If you had one minute to leave your house for good, what would you take? My answer that night was – surprisingly – my toothbrush. In those moments of panic after I narrowly escaped death in a domestic violence incident, I wasn’t sure what the next five minutes of my life would bring. But I did know that wherever I ran, I could at least brush my teeth.
The next day, in the same clothes and underwear from the day before, burning mascara-blurred eyes and a seemingly broken spirit – I stared into my portable classroom wall wondering, what now? The adrenaline had worn into shock. Where could I go? Who could I trust? Who would help me? Where will I live? There were no answers to what seemed like logical questions. The only thing that made sense was the overwhelming urge for a hot shower, some deodorant and some makeup to feel human again, to be able to take steps forward, to connect.
The next decade of my life escalated into a relentless blur of PTSD and everyday was filled with severe anxiety, depression, OCD, disassociation psychosis, self-harming and suicide attempts. Every waking moment was a struggle beyond words to function in any capacity. My soul empty, survival mode barley turned on and no end in sight to the endless mental agony. Or at least I thought.
It was on one of my darkest days that I aimlessly washed my hair with a hotel shampoo I had recently ‘pinched’ on a weekend away when my lightning bolt moment occurred and my purpose in life was born, as was Pinchapoo. What if…………….
What if I got people to pinch their hotel toiletries provided as part of their accommodation costs and we helped to provide some essentials for those in situations like I had been in growing up. What if…. ??
I ran out of the shower dripping wet screaming Pinchapoo, a new life burning inside me. I got to work letting a few friends know about my unapologetic Robin Hood movement with hopes of being able to help a local shelter. People began pinching, dropping donations and spreading the word. From one little idea and one local organisation receiving our help to over 8.5 million products donated and 600 + national charities supported- Pinchapoo is now the leading the way in the fight against hygiene poverty in Australia.
Sometimes your greatest moment of heartache is the one that defines your destiny. The day I picked up that toothbrush was the day Pinchapoo was born.