I was talking to one of my kids who was having a hard time. She asked me if I thought it was okay that she felt “broken” – as if she was somehow abnormal for feeling this way. I told her that if she makes the conscious decision to not let her emotions consumer her, feeling broken could be the beginning of something beautiful and exciting that leads her to finding her inner strength. It is only when we are broken that we can rebuild.
Throughout my life, I went through many more terrifying experiences – I was molested, raped, I had constant brushes with the law, I was kicked out of schools, I was sucked into an emotionally and physically abusive relationship, and eventually, I became addicted to cocaine. There were so many times I put myself in dangerous situations, and so many times I could have died… So many times I wanted to… I was broken. Chaos became the norm. The things I put my mother through could fill the pages of a thousand sad books.
Then, one day, I looked at myself in the mirror, and I didn’t recognize who I was. I was so skinny. My hair was unkempt. My makeup looked like it was unwashed from the night before. That’s what I saw externally, and it was nowhere near as bad as what I saw internally. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I had no savings, no meaningful relationships, a reputation that negatively preceded me – I had nothing.
What was worse, was that I allowed my emotions to consume me. I allowed all the pain from my past to live in my present. It was that realization that changed my life. In that moment, I was able to let go of my pain by taking ownership. For anyone out there going through it, you are not alone. Here are my tips on how you can overcome, find your inner strength, and be the QUEEN you were meant to be:
- Own the pain: Face it head-on. Acknowledge whatever has happened to you, acknowledge your actions, acknowledge whatever you are ashamed of. Decide what was within your power and what was not, and let it go. Whatever wasn’t in your control, will never change. Accept it as a blessing in disguise for shaping who you become moving forward. Whatever actions were in your control, you must forgive yourself.
- Get rid of toxic relationships: This was hard for me. I had to let people go that I was rolling with for years. I had to let go of troublemakers, emotional vampires, drifters with no purpose, and other addicts. That was the most hurtful because if you know me, you’d know I will give you the shirt off my back if you need it. I felt like I was abandoning friends who needed me. But guess what – looking back, we were enabling each other, and everyone is better now that we’ve let go.
- Ask for help: There is no way I could have done any of that alone. Thankfully, I had the love of a fiercely dedicated mother, who believed in me no matter what. I made some amazing friends who were always encouraging me to not give up. I met some professionals who became dear mentors. I surrounded myself with positive people who told me what I needed to hear, even if it pissed me off.
- Find your purpose: For me, it was doing charity work and going back to school. Find things to fill your time in the best way possible.
- Create a powerful mantra: The most important thing I did was to look at myself with sincerity every day. I looked into my own eyes and told myself, “I am worth it, I am smart, I am beautiful, I am kind, and I am meant to change the lives I touch.” I had to erase all the negativity life threw at me and convince myself I deserved better.
I found my inner strength by never giving up. It didn’t happen overnight, and I didn’t do it alone, but I am living proof that if I can do it, anyone can.