Bad news doesn't always make you sad. Sometimes it makes you angry. That's what happened to me, and my anger started to eat away at all the good stuff in my life.
I was only 11 when I first found out I was really ill - it came out of the blue, I collapsed at my 11th birthday party. The doctors who treated me told me that I would be on medication long-term, and wouldn't be able to do exercise. For someone like me who really enjoyed sport, that was a massive blow.
But the bad news kept coming. My mum split from her partner and this meant I was separated from my younger brothers and sisters. I was gutted and I started taking it out on the people around me.
On the surface things probably seemed OK. I tried to look after my mum and I worked hard to overcome my illness, I even played football for a local team which I loved. But I was angry and frustrated and I started messing about at school. My medication didn't help, the side effects were a constant reminder of my illness and how it made me feel. Looking back I can see that I wasn't great at talking to people about my feelings. Instead I let resentment build up because I felt misunderstood. Eventually my behaviour at school led to me being kicked out and sent to an Education Support Centre.
When things are going badly, it's hard to lift your head up and see the way forward so even when they told me about the xl programme, I wasn't particularly interested. I just thought it was another one of those things that you get pushed into.
The truth was I was nervous. Behind my angry behaviour, I wasn't very confident and didn't dare speak to anyone I didn't know. But once I started on xl I began to feel differently, the staff would actually speak to me about my problems, not judge me for them. Just knowing they really cared meant everything.
I stopped messing about in lessons, and instead, started learning. On xl you do the stuff you do at school but they also give you life lessons and teach you how to do things like run a flat and save money. I started to take pride in my work and, even though I had to go into hospital at one point when my illness flared up, I passed all the programme units and my GCSEs. And here is the flip-side: good news made me feel less angry and frustrated. And I realised that it was my own hard work that created that good news. It made a huge difference to how I saw my future. I did some interview training, applied for college and got offered two places and I'm now studying carpentry which I love.
Taking part in xl also made me realise that, once I had the confidence to talk to people, I actually had a lot of friends and that I could be a role model to others too. I know how lucky I am to have had help to overcome my anger. Now my mum can be proud of me again and that makes me so happy. I am even proud of myself.
The Huffington Post has teamed up with youth charity The Prince's Trust to back the Novae Educational Achiever of the Year Award at The Prince's Trust & Samsung Celebrate Success Awards. Taking place on Thursday 12 March in London, the ceremony will recognise young people who have overcome issues such as unemployment, drug addiction, homelessness and depression to achieve success.
The Prince's Trust & Samsung Celebrate Success Awards recognise young people who have overcome homelessness, mental health problems and unemployment.
In addition to partnering the Celebrate Success Awards, Samsung is working with the Prince's Trust to tackle the digital skills gap in the UK by creating digital classrooms at its centres.
To find out more on how Samsung supports young people, please visit samsung.com/uk/citizenship or search #StandTall