One of the first questions Thea asked me on our phone call was:
“Are you in a relationship & are you having any trouble communicating or sharing this struggle with your partner?”
i couldn’t help but laugh when Thea asked me this very prominent question. this question is so significant because so many people try to hide [what they believe to be] “flaws” from those they care about. we try to hide our acne, our anxiety, anything proclaimed by media as “socially unacceptable”. we try to hide our problems. we try to hide our bald patches.
here’s the thing.
you’re going to meet people out there who are going to accept you for you.
you have to be willing to be vulnerable, though. you have to be willing to tell your story, your truth…and this is not an easy feat in a society that promotes the “perfect lifestyle” via instagram & twitter [this “perfect lifestyle” can vary in opinion, but you get what i’m trying to express here].
i am blessed to have a strong support system in Buffalo [my home] ….but there is a young man in particular who gives me hope [every day] that despite my insecure “flaws” and despite my anxiety and alopecia, i am beautiful. i am loved. this young man indeed validates my worth [i am being real and honest here, and admit that validation is something i craved in the past], but this young man pushes me to see beauty in myself, whether someone validates me or not.
LISTEN: the only validation you need is YOUR OWN.
[Self-love is something i struggle with daily.]
When Cory first met me, he saw the bubbly, hyper-active Clarisse…
Imagine his surprise to find that the happiest, most energetic woman he’d ever met was actually [when you got her alone] a dark hole of bottomless grief!
Throughout this relationship (it’s been a year, so far,) Cory watched a bright-eyed girl lose her spark, her energy, her health and her hair. He watched her spiral. But he held on to her. He went to every doctor appointment. He was on the other end of the line to listen to her cry, night after night. He calmed her through every breakdown and spun her around when she felt she couldn’t dance. He made her smile on the worst days, the days where more chunks of hair fell out of her head.
i answered Thea’s question with a smile & a laugh, my heart full.
Despite the fact that sometimes i really AM that dark hole of bottomless grief, Cory’s friendship and support lift me up. This is so important. Find those people that embrace you and love every essential part of what makes you who you are, because THEY ARE OUT THERE. allow them to take your hand and help you become the best you can be [even if today the best you can be is just you getting out of bed]. allow yourself to learn from these supportive relationships, and you'll find growth in self-love. There are people out there who want to hear your story, people who will love you, no matter what.
To be fully seen by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow - this is a human offering that can border on miraculous.
Reach out to me. I accept you. I love you. I’m here to help you on your journey.
Share your story with me.
p.s. Cory, if you’re reading this, you are my very best buddy... I love you [always].