Something commonly said about me and to me is, “you really have your shit together, and are so confident.” Granted this is a nice compliment and I’m always flattered, but this statement used to fill me with shame.

For my entire life, even as a tween and teen,
I looked like and presented my self like I had it all together. In some ways I was advanced for my age, in terms of career, finances, and my communication skills. The rest of me was a mess, the really important stuff was broken. I had almost no self-worth, I hated my body, I was walking around barely surviving as an untreated severely abused child. My natural survival skills presented the world with an illusion that I was A OK. Meanwhile, I was the walking dead.

I share this part of my story as a lesson, not for sympathy. Also, to let others who are struggling know they are not alone, and there is a different way to live.

My story took me from abuse to abundance. I can now proudly say that I don’t live in the shadows of shame, I stand empowered in the light. When I hear that comment about me having my shit together, instead of thinking, “if they only knew,” I say, “yup some days I do and some days I don’t.” I speak my truth to let people know that no one has their shit together all time, in every area of their lives. Good lord that actually sounds really boring.

So if you catch yourself admiring someone else, while shaming yourself for not being better or “more like them,” remember not everything you see is real, and you truly can’t know someone’s full story just by how they present themselves to the world. That doesn’t mean they’re fake or misleading, they simply could be just surviving in the only way they know how.