The Full Story
Happiness After All
Sitting on the beach...
...alone, listening to the waves on St. Simons Island, Georgia in June of 2020, I was forced through very ugly crying and tears to admit that I was not happy. In fact, I was incredibly sad, filled with resentment and anger. To be truly honest, I was living in a perpetual state of self-hate.
A recovering anorexic from my early 20's that still struggled with food and eating. A perfectionist with a strong inner critic I constantly doubt my intelligence, my self-worth and put myself down in every way I could, beating those around me to it; a protection. I had a DEEP and very unhealthy need for validation from everyone, about everything. This meant I wanted tons of friends even when they were not good for me, quantity over quality. A cervical cancer survivor with the added genetic fun of being BRCA-1+, I had a double mastectomy and oophorectomy at 36, losing the rest of everything that made me a woman. Add in that I am a sexual assault survivor, getting attacked in the bathroom of a gas station all because I had the luck to have a UTI and a need to RUN in not taking the time to really be aware of those around me and last, but certainly not the least, I lost my mom/best friend to cancer, three weeks after her diagnosis.
As you can see, I had A LOT of shadows very deep within that I never wanted or did face. To say I was toxic to myself and those around me is an understatement.
It was that day...
...on the beach, alone, that I recognized it all. Upon recognition of the state that I was in, I went to bed that night searching for therapists on google. I closed my eyes not knowing what was ahead for me but knowing that I had to change everything. So began my self-love journey, a healing one that changed me, my life, my marriage, my relationships and everything around me in more ways than words could ever describe.
Now?! Well NOW, after being on my own self-love journey for the last two years, I have become OBSESSED with self-love, its practices and the journey that it entails. So much so that I want to share everything and anything related to it with as many people as I can. That especially includes YOU reading this!
Raw, real and honest; my hope is to help you understand what self-love really is and is not. I want you to see that loving others requires self-seeking; that to truly love and give yourself to them, you must love yourself first; this is especially true for moms and wives/partners. I present ways to actually practice self-love beyond but also including self-care, with examples and ideas to guide you with a strong emphasis on finding your own way. It is your journey and there is no one right way or right path to follow.
Focusing on inner work...
...I talk about the toxic forms of self-love which can include being obsessed with positive thinking and that you must not bypass traumas and shadows through it. This is something I did most of my life. I even have a psychological profile from when I was 17-years old that states that is exactly how I lived & viewed life! Rose colored glasses all day, everyday for me! My hope is to help you change your focus more on the positive without being in denial that the negative will always be there in some form and to not use that positivity to cover up your pain.
Added in is the spiritual aspect of self-love, a part of the journey I never expected. Since the journey involves such deep work and change within, you should understand what a spiritual awakening is, be able to recognize it and how it transforms you. This is not in a religious way, at least not for me and my focus, although for you it could be. Remember this is your journey and YOU get to pick the path. This spiritual awakening as I feel it & write about it is a "waking up" to the world in a new and magical way.
Commitment, one of the hardest parts to the self-love journey is for a lifetime. I am adamant that the "30-days to Self-Love" ideas/courses that many experts/guru's suggest is complete bullshit. Seriously, do not waste your money on those books or courses. Actually, don't even google it; free is not free when it involves your time. Self-love is a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly commitment that lasts your whole lifetime, it is never complete and constantly changing even if only slightly at times.
Don't let that scare you though. I promise that your journey will be all the feelings, which does include smiles and joy!
I am not a licensed...
...therapist nor do I have any mental health professional or medical training, all the information is from my own journey, living through it day by day, reading a shit ton on it, taking courses on different topics, reading a shit ton more and writing everyday in my journals.
I do have three therapists, all offering different types of help if that makes me seem more "valid", although to some that may make me seem crazy; I honestly believe the opposite of that.
Society puts (thankfully we are slowly getting rid of it) a really dumb label on therapy, somehow making it bad or showing weakness if you go. For many, they are "too good" for it or "have no issues they can not handle." I call bullshit. In fact, I will be so BOLD to say that if you think you don't need help sometimes or if you believe therapy is beneath you; YOU REALLY FUCKING NEED THERAPY! Boom, I said it. Well someone had too. Are you offended?! GET THERAPY THEN!
Everyone needs help at times. Everyone needs someone to talk to at times. Everyone needs help to work through traumas, issues and shadows. If you have been putting it off or perhaps you finally realize you aren't too good for it, stop reading & go to google to find a mental health professional near you. I will even link it for you below so you have no excuse!
Off my soap box...
...so I won't badger you anymore about getting professional help. Just know that it is there if you ever need it and for you to never feel less than because you do seek it. I provide many resources on this website, Instagram and Pinterest even, that will help you find what you need whether it be online, in person or an app.
That said, I am also a big believer that "living it" is the best way to learn, so over the last two years I have documented my journey, in detail, as it has happened. I am currently in the process of creating a way to share all of that and so much more with you, still in the works/creative phase, as I thought I knew the exact way but realize I am not quite there yet and ya know what?! That is OKAY! All I do know is that it will be called, Happiness After All and it will share my journey in more detail and hopefully do all the things I have written on this page for you.
I share my journey, raw & freaking real, in hopes that you will be inspired to begin your own. In this share is everything I have learned, am still learning, wished I knew, needed, wanted, went through and so much more. They are my own thoughts that can be altered in different ways to suit your needs. In essence I am just a guide. Whether it is on this website, Instagram & eventually my book I hope you will think of me as your own personal cheerleader to being, finding & loving you!
Remember y'all, happiness is an inside job!