It’s Esme here and I’m excited to share my #mygirlstory ! For those of you who don’t know what that is, it is an amazing movement created by the beautiful Jasmine Diane to empower young women through the stories of others. Let me just tell yall, I am ALL for this movement and hopefully after hearing my story you will be too!
Where do I begin?!
Well, In West Philadelphia, born and raised, on the playground is where I spent most of my days… Oh wait, that wasn’t me! Haha!
As you can tell, I’ve always been a goofy, fun-loving kinda girl. I have always been the loud, obnoxious one out of the group. I had a big mouth and crazy clothes. But, to be honest, all of that was a façade. I struggled heavily with depression in high school and was very insecure. On the outside it seemed as though I easily fit in but, I didn't!
I was always the odd-ball in my family. I was artistic, had a mean stutter, and a crooked tooth smile. All of that made me feel less than beautiful. And all of those insecurities got worse in high school and it caused me to start to change who I really was so that I could “fit in”.
On top of all of that I started dating. You can guess how well that went. Although, I wasn’t sexually promiscuous, I was emotionally. This lead to a lot of heartbreak. I just wanted to "feel" loved. I couldn’t fill that void.
When I was 16, I was in my room alone with a razor and I tried to commit suicide. Thankfully, my sister tried to come into my locked room to let me know dinner was ready. I have never told anyone because I was ashamed of how weak I felt.
Fast forward to age 21… I was still struggling with depression and on top of that, I was now a single mother. Her father and I had just broken up and I was, once again, heartbroken. My little brother came over one day and I guess he could sense my pain. He asked me to come to church with him that Sunday. I was reluctant but I went. I was out of options. I had tried “everything”.
Well, needless to say, my lil’ bro was right. Jesus was the answer. During that message I felt an unmeasurable amount of love and acceptance and I knew he was real. He was there to help me and to fill the void in my life. The Lord saved me from all my pain, shame, and guilt. He helped me to love the ugliest parts of myself.
I say all this to say;
Dearest Lil’ E (or whoever is reading this),
It is okay to be different.
It is okay to be artistic,
It is okay to ask for help,
It is okay to feel emotion,
It is okay, sis.
Asking for help or being yourself doesn’t make you weak. Needing love and companionship doesn’t make you weak. In fact, it makes you strong sis. You just need to find your reason why and love yourself.
The Lord is my reason why. The reason I can love the "ugly" parts of me. He made me unique. He made me strong enough to be myself.
I am not going to lie and say I still don’t struggle with depression, pressure to fit in, or feeling beautiful. Because girl! I do. But, now I have the Lord to remind me of my worth in Him.
I want that for you sis. Because when you love yourself, you have love to give.
Now that I’ve poured out my soul, I hope that it will give you the strength to encourage someone today.
If you struggle with suicidal thoughts PLEASE reach out!
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline