So now I finished my HSC, with more friendships and confidence than I'd ever had.
We'd learned the art of being honest about who and what we really liked, and been forced to spend time with people we never had before - we left the school behind but took our close bonds with us.
I spent a lot of time with a few close girlfriends, having my 18th birthday with family, and going back to TAFE to continue studying hairdressing.
Of course, I couldn't choose it as a career - asthma + perm solution is not a good combo!
But this mainly facilitated my extreme laziness; while I was studying in 2001 my mum had suffered a stroke and was still getting back her health while I did nothing to help around the house and went out partying night after night.
Drinking made me even more confident and I talked to everyone - making friends and enemies as I sung at Karaoke and felt great about the fact that even though my body wasn't anywhere near the lithe frames of all the other girls I saw around me, I could show off the only thing I felt people admired about me.
I didn't let it bother me but instead spent time eating junk food, drinking and sleeping way too much.
This went on and eventually TAFE finished.
The partying continued, as did the hangover food and the lazy days doing nothing but thinking about what I'd do the next night.
18 years old, 130kg, maybe more, and no closer to realising I could change it.