Autumn

I am so excited to be heading into autumn. The cosy clothes, the beautiful colours, Halloween! I believe I got this love of autumn from many places. Firstly because it is my sister’s favourite time of year, you grow up around the excitement that she displays at anything autumnal, you would love it too. The joy it brings her is infectious!

Another place it came from was the excitement that summer was over.

Before you stop reading now with outrage, hear me out!!

I used to hate summer. I have been overweight a looooong time, let me tell you, overweight in a heatwave, when you have zero confidence is a disaster. The chub rub alone is a good enough reason to hate it! If you don’t know what chub rub is, be grateful!

Summer is hard work when you’re fat and hate yourself. Go back a few years and I wouldn’t go anywhere without a cardigan on regardless of the weather, nobody ever saw the top of my arms. Ever. My best friend knew me years before she ever saw me without a cardigan on. I never felt comfortable in summer, that ‘need’ to have the perfect summer body was crushing.

This summer I have loved. Back last year I started taking my cardigan off in public, but I was still ashamed. This year I just don’t care. If you don’t like it, don’t look! I’ve also loved this summer because of this lovely journey of recovery I’m on. It’s had some shit times, I’ve had melt downs, but mostly I’ve been good. I have been rediscovering myself and I’ve got to say, it’s weird.

I am changing, like the seasons, but like the great British weather, I just don’t know what to expect. If you’d told me six months ago where I would be now, I probably would have laughed in your face. Just writing this now I can’t believe how much has changed in that time.

I have spent so many years just being sad all the time that I don’t really know who I am without it. I don’t miss the depression at all, but that was my comfort zone so to speak. It wasn’t comfortable, it was hell, but at least I knew who I was, I was the sad girl who couldn’t do anything because of the crippling anxiety and depression. Now I have a bucket list as long as my arm and I am actively looking for opportunities to tick things off!

I still have many things to work on, I’ve got me some big ass demons! Triggers that I never really noticed before because I was just always sad, my life was one big trigger. Now that it’s not all the time I notice it. The great thing is, if I know what the trigger is I can work on it. I’ve got some freaking awesome people around me who are helping me to work these things out. I know I have a long way to go, I know I have some major things to work on. I am working on them though, I am working on myself. I am changing like the seasons and working on being the best version of me.

I know so many people still struggling, but seriously, if I can claw my way out of the depression ditch, so can you! You’ve got this, you just have to be patient and don’t beat yourself up for the setbacks. Don’t be afraid to change, to focus on yourself, don’t apologise for your bad days and don’t ever give up.

Apologies and what if’s 

Do you ever find yourself apologising all the time? I did, for everything. All. The. Time.

I think it comes from feeling like such a burden. It is also my inner bitch that tells me I should apologise for being me, because me isn’t good enough.


This road to recovery is a bumpy one. I face all sorts of challenges, including how to shape my life without depression and anxiety. I’m not there yet, I sometimes wonder if I ever will be, but I am stronger than I was before. One of the changes I’ve noticed is that I don’t apologise as much. I’ve noticed this, because when I relapse it comes back. But on my good days (which are more than my bad days, woop woooop!) I do not feel the need to apologise all the time, for taking up space in the world.


Another huge change I’ve noticed is the what if’s are quieter. My brain used to scream what if’s at me if I even thought of planning something! What if I can’t handle it? What if I’m wrong? What if I sound or look stupid? What if people don’t like me? I could go on for hours.


The what if’s are still there, they are just not as overpowering. I’ve made plans! I’ve made plans months in advance! I heard all those what if’s, I listened, I took it in, then I dismissed them and did it anyway.


Maybe recovery isn’t being anxiety or depression free. Maybe it’s just being stronger than both. Maybe my future doesn’t have to look so bleak. Maybe I can listen to my anxiety, provide reasonable answers to the what if’s and move on. Maybe I can sit with the sadness, feel it, then move on. I’m doing that more these days.


I’ve had setbacks. I’ve cried myself to sleep and I’ve allowed myself to get so worked up with anxiety, that I was sick. I’ve shut myself away and told people that I just need to be alone. I’ve cried at my boss and said I was struggling to cope. But I’ve also made plans. I’ve had good days, really good days. I’ve made progress and ticked things off my newly formed (and ever increasing) bucket list. Heck, I have a bucket list!! There was a time I didn’t plan to be around long enough to do anything. Now I’m writing bucket lists and knowing that I have my whole life to do the things on them!


Recovery is bumpy, it won’t be perfect, some days you’ll feel like it’s so hard that you can’t go on. You’ll tell yourself (as I did many times over the years) it’s easier to just be sad and alone. Because I’d been sad so long that I didn’t know how to be happy. Who am I without the anxiety and depression? Well it’s looking like I’m one badass bitch who can do anything she wants to do! Because old me may say what if? But the new me is saying do it anyway!

Speak up!

So recently, I’ve felt haunted by things that have happened to me in the past. I’ve been so haunted I’ve not slept properly, I can’t focus properly, I am up and down like a yo-yo and feel like I’m balancing on the edge of a cliff.

There are many things going on and these memories coming up have added to my already overflowing worries. These are things that I thought I had dealt with, that I was over. The truth I am realising, is that I stamped them down so far that I didn’t even think it affected me anymore.


It wasn’t until I was forced to relive it and talk about it, that I realised how not over it I am. I realised how it has affected so much of my life and how it still does. It changed me, changed my perspective, my expectations of people, the way I think of myself.


I questioned my recovery… was I just stamping it down like I did before? Was I only ignoring it until forced to deal with it again? Has all this blogging and trying to change my attitude been for nothing?


The answer is no.


Today I asked for help. I spoke up and told people how much I was struggling, I told them and I asked for help. Seemingly a small step, to the people I spoke to, it wouldn’t seem like much. To me, it was everything. I never started this to say it’s all better now, I started this so people wouldn’t feel alone. So that people wouldn’t be afraid to speak up. Well today I practiced what I preach. It wasn’t easy and I am drained, but it had to be done. I could feel myself slipping, so I chose the one thing I could influence now, I took control and I did it.


The first step is admitting you have a problem. I admitted it to myself, I admitted it to others and now it’s time to take the next step… I’m not sure what that is yet… I’ll figure it out as I go!


Big boys don’t cry…?

Tonight I’ve read about the lead singer of Linkin Park committing suicide. It made me so sad to think that there are still so many people who lose their battle with mental illness. It troubled me so I went on www.mentalhealth.org to look at some statistics…


  • In England, women are more likely than men to have a common mental health problem and are almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with anxiety disorders.

  • In 2013, 6,233 suicides were recorded in the UK for people aged 15 and older. Of these, 78% were male and 22% were female.

  • 10% of mothers and 6% of fathers in the UK have mental health problems at any given time.

  • One in five (19.1%) women had CMD symptoms, compared with one in eight men (12.2%).


So the statistics are telling me that more women will suffer with mental illness than men, but more men will die by their own hand because of it.

This deeply saddens me as I do believe, if there wasn’t so much stigma about mental illness, more people would seek help.


This also highlights a huge gender inequality issue that our society has. Now there are sooo many but let’s address one for a minute…


Little girls are brought up to be beautiful princesses and little boys are brought up to be big strong men.


Men are told they can’t cry, that if they cry they are weak. Men are brought up to not wear their heart on their sleeve, to be strong and brave.


Manly

Adjective:

having or denoting those good qualities traditionally associated with men, such as courage, strength, and spirit.


This my friends is complete and utter BULLSHIT. Mental illness is mental illness, it is not weakness. It is especially not specific to women, as those handy statistics prove. Regardless of mental illness, any person, no matter their gender, should be able to show as much or as little emotion as they want.


I’m not much of a cryer myself, don’t get me wrong, I cry, and not just because of depression – season 11 finale of Grey’s Anatomy, I cried for like a solid hour. Real ugly face, hyperventilating crying – I’m not even ashamed, that shit was sad!!! Usually though, I’m not really a cryer. My best friend on the other hand – now she’s a cryer, like aaalll the time! (Love you mate, you big cryer you!).


We all show our emotions differently, but we should all be able to seek help if we are struggling. If a man broke his arm and his bone was sticking out of the skin, I don’t care how ‘manly’ he is, he can’t just shake it off and push through it. He needs professional help to fix that shit! So if a man’s brain doesn’t produce the correct chemicals and causes him to feel overwhelming sadness, emptiness and make him want to kill himself… what makes you think that it’s not ok to seek professional help for that?


Sometimes we all need a little bit of help in life. As children, we need our parents or guardians to teach us how to talk, walk, use a toilet. We need our school teachers to educate us. We need doctors and dentists for all our physical ailments. And sometimes we need doctors, counsellors, family, or friends to help us with our mental ailments. There is no shame in asking for help, nobody should feel that they have to suffer alone. Men, women, gender neutral, children – ANYONE – should be able to ask for help, without being shamed for it.


Mental illness is not weakness. It is not something to be ashamed of. You never have to deal with it alone.


To anyone suffering in silence, speak up, be heard, be free from stigma and get the help you deserve. Talk to a friend or family member, talk to a doctor, call a helpline, don’t get to the point that you feel your only way out is death.


Much love to all, especially my fellow mental illness warriors! We are not alone.

Invisible Illnesses 

Welcome to my house…

I live with my momma, I moved back home so I could save to buy a house. Shortly after I moved in, she got ill and I became her carer. I will eventually buy my house and move back out, before that happens though, we will make sure she can cope without me (plus I most likely won’t move far, so I can always be on hand if she needs me).

My house is full of invisible illnesses. My depression, anxiety and panic attacks. Then my momma, she has been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and undifferentiated connective tissue disease. Along with those are other illnesses that go hand in hand with them, one of which is depression (because we didn’t have enough of that in the house with just me).

I feel that these things have opened my eyes so much. Especially the last few months as I have been on my recovery journey. There is so much uncertainty and a lack of education about invisible illnesses. If I had £1 for every time someone said to my mum or me “but you don’t look ill” I’d be much closer to buying my house! It’s almost like people expect you to prove how ill you are, people don’t believe what they can’t see.


That’s the funny thing about invisible illnesses… they are INVISIBLE. It’s only over the last few months that I mostly don’t hide my depression, I tell people I feel anxious or if I’m having a panic attack and need to leave. It’s helped me to gain understanding from people – not all people but most. I am also very open about my mum’s illness. Some days she looks fine, that’s where the “but you don’t look ill” statement comes in. She will always be in pain though, some days she can cope with it better, other days the pain is too much and she can’t get out of bed.


My mum doesn’t talk too much about her illness, people want to believe that she is better so on the lower pain days, she lets them think that. I know my mum better than anyone though, that happens when you live and care for someone. I can hear the pain in her voice or see it in her eyes, she doesn’t need to tell me how bad it is, I already know.


Between me and my mum, plus other members of my family with depression, I’ve learnt a lot. I have learned the age old saying of “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”. To the outside world we may seem anti social or unreliable at times. Our illnesses are as unpredictable as they are invisible, so we make loose plans knowing that we may cancel last minute. I’ve learnt to be less judgemental and to be kind, you never know what battle someone is fighting. I’ve learnt how important self care is. I’ve learnt that sometimes the things people take for granted are the most important. I’ve learnt to be grateful for every good day. I am so grateful for the days that my mum is in less pain. I am grateful for the days when neither of us are sad or anxious and we can enjoy it. I am grateful for all the people that understand and support us or anyone with an invisible illness.


The biggest thing that has helped me, is being open about my struggle. I tell my mum all the time, how can we expect those people who don’t have it to understand if we don’t tell them? I would never wish our struggles on anyone, battling your own body and mind every day sucks. I do wish that more people would understand though. I don’t tell people for sympathy, or even for them to try and fix it. I tell people because the more people understand, maybe the kinder people will be to others. Maybe those with invisible illnesses won’t always be questioned and feel like they need to hide to be normal. Maybe people will realise, there is no normal, no perfect. Maybe people will realise that with a little understanding, they could bring light to an otherwise dark day.

*** A note to my beautiful momma:

I asked your permission before I posted this and you read it for me first. You told me how grateful you are for me and what I do for you, you also told me how guilty you feel that I ‘have to’ look after you.

I will tell you here what I always tell you – I love you, you gave me life. You helped make me the person I am today. You are my rock and I am yours. We are a team and no matter how much I ‘have to’ care for you, I could never EVER repay you for everything you have ever given to me.

Should

Should

VERB

1. Used to indicate obligation, duty, or correctness, typically when criticizing someone’s actions.

2. Indicating a desirable or expected state.

3. Used to give or ask advice or suggestions.


     —————————————————————

Should. I have said and written this word so much, it doesn’t even sound like a word anymore.

It is a powerful word though, one that has caused me a lot of regret, pain and disappointment.

I should have bought a house/travelled the world/be further in my career/be a mother/wait until I meet Mr Right before I have a baby/be smarter/be more like people my age/be slim and go to the gym all the time.

Those are just some examples. The buying a house, career and becoming a mother ones are my main ‘shoulds’. They are my goals, my dreams and what I lose sleep over at times.

Now this is where I am not even sure anymore if it’s my anxiety talking, or if it is other people’s expectations drummed into me. Most likely a bit of both.

To some people, those goals were ridiculous when I was 21. It’s becoming more acceptable now that I’m 27, but I’m still questioned.

So where did you go to uni? (I didn’t go) Where have you travelled? (Travelled/ sat by a pool, read books and didn’t leave the hotel ever… doesn’t count huh?)

What have you studied in your spare time so you’re super smart and can have intelligent conversations about anything and look at people who don’t understand like they’re missing out on life in some way because they don’t know every famous artist, place, song, film, book, or you’re not great at science or math and you don’t know the meaning of life…. *and breathe*

…. Ok there may be some insecurities coming through in that last one. The ‘I should be smarter’ one is huge for me.

Then when people hear about my life goals, they tell me “you should travel the world before you’re tied down with those things. You’re young and single you should be out all the time enjoying your freedom”

I tell myself I should do things all the time. I ‘should’ all over my life. Should should should. (Definitely doesn’t look like a word now.)

This is the main cause of my self doubt and disappointment in my life. By constantly telling myself, or being told, I should do something, I am also telling myself that what I am doing is not good enough. It makes me question myself all the time and I’m in a viscous cycle of – want, should, doubt, disappointment.

Well here’s the thing, if should and want don’t match, what’s the point? I know there are limits to this statement – I should pay my bills but I want to buy nice things – that should is right, pay your bills, the things can wait!

But ‘you should go travelling or study or live for the weekend and go out doing something new all the time’

I don’t want to! I like my seemingly boring life and I don’t live for the weekend because I love my job.

I want to travel and see parts of the world, but I want to experience it with friends, in short bursts so I can come home and be with my family. My family are my world and my family is always growing so I experience new things all the time. The first time my niece said my name or said “I love you Aunty Jade” that new experience melted my heart and brought me pure joy. The fact that my nephew only has to hear my name and he smiles – heart melting, pure joy. Spending an evening with any one of my family, talking about life, watching films, doing anything – pure joy.

Watching my best friend’s business grow into something we both excitedly dreamed of for her for years – pride, excitement, pure joy.

Don’t be held down by what you think you should be doing, or the fact that you thought you should have those things by now. Your life may not seem as exciting as others, you may not have the same life goals as others, but do the things that bring you joy. Feed your soul with what you want not what you think you should want. Don’t put shoulds on the timing, it will happen when it happens if you work for it.

You don’t want to travel, don’t. You don’t want to buy a house, don’t. You don’t want kids, don’t. You don’t want to settle down, don’t.

Be yourself, in all your glory and don’t ever feel like yourself isn’t good enough.

For me – I am going to go on holidays with my friends, some of which may involve sitting by a pool and not looking up from my book. I am going to work hard at my job and get a promotion or two. I am going to continue to save for my house. One day, with or without a partner, somehow, I am going to be a mother.

Just be you, don’t apologise for not wanting what others want. It doesn’t make you any less than them, just different.

Educate Yourself 

So this blog has massively exceeded my expectations! I have had messages and thanks from people that even I didn’t know fought the same battle as me! I have also had great comments from people who have never battled it themselves.

I just want to give a little shout out here, to all the people who have never experienced depression, anxiety or panic attacks themselves, but live with or support someone who does. Our battle is hard and our support network is so important to us. You are pretty badass yourself for supporting someone when you could never really know how it feels! I understand how hard it must be for you too. From the bottom of my heart I thank you.

I have also had more and more people tell me stories of people just not understanding. There are still so many people who don’t believe what they can’t see or just don’t know how to handle it.

There are some things that are really really not ok…

  • Telling someone who has just opened up to you about depression that, “it’s not that bad” or “just be happy” NOT OK

  • Looking in disgust when someone tells you that they have panic attacks, then asking “so when you’re having a panic attack, do I need to throw a glass of water in your face?” NOT OK

  • Telling someone with depression that they are tired all the time because “you obviously don’t exercise enough” and “workout more and diet” as if we don’t worry about that shit enough NOT OK

  • Telling anyone regardless of their state of mind to “just go and kill yourself” ABSOLUTELY NOT OK!

The main reason I started this blog was to help people who fight the same fight. Another reason was to educate people who don’t. I get it, you don’t understand or you don’t know what to say. You have grown up in a generation that didn’t recognise it as an actual issue. You are young and joking about suicide means nothing to you. But here are some tips for you:

You don’t understand or don’t know what to say? Educate yourself. One in four people suffer with mental illness. You wouldn’t tell someone with a broken leg to just walk it off,it’s not that bad. Don’t tell someone with a mental illness to just be happy.

You’ve grown up in a generation that didn’t recognise it as an actual issue? It’s recognised now, it is 2017 people, get with the programme. It is an actual issue and if there wasn’t so much stigma surrounding mental illness, more people would seek the help they need.

You are young and joking about suicide means nothing to you? That is a poor excuse! This one in particular makes my blood boil. It is completely unacceptable in any situation. You never know the battle some people are fighting and those words could be what pushes someone over the edge! It is not a joke and it is not funny. Don’t be the final straw that makes someone give up their fight.

If you want to educate yourself there are so many websites that could provide you with information. There are loads but here are a few:

www.mind.org.uk

www.iam1in4.com

www.nhs.uk

Self care matters!

First of all I would like to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who read, shared and contacted me about my first blog. I have received so much love from family, friends and even strangers. It has utterly blown my mind at how far it’s travelled! I hoped I could help at least one person with my story but it seems I have helped many!!

The problem with mental illness is it creeps up on you regardless of how good you feel before. Today I spent most of the day feeling anxious and sad, my stomach was doing flips and I wanted to cry. I even had to leave my desk at one point before I screamed!

Just when you think you’re doing well, anxiety is like “nope, let’s think about all the things that have and could go wrong just for the lolz”

Mental illness doesn’t just affect people with a bad childhood or a bad life. I had a great childhood, my parents are awesome as are the rest of my family. I’ve had some damn shitty things happen in my life that rocked me to my core. As I said in my last post though, it wasn’t any of those things that made me feel my worst. Today I shouldn’t have felt shitty, I have had so much love and positive vibes coming my way over the last couple of days, I should have been on top of the world.

For those that tell themselves they have no reason to feel this way, yes you do! It is a chemical imbalance, it is real and it is perfectly normal and ok!

So since I felt so shitty today I have gone straight down the self care route. I got on Pinterest and found quotes that made me smile, I told people, I listened to some of my favourite songs and sang at the top of my voice all the way home from work. Anybody that drove past me probably saw me dancing in my car at traffic lights too, I’m ok with that, I bet I looked fantastic!

I have also put a mud mask on and had a bath to recharge, today was pretty exhausting. I’m not gonna lie to you, I’m writing this on my phone while in the bath with my mud mask on. I needed to let the words out. People need to talk about their feelings and take the time wherever possible to take care of themselves. It is so important and it makes those shitty days less shitty.

I now need to get out of the bath because its cold and I cant move my face! Here is a beautiful photo of me in my mud mask to hopefully make you smile! Stay strong warriors! We are Team Badass!

First blog post

me2

First ever blog post! Now this is scary. At any one time there will usually be what feels like a million thoughts buzzing around my head. Sometimes I write them down, sometimes I type them on my phone, just to get them out of my head. Well now I’ve decided to put those thoughts out there in the world. I’ve decided this because I am a warrior in the battle that is anxiety and depression, I am stronger now than I have ever been and that is from being open about my feelings. I figured that if this helped me, it could possibly help others.

 

I know I am stronger now because there is a voice in my head as I type this saying “nobody cares Jade, people will just think that you are attention seeking and that you are stupid and weak” well to that voice I say FUCK YOU!!! I am NOT weak. I am NOT stupid. People DO care. The people that don’t just won’t read it and if me being open about my feelings can give even one person hope, then I have done what I set out to do.

 

So just in case anyone who doesn’t already know me reads this, I figured the first post should be a little bit about me.

 

My name is Jade, I am 26 (almost 27) and I have battled depression for most of my life. The anxiety came later and about a year or so ago, the panic attacks decided to join the party (who said three’s a crowd?!) Depression is different for everyone, there are similarities in the feelings, but it is still different. For some it is reactive to a situation or a trauma, it has been that for me at stages in my life. Three years ago I hit the lowest point in my life, I had felt depressed before, felt suicidal before but this was the worst it had ever been. What made it worse for me was that it was completely unreactive, not what I was used to. I can pinpoint the exact time the tsunami washed over me. I was in work, I was having a good day, it was a slow day so my friend and I had been chatting and laughing all morning. I went to the bathroom and it was like someone pulled down a blackout blind and switched off all the lights. There was no warning, no trigger, no reason. I went from smiling and laughing to an overwhelming feeling of sadness, loneliness, emptiness. It was a long road from that point, I tried to fight it for a while, I only used to talk about my feelings to a select few back then. I can tell you that the most exhausting part of depression is pretending to be ok when you are not. It led to a breakdown, I was signed off work and for two weeks I didn’t even leave my flat. It was the closest I ever came to suicide, thankfully I stopped myself. I called a bunch of my closest friends and family and nobody picked up since it was the middle of the day and most people were in work. I was desperate and fighting the urge to just do it and end my pain. My sister saved me, she picked up or called me back, I don’t remember. I just remember starting the conversation trying to be normal because that was my go to, I couldn’t help it. She knew though, she could hear the pain in my voice, she stopped me and asked me if I was ok. Well I opened the floodgates, I burst into tears and spilled out all the ugly feelings. I don’t even remember exactly what we said on the phone that day, it was a blur of emotions (plus I have the actual memory of a fish, for reals!). I just know that my beautiful sister reminded me that I was not alone and reminded me that I had people that loved me and cared for me and would help me turn on the lights again. Sabrina I don’t know if I ever really thanked you so I am taking the opportunity now to tell you, you literally saved my life, thank you, I love you.

(I have actually starting shaking and was crying writing that so moving on to the recovery process)

I spent a year on anti-depressants, something I always considered a weakness in the past. Well it is not a sign of weakness, going to the doctors and asking for help, then making the choice every day to take those happy pills, that took more strength than I could ever describe.

I changed jobs, because I no longer felt fulfilled there and at the time it was the best thing for my mental health as I needed a fresh start. I made the decision to not hide my depression any more, the happy pills were balancing out my feelings so my bad days were fewer anyway. I eventually came off the pills and finally experienced joy again. Fast forward to now, I still get bad days, I am human and the depression, anxiety and now panic attacks are with me always. I described how it feels to a friend once: I feel like I am walking on a tightrope, spinning a bunch of plates over a tank of sharks (I have a very irrational fear of sharks). Some days I barely notice all of that, I am a plate spinning, tightrope walking master, the sharks are like those ones out of finding nemo (fish are friends not food!), I GOT this. I move forwards, might even do some tricks, laugh, smile and enjoy it. Then other days there is a freaking storm, shit gets real and the sharks get bloodthirsty. I wobble, I might end up going backwards, I drop some plates and I start to panic. The difference between the me now and the me three years ago is now, I remember to look up. I look up and I see my tribe, my tribe is made up of family and friends, some friends I have known for years, some only months but they are my tribe. They are my cheerleaders and my biggest fans, they remind me that I’m not in this alone. I remember that I’ve been here before, I survived it then and I can survive it now, I am a badass after all! I understand now that it is fully ok to not be ok all the time, I don’t fight the feelings, I let them out. I tell people that I am having a bad day but I will be alright, and I believe it! I have read a quote on Pintrest (also one of my saviours, seriously, I use it when I need to read some positive quotes to pull me back. Pintrest is amazeballs) this quote is:

“Don’t forget that you’re human. It’s ok to have a meltdown. Just don’t unpack and live there. Cry it out and then refocus on where you are headed”

Well that quote is life! It is exactly right, you are allowed to feel shitty, whether you have depression, anxiety, other mental illness or you’re just having a bad day. It is ok to not be ok. Once I allowed that I found that the bad days got fewer, sometimes it isn’t even a whole day anymore, hallelujah! I have accepted and embraced my feelings, the good the bad and the ugly and I am stronger than ever. I love myself and I am not ashamed to say so, I love even the bad parts of myself because they make me who I am. My scars are on the inside but they shine through my skin, I wear them with complete pride now. My scars are a beautiful reminder of the battles I have won. I am a warrior!

To anyone who has felt, or feels the same way I have or the way I do now, you are an absolute BADASS! You are not alone, not ever. If you don’t have your tribe yet, don’t worry, you’ll find them. You are not the only person who feels this way, you are not crazy. There are people in the world who feel the same way, even if some don’t, there are people who understand and accept you exactly how you are. You are a warrior too, wear your scars with pride!