Most people are surprised when I tell them I suffered with severe anxiety, panic attacks and depression - as they are so used to seeing the confident, smiley, happy person I portray to the world.
Thankfully I am in a much MUCH better place than I was a few years ago, Though I still have days where the anxiety is all too apparent again.
It's hard to believe I was ever in a place where panic consumed me. It kept me up all hours of the night, controlled where I went, how I spoke and what I ate. I spent hours crying and feeling like I might die.. Because that's what anxiety and depression do to you.
I was under doctor supervision for being drastically under weight and even paid hundreds of pounds to get myself home early from a holiday abroad due to the consuming feeling of anxiety, panic and entrapment - I couldn't cope any longer.
I didn't leave the house for months unless forced to - even then my time out was short due to severe panic attacks; this made daily tasks and living a 'normal' life impossible.
Being in my final year at university meant my lack of attendance to lectures and university in general very nearly jeopardised my entire degree and my future. My friendships and family relationships were put under significant strain and I often went days without talking to people.
Today is #timetotalk day and finally I feel comfortable and strong enough to speak out about my issues in the hope that it will help others. I have gone on to achieve some amazing things that I am so proud of. Winning the Miss Black Country title had given me so much confidence in myself and my abilities and I really am keen to help others realise their potential too. I am so grateful to the Miss England organisation for helping me along my journey.
I wanted to join the national conversation and would urge you to join too. For those suffering now, you aren't alone and you CAN find ways to cope. It may seem impossible now but I guarantee that there is hope and there are so many people you can turn to for support.
I never thought I would be where I am today, experiencing the opportunities that I have been lucky enough to - I am so grateful.
1 in 4 people will experience mental health issues yet we are all still too scared to speak out. It really is #timetochange