We interviewed three courageous women, who when faced with challenging situations, turned things around for the better. In the process, they created meaning, found their purpose and empowered others by charting their own paths. We speak to Vyriella Lee, a mother of one and network marketer in her early 40s. She shares how she regained her financial independence through self-love.
“Almost getting into a car accident with my daughter helped me overcome my emotional struggles as a stay at home mom and ex-offender.”
I was at the peak of my banking career when I got embroiled in internal drama, broke the law and went into hiding for 6 years in China. When I returned to Singapore, I was detained for over 2 years. This greatly impacted the way I viewed myself. I was outgoing, ambitious, and bubbly, but this mistake had left me a different woman. While I had regained my freedom after my release, I had lost my career, professional relationships and reputation which I had spent my life up to this point working hard on. This all negatively impacted my self-esteem and I was trapped in my own mental prison.
Alone and confused after my release
Although my family support was strong, I constantly felt that I was not good enough for anyone. I brushed aside concern from my family and could not help but feel that every word was not born from concern, but from judgement. I felt like they were looking down on and talking down on me. I was also stressed constantly from the dilemma of declaring my ex-offender status truthfully when I applied for jobs. Needless to say, finding a job was far from easy. This new status as an ex-offender left me confused and beaten down. When I finally found safety, love and healing, in my relationship with my now husband whom I met while volunteering. Our marriage and pregnancy gave me hope. I thought I could find happiness as a stay at home mom.
Motherhood did not bring me out of my mental prison, I moved into a new one
After the birth of my daughter, I was my heaviest weight of 85kg. Reading all these stories from other moms, I thought I would lose all this weight miraculously with breastfeeding. This didn’t happen for me. I was frustrated with my body. I hated myself. I hated motherhood. I hated being a woman who had to turn to my husband for every single penny I spent. One incident that I recall of this period was a memory of me being upset with my husband for making me look fat in photos, even though it was never his fault to begin with. I thought motherhood would bring me joy, but I was stuck in yet another mental prison.
The car accident that became my turning point
In late June 2019, I was nearly knocked down by a car while holding my baby girl. While I was safe, this knocked a new perspective into my view. It was in the face of the possibility of losing my girl that I knew I should not deprive her of a chance of happiness as I lived in a fog. From that day on, my purpose to care about myself, be better, live better, became crystal clear. I wanted to live for my daughter.
I started to make a conscious effort to be better. I started a low carb supplemented lifestyle. I lost around 20kg within the first 3 months and I started my journey as a network marketer. I started investing heavily in myself, not just in terms of clothes, bags, hair or makeup, but in my mindset and improving my skill sets. It was a huge emotional rollercoaster ride. I attended a personal development course, and that made me very intrigued with a book that was introduced to me then, “Rich Dad Poor Dad”. I read more and looked deeper into my profession.
Regaining my emotional freedom and financial independence
At this point, I had newfound confidence that had been built up by having a career I could contribute my skills to and create value for others. Network marketing also provided me with the opportunity to work at my own time and create my own targets. I became a hybrid between a salesperson and an entrepreneur. I listened to podcasts by motivational speakers daily and kept my circle of friends tight. I kept my eye on my ultimate goal – to spend meaningful time with my daughter and to work towards my own emotional freedom by breaking down my beliefs of myself through meaningful work.
I avoided unnecessary drama, toxic friends and toxic situations that would take me further from my goal. I also started putting into practice boundaries of my work and family time. This journey helped me understand that no matter what I’ve done in my past, it is my choices in the present that can make a difference and that I am the most important person in my life. I feel grateful and blessed to be where I am today.
You are the most important person in your life
I have shared my story to inspire hope in others who are struggling in their own mental and emotional prisons. If I can break free from a literal, mental and emotional prison, anyone can do it too. I want others to know that they shouldn’t ever forget, like I did earlier, who is the most important person in your life. That person is YOU. Even if you have kids, a partner, relationships, friendships, nothing really works if YOU don’t work on you. Love yourself first and in the process you’ll truly love and be in service to the people around you.
Taking charge of your finances, health or wellbeing in the present doesn’t always look easy, but it’s always worth it. At Tiq by Etiqa Insurance, we believe in you and will be with you on your journey on whatever path you choose to take. Build your confidence and take charge of your financial journey with our easy and seamless digital insurance, investment, and life protection products.
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