There are plenty of people in my life who know how important the programme Buffy the Vampire Slayer was to me. In fact, it was a running joke for quite some time.
However, I don't think any of those people know why. After all, it's not every day that someone credits a work of fiction with saving their life.
It was 1998. I was part way through my second year at university having only just scraped through the first year by the skin of my teeth. My determination to prove myself by studying hard and focusing on my course had long since departed and I was well and truly caught up in a whirlwind of partying too hard, binge drinking, drug taking and poor boyfriend choices.
Things came to a head towards the middle of that year when I had an epiphany moment. I knew I had to leave or I was going to seriously crash and burn. I called my dad and he came that night and took me home.
I'd like to say that I immediately started the journey back to normality but in reality, it was probably another 9 months until that happened. I say 'probably' because when I think back to that time, it's all a blur. I remember the distress I caused my parents, my inability to see my boyfriend for what he really was and most of all, I remember drinking far too much far too regularly.
One of the first turning points for me was realizing I didn't love my boyfriend and didn't want to travel back to his hometown to be with him.
The second, and most significant, turning point occurred in the early hours of a morning in 1999. I came home after my shift at the local pub had finished and started to flick through the tv channels to find something to which I could wind down. That something happened to be Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Nothing has ever spoken to me the way in which that programme did. I understood Buffy's isolation, her desire to lead a normal life, the love she felt for Angel and the way her heart collapsed when she had to kill him.
I stopped binge drinking and started to focus on me. I began to read copiously again. I changed jobs and moved out of my parent's house and in 2002, I met and fell in love with the man of my dreams. We've since married and have 2 children together.
I laughed and cried my way through seven seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and I was devestated when it ended as it had been such a big part of my life. That's when I made the conscious decision to walk away from my obsession and to look to the next chapter of my life.
Nothing has ever replaced BtVS in my affections and I honestly never thought I'd open the door to it again. But since having my second child just over 4 months ago, I've found myself feeling incomplete. Don't get me wrong, I love being a mum and a wife. It's just, I'm missing 'me' - my spark - and I'm not sure where it's gone or how to get it back.
Is it coincidence then that I've been watching odd episodes of Buffy here and there?
It feels good; like finding an old friend or hugging a family member. All the old feelings have been coming back and I can remember what it's like to have something that's just mine and feeds into me.
I've never written a blog before. You can probably tell! But I'm inspired to write one to document my journey to finding myself. I hope you'll follow me and share your experiences.
Buffy is a hell of a woman. When I grow up, I will be too.