I read that. Other than to say that it felt a bit like I had won the war.

I had battled with depression, alcoholism and everything that comes with it. And I had overcome them both. Over the years I had crawled my way from the brink of an existence. And I could now stand tall and proud as a survivor.

But beyond that I had been able to inspire someone who means the world to me. It may have taken me fifteen years, but today I am proud of who I am and what I have become. And totally grateful to those who have helped me on my way.abstract-floral-seamless-vector-background_50-13191

Thank you for allowing me my proud mum moment and for those of you who are struggling, hurting, grieving, lonely and in pain, let me offer you this Irish blessing.

” May God give you…For every storm a rainbow, for every tear a smile, for every care a promise and a blessing in each trial. For every problem life sends, a faithful friend to share, for every sigh a sweet song and an answer for each prayer.”

114 thoughts on “Totally self-indulgent.

  1. Carolyn, what a proud moment for you! “Her children shall rise and call her blessed” – you just lived that out! What an awesome testimonial, too, of training up children and them not departing from it. You have certainly sown great seed in your most precious ground – your children. Keep up the great work and thanks for sharing this story to encourage us mommies!!

  2. Carolyn
    What an amazing treasure and gift. How wonderful to see that you daughter sees you as a wonderful creation making a difference in world. Beauty for ashes. How also amazing to see that the seeds you’ve planted have blossomed in your child. How deep those roots must be. What a blessing!

  3. Carolyn, this is precious beyond words. Can there be a greater joy than to know your children not only forgive you, but honor you… You are a lighthouse – a beacon of hope – a radiant presence here online.

    I’m so glad you shared this story with us. Have you written your whole story in a book yet? I would love to read it all the way through – I love the pieces of your story that you weave in and through your posts. May God use your story to resurrect hope and to heal the hurts of His children – may your voice be amplified in this online world! Thanks for being YOU!

    Best post I’ve read all day!

    • What wonderful comments Susan. Thank you so much. I haven’t written my whole story in a book although it is something that I have considered. I really appreciate your encouragement. 🙂

  4. Thank you for sharing this Carolyn. That has to be an amazing feeling to have your daughter say such kind words about you. You have come a long way from being suicidal in a psychiatric ward. I don’t know you IRL, but I am proud of you. That takes a lot of work to get to where you are at. Keep up the awesome work of being an awesome mom. Hope high school turns out well for your daughter. Those are definitely trying times.

    • Thank you for such kind words Sebastian and I really appreciate that you understand how much hard work has been and still is involved in moving from the depths of despair to a fulfilling life. Take care!

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  6. Oh, Carolyn! How sweetly and reverently precious! You chose Life and God gave it to you abundantly with the most precious gift of children. I can imagine your joy at reading your daughter’s assignment. What a Happy Easter of resurrection that is.

    Thank you for sharing,
    Marianne xo

  7. Carolyn, I’ve got a lump in my throat the size of a golf ball… what a wonderful tribute from a great daughter to an awesome Mom! Those are the moments, the things that are our highest treasure… the things that will outlive our lives. Awesome!!! Thanks so much for sharing that lovely post with me. x0x

  8. What a beautiful post. I got here through kikibee. I have been down that road of addiction and back again. It is a difficult road back and not many of us make the round trip. When you mentioned religious studies it took me back. I went to a Catholic elementary and high school. In the eighth grade the nuns recruited me to become a priest. Me? Really?(refer to picture) Now I’m Pentecostal. Whew! That was a close one!

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  10. How wonderful. She is a credit to you just as you are a credit to her. You obviously have oodles of talent and are a very compassionate and caring individual. We are blessed that you are still alive and that we can have you in our lives.

  11. God bless you my friend I celebrate you and I am proud of you for your a blessing to many and I am so full right now just from reading this. God is awesome and He amazes me with His love for us, your a true example of His saving power and grace!! Your daughter is blessed to have such a strong mother, I pray that many many many more years be added to your life for the ones you lost being hurt and broken, for the tears you shed I pray many blessings on you and your family, what a beautiful blog, proud to be connected to you.

    Love you my friend!!

  12. Carolyn – what a beautiful and inspiring post this is… I have to say, I think you totally deserve every moment of self-indulgence. It’s so important to see ourselves as others see us once in a while – its very empowering and humbling at the same time. You are wonderful :).

  13. Carolyn, what a beautiful and heart touching story! Thank you for being so transparent and sharing your struggle and triumph. What a wonderful blessing that your daughter wrote this! This is one of those golden moments that you will be able to forever cherish. Thank you again!

  14. What a delightful post to read! Such an uplifting and proud moment to be able to share with us all, it’s as if we were right there next to you! 😉 Thanks for sharing and enjoy every moment with your daughter! ❤

  15. Thanks, I appreciate “self-indulgence” in the blogosphere — I definitely prefer hearing about you and your experience to hearing about 10 things that I have to do or something like that. I mean, the people who write lists are on their own journey and I respect that, but I find myself gravitating more toward people who just share about where they’re at.

  16. Wow Carolyn! Thanks for sharing! It is awesome what you have overcome and it is so amazing that you have inspired this kind of feeling in your daughter! You are truly amazing and should be very proud of yourself! Liz : D…

  17. What a beautiful and inspiring story, Carolyn. Thank you for sharing and making my heart smile! God bless you.

  18. That warms my heart so much! You are a testament to what a desire to really change is all about. Your daughter is one lucky girl and I know you feel the same about her. Best wishes to you both!

  19. Indeed positivity attracts more positivity into our lives. As we shift the focus to look at possibilities going forward, new opportunities and options show up. This then becomes a self serving positive cycle for us.

    Lovely post, I remain happy for you.



  20. Carolyn, what a wonderful story! Thank you so very much for opening your heart and sharing your intimate feelings ♥ Your words are inspiring ♥♥♥ I am so glad our lives crossed paths. Sending you much love ♥

  21. Sending you heartfelt hugs ~ so proud of your daughter for knowing her mum so well and so proud of you for overcoming so much and being such a light-filled inspirational role model to so many of us! Thank you for sharing your special moment ~ we all applaud you! Keep shining! You are loved! xo

  22. A beautiful true story. i know that when your children are proud of you, it means more than anything. you wholeheartedly deserve this priase Carolyn, lots of love carole x

  23. The tears are streaming down my cheeks. You are such an inspiration to so many, Carolyn, but I know what it means to have your child say it and to say it so beautifully… you have fought so hard and overcome so much – you have “won the war” and thank you for sharing your stories with all of us.

  24. What an amazing post! Look at what you have given your daughter (and the fact she can express it so eloquently!!). You really must celebrate this weekend, honoring how far you have truly come.

  25. Dearest Carolyn – is it really 15 years? I remember you using your last 20p piece to phone me, asking me to bring telephone-friendly coins. Even though I haven’t seen you since Rebecca was in a pram, I’m still proud of you and how you’ve turned your life around to be shining example to us all.
    with love and prayers as always

  26. Thanks a lot for sharing this with us. A child is the real blessing of god.
    Your daughter proved that life is still beautiful with all trials & struggles
    May God bless her & you 🙂

  27. What a beautiful story, and the best of all self indulgent posts. You must have an amazing relationship with your daughter for her to recognise all this and be able to write it so eloquently. Well done Proud mum 🙂

  28. This is so wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing your daughter’s love with us all. I know how proud of your little girl you must be. So sweet!

  29. Wow Carolyn thank you so much for sharing your amazing journey. What a wonderful state to find yourself in today…with all the love and joy sent by your daughter. I’m so happy you decided to share because I know it’ll help those struggling with their own challenges in life. To know there’s always hope, always an expansion of spirit that awaits is a wonderful gift to give.

    Love Elle

  30. You have a very dicerning daughte thanks to the way you have led by example. A lovely story of how love and faith can overcome the odds and how special family can be. God bless you Carolyn and your lovely children. Thanks for sharing your blog it’s always uplifting.

    • I’ve always been honest with my honest with my daughters Karen and telling them what they need to know about my past (obviously in an age appropriate way!) It means the world to me that my daughter sees the love and the light in my life and is inspired by it.

  31. Wow Carolyn, this truly touched my heart. What an amazing journey to bring you to this beautiful place. I’m so grateful you shared your story. It is so full of light and love and gives hope to many who might be struggling with their own challenges.

    Lo ve Elle

  32. **My mum has a strong faith in God and prays every day. She prays to God for everything and believes that without God, we are hopeless and helpless**

    I am applauding. I am smiling… Because you, Carolyn Hughes, raised a beautiful daughter just like yourself!


  33. Carolyn, this is a very inspiring story. In our darkest moments, there should be a shine of hope. I am glad that you overcame the darkness and that your life turned out like this. We know very well that kids see things and they tell the truth, and they know how to discern things. I am very glad that your daughter is so proud of you and sees your light and all the good things you are doing. Keep up the good work!

    • Thank you for your insightful comments Simona. Our children do need to see us practice what we preach! But like many parents I often feel I miss the mark. It was such a wonderful confirmation that I’d done something right. 🙂

  34. Carol this is such a wonderful tribute to you, and also to your daughter. It is a lovely “proud mum” moment. Especially wonderful that in her description of you your daughter has understood your lesson of fifteen years ago, that without God you were helpless. What a wonderful model you have given your daughter, in demonstrating your daily dependency on your Higher Power. 

    It is that trusting faith that you encourage us with here on your blog. Thank you! 

  35. Absolutely beautiful, and I’m SO glad you shared this with us. You deserve that admiration, every drop of it. Enjoy it.

    And what a beautiful daughter you have, too. Blessings galore!


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