It started my freshman year, and it's still a constant battle, but I'm healing.
My freshman year I weighed about 135, but when I looked in the mirror or tried on new clothes, I felt like it was 935. The meals became less important, and the runs became the only thing to help me keep my sanity. I wouldn't say I was anorexic, but I was definitely heading down a path of self-destruction.
I would skip breakfast, eat some vegetables for lunch, and eat a container of strawberries for dinner. Once in a while I would eat a cup of ice cream, but I ran an extra mile that night.
Every once in a while I'd have to start eating something more during lunch at school, only when people started noticing and asking questions.
"Why aren't you eating much?"
"Do you want some of mine?"
"Are you sick?"
It was easier to fake hunger and run it off later than it was to answer questions.
The more I ran, the less I ate, which resulted in the more compliments I got, the more I felt noticed. Which again resulted in less food and more cardio. Which made me feel, well, better.
Then the constant sickness started. I spent days sick, then weeks. Eventually, enough was enough.
I took my life back. I took my life into my own hands again.
I talked to a shrink, a nutritionist and my doctor. I preached love to everyone and tried my hardest to fill myself with love.
It is still a struggle.
I can't tell you the exact moment I started gaining weight back, or the exact day I had an appetite again. But I can tell you that I'm still fighting.
I have gained the weight back that I wanted, now it's time to be healthy. I want to be the me that I know I can be, not what everyone else paints me to be. I want to spread love and hope.
We Are The Seen- My Story
My story is like the story of a butterfly. Just when the caterpillar was desperate, making no progress, and thought that it’s life was over, it was really just going through metamorphosis, to become a beautiful and courageous butterfly. The moral of MY story is that everyone in life goes through their own struggles and battles during their life. When you go through those struggles, you develop courage and strength. I want to BE SEEN. I want to help others. I want people to know they should NEVER give up. You’re your own definition of beautiful.
I had a wonderful childhood. I am blessed with two parents who love me, and 3 wonderful siblings. I was always very cheerful, athletic, and proficient in school. However, my freshman year of high school things began to quickly change. I met a boy whom I dated for 2 years. It was an unhealthy relationship. He controlled everything I did. He was very disrespectful to me, and spoke to me like I was worthless. He even made me believe I was worthless. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. I quit working out and running. I only went to school 2-3 days a week, if that. I had to leave the public school I was going to because it was way too overwhelming. Nobody even noticed me in class crying, and struggling. So I started going to an online homeschool. I had suicidal thoughts every single day. I spent months just staying in my house. I felt so miserable and hopeless. It’s hard to explain what it’s like going through depression. It felt like it was never going to end. I always described it as “not being able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.” I always thought that committing suicide was the only way out.
My heart was in the midst of being broken, my grades were dropping, and I was so alone. I didn’t want to go through this anymore. I dreaded having to wake up in the morning, because I didn’t want to have to go through the pain another day. Most people look forward to waking up. I didn’t. I never wanted to take medication. It scared me to much. I didn’t want to get addicted, or for it to just get even worse. One day it was just so bad, and I decided that I needed medication. At first, the medication seemed to be helping. But only sometimes. I still had panic attacks every day. When I was in a situation that stressed me out, I would get so down.
One night, I decided I had had enough. I was going to do it. I had talked about it for a whole year, committing suicide, but I always had that thought in the back of my head that even though I really wanted to, I knew how much it would hurt others around me. And that night I didn’t have that in me. I had a plan, and I wasn’t scared at all. I wasn’t even going to say anything about it, I just wanted to do it. And then I remembered something. One time at work, a lady from a church ministry came up to me. She told me that out of everyone there, she could tell there was something special about me. She told me “God put you on this earth for a reason Reesha. I can tell that the people here don’t have the patience and love you have. You were put here to bring love, happiness, and help others.” I ran to my mom and told her “take me to the emergency room now, so I am not able to harm myself " and I am glad that I did. I needed to stay. I have a purpose. I can do all things through christ. God is my refuge and strength.
After the hospital, and taking another medication, to balance my mood, I have no more negative thoughts. I am so genuinley happy now. I feel free, strong, and indestructible. Even though what I went through was extremely miserable, I am still very thankful for every second of it. I believe that people are given struggles like these, to defeat them, so we can help others. If I had ended my life that night, I never would have gotten the chance to share my story. I had all of my medication for depression and anxiety on my night stand, and had planned on overdosing. It's really weird to think, but right before I even messaged each of my close friends and wrote a letter to them. One of them even called the police, but it was when I was already at the hospital. I talked about how I wanted to commit suicide a lot to those people, and they were always there to comfort, but that time I didn't really want their comfort I just wanted to tell them thank you, and that I didn't want to go through it anymore. That was like the middle of August, and for the past few months since I haven't had one single thought like that. I have the complete opposite mindset now!
Real depression isn’t being sad when something in your life goes wrong. Real depression is being sad when everything in your life is going right. The hard thing is, when someone knows you're depressed, and never happy, you're basically hopeless, beause nobody wants to hangout with the depressed girl that wants to kill herself. With depression, you go through so many different feelings and emotions. So many struggles and obstacles. Nothing in my whole life has ever helped me understand more about myself, more about others, more about life than dealing with depression.
My mom has been my rock through everything. She has been my go to person, anytime I need help, or a shoulder to lean on. My mother is always so supportive and positive in any situation. She has taught me to always look at the bright side of things. Focus on what's good, not bad. I always tell her what's on my mind. I vent to her everyday, and she gives me great advice. My mother has helped me get through it all. She helped me get medication, she encouraged me to do online school, she encouraged me to get a job, still do sports, do counseling, hangout with friends, and still just try to enjoy life. She was one of the few people that actually believed what I was going through and how hard it was for me. If it wasn't for her being by my side every step of the way, I wouldn't be where I am right now. I wouldn't be happy again.
My ex boyfriend taught me that nobody is worth destroying your happiness. Don’t let someone rule your life. Most importantly, you are NOT the opinion of someone else! I have now found myself, I love myself, and I am very confident. I am a free spirit. I am independent and offbeat. Now I am indestructible. I want to be known as strong, not weak, I want to be known as the girl who could not be broken.
Being in nature calms me down so much. It makes me feel so free and blessed. Just the smell of the air, being surrounded by huge trees and plants. It's just me and the earth. Being surrounded by nature just gives me the chance to spend time with myself. It's where I truly found myself. If I'm stressed, that's my happy place. I am a free spirit. I belong in nature, it brings me pure zen. A favorite quote of mine sums it up, "Wandering is the activity of the child, the passion of the genius; it is the discovery of the self, the discovery of the outside world, and the learning of how the self is both "at one with" and "separate from" the outside world. These discoveries are as fundamental to the soul as "learning to survive" is fundamental to the body. These discoveries are essential to realizing what it means to be human. To wander is to be alive ~ Author unknown". Whether it be going for a run on a trail, sitting in the middle of a meadow, or just looking at pictures of nature, it brings me peace, and makes me happy. When I started going to counseling, my counselor told me to think of a happy place to tap into when I'm having a panic attack. Nature was always my "happy place" I would imagine. But instead of imagining it, I began going there, literally. And that's when I found my therapy, nature.
I never really told people much about my depression. I mean, I told them, just not in detail. I didn’t tell anyone my whole story, from my point of view. How I truly felt. It's hard to explain everything that I was feeling at the time, in a way someone could understand what it would felt like. Words can't really describe it. I was SO depressed. I didn't care about anything at all anymore. One time I went a whole week without eating one single thing. I didn't care about eating, I didn't want to do anything that mattered. Because to me, nothing mattered. I didn't do my hair or makeup. I didn't put in any effort into my outfits. I barely slept at all. I didn't workout anymore. I completely gave up. There were times where I wanted nothing more than to be gone. I hate saying it now, but there wasn't one day that went by for a whole year, that I didn't think about suicide. I just wanted to escape the pain that I was feeling. It was like I wasn't me. It felt like someone else was inside of my body. Someone that was evil and draining out all of my energy. Telling me nothing matters, telling myself I don't matter, and I don't have a purpose anymore. But God had great plans for me, so he was there for me in those times to somehow make me stay. I didn't want anyone's help. I mean I did, I wanted people to show they care. But I knew they would only get sad if they listened to me. I kept most of my thoughts to myself because I didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings. I didn't want anyone to know how much pain I was in. I would spend days just stuck in my room, doing absolutely nothing. I would stare out the window, or at my phone, wondering why I wasn't happy like the people I followed on my Instagram. I compared myself to so many people, and it only made my emotional health even worse. I thought things simply could not get better, ever. While my friends went out, I chose to remain home. Even when surrounded by others, I felt shut out, as if I were invisible. It was so hard to breathe, I literally felt like I was literally drowning. Depression feels like you're there, but you're not. You have so many emotions, but at the same time you're just numb. But I’m a survivor, living proof that if you put your mind to it, you can overcome your struggles. If I can do it, so can you.
Perseverance ~ “The greater the obstacle; the more glory in overcoming it.”
By Whitney Bailey
I was born with cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a disability that affects body movement, muscle coordination and balance.
Imagine how long it takes you to get out of bed in the morning. If you’re a morning person it may take you no longer than fifteen-seconds to pop up out of bed. On a good morning, it can take me up to twenty minutes to get out of bed. I have to think about moving each leg individually, while inching my hips closer to the edge of the bed, all while trying to not lose my balance and fall back into bed. A whole new process will start over when I finally transfer into my wheelchair. But I am forever grateful and proud that I can accomplish this task by myself because there was a time in my life where I had to rely on others to do it for me.
From the time I was born to the age of eighteen I had to rely on another person to do basically everything for me. A couple weeks shy of my eighteenth birthday, I had a baclofen pump implanted into my stomach. Baclofen relaxes my spastic muscles essentially making it easier for my body to move. The hope of the pump was to make it easier for a care giver to help me with my daily living skills. A week after surgery, I was able to put my shirt on by myself for the first time in my life.
I was discharged from the hospital and I went to therapy every day for the next two months. I received extensive physical and occupational therapy. My pump surgery was in April. At the end of May, I walked across the stage at my high school graduation and got a standing ovation.
I continued to work hard and push myself in therapy. I moved out of my parents’ house to attend college—something I thought would never happen. Moving into my first apartment, I had the help of attendants to alleviate the stresses of daily living tasks while going to school full time. I continued to get stronger both physically and mentally. After a year and a half at a community college, I was accepted to Stephen F. Austin State University. I desperately wanted the “normal” college experience. Therefore, I said good-bye to attendant care and began to do everything completely on my own. Oh, and I moved four hours away from my home town and support system. I was ready to prove my capabilities to myself and the rest of the world.
I thrived at SFA and went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Rehabilitation. I then went on to pursue a master’s degree in Special Education at Texas A&M Corpus Christi. I am now a blogger and motivational speaker.
I hope that my story and experiences help motivate you to go out and live life to its fullest potential.
This is my life. I grew up in the middle of Washington DC and Virginia. Through my years of life it got Harder. But I got through it! I had a lot of changes in my life, my parents got divorced, I got glasses, I have a stepmom and more brothers and sister! Life is going pretty good. Through my years of school, it was good until 4th grade... I got bullied, but being bullied didn't make me any less stronger, it made me stronger! It made me realize that I got bullied for being me, myself and I'm ok with that! I love being me and that's all that madders! This year I'm in 5th grade and I changed schools! It's going really well! I made new friends and everything! I'm really happy with my life and I hope u are too! This is my story.
Hello I am Yarlini a mother of two beautiful children 4 and 6. I had a career in the corporate world for 25 years prior to having children working with communities in particular women and children which I loved and worked on local and national projects all over the UK, delivering innovative solutions to bring segregated communities together and engage and involve women and children as part of the planning process empowering them within the decision making process. I have had a life with a series of traumatic experiences which made me think about what is really important in my life and how I could give back and empower other women having survived the life of fear, freedom, safety and to provide international courses via webinars, Skype, 1-2-1 support service and coaching, group coaching. We don't take material things with us when we part physically from the world instead it's all about the experiences, the memories which we take and treasure in our souls. I took a career break as I had a serious rare health condition which led me to have an operation 5 years ago and I plummeted in weight unable to consume food or drink for 3 months. Being in hospital for 3 months away from my daughter turning 3 and son 1 was heartbreaking for me. I then turned a corner and managed to resume eating and was discharged in but I have had to be on medication to help me with the pain. This meant my health was up and down and I had to raise two children which was difficult and I knew going back the corporate world was no longer an option. I began my journey in a new direction into the health and wellness business which I throughly enjoyed helping others globally. But life is about going in the direction of your dreams with what you are aligned to. I was truly blessed to be introduced to a new type of training which I had never known before but all I knew was that I became hugely fascinated with this so called mindset training, how effective it was by helping people globally, be free from emotions holding them back to live the life they deserve by releasing fear and limited beliefs. What I knew is that this area affected us all including myself so I began working I myself and began seeing results. Having taken time to follow my instincts, it has felt natural, the right path and I can now see that everything I have done in my career to date and all of my personal triumphs have brought me where I am today and it was all meant to happen as it serves the purpose for my intention and the way in which I can serve the community. I can only see this now. ??? I feel incredibly lucky to be where I am now as I know I am helping the community on a global scale more than I have ever done so before. My triumphs yes were tough, challenging, heartbreaking yet it made me strong, it was the universe testing my abilities to see if I was strong enough to survive to share my story with the world and help others. My new journey has just begun and I am hugely excited because my passion has been reignited but not just lit, it has given me the fire in my soul to connect with people on many different levels- business, personal, spiritual, educational, events, development. I have got so many opportunities mwhich are openings for me to serve the communitiesmy in on a deeper level than I have ever done so before! I began thinking deeply about what my passion was and how I could link this in because I became a mindset junk for watching and learning mindset trainings. I the had an epiphany recently about having my very own lifecoaching business coaching children and women, with workshops and events. I have now made that dream happen! Bringing communities together, allowing sectors of communities to feel empowered having me from an ethnic background talk of issues which are personal to me but issues which are shunned upon if spoken like domestic violence, a sibling being gay, pressures of society to conform. I finally feel aligned with my ability to support others to unveil their emotions, let down their guard and speak up, perhaps for the first time to finally be feel free and feel empowered to live the life they deserve, which is ultimately to be happy! I realised that I had pioneered projects in the UK serving communities when I was working in the corporate world which was something I loved and I that I should be proud of my achievements so far in my life and have so much more to give. This is my calling in life, it feels right to go with my gut instinct and just go for it, I finally feel aligned. So I have leapt out and taken the first step out of my comfort zone to grow as a person sharing with the world about who I am and coaching each women giving her strength, inspiration, knowing that you can overcome mental and emotional abuse, depression, to live a life of fulfilled happiness and peace. I now am proud to say I coach women globally who yearn for and deserve freedom in their lives. For those who have been experiencing domestic violence I empathise with women and want to empower other to give them the strength to because having personally suffered this in my previous marriage it's ia way for me to give back and help other women too. And I have the support from my rock, my wonderful husband. It was high time I reconnected with touching the lives of others which in turn makes me incredibly happy, and fulfils my soul. My aim is to touch the lives of a 1000 women and children through my new lifecoaching business. Whilst I call it a business, it's true what they say when you do something you love, it doesn't feel like work! I would love to work with those who and empower them to build fulfilling lives and bringing communities together regardless of caste, race, colour, religion. Sri Lanka being my ancestrarl home and having visited the orphanages I know how the Tsunami affected thousands of lives including women and children but to work with them to build a lasting legacy would be my privilege.