A large part of the impacts of history are the stories that keep those moments alive. They allow us to tap into what was then and what is now. All of our experiences end up intertwining with each other. And with that, it is crucial that we share our stories, lessons, journeys, adversity and victories along the way.
We capture our experiences through our own lens and then express them out into the world in hopes that our words can extend past ourselves. We are all connected, and due to this, we have the capacity to shift and shape the world that we live in and a society that is craving more. When I say more, I’m referring to things of substance.
Connection. Humility. Compassion. Love. Unity.
This blog post is written in honor of the 2023 theme of Women’s History Month, “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories.” This theme encompasses recognizing women’s contributions to history and culture in the past and present through storytelling and media outlets like radio, print, TV, blogs, podcasts and social media.
There are many reasons why it’s important to share your story and the beauty of this is that everyone may come from a different place as to why. I personally felt alone and misunderstood with my health conditions and for a while, I kept it to myself. It wasn’t until I saw others with my condition and similar challenges speaking up about it that I realized I wasn’t so alone after all.
This brings us to my first reason as to why it’s important to share our stories.
When you feel alone, you end up lacking resources and community due to being in isolation. I think boundaries are important and we all have those days where we just want solitude, but finding a friend who ‘gets it’, is crucial.
When I’m having a blah day, I have this one friend Chelsea, who if I message about anything related to our health condition, she replies so compassionately by saying, ‘I totally get it, that totally sucks!’ It goes to show that it isn’t about finding someone to shift our feelings or tell us how to solve any given problem.
It’s about finding that one person to say I hear you, I see you, I get it. Your feelings are valid to feel. Furthermore, it’s necessary for our wellbeing to allow our emotions out.
One of our ambassadors, Syanne Centeno, graciously shared with us some of her experiences and why she chose to share her story. “Although society tells us to keep our hardships to ourselves, I find strength and comfort in vulnerability. When I first became ill, I felt very lonely and scared. I didn’t know what else to do than to seek solace from an online community—which is something I’ve always done since I was a child. Both anonymously and openly.”
Once I read the inspirations and helpful information that other people shared, it encouraged me to share some of my own story. After sharing my story, I started connecting with other people who have similar challenges who were also struggling to share and reach out for support.
Syanne shares, “Illness itself is so isolating and experiencing flashbacks when alone was challenging. But I found that there was always someone from my community willing to help me through it…just with one click. And I always tried to give that back as I healed from my trauma. I wish more people would share their story—not just because it helps others, but it can also help you heal mentally. Chronic illness and disability are lonely things, but it doesn’t have to be. I don’t think I would be where I am now if it wasn’t for social media.”
I could have only hoped that by sharing some of my tools and practitioners, it would help someone else. It feels great to be able to support someone that you have a strong understanding of where they are at and why they struggle.
Another one of our ambassadors, Maddie Renee shares, “I decided to share my story through social media because I want others to feel less alone. I struggled really hard for a long time thinking that I was the only one dealing with what I was going through. Once I found out that there were others out there, it made me feel better. I felt less isolated and like I wasn’t just messed up or broken.
It’s important whatever you are going through to build your tools for your toolbox, and one of those tools is community, in order to find the right practitioners and treatment.
Syanne shares, “I also found that sharing my story led to a deeper understanding about my conditions and experiences. I found others who had similar symptoms and conditions as me, and that was also incredibly comforting.”
My body changed drastically, as for how it functioned as well as how it looked in the mirror. It was important to allow myself to grieve my old body, in order to begin accepting and working with the body that I now live in.
Everything in life at one point or another will be a loss. This is why it’s so important to allow that grief to flow through us.
Syanne shares, “Further, sharing my story helped me grieve. I felt like I had a safe space to express exactly what I was thinking and feeling…where so many others could relate. During the peak of my grief, I was petrified of dying. Having nearly lost my life after developing an abscess from a routine endometriosis surgery, I had quite a bit of post-traumatic stress.”
The next time you are hesitant or a friend of yours is questioning sharing their story, think about this post. Sharing your story may bring deep comfort to someone and a new level of hope for another.
Sharing your story might even save a life.
Macy Cassera is an ambassador and freelance blog writer for Slick Chicks. She has prior experience as a model in New York City for fashion, commercial and parts modeling. Macy combines these passions with mental health awareness to underpin our sense of self and strive for a world of inclusivity and equitable representation. To get in touch with Macy, please send her an email or send a message through her official website or Instagram.