This is Valerie and she is RESILIENT.
CONTENT WARNING: The I Am Resilient Project provides an open space for people to share their personal experiences. Some content in this post and on this website will include topics that you may find difficult.
Describe the situation where you had to be resilient:
After being physically abused as a child, I had a choice to either stay a victim all my life or to be the woman I knew I could be. I decided to become the woman I knew I could be.
Have you ever thought to yourself, “What if I could to talk the younger me? What if I could say, ‘you’re going to be ok’!” It’s always been hard for me to tell my story. Maybe because I didn’t want to be judged? Maybe I didn’t want to be victimized? Maybe if I said it out loud it would become real? But it’s only when I started talking about it that I realized it was real, that I was a victim and at that moment I would be on the road to getting over what had happened to me.
I was 11 years old when my life started to become chaotic. I went through things that no 11-year-old kid should go through. I remember lying in bed with a knife with my brother, who was 8 years old at the time, telling me “je vais te proteger, moi (I’ll protect you)”. This was the day everything changed for me. It was NYE and someone close to me was very intoxicated and tried to strangle me that night. I remember crying and apologizing, not knowing what I was even apologizing for just so this person wouldn’t kill me. I never saw this person ever again after this night, but my chaos wasn’t over then.
I went on to become a pretty rebellious teenager, relying on substances to make me feel something, anything. I went through many phases in my life and my 20’s, as a woman, were rough. I had a lot of dark thoughts and some thoughts I won’t share with anyone. I was ashamed and developed panic attack disorder while I was completing my degree in University. You have to understand that even if I had a dark past I also had the most loving and caring mother who did everything she could so I would have the best future.
Those years were rough because as a woman, in this day and age, you’re constantly questioning whether or not you are good enough. Most days, I was definitely not good enough and was very anxious all the time. Everything gave me panic attacks: driving in traffic, dark thoughts, exams, going up in my attic which was like 3 meters high… Anxiety was very real to me. Those days are pretty foggy in my brain, I think that’s a good thing. At some point, my brain trained itself to become extremely resilient because I always knew I had a vocation. A few years ago, I lost a person that was very close to me, I realized that this life I could create for myself was still attainable, but I was the only person that could make it happen.
It didn’t happen overnight but there was a very specific moment where I told myself “Just do it!” I was going to change my whole life, I quit smoking, quit drinking, lost a bunch of weight, quit my job and started my own business. In just over a year I have built a successful 6 figure business doing what I love while living my best life. Maybe it was luck? Maybe I’m the exception? The one thing that I do know is that everything will change the day you start loving yourself, no matter what.
How did you practice resilience when faced with this challenge?
Resiliency is my word and I think it describes me perfectly. I don’t let anything phase me in the long run because you eventually realize you are good enough and you need to hang on to that.
Please share one piece of advice for people who are going through a similar challenge
Love yourself, no matter what. Live and grow each day, life is short so don’t focus on the negative.
Are you ready to share your story of RESILIENCE? You can do that HERE and thank you for being brave and sharing your journey.