Beautiful Disaster resonates with me to my core. I lost my health and my will to live, only to dig myself out of despair and redefine my existence. 

2015 I fell into the societal trap of believing I wasn’t good enough just as God made me. I decided to have a breast augmentation. I thought a boob job would give me the confidence I lost after my years of bodybuilding. I was dead wrong. I had my beautiful boobs for 3 years. Rather than confidence, they gave me a host of symptoms that brought me to my knees. In the 3 years I had my implants, I had chronic fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, panic attacks, depression, heart palpitations, silent reflux, cystic acne, joint pain and much more. Every night I would sob to my husband because I felt as though I was dying. I didn’t want to leave the house. Not able to be the wife and mother my family needed, the life I was living was no life I wanted. I had become a shell of who I once was. 

After seeing doctor after doctor with no answers I took my health into my own hands. I began hours of research on my ailments. I stumbled upon information about Breast Implant Illness. Having never heard of breast implants making anyone sick, I was hesitant but every symptom matched my own. I then found a support group of 36,000 women (now 76,000) suffering just like me. Immediately, I knew what had to be done. 

May 4, 2018 I had my beautiful boobs taken out. I had lost my health, my life as I knew it.... I was broken. Not knowing if the surgery to remove my implants would help my ailments, I took a leap of faith. Within hours of waking from surgery, I knew I had made the right decision. My husband said I had more life in me hours after surgery than I had in the 3 years with my implants. 

I’m coming up on a year since I took my life back. I am 90% healed from the symptoms caused by the toxins that ran through my system caused by my implants. I have written my story in a book, “Let Me Get This Off My Chest”, and through the process of writing my journey I’ve come to realize I am beautifully broken. 

In an excerpt from my book I say: 

“You must be broken. Fallen to pieces in order to learn to pick yourself up and figure out how to put yourself together again. When you do pick yourself up and ask that all too familiar question of “why me”? Your answer is in the outcome. The outcome is your reward, the reward is who you become after the storm is over.”

I have now redefined my existence. My mission in life is to love and respect myself and my body. To inspire my daughters and women everywhere to love themselves just as they are, to embrace their scars and to know they are always enough. I won’t stop until I educate as many women as needed on Breast Implant Illness so women don’t have to suffer in silence like I did, as so many do. 

Thank you for taking the time to read my story! 

Be well, 

Tara Hopko 

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July 31, 2019