On the outside Jessica Choveaux was all smiles but inside she felt unloved, useless and pressured to "be better" than she was.
"I viewed myself as a good person because of my family's religious beliefs but it was just a blanket over what I truly felt inside," she explains.
"I often feared what people thought of me and believed the worst of myself."
Jess says she often felt defined as "too shy" or the "rebel child" and allowed other people's expectations and judgements to get the better of her.
"I developed lots of insecurities out of a fear that people didn't like who I really was. I played right into the devil's hands," she explains.
"I turned to alcohol, parties and clubbing. I felt the peer pressure and also wanted to make a statement to everyone that I was angry, lonely and confused by acting out."
She believed that nobody really cared about her and as a consequence all her relationships with family, friends and boys were unhealthy and broken.
Then, in 2010, things hit rock bottom after a fight on the phone with someone close to her.
"The moment I knew something was really wrong was when I went into the bathroom and cut myself afterwards," she confesses.
"I sat and cried for a long time, and was thinking about whom I had become and how empty I felt. I knew I desperately needed God's help because I certainly could not change on my own."
It was then that Jess realised that she had been putting friends, work and other things first in her life instead of God, who she knew about from attending church with her Christian family.
"I knew out of everyone in the world there was one person that would always care about me and that was the Lord Jesus Christ. I knew that He loved me and I was not living the life that God wanted for me, that He had better plans. I knew that I had to change my priorities and put Him first in my life," she explains.
When she finally acknowledged that God was not at the centre of her life and invited Him to take control, Jess says she felt peace settle within her and knew the Spirit of God had come into her life to guide her.
"After that day I detested everything I had been doing and found it easy to get back in control of my life," she says.
She was reminded of Romans chapter 12, verse 2, which says, "Don't copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect."
"Soon after I gave Him control of my life," she says, "God gave me the strength to get rid of all the things that I knew were standing in the way of my relationship with Him."
Two years later Jess had enough confidence to go on a mission trip to South Africa, sharing her story to encourage people in prison and how Jesus can transform lives if they only trust in Him.
She also decided to start a Bible study for teenage girls to hopefully help them find a love in Jesus rather than seeking the approval of others.
Although she has not shared her story with many people before, for fear of judgement or pity, Jess realised that there are many other hurting people out there who do not know how to deal with their pain.
"We are always putting a cover over the things people don't want to see or hear, but I want people to know that Jesus carried my burden all the way to victory and I know he wants to do the same for others. That is why there is always a time for truth and raw honesty," she explains.
In closing, she shares a verse that was of great encouragement in her struggles, "The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. The Lord protects the unwary; when I was brought low, He saved me" (Psalm 116:5-6).