self-image

Bailey "No Shame In Our Stories"

Bailey "No Shame In Our Stories"

“Finally, I got to the fork in the road, my choices were to take the destructive path that would eventually ruin my life or take the path of healing and moving forward. Something that had not clicked in me in a year clicked, and I decided it was time to heal and fight for myself. There is no shame in our stories, there is only truth and healing that comes from the stepping up and stepping out and sharing our stories.”

READ BAILEY’S STORY HERE

Sarah "A Brighter Path"

Sarah "A Brighter Path"

“I always felt like something was wrong with me, and I was just wrong for existing. I truly believed I was to blame. There was about two or three years in a row where I was just feeling guilty over every single thing I did and said, and I just wanted to be gone, to not have to deal with life anymore because life isn't worth living. When I was at my lowest of lows, it looked like defeat, like hopelessness. Today, I want people to know that you're not alone, and that there's always something to get you through it, regardless of how terrible it feels. Life is so worth living and you'll find your reason, you just haven’t found it yet.”

READ SARAH’S STORY HERE

Alexis "Somebody Does Care"

Alexis "Somebody Does Care"

“It felt like at one point everybody hated me, and I didn’t think anyone wanted to hear my side of the story. Still, I always saw a little bit of hope, even in the dark thoughts and dark places. Anytime I went through something really dark and depressing there was always just a little bit a hope because I knew I wasn’t the only one going through it. I knew that I was capable of speaking out and helping other people too. I knew that I needed to feel like I am one in the world that has a voice; even in the darkest of times when you really don’t feel like you have a voice at all.”

READ ALEXIS’S STORY HERE

Gary "Worth Something"

Gary "Worth Something"

“Right now I’m struggling with being homeless. Knowing where I’m gonna lay my head, gettin' up in the morning, wondering where my next meal gonna come from. The struggles of homelessness...dealing with the suicide issue...I felt left alone in the dark, I didn’t care, didn’t have no home, didn’t want to live. Didn’t want to be here, just wanted to be resting in peace. ‘Cause being homeless is no rest at all. When I leave up outta here...see, you go home and lay your head on a pillow, and I gotta put mine down on some cement.”

READ GARY’S STORY HERE

Oliver "The Road To Self Love"

Oliver "The Road To Self Love"

“In seventh grade I realized I was queer and went under the title of pansexual. Later, I kept discovering more and more about myself and finally understood that I am transgender. From there, I gave myself a new name: Oliver. It fits me incredibly well, and when I wear it I feel confident and happy. As time went by, hearing my given name and seeing my biological anatomy became more and more agitating. I grew helpless, hopeless, and utterly restless with myself. In this period of my life, I was growing, but I was also struggling with depression, self-depreciation, and extreme suicidal tendencies to the point where I almost took my life.”

READ OLIVER’S STORY HERE

Angie "I Am Good Enough"

Angie "I Am Good Enough"

“I started a downward spiral that I couldn’t stop. I didn’t like how it felt. I knew I was struggling. I started to get criticism from people, and because I was a people-pleaser, I tried to do everything people wanted me to do. I thought I was staying strong by doing it on my own and not asking for help. What was strong and courageous was for me reaching out for help. That is true strength and true courage. And the more I reached out, the more I found out that other people had gone through it, or were going through it. They had a mask on too, and eventually the circle of support was unbelievable.”

READ ANGIE’S STORY HERE

Dawn "People Are Just Beautiful"

Dawn "People Are Just Beautiful"

“I was probably about thirteen when I decided that I probably wasn’t going to live until twenty. I didn’t fit in the world anywhere. At nineteen I got pregnant with my son. I decided that, “I guess I’m not gonna die, so I’m gonna have to try to figure out my way in this world, as scary as it is. Life’s an adventure. Life isn’t fair, and bad things happen, but because of the things I’ve experienced and seen, I have a very deep empathy for a multitude of situations that children and adults face. I guess that’s a good quality? I can see past all the bad things and just see how beautiful people are in the rawness of life. People are just beautiful, just the way they are. A behavior is a behavior, but it has nothing to do with how beautiful they are inside.”

READ DAWN’S STORY HERE

Cindy "Find Peace"

Cindy "Find Peace"

I just remember life starting not much before my mom died. And I remember that night. And, being woken up with a gunshot sound and going downstairs and finding her in the basement… and things being a mess. Then my dad came home and I ran back up and got in my bed. I didn’t know what to do. Then I remember the neighbors coming and covering up my head and taking me next door. I saw the ambulance and my mom being taken away. I knew my mom was dead when I saw her downstairs after I heard the gunshot, because part of her head was gone. My brother and I were just told to not to talk about it, and it was never spoken of again. It’s been forty years now and my dad, my brother and I still haven’t discussed the suicide.”

READ CINDY’S STORY HERE

Shannon "Beauty from Ashes"

Shannon "Beauty from Ashes"

“I was bullied starting in middle school through high school, but the biggest bully was myself. I would tell myself things like, “you're so stupid, everyone hates you, you'd be better off dead”. The biggest voice you listen to is the one inside your head and hearing myself say these things, I started to believe them.

I want people to know that finding healing and restoration will be hard and painful, you might stumble and fall, but in the end it will be worth it. I want other people to know that it is possible to thrive and not just survive”

READ SHANNON’S STORY HERE

Shawna "Silent No More"

Shawna "Silent No More"

"I have felt like I was at a standstill in my life. I desperately wanted to reach out and help others like me, who had been through so much to find strength to never give up. To keep going and to find their voice.

Despite all the obstacles in my life I am not giving up on my dreams to become a nurse and to help other women who lived through what I have to find their voice and never give up. I just want people to see that no matter how hard life was or what you’ve been through that there is always hope. I have managed to find good despite all the bad things that have happened."

READ SHAWNA'S STORY HERE

Clay "I Accepted It As Me"

Clay "I Accepted It As Me"

“This path of continued discovery allowed myself to be vulnerable with others around me. This path may have looked silly to some but it was an act that allowed me to catch people smiling and enjoying difference. What this act was all started from a desire to just embrace who I was as an individual.”

READ CLAY’S STORY HERE

Cindy and Will "Bald is Beautiful"

Cindy and Will "Bald is Beautiful"

“We try to teach Will that he is just the way God made him and that "bald is beautiful". Unfortunately, he's nine years oold and only wants to look like his peers. Will has social anxiety and bites on his fingers and his skin until it bleeds.” - Cindy (Will’s Mom)

READ CINDY & WILL’S STORY HERE

Eli "The Challenging Gift"

Eli "The Challenging Gift"

“He's often VERY hard on himself -- severe perfectionism to the point that he frequently calls himself the "worst kid in the world" because he's "always messing up everything." We have a very loving home, so it's heartbreaking to hear these things come out of his mouth even though we tell him frequently that he's smart, God has big plans for him, and we love him unconditionally.” - Eli’s Mom

READ ELI’S STORY HERE.

Brenna "Inside My Fishbowl"

Brenna "Inside My Fishbowl"

"I have been told that my mind should be stronger than the anxiety, that my feelings and fears had no legitimate source and were therefore not worthy of acknowledgement or consideration. I think it is difficult for people who do not know this struggle personally to understand how real it is. The obsessions and compulsions; the nausea, shaking, heart palpitations, and blurred vision; the weakness, numbness, and tingling—it is all real; I feel it."

READ BRENNA’S STORY HERE

Krista "Chapter 1 - Hope"

Krista "Chapter 1 - Hope"

"Strip away all those things that you believe define you. Or, maybe not define you entirely, but rather identify you. Strip away those things that you believe characterize you--the good qualities that you are prideful of."

READ KRISTA’S STORY HERE

Jake "Content"

Jake "Content"

"I think we're all told what we are most of the time, and eventually, that's who we think we are."

READ JAKE’S STORY HERE

Lydia "Potential For Love"

Lydia "Potential For Love"

"I’ve spent a huge portion of my life thus far suffocating my potential for love with envy. I remember being eleven years old, overweight, and wanting to be as thin as the girls I went to school with."

READ LYDIA’S STORY HERE

Brandy "Pathways To Healing"

Brandy "Pathways To Healing"

"What has manifested for me that has been so amazing? Part of my healing now is learning to speak my truth and seeing my complete authentic self. I have worn rose colored sunglasses for a long time. It was my way of hiding. I am becoming who I was meant to be."

READ BRANDY’S STORY HERE

Bryn "I Am Beautiful"

Bryn "I Am Beautiful"

“Some days I cannot stand the way I look and the weight I have gained in treatment; looking in a mirror is almost painful. But other days, I look in the mirror and truly think I am beautiful.”

READ BRYN’S STORY HERE

Kevin & Petra "Judgement"

Kevin & Petra "Judgement"

"People look at us differently; it's like they think all the homeless people are bad."

WATCH KEVIN AND PETRA'S SHORT FILM HERE

Saylor "Haunting"

Saylor "Haunting"

"I could place all the blame on self image. Acne scars, pasty white skin, fake hair, fat arms, fat stomach. I truly hated myself."

READ SAYLOR’S STORY HERE