It was 2013 and I was lost. I was in the midst of divorcing a closet alcoholic and I felt incredibly guilty for it. I was broke. I was drinking way too much beer every night (ironic, right?), eating all the fried foods, smoking like a chimney and just being generally self-destructive.
It’s not that I didn’t think I was worthy of a better life, it’s that the thought of a better life never even crossed my mind. It never occurred to me that something better could even exist. That I could do bigger things. I was merely living for the next night, when I could drink my problems and self-hate away.
Looking back, I wouldn’t change that part of my life for anything, because I now understand that it was teaching me how NOT to live.
Once all court proceedings were finished, I was finally able to leave Colorado (where he was from) and move back to my home state of Texas. I knew my self-destructive habits wouldn’t fly at home, so to intercept my own self-sabotage I moved back in with my parents at 26 years old. I was determined not to show my family the hot mess I had become. It was time to press the RESET button on my life.
I spent a lot of time with my mama and I helped her in the kitchen. I went to work for my dad at his bakery. I lived a very simple life and I slowly realized that it was highly preferable to the fake, stressed, suzy sunshine act I’d been performing. It felt good to put in a hard day of work, go to yoga classes, eat home cooked meals, and get 8 hours of sleep.
The difference in these two photos stands out like night and day to me, and not because of my pants sizes. On the left I see a scared, lonely, hopeless girl that has perfected a mask of laughter and happiness to hide the shitstorm inside her. She is sick, exhausted, self-destructive and she knows it but she doesn’t care. She wears multiple layers of clothing to hide the disgust she feels with her body and hopes no one notices.
On the right, I see a woman who is confident, healthy, energetic and truly loves life and strives to make it better every day. She lifts others up because doing so makes her feel good. She belly laughs on the daily. She loves with her whole heart because she knows it’s what she was put on this earth to do. She has come to understand her body and loves it on both her bloated days and her skinny days. She loves her squishy rolls when she sits down and the strong muscles she’s worked hard for to honor the body God gave her.
Nowadays I strive to inspire women to love the bodies they’ve been given because I know what it’s like to not love yourself and I don’t want anyone to ever visit that place. I want women to feel healthy and have the energy to chase after their kids. I want to create a community of sisterhood, cheering each other on, sharing recipes, leaning on each other for support.
Tell me where you’re at in your self-love journey. Are you just beginning to see how worthy you are? Is it a foreign concept to you?
Wow that was strange. I just wrote an very long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyway, just wanted to say fantastic blog!
Jenna Danielle says
Thank you so much!