Can you imagine growing up always feeling like you are not needed? Well, this was the script that was playing in my head as I was growing up.
However, I feel that I believed in myself enough to keep rising. Today, I have my own business, I own my home, I have a Masters level education, I often go on luxury spa getaways all over the world, I transformed my body after being overweight and competed in bodybuilding competitions and I am surrounded by so much love and positive relationships.
The bullying helped me focus on my creativity
Yes! I was bullied in school, it started in Grade 2 and although it ended by the time I reached high school; I already believed everything that was said to me and I brought it into my adult life.
Having buck teeth, long frizzy hair and an acne problem didn't really help me much either. I was told that I was ugly, I laughed like a unicorn, I would never amount to anything, I was fat, and other mean things with swear words in it. Things didn't just stop at words, there were actions too. I was pushed into thorny pushes, egged, completely stripped of my clothing while changing after gym and laughed at.
By the age of seven, I had learned to feel 'not good enough.'
OK! BUT...yes there is a big BUT, every time I was made to feel 'little' I got more creative. Writing and creative design has always been my thing, I was never doing it for anyone else. I was doing it for me because I got lost in my creativity, it made me forget the madness I was going through and it uplifted me. And you guessed it, I got A's in school.
I was going through depression and anxiety and I didn't even know...
Never say never...
Isolating myself, staying in bed with deep thoughts and worries, weight gain/weight loss, crying behind closed doors, being a perfectionist, frequent urination, bowel issues, self-hate, emotionally abusive relationships....
These were my symptoms of depression and anxiety. During my late teens and early 20's, I had zero clue that I needed professional help. I just thought that this is how I am meant to be and I just had some certain illnesses for no reason which would eventually go away. Plus, I held it together pretty well in the outside world. I was soooo ambitious and 'happy,' no one would ever guess that I had this closeted side embedded in fear, doubt and misery.
In university, my grades suffered BIG TIME. In fact I graduated in 2003 with a 1.9 G.P.A. What mattered was that I had a degree and my parents were happy. It wasn't that I wasn't intelligent; I just had so much biopsychosocial issues and I wasn't able to focus on my studies.
By the time I reached my late 20's I began to receive counselling. To my surprise, my parents were the ones that encouraged me to because I kept getting myself into relationships where I was privy to so much emotional abuse. And you guessed it. I heard and believed things like, 'you're ugly,' you will never succeed,' you're weird.'
After counselling support, I slowly began to become more self-aware. I decided to go back to school. I wanted to become a teacher and not so much to teach as much as being there emotionally for the students I was to cross paths with. I wanted to serve youth in more of a mental capacity. I didn't want to be a counsellor because I wanted to teach - Teach students to believe in themselves, teach them to own their creativity and talents and teach them to be accepting of others.
Now, making a long story short. When I inquired about the teacher education program and explained that I am back in school bringing up my grades - I was told that that my previous FAIL left a huge footprint and I will most likely never be admitted by any post-secondary institution to pursue teaching. Yes, I automatically thought, 'I'm not good enough.' And I believed what the woman at the university told me. I stopped working on my application, only for people in my professional sphere to find out and make me apply.
I worked in two schools as a Career Advisor and I loved it, I put so much of my heart and creativity into that job and it showed. It showed enough to be accepted into the teacher education program, and then to get accelerated. I completed an 18 month program in less than a year and became a teacher. Not only this, right after I completed my teacher education program I was admitted into my Masters program.
What I learned from this experience was if I wanted something really bad, my passion will speak for itself; no matter what barriers and limitations are set in place.
I got stronger...
Despite all these windfalls, I still wasn't there. I still gave into my fears. I thought I was ugly and unlovable. I entered by 30's nearly 30lbs heavier and being constantly dumped in my relationships. The camel's back officially broke. I began to hear voices in my head telling me, 'you are ugly and you will never be happy.'
I was severely depressed and back into counselling and this time it wasn't working. I was in bed for 2 weeks straight crying. I missed work and the support of my family and friends were not helping me.
Finally, one morning after reading about celebrities with depression. I read Beyonce's story. I connected because it was similar to mine as to the feelings were both had gone through. One day, she realized that she had a choice and she chose to lift herself up.
Well, I literally lifted myself up. I instantly looked up personal trainers and began to e-mail them. I heard back from only one. Her name is Dawn Alison. I wasted no time to schedule an appointment with her and I began my weight training and clean eating regimate in no time.
However, it wasn't easy. I was 145lbs and out-of-shape. When Dawn took me into the weight room she noticed, I sucked. I was struggling working out with 10lbs weights. She started me off with 5lbs and didn't hold back in telling me that I may not persist. Well, that was all I needed to hear.
I naturally dropped 25lbs in 3 months and ended up competing in bodybuilding competitions. Today, I have my personal training certification.