There was absolutely a time in my life that if you would have told me I would be confident and happy I would have never believed.
I was never a daughter who really ever felt truly loved by her parents even though they did they best they could. Like many other people, I dealt with my fair share of abuse and was conditioned to think I would never be good enough, but I can look back now with a forgiving heart and empathy because I’m in a much better place in my life.
Anyone who has ever grown up with a troubled childhood knows that it can take years to undo any of the negative effects of abuse. I would be typing here all day if I laid out all of the things I had to deal with as a child, teenager and young adult, but for the purposes of this blog, I wanted to share a little not because I want pity, but it’s my hope my story will inspire someone out there who has dealt with something similar. I hope you understand you can overcome anything and we don’t have to be a victim of our circumstances.
I know what you see now is a woman who is extremely confident, but true confidence in myself has been a life long struggle. I’m the daughter of an alcoholic and a co-dependant. I was forced to grow up pretty fast. I never had any hobbies or passions because I was too busy trying to survive. My coping mechanism was food and became an overweight child, teenager and young adult. At one point in my life I weighed well over 200 pound. I had no confidence and thought I was unlovable. More importantly I struggled with what my purpose in life was. I often questioned my existence because I often felt torn down and never lifted up.
I was bullied at school, constantly compared to other children by my parents for one reason or another, and to be honest, a good day for me was if I was left alone. My room was usually the place I felt the most safe, but all I ever wanted was to feel accepted and loved.
When I think about those darker times knowing what I know now I’m able to understand why I used to be the girl who doubted every single thing about herself. For those who have had similar experiences you know how difficult it is to carry a lot of the memories hurt and pain from years of abuse. For years I struggled hard. Sitting here typing this out, I think about how much I struggled in my 20s after I finally left home. I had horrible self-esteem, doubted my abilities constantly, made unhealthy relationship choices, and dealt with depression. The worst part of all of this is that I constantly allowed others to dictate my self-worth and cared way too much of what people thought of me. Back then I never had the insight to fully understand how much my childhood affected my ability to function as an adult. I was the girl who wanted to hide all the time and I certainly never believed in myself or thought I was worthy of anything good because I was conditioned to think exactly the opposite.
Today I live differently. I am a confident woman. I have worked to build a life I never thought possible and have an unbelievable connection to my faith in God because everyday I realize more and more where I currently am today was not a random coincidence. I love what I see in the mirror and I know who I am because I spend the time needed to take care of myself. I am fortunate enough to have a career I love, have discovered my true passions in life and I have learned to love myself in a way I never thought possible.
At the age of 38, I am honestly living my best life because I no longer seek validation from others, have learned to put myself first, set higher standards for myself, stopped taking things personally and surround myself with those who lift me up.
How did I get here? It started by simply wanting more for myself. The road I took to get to this place was pretty long, and wasn’t easy. I had to work through a ton of negative emotions and put in a considerable amount of work mentally, physically and spiritually. Essentially I had to completely reprogram myself and get uncomfortable to be comfortable. The best part of my transformation is I am no longer a bitter woman and walk around in life with true forgiveness in my heart, which has allowed me to live a life of freedom I never thought would be possible.
Philippians 4:13 states “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
I mentioned earlier I am still a work in progress, but in a good way. I’m committed to growth. As I have grown in my faith I know the future is bright when there was a time I had no hope and I have true joy in my heart.
You have the ability to live a happy life and be who you want to be despite your past. I know it may not seem like it, but trust me, I never ever thought in my wildest dreams I would ever be a happy confident woman, but it really can happen. I will not tell you the path to recovery is easy and the way I got here is the best way. The process for me was definitely not simple as black and white, but I never gave up once I got started and today I can say every bit of the struggles I had to overcome was worth it! If you’re reading this and finding yourself in a dark place for whatever reason, know you’re not alone and you can overcome anything you want. Don’t be a victim of your circumstances and be resilient.
As always, I love connecting with other people so feel free to reach out. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.