You Are Beautiful Just the Way You Are

One of the scariest things in the world to be is raw and authentic. I've lived in silence all my life, so this is especially hard for me publishing my memoir. I think about the media frenzy that may ensue around my memoir, especially surrounding my mental illness. I've struggled a good bit over the past few months to accept myself and believe I am beautiful and lovable, even if I am imperfect.

After a rough few hours yesterday afternoon, Riley and I went for a run together at the trail. That is where I clear my head and try to regain my "zen," when I need it back. I had been struggling with the question of whether, after May 2nd, people would accept this raw, open me (should I tone it down, hide, not be as real?), and whether I was still beautiful and lovable even though I've suffered in the past from pretty rough manic depressive episodes.

As we drove home, I looked at her and asked her to repeat after me: "You. Are. Beautiful. Just. The. Way. You. Are." She grinned.

"This summer will be crazy and a little rough for me coming out in my memoir, so I may need to ask you sometimes to remind me of that, ok?" She shook her head.

I've always believed in affirmations, so this morning I sent my favorite picture of Ben to myself, along with an affirmation, which is now my iPhone background for a reminder whenever I need it. Ben's got my back. He's with me.

Recently, I rediscovered an old song I used to adore - "Lovely," by Sara Haze. In her words:

I shouldn't have to think who am I supposed to be today

Who gave you the right to tell me who I should be?

I feel lovely just the way that I am

I am beautiful to me

Doesn't that mean a thing?

Yes, yes it does. Hold that head up everyone. You are beautiful just the way you are....