Jamie's Story: Depression, Failure, Obesity & Self Sabotage
My name is Jamie, I am the designer and co-owner of this incredible brand we know and love - Beautiful Disaster! I wanted to share a bit more of my story with our incredible Beautiful Disaster Tribe.
What makes me a Beautiful Disaster is a handful of things I have been through, and many things that I still struggle with today: Depression, Failure, Obesity, Self Sabotage, and Self Confidence are the main things that I think about when I contemplate my Perfectly Imperfect self. What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger, right?
My feelings of depression started as an early teen, and they have came and gone since I can remember. My depression is something that I have always tried to keep inside me, not talk about, and try and put on a “happy face” for those around me, so I could avoid the “what’s wrong, Jamie?” questions that would inevitably come my way. I knew that I wouldn’t have a specific answer, because depression is something that is hard to explain to others... I just felt “down”.
By my early 20’s, eating and sleeping seemed to be the perfect distraction / self medication to days like these, so, I found myself wanting to sleep in, not make plans so I could be in bed, and be alone so I could indulge in some very not so healthy eating habits of snacks, treats, fast food and, well, anything I was in the mood for.
Looking back, this self-sabotaging behavior was just making things worse. I don't think at the time I really realized what I was doing, until one day I woke up and I was over 100bs heavier than I was just a few years before then. This was my way of “dealing” with my depression. By not dealing with it.
With the love and support from my mom, she encouraged me to go to therapy, to talk to someone about my depression. I wasn't quite sure “what” was causing it. After on and off visits with different therapists, I just knew that I was going through it, and some days were harder than others. Some highs and lows came from therapy, but there was never a real “change” that happened. The only way I could change, was to love myself enough to allow myself to thrive.
I was overweight for 17 years. Up and down. I tried the shakes, the low carbs, the calorie counting, the working out, the clinic weight loss places, you name it. Stretch marks, plus size clothing, not being able to fit in the roller coaster seat, squeezing in uncomfortably to an airplane seat, running out of breath walking up the stairs, being the “big girl” and it has been the darkest part of “me” for so long.
But– I decided to do something really big about it. It was one of the hardest decisions I have had to make, but I finally decided that it was time to ask for some real help, to save my health, and my life. So, I did.
I had bariatric surgery (Duodenal Switch) in May 2020. Holy Shit! Yup. I did it. Finally. I have lost 154lbs in 12 months, and it has completely changed my life – I am finally not burdened by the weight, the self-sabotaged version of myself that I allowed to control me for so many years. It has changed a huge part of my darkness into this screaming glimmer of happiness I want to share with the world.
I started to do more things, be outside more, say “yes” more when friends and family invite me to do things. I started to smile more, and just live my life in a way I had wanted to for so long. Overall, it has been an amazing year. But, with all highs, come new lows - and now is the new challenge of getting through the new lows.
What may that be you ask? Well, my depression still comes and goes, there are still moments when I just want to lay in bed all day, and hide. I have no idea why. Maybe its the few moments where I look at my deflated, saggy skin that is left, the old stretch marks that are scars of my past. Maybe it is the suppressed thoughts of the past that I haven't worked through yet. I know that I am in still in the very beginning of this process of becoming the new me, and some days will be harder than others. But, I have to get myself together and show my face to the world, and it truly seems to cheer me up when I get dressed, put makeup on, and get out into the world and do things.
I also wanted to write about Loving Myself. I can’t honestly say I 100% Love who I am, but I am taking steps each day towards loving myself. Learning to love my stretch mark scars from being overweight. My new saggy leg, arm and butt skin, Breast lift scars, and acne scars. My poofy hair I always try and straighten. And, the emotional scars I have from being obese for so many years. Every day, I try and look in the mirror, and find a few things–that just today–I can say I am learning to love.
I love my family and friends, and I love my work. I am able to help others heal themselves with the designs I create for Beautiful Disaster, and that is a gift in itself. I really love the way I look in clothes, and feel much more confident about myself in that respect. It is the moments when I am changing or getting out of the shower where I see the version of me that still hurts to look at. But, in time, I KNOW I will get there. I am perfectly imperfect, and I have been beautifully broken.
Because we are all Beautiful Disasters, I know it is safe to share this with you, because at the end of the day, we have all been through many ups and downs.
I have so many favorite pieces from our line, I will name a few below, and why I connect with them:
The Original Beautiful Disaster Tee - It is just black and white and bad-ass. It always makes me feel confident. : )
Perfectly Imperfect - This right now really is a special collection to me - it is my reminder that I am perfectly imperfect - and that it is okay to be a work in progress, and embrace my imperfections.
Loyalty - Visually, I love the tattoo-style script writing, but emotionally, the quote “Loyalty is rare, Trust is earned, Actions speak louder than words” really connects with me - for the Loyalty to Myself - the trust for myself - and the actions I have taken to make MY life a healthier and better one. : )
Fearlessly Authentic - this collection reminds me to live my life without fear! My fear of what others think, my fears of not being good enough, and to overcome any hurdles that may hold me back!
Thank you for reading my story, and being a part of the Beautiful Disaster tribe.