By Lethbridge Herald on March 30, 2015.
Kelli-Rae Ennis has turned her world around and has used her experiences from her dark past to help others overcome the feeling of hopelessness.
For years, the Lethbridge woman struggled with depression and drug addiction, but through all the darkness, has found her path to happiness.
Ennisâ€™ new book â€œHopeless to Happyâ€ was recently published and is now available on Amazon. The book includes the life lessons sheâ€™s learned over the years to help readers live a happier life.
The book took her about eight years to write, and in it, she discusses her own dark demons â€” her addiction to alcohol and cocaine along with details of her suicide attempt.
â€œI couldnâ€™t even see that people loved me, I just felt like everyone would be better off without me. I wasnâ€™t thinking about anyone else, I was just thinking about not wanting to live anymore,â€ said Ennis.
â€œUntil I saw my mom, I didnâ€™t realize that what I had done was hurting people, it wasnâ€™t just me ending my life â€” it was me taking myself away from people.â€
â€œDrugs and alcohol were the way I escaped from hating myself. Thereâ€™s a lot of self-loathing.â€
After years of destructive behaviour, Ennis found herself unemployed and shown the door by her mother.
She briefly stayed with her brother, whom she said was the last relative of hers that would speak to her, and was eventually kicked out because of her drug abuse.
Her family said â€œâ€˜If you donâ€™t go to rebab, then youâ€™re not in our family anymore.â€™ My family and I are very, very close, so for them to do that, that was a real turning point for me.â€
Thatâ€™s when she enrolled in rebab.
Afterwards, she started writing in her notebook about the lessons she learned that helped her to be happy.
â€œTo be honest, I never intended to share it, I donâ€™t even know why I started writing it because I didnâ€™t want to share it with other people. Over the past five to 10 years I really hid that part of myself.â€
No one new in her life ever suspected Ennis battled drugs, alcohol and depression.
â€œIt was something I was ashamed of.â€
Eventually, friends encouraged her to share her story.
One friend who also battled drug abuse, was very assertive with Ennis and said â€œhow dare you not want to show this with people. How do you expect us to be happier, how do you expect me to believe everything you tell me when youâ€™re not even willing to own your story?â€
Thatâ€™s when she realized no one was talking about these issues.
And just like many others, Ennis was hiding her problems.
â€œThe very thing that I was doing, was making it harder for people to get better.â€
Thatâ€™s when she decided to publish her book.
â€œWhen I talk about it now, Iâ€™m proud â€” Iâ€™m proud of where Iâ€™ve come from, where Iâ€™ve come to. Now, I love sharing my story.â€