Telling your story can be so powerful.

One of the most amazing evenings I’ve had was at a weekend spent with eight other girls. On our first evening together we all had the opportunity to share part of our stories, how God has worked in our lives, and our hopes for the future. We laughed together; we cried together, the vulnerability was just so powerful. Our vulnerability and courage in sharing our stories, no matter what they look like, can change so much for ourselves or those who hear them.

Anxiety has been a running theme throughout a lot of my life, even when I didn’t know that’s what is was. There have been times where I’ve not wanted to be alive. Things have happened that have really knocked me. I started to self harm when I was 17 and have had an up and down journey with it. God was so good and completely took this from me and I managed a year where self harm wasn’t part of my life at all. It then arose again, and now I still sometimes find myself struggling with it at 23, but I’m in a much better place and I know I’m moving forward. Many of these parts of my story used to be the bits that I didn’t tell, the bits I didn’t want to tell, but they are also the bits that have been the most powerful to tell.

Being vulnerable and sharing your story can give others the courage to share theirs, and that is awesome. You never know who you may be helping when you tell even a little of your story. Personally, I have found that sharing my story has helped me to process my feelings and situations in my life, as well as offering hope to others experiencing similar things. It has started conversations about topics such as self harm, which has led to other people having a better understanding of it and breaking those misconceptions. Sharing my story has really deepened some of my friendships, made me feel less alone and also feel more supported. Sharing your story can do so many things!

I used to think that I could only tell my story when I was 100%, but I’ve learnt that if that was the case, maybe I’d never end up sharing it! I’ve found there is something so freeing about sharing your story and being able to be honest about where you’re at now. Our stories will have different chapters, it’ll have its ups and downs, but the great thing is, our stories are still being written and who knows what the next few chapters will look like.

Written by Sophie