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Monday, March 12, 2012

so you like it raw, do ya?

there's a lot hidden behind my smile. A LOT.

i dont like to cry because i feel like that makes me weak. you can cry. you can cry for you, you can cry for me, but don't expect me to. i just won't. maybe one day i will, but not now. and ive been told that trying to hold it all together for myself, and for you, and to constantly help others, is a big responsibility, but it's one that i don't mind having.

you dont look sick

and that's true. right now, i dont look sick. im feeling better. smiling more... but i am sick. and i have limitations. respect that.

i have some secrets. i think. maybe i dont. but i know you don't see everything. and i know that i shouldn't be ashamed.

so im letting it go.
i am going to let you in. im going to 'go raw' for a second. so... if you feel you can stomach the next few images... be my guest.

2004 i think. no, yeah. 2004. mini skirts, tube tops, no makeup, big jewelry. late nights with incredible people. not a care in the world. beaches. concerts. love. laughter. liquor.

2007. pretty dresses. summer romances. love. laughter. liqour. a boyfriend who used to hit me. degrade me. to the point where i tried to drown myself in our bathtub a few days after this photo was taken. he called me a whore. he told me i was worthless. and i believed him.

2009. love. laughter. liquor. green. lots and lots of green. friendships that would last forever. a best friend who would help me rediscover my selfworth. learning to love myself, and respect myself and learn that i deserved more... but still not accepting that kind of love from myself...

2009, again. broken hearted.... coping skill? sex. alcohol. kissing people i dont necessarily remember. poor life decisions. but dancing. lots and lots of dancing. and spending time with people who actually cared. who didn't want to watch my world fall apart. people who saw the downward spiral i wanted to embark on and wanted to save me. who helped me save parts of myself. but still... the self-love and self-respect had dwindled. i had dwindled. i had lost my independence at one point, my ideals and continued to try and convince others i was ok. i wasn't. my heart was in shambles and i didnt know how to put the pieces back together.

2010... big is beautiful, right? the weight just kept on coming. excerise did nothing. diets did nothing. the boyfriend did a whole helluva lot of nothing, except make me feel bad. or get drunk with me. or sleep with me. coping skills, sex, alcohol, the beach... but i smiled through it all. i knew i was making bad decisions, but i had accepted that. and accepted my life in a bad relationship. i accepted his cheating. his drug use. his emotional abuse. he never hit me. hed buy me im sorry jewelry. hed take me to the beach. i knew it wasn't love. i had given that up a long time ago. hell, he even pointed it out to me that i didn't love him, but i didn't care. i was numb. numb to life. numb to people. and most of all, numb to myself. who needs feelings?

2010. we all know this picture. my mom hates this one. but whatever. im lucky to be alive. my life needed some drastic changes. and part of me feels like that's why this happened. a wake up call. a new start, literally since my memory is shot and i woke up a semi-new person.

2010... my office never believed me. they thought i was making my headaches up. said i was using them as an excuse to go to the beach or skip out of work... believe me now?
and that's exactly what i said as i pulled my scarf off of my head that day. they had made fun of me, cracked jokes. made me feel like i didn't matter and that maybe i was going crazy. but i wasn't crazy. i had a life-threatening illness that no one wanted to pay attention to, because, in my mind, no one cared enough to listen. so maybe i was crazy... maybe i wasn't good enough. maybe i should have died under the knife. maybe i was as worthless as people were telling me i was.

but im not. and i never was.

the end of 2010. semi-shaved head. lazy eye. lots of pain, emotionally and physically. smiling. i said goodbye to the worthlessness. because im here. i didn't quite know why, but there i was. alive. breathing. smiling. loving. and learning how to love myself. trying to rediscover myself. and taking out the trash. no more negative people in my life. no more lies. no more manipulation. NO MORE. i wanted more smiles. more laughter. more love. more serenity. a cure. stronger friendships. a stronger me.

2011. radiation. a cure? maybe?
lies. manipulation. accepting less than i deserved. see how it says bride on that shirt? yeah... i should have said no. my heart was saying no. but my head was saying, yes. my head was saying do it. why not? someone loves the sick girl. you might as well take it.
and i did. and then we broke up anyway. because he didn't like me being sick. but i didn't like him getting mad at me because i had an opinion. i regained my independence. i have a mind of my own. i will not be silenced. i will not let you walk all over me. and i didn't let him. and he didn't like that he didn't own me. and so it ended. and i cried a little bit. but not because i missed him. or because i loved him. because i lied to myself and tried to convince myself that this is what i deserved. and i didnt. i dont. im strong. i am beautiful. this is me.

2011. happy birthday to me. i smile because i want to. i smile because i like to. i smile because i can. i have a brain. i have opinions. i have self-worth. i have self-resepect. and you are NOT going to take that away from me. ever.

2012. i feel good about who i am. where ive been. what ive learned. what im still learning. who matters, who doesn't.
coping skills: blogging, walking, painting, napping, curling up with my dog, enjoying positive people.  laughter. lots and lots of laughter. my family. my REAL friends. twitter. love. lots and lots of love.

but i still have secrets. or scars. or battlewounds. and i dont show them off. but im going to. right now. so stop reading if you dont want to see these. and i wont be ashamed. its not like you can see them through my clothes. but this is what i hate. or i did hate. because i felt i would be judged. but im not.

and i was told, today, i think you're beautiful.
even with my tiger stripes.
and that means something.

so here we go...



that, my friends, is what you call stria. cushings patients don't get stretch marks, we get stria. self-conscious much? you betcha. im greatful that these are on my stomach, on my sides, under my breasts, places that i can hide, that i can keep hidden. that i was keeping hidden, until now. they're painful. they're itchy some days. they're deep. i took these pictures with my phone, but some of them are so thin, like translucent, that you can see my veins pumping blood. pleasant right?

but you dont look sick.
are you sure?

i dont know why i chose today to be the day but... it is. and im showing you.

i told you there was alot hidden behind my smile.

but every tigress needs some stripes right?

done being ashamed. done caring. just... done.

i am beautiful. i am a fighter. i am loud. i am opinionated. im friendly. im empathetic. i tell the truth. i still want to save the world. i want to make a difference. i want to make a change. and i will.
just watch me.


  1. How does it feel to let all that out? It takes courage to do this. To push the dark things you've been hiding into the light. You ARE strong, beautiful, honest, and you already are changing the world, every second that you're in it! I'm proud to call you my friend. The truth is, we all have "secrets," some people hold on to these things and let them eat away at them until they are left with nothing. Others embrace them, learn from them, and let them go. Your newest chapter starts now, and the best part? You're the author. Love you!

  2. <3 I just now saw this one. I had no idea how much you had been through. You are such an inspiration and I'm so glad you have your spirit intact. You are awesome, Nicci!!!! Beautiful and awesome! Never forget it. xoxo