A story of victory, overcoming fears, facing the demons and winning
|After years of suffering from low self esteem and handing over my soul to anybody who needed me, I found myself alone, broken, betrayed and without a voice.
My journey has taken to me to the highest of highs and lows to the point of looking up to see hell. In September of 2007, after gaining a tremendous amount of weight, I decided to do something for myself. My 40th birthday was approaching in December and I decided to treat myself to something special. I joined a karate school and from there, combined with the work I had done in the past, and the work I continue to do now, I found so much more than just a proactive way to lose weight and tone up.
Becoming a martial arts student meant hard work, determination, courage and above all else, a strong conviction I could succeed. As a white belt I would look at the others in class and envy their belt ranks. Yellow, purple, blue, orange, green, and of course, black. I envied their movements, the ease in which they moved and executed their techniques. In time, overcoming the feeling of giving up, coming up with lame excuses for missing class, I began to test and move up on the world of martial arts. My life began to reflect the confidence that was building and before long I had friendships, a new body, a new mind set, a level of inner courage I had no idea I possessed.
In a few days, having come from years of verbal and mental abuse by a man I believed I loved, I will finally let go of his torment. I've done so already. I've been free of him for four years now but the scars are still there. This Saturday, November 8, 2008, I take back my control, my voice and my life. I am project coordinator of a domestic violence seminar at the school, and along with my instructor and my fellow martial arts students, will educate others in our community about the perils of low self-esteem and abuse.
My friends will be there, my family, and the community, who appears to be coming out in droves will attend. My picture is in the paper. Once ashamed to leave my house because I had been told so many times I was ugly and unattractive, I am now allowing strangers to see me. I am not made up, my hair is in a pony tail, my outfit is that of a karate gi, and yet, there I am for all too see.
It is the turning point in my life. I feel it in my heart and in my soul. It is what I've been leading up too. The chance to speak and be heard and allow others to see that with hard work, courage, hope, and faith, life can be beautiful. I can be beautiful. I am beautiful and I matter.