I'm a pretty big self love advocate (just in case you've been hiding under a rock somewhere and didn't know). It's what I want to do for the rest of my life, encouraging women to discover the ability to love who they are.

This path hasn't been easy. I haven't always loved myself, in fact I have downright hated myself, loathed myself, and wished that there was some way I could erase my existence. I don't like the thought of other women feeling that way. I want to smooth the path for that transition of hate to love and provide resources to make it nourishing. I'm pretty sure that I have the best job in the entire world.

I want to tell you what my life looked like before.

My apartment looked like something out of Hoarders.

Maybe not as bad but it was pretty close. Dirty dishes in the sink that had been there for months and months. Used paper plates thrown haphazardly on the floor. Stains on the carpet and furniture because when something spilled I didn't care enough to clean it up. Clothes everywhere, piles of empty pizza boxes, and bags of trash that I didn't care enough to take out to the dumpster. Anyone looking at that scene would just think how lazy and sloppy I was.

In truth, I was depressed and I found it hard to care about anything. Apathy and lethargy were my best friends.

I look back now and I wonder how I could live that way. I see so many connections with what was going on inside of me and what was manifesting in my home. I didn't feel like I was worthy of a safe space, a comforting space, or a space that made me feel good about myself. Realizing that I do deserve those things, realizing that I am lovable and my home should be lovable and I am allowed to love and be proud of my home, is part of what self love has given me.


I ate my feelings and I had a lot of feelings.

I had no concept of self control or nutritional awareness when it came to food. I ate what I wanted, when I wanted, and I didn't care how bad it was for me. If I wanted to eat a whole package of bacon for dinner, I did. I ate pizza all of the time, ice cream, cookies, and chips were my major food groups and it never bothered me. I never moved, I never exercised, I sat in front of the TV or played computer games and that was my life and I just didn't care.

How I treated my body was another indicator of how little I cared about myself.


I surrounded myself with people that didn't love me.

This one still frustrates me, there's still lingering dread when thinking about the people that I used to let into my life. When I was nineteen I had my first ever relationship and he happened to be married. Being the "other woman" had an extremely destructive impact on my life. It was the first time I had ever been in love, ever been kissed, ever felt like someone actually cared about me and in the end, it reinforced every bad thing I had ever thought about myself.

Two years later I was still the other woman. I had given him over at thousand dollars in an effort to help him get his life together and move out. I had been lied to more times than I thought possible. I had been 'cheated' on. I had been mentally and emotionally manipulated and verbally abused. I stayed in that relationship because I was completely and wholly convinced that it was all I was going to have because no one else would love me and when he finally left his wife? Only then would I have proof that I was worth something. (spoiler alert: he never left her for me)

That is how little I loved and valued myself.


I hurt my body on purpose. (This part contains triggers)

This one is harder to talk about. I used to cut myself... a lot. One of my ways to self-injure was to cut words into my skin. Even though it's been about four years now, I still bear scars on my thighs that say 'broken, 'unloved', 'worthless' and a slew of other terrible things that I felt defined me. I think it was my way of punishing myself for being a terrible human being. Looking back, I know that I wasn't a bad person. I did bad things, but in the end I was a sad, broken, lonely girl. I no longer feel rage at myself for what I used to be. I feel a lot of sympathy and a lot of compassion. Now I look at those words that mark my skin and they don't have meaning to me anymore.

They just serve as a reminder of the things that I am not.


So that's my story.

I feel that it's important to share because I know how hard it is. I've been there at the bottom, I've hated myself and my body in some of the worst ways that you can and I bounced back. I didn't let it be the end of my story, I didn't let it define me, I didn't let it stop me from being more than I ever thought that I could be. I never thought life could be this good and it is. I've been happy for the first time in a very long time. I'm healthy, emotionally, mentally, and physically. I can look in the mirror and be okay with what I see and all of that started with a choice.

I decided that I needed to change my life.

So I did. It wasn't easy. I had to choose to acknowledge that I was depressed and find ways to cope with it. I had to choose to start seeing my body as something that was deserving of love and make that change. I had to choose to cut the negative people out of my life. All of those things were hard and it got worse before it got better. But now it's better. The really bad stuff took place about five years ago but I still had a lot of stuff to work through two years ago, I still have a lot of stuff to work through today but I know I am strong enough to do the work.

I totally and completely believe in myself and I believe in you too.


25 comments :

  1. I've sent this to a friend of mine who is suffering from some real self esteem issues. Thank you. I think this is exactly what she needs to read x

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  2. Thank you so much for sharing! I hope that it helps!

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  3. Arwen Lynch, Professional JoySunday, February 24, 2013 9:58:00 AM

    Very powerful. Shared.

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  4. Thank you for sharing your truth. You ARE brave and amazing!
    From a fellow Goddess once broken, now whole.
    much love & light
    claudia

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  5. Thank you darling! To wholeness! It's a great feeling. :)

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  6. Oh sweet Dominee, what a brave and powerful being you are.

    I know how much courage it must have taken to be this vulnerable, this open, this honest, and I will wager that there'll be very little in the way of resources/tools/advice that you might offer in the future that will have the sheer impact and life-changing energy of this post.

    I applaud you, gorgeous one, and thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    Bliss-ings,
    the goddess Jacqui

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  7. I just feel like giving you a hug
    you deserve the compassion and appreciation for all the changes you had to do and did for yourself
    I hope i'll be brave enough to start my life over too
    Just Love :)

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  8. You are so brave. Both to make these huge changes and to write and tell us about it. You are so awesome and I admire you so much. Sending you lots and lots of love xxx

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  9. Dominee, you beautiful, brave soul! You love beacon! Thank you for sharing your story with the world. So many of us can relate to pieces of your story and many more - myself included - to spending years of our lives self loathing. Many of us still carry shame from it and your honesty heals us. I am off to share with a woman who has a very similar relationship story that she, too, has broken free of.

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  10. Hi Dominee...wow, that's pretty raw. I've shared it, because it deserved to be shared. It goes to show that even if you've been LOW, I mean really low, you can still climb back up out of it. Thanks for sharing, honey, it was what I needed to hear xx

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  11. Dominee! I so understand "that place". My place of broken-ness was much different than yours but I totally can feel where you are coming from. Most people have a broken past. As you know the trick is moving forward and not dwelling there, and I can tell you that is one crafty trick to pull off! I actually wrote a mantra a few months ago that I repeat to myself daily "History will no longer bind me... or define me." Also I'm going to forward this to my dear little sister. She is about your age and literally has almost the exact same story. Thank you for the share. <3

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  12. So nourishing to hear your words Jacqui! Thank you so much!

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  13. Thanks Mi Lo! I think that we've all got massive amounts of bravery hidden away inside of us. You can do it! Lots of love!

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  14. Thank you for sharing! After I got over the initial oh-my-goodness-I-just-posted-THAT it felt so beautifully therapeutic. It was worth the fear to share!

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  15. Thank you for reading, commenting, and sharing. I so much appreciate it and your sweet words!

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  16. Aw, I hope it helps your sister and I love that mantra, it's perfect!
    I can't wait to see the wonderful places I shall go. This felt like a really therapeutic releasing of ze past!

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  17. What a powerful message! Thank you, I am honored to have read this.

    Love and light,
    Sue

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  18. Wow, what an open and honest post. I'm really glad you managed to turn your life round, you are such an inspiration to lots of women out there. Yay for the self love-well done :-)

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  19. Love, love, love. I love your openness, and I recognise the parts that resonate my own life, and I just love all that you've become - which of course has always been in you, only hidden underneath the fear and hurt. Big hag hugs!!

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  20. I love your message - 'all of it started with a choice'. Happiness can be the most challenging choice for us to make when being unhappy has previously been our default option! Thank you for sharing this blog, Love and Light - Charlotte x

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  21. I love that we can share our stories, and kudos for shining light on this dark period in your life. I'm so glad self-love has wrapped its arms around you! Let's continue this love fest because we're succulent women who deserve the very best!

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  22. Sending you a huge, huge hug - for that hurting girl, and for the brave and strong woman who shared something big, and became the gorgeous woman whose helping other people realise they're gorgeous too. ((((((((((())))))))))))

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  23. Amazing story, very inspiring, thanks for generously and bravely sharing it Dominee x

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