Now I can go into my unfortunate story and tell how I was abused as a child, and how I tried to push it to the back of my mind everyday when I was younger. I could tell you how it never worked, and that I never gave myself permission to feel sad about it. I could tell you about how I hated myself growing up, and how I pushed myself away from the people who loved me without even trying because I felt like I was different and did not deserve to be around such normal people. I could tell you how it eventually caused my terribly low self-esteem, and the crying behind doors because my hair wouldn’t fix. I could tell you about the time I fell in love, and he eventually tore me down to the point where I thought about suicide–and it was a scary thought. I knew I wouldn’t do it, but even the thought while I was sitting there on my bed alone was horrible. I was in a scary place. I could tell you how I sat on my bed alone..crying..needing help..wanting someone to be there.But that isn’t the most important part of my story. None of that is. The most important part was finally giving myself permission to feel a certain way. The most important part was finally taking that muzzle off of my feelings so they could pour out and breathe and actually feel. The most important part was calling my best friend over and him driving from an hour away because he heard me break down on the phone. The most important part was us sitting in his car in my driveway, and me pouring out my entire soul to him without even knowing. Of course, I didn’t tell him about the abuse part–I eventually spoke up–but I told him what I needed to tell at the moment. I needed someone there to listen and he was there, and he still has no idea how much that meant to me. He doesn’t know the thoughts that were in my head just an hour before. The most important part of my story was me turning my life around slowly but surely, and now two years later, I’m sitting in my dorm room as a junior in college with confidence. Confidence! I never had it before. I didn’t know having confidence and loving yourself could feel so good. I know I’m not where I want to be self-esteem wise sometimes, but I can tell you that I’m beyond where I used to be. I finally feel like I belong and that I matter. That’s why I volunteer for IMAlive. Because it’s a reminder that we all matter and care. So I won’t go into detail about my whole story, because the part that counts the most is the getting better part–that’s where the challenge is. And I challenge everyone to get better. It’s an amazing feeling. I’m falling in love with myself finally.
It’s really tough to admit when we’re not okay. It takes a lot of bravery and courage and self love to admit it.
Sometimes we have to dig deep down to find that. We first have to admit it to ourselves, which is scary enough. Then sharing it with another person is downright terrifying. It can take days, months, even years to get there. But you can get there.
It’s so important that you get there. Because you matter. Your life matters. Your story matters. Without you, others will hurt. The world won’t change without your continued presence in it. It needs you. The air that you breathe is magnificent and your voice deserves to be heard. This fight is worth fighting because you deserve to know the beauty of your life and what the future has in store for you.