I got pregnant when I was 17. With the help of my parents, I chose to raise my son, go to college, start bodybuilding, and work part time jobs to try and help out. Eventually, my tireless work paid off and my career afforded me the opportunity to support my son and myself and a growing drinking problem.
One day I walked on shaky legs to the fridge, knowing damn well there was no food in it. I stood in front of the cold abyss knowing I was going to die soon, when a new thought occurred to me. “What if I DON’T die?” The fear of living like this scared me more than dying. Shortly after, I was led to the right place at the right time. I did get sober and have remained sober for 14 years.
Sobriety does not mean life gets easier. 6 months after I got sober, my mom passed away from cancer and my son went to prison. I was lost, sick, and alone. My mom was my best friend, and I was lost without her. I felt like a total failure as a parent as well. I have zero sympathy for people who say they can’t stay sober because of events in their life. That’s bullshit! I ask myself every time I want to drink if it will fix the situation? The answer is always NO!
I continued to work at the job I hated and moving up for 22 years. During this time, I got married and had two more babies. Not even a year after my last child was born, my husband decided he wasn’t happy. I told him to leave. I’m not going to be held responsible for anybody’s unhappiness. About the same time I found out my dad had cancer. I knew. Sometimes you just know things.
A few months after my husband had moved out, I met a man. He was a giant trainwreck. I loved him! He taught me a lot about life and myself. Most of all, he taught me that I’m worthy. I deserve to be happy and it’s ok to be kind to myself. Mind blown! Almost a year later, my dad lost his battle with cancer. I was devastated! I didn't even have a chance to turn around when one night my boyfriend didn’t come home. I was about to file a missing person’s report when I looked up and 3 state troopers were at my door. They informed me that my boyfriend was “deceased”.
I was shattered. I seriously felt like tiny slivers of glass. My dad always said, “Time heals all wounds.” I guess he’s right, but the scars and pain last forever. We just learn how to cope and live with it better in time.
My boyfriend and I had planned to get phoenix tattoos a week after he died. Then one night, I had an epiphany! I would get my phoenix tattoo with my boyfriend’s ashes mixed into the ink. He would be the ashes that my phoenix would rise out of. This has been the foundation of my life ever since.
After literally getting on my knees and begging for help, I made a list of things I love. Bodybuilding, motorcycles, serial killer shit, heavy metal music. OK. Clearly, I’m screwed! I am not going to make a living with any of these things. Then a thought struck me, “What do all of these things have in common?” They are all strong! I’m fascinated and admire anything or anybody that is strong! I’m not just talking about physical strength. I’m talking about fortitude. Any type of strength, whether it’s spiritual, mental, physical, emotional, is admirable. So, I started brainstorming and the ideas just started crashing in on me. I knew I had it! I want a place to help women to realize just how strong they really are! WE! WE CAN DO WHATEVER WE WANT! Our own fears and insecurities are what hold us back, and 99.99% of those are irrational.
My logo? Everyone loves the logo! One night I know my boyfriend told me to use my tattoo. He was right! It made sense! It’s perfect! We have all been through a firestorm and risen! We are women! We are strong and will continue to rise up. We are all broken, but that brokeness is what makes us unique and beautiful. We are perfect in our own broken ways. We will continue to rise up and shine no matter what happens. We don’t quit! We don’t give up! And together we can support each other and grow even stronger! We will overcome anything this crazy life has to throw at us. I want to put my chin up in the face of the storm and feel the thrill of the wind on my face. The universe is energy and I am going to soak up as much of it as I can in the time I have. I can’t tell anybody else what to do. I can only offer you an opportunity to join in my adventure of life. I’m truly blessed to have 3 wonder-filled children and an unforgettable journey! I’ve learned to embrace every ounce of it!
So, my friends, stay Pretty Strong!
Peace & Love,