Monday, September 14, 2015

Diversity: Accept it. Embrace it. Learn more. Celebrate it.

Hello everyone! Please take some time out of your day to read this wonderfully written blog post by my friend Melissa. Melissa does not have Neurofibromatosis, but she does understand the concept of self-acceptance and reaching that stage of self-love. Make sure to leave a comment to show your support!!!

Hi friends!

                I’m Melissa Kreil & I met the beautiful Courtney Wiloughby through dance class, back when we were wee little preteens. It was a huge honor for Courtney to ask me to write a post about self-love for her blog!  Self-love has been a difficult journey for me & though it’s been hard, it’s also been really beautiful.  

First off, you have to realize that whoever/whatever you are, you’re good enough. You never have to apologize for being yourself.  Radical, I know. People are going to criticize you no matter what you do because that’s just what people do. The trick is, you don’t have to even consider what they say, don’t be sorry for being you. Sometimes people who you love can be the cruelest, but it still applies. What they say does not matter.

Once I realized this, I started to question why I ever felt bad in the first place. The answer is pretty much always an outdated social construct. Why is it “bad” to have a certain body type? Why can’t we be attracted to those of the same sex? Why are people in a minority of race or culture faced with so much prejudice? Why must women be feminine and males be masculine? The truth of it all is, none of these social constructs need to rule your life. As Elsa says, “Let it go”. You don’t have to fear the diversity in the human race. Accept it. Embrace it. Learn more. Celebrate it.  Once you let go of all judgements of others, apply them to yourself. You don’t have to be ashamed about your appearance, you’re hella cute! Do you identify as another sexuality besides straight? That’s so awesome! Have you always preferred makeup over trucks? Fantastic, embrace what you love! Are you not originally from the country you live in? That’s beautiful! Just drop all judgements of yourself & others and just celebrate how beautifully complex and unique the human race is! And you’re a member of that really cool uniqueness!

I explored the concept of identity a lot after I realized all this. For me, I’m female, white, bisexual, extroverted, feminist, youtuber, student & Disney lover. I would think and write a lot about each part of myself, what I liked and what I struggled with. Eventually, I just came to a point where I really love every part of myself I can think of, even if they’re things that not everyone understands or supports. If you drop the fact that there’s nothing wrong with being different, it’s so much easier to live free of judgement. All that matters is the fact that I celebrate who I am. It’s so fun to be unique.

Along with my journey, depression and anxiety have been a big part of my life and have been very difficult to deal with. I was ashamed of both for a really long time and I would isolate myself from people when I was really struggling. I spent many nights in really intense panic attacks completely alone and they were some of the hardest parts of my life. Eventually I began telling people that I’m close to. As I did so, I began really accepting that this is a fact about myself and started researching, exploring my options and finding others who experience similar things. Through this I really realized that I needed help, and have gone on medication despite a lot of negativity I received from people that matter to me. I have no shame about my medication because it helps me be the best version of myself. Having a support group to hold you up when you’re struggling with accepting yourself is super important. I realize that I’m very lucky and not everyone has a support group to fall back on. If you’re in this situation, you can always tweet me or message me. I’m always here to help, no matter what.

Thank you so much for reading! It’s been such a pleasure writing for you! There is so much more I could say but I didn’t want to write a novel today. If you want to contact me or hear more from me, I’ll leave some links below:


2 comments:

  1. What a journey you have been on!!! And you've made some brilliant realizations in the process! I'm so glad to hear that you have chosen self-acceptance and embrace the "you" that you are! Fantastic post! Thanks for sharing your story.
    Tracey (Courtney's mom)

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  2. I'm glad that you found yourself and what you found you were able to like. Sometimes we don't get much help with this journey. I wish you continued success and happiness.

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