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It’s so backwards how the world makes us believe that struggle equals weakness.

We’re conditioned to hide the parts of ourselves we don’t understand, or that are different from what is considered the “norm”. I’m going to tell you though that those things you hide, those differences, those struggles, those hardships; they make you strong.

You will never hear me say that I’m thankful for my eating disorder. You will never hear me say I’m thankful I went through hell with psychiatric medication. You will never hear me say I’m glad I was suicidal for almost a year. Because I am not thankful or glad; but looking back I can come to this place of acceptance and perspective.

I accept it because I see the bigger picture. I am who I am because of what I’ve been through in my life; just as you are who you are because of your individual path. Everything you’ve been through and everything you’re going through and will go through shapes who you are and who you become.

It may suck, and hurt, and seem incredibly and even impossibly difficult; but every now and again it’s important to take a step back and remember what you have been though, and remember the strength, the endurance, and the perseverance that it took to get to where you are today.

Struggle does not equal weakness. Struggle equals life, perseverance, character and strength. You don’t have to hide. You are beautiful.

My name is Erin and this is Where I Stand.