“In 2014 this stage was actually the first time that I was authentically, 100 percent honest with all of you. I think it’s safe to say that all of you know my life whether I like it or not. I had to stop because I had everything and I was absolutely broken inside. I kept it all together enough to where I would never let you down but I kept it too much together to where I let myself down. I don’t want to see your bodies on Instagram. I want to see what’s in here [holds chest]. I’m not trying to get validation nor do I need it anymore. All I can say from the bottom of my heart is I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to be able to share what I love every single day with people that I love. I have to say thank you so much to my fans because you guys are so damn loyal and I don’t know what I did to deserve you. If you are broken you do not have to stay broken. If that’s anything whether you respect me or not that’s one thing you should know about me. I care about people. Thank you so much for this. This is for you.”
Sunday night, Selena Gomez took to the American Music Award stage and made a speech that has not only resonated with me, but with millions of people. It is something we not only need to hear, but need to be reminded of, need to remind ourselves, every so often and for some of us, constantly.
I have written a lot, about my battles with bulimia, anxiety, depression and grief, while also dealing with several physical diseases, that at times have left me not just debilitated, but also added to my mental issues creating an incredibly vicious cycle of ring around the rosie. For a long time, I didn’t speak out. In part because, I felt I had to be strong for others. I have always had that mothering instinct of protecting others. Of not wanting to burden them with my pain and anguish. Yet, at the same time, even mothers need someone in their corner. By internalizing it, I only made myself worse. When Selena spoke of letting herself down, I knew exactly what she was saying. Because I have been there. I had let myself down too.
When I did begin to talk, or really write, about what was going on, it was usually in the guise of being anonymous or in code, calling it “my issues.” I felt weak. I did feel broken. I was afraid people would judge me harshly, it would affect relationships or job opportunities. It was already affecting how I felt about my own self-worth. Yet their is an incredible freedom in being open. In saying, “Fuck what society’s perception is of you and just be you. Do you.”
It isn’t always easy. Their are times when my demons want to resurrect themselves. But the amazing incredible thing about this life, is that we are all in it together. Regardless of whether we are female or male, black or white, rich or poor. A celebrity or just a small town girl living in a city. We all go through trials and tribulations. We all become broken at some point. We all have those days where we do not want to get out of bed.
It is whether we find the inner strength to fix it ourselves. Because not only do we ALL have that inner grit, WE are the only ones to fix it ourselves. We have to do that work. No one else can do it for us. It can be incredibly scary. It does feel like uncharted territory, but if we don’t do it, we will never discover our best self. The beauty is in the breaking. It is ironic because I keep coming back to that quote a lot lately. But it is true. When we are at our most vulnerable is when we become our strongest. That is not shame. It isn’t weakness. It is strength. So much love to all of you <3