“I Am Human, Flawed, But EVERY Part Of Me Is Beautiful, & I Am Worth It!”

By Brady Overcash

brady-overcash

Hey look! That’s me! Brady. No makeup, no filter, no editing, no hair hiding my skin, no insecurities.

Something I’ve struggled with personally for a very long time has been self love. Loving myself so deeply that no one else’s opinions or thoughts matter. That’s something I’m just now, at twenty years old making happen. I mean really happen. Let’s do a little backtracking, shall we?

I have always been bigger, and for 18 years have never once felt comfortable in my own skin. Not by my own doing, but others. I let the voices of other people with far bigger problems take away my love, joy and happiness. I let them bring me into an eating disorder and a serious depression, but that happens and I’m not the only one who has struggled with that. I don’t regret that those things happened to me because I believe so many positives came from my struggles, but the truth is it’s not glamorous and it’s not cool and sometimes you don’t know what to do about it .

You don’t know who you can tell or who is going to just write you off as crazy or whiney. Depression is a real thing and it’s something people are afraid to talk about and I am telling you, I will talk about it. I was there. I’m doing so much better now, but I wouldn’t be if I hadn’t stopped being afraid of the outcome and started talking.

Depression isn’t something to be embarrassed about-it’s a disease. Eating disorders come in all shapes and sizes and there are many different kinds and types and different ways people suffer, but they aren’t just something someone outgrows and it’s not someone looking for attention and it doesn’t just happen in smaller people. It’s a disease, it’s a very real, very serious disease and it’s time we start talking about these things.

Something people forget is just how powerful their words can be. I can still hear loud and clear in my head every opinion that was shared with me that made me feel obsolete. Negative comments and things like that stick, it doesn’t matter how they’re said, jokingly or not, it still hurts. Things like that don’t just go away either, but we learn to love again, thankfully and we move on. However, you have to want to move on and want more than anything to be better, to be healthy, to make changes. It doesn’t just happen.

The difference for me, between now and then, is that I am stronger and I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am worth every opportunity and gift this beautiful life has to offer. I KNOW I AM WORTH IT. For me, it took nearly losing everything to get there, but I got there. It doesn’t have to be that way for everyone and I don’t want anyone to feel that low and to be at a place where they feel like they don’t have the option of  turning it around. You can always turn it around, you just have to want to be better. Knowing that you deserve more than anything to love yourself, every aspect of yourself, is key. 

You do deserve to live life out loud and to love every moment of it. Don’t let others take that from you. Don’t give them that power.

I’m writing this and sharing this picture with you all for many reasons, the first being to let you in on another piece of my life. Second, I know I’m not alone in this battle and I have learned that raising my voice and putting myself out there is indeed hard, but while it’s hard for me, knowing it can make some difference makes it worth it. It only takes a spark to make a fire and I am all for men, women, girls and boys of all ages loving themselves out loud. Third, it’s something a lot of people don’t talk about-it makes us feel inferior, it’s hard to talk about things we ourselves struggle with-it makes us feel weak, but at the same time it helps us grow.

One of my favorite quotes is, ‘ I am strong, because I’ve been weak.  I am fearless, because I’ve been afraid. I am wise, because I have been foolish.’ I try to live by that daily because it is an incredible reminder that while things can and will break us, they’ll also make us. Finally, it’s something I’ve really been battling with for the past few months and I realized that it had to stop, I had to move forward and not let myself go backwards.

I used to be that girl that would not leave my room, let alone my house, without a full face of makeup on. I have acne. I have uneven skin tone. My face is extra oily. I have blackheads everywhere. I’ve always had big bags under my eyes and I was so incredibly insecure about  all of that for my whole life because of other people. Other people’s mean words, cruel jokes and careless statements.

How is that even okay on any level? Why should I feel like I need to cover up what makes me, me because it bothers someone else? Why should I have to be made up a hundred percent before I feel it’s acceptable to be in public?

No, not everyone has these same problems, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have their own list. Me letting my insecurities and what other people would carelessly say hold me back does nothing for anyone. What is your life worth if you can’t leave the safety of your house without making yourself what society has deemed “beautiful”. The truth of the matter is everyone is different and that is what makes us all so beautiful and unique. Nobody in this world is flawless, if they were it’d be a terribly boring life to live.

FLAWS ARE BEAUTY. You have to know and you have to believe with every fiber of your being that you are just as beautiful as anyone else in this world. Your flaws are what make you who you are, flaws are a beautiful thing. It’s hard and it’s something I still struggle with, but I know I’m heading in the right direction because I can tell you that I struggle daily, but I never once compromise who I am anymore.

I can post this picture for everyone that has access to the world wide web to see and I can tell you that it doesn’t bother me. I want  you all to get to that same place and to that same peace. It doesn’t happen overnight, so give yourself time and let yourself learn to love you again-It takes a second to gain that back after it’s lost and that is okay. You don’t have to compete with anyone else, it’s you, your time and your pace. Remember, YOU ARE HUMAN and EVERY PART OF YOU IS BEAUTIFUL.

When I saw Jillian Jenson post #JustMe on twitter (with her make up free selfie), it hit me so hard. I know the struggle of looking in the mirror every single day and thinking how ugly the image I see is. I know how to pick out every single flaw and see nothing but that, I was a pro at tearing myself down.  I know what it’s like to avoid mirrors. I know the pain of being bullied and the pain and damage others’ words can do. I’ve been there. I know what it’s like to want life to be over because you feel like you’ll never add up because of your appearance.

Recently I’ve really been struggling with my self-esteem and body image, and today I was reminded that It does happen, I can relapse, it happens and I can’t beat myself up over it. I can’t let myself think that way anymore. I can’t beat myself up over being human. We are our worst critics, but if we’re learning from every instance and growing, then we’re doing it right. All I can do is keep going and remember that I am beautiful, strong, fearfully and wonderfully created and worth it all. So here I am, sharing with you all because I don’t want you to think you’re alone.

You’re never alone and you never will be. Just keep that pretty head up and know that you are wonderful in every way. Remember to Embrace your Awesomeness and keep on going. You’re worth it.

(Reprinted with permission from Brady’s Blog.)

Brady Overcash is 20, she is a singer, blogger and anti-bullying advocate. Going through a serious illness at 17 years of age made her determined to empower others to feel beautiful, despite the status quo in society. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

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