To say that life has been rough on me is an understatement. I struggled with anxiety from a very young age. Dealing with stomach problems and emotional struggles from this. I allowed myself to be a part of a toxic relationship from the time I was 13. On and off in this relationship for the next 6 years and then getting married. The relationship before marriage was damaging and mentally abusive, but something shifted for the worse and I found myself being physically and mentally abused for the next 3 years. I was emotionally torn to shreds.  What little I had as a child was ripped away from me. To add to the mess I have lost 5 babies. At this point in my life I had no self confidence, no self esteem, no self love. To me I was incompetent, unlovable, ugly, fat, stupid, and never ever good enough for anyone or anything.

I am now a wife to the most amazing man, and a proud mother of two boys. My boys are 11 months apart. Having two babies in less than a year post partum took over my mind and body. All these feelings I had towards myself were still there. So I buried all of them thinking if I ignored them I could move on with my life and be “happy”. That obviously didn’t work. I ended up in counseling and was diagnosed with ptsd, depression and anxiety. I was then put on anxiety medicine, which truly had been a God send. Something was still off with me. These feelings of self hate lingered every day. At the time I was a stay at home mom. I loved spending every day with my babies.  I allowed myself to get wrapped up in being a mom and a wife and only a mom and a wife. I didn’t feel like I was important and my needs no longer mattered. I was starting to loose what was left of my identity.

In April I started working for Kent Smith and fell in love with my job and the amazing women I work with. I started to feel a spark in me that I had not felt in a very long time. I was feeling confident and strong again. But yet something still lingered and weighed on me. I would look in the mirror and see ugly. I would feel weak and inadequate to others around me. I felt like nothing I did was ever good enough to make my self feel loved and beautiful inside and out. No matter how many times my coworkers or my husband would tell me how beautiful I was, how great I was doing, I couldn’t feel it.

When I had heard from Sherri about her confidence change after her Noir session, I just felt like “well I’ve tried everything else maybe this is it”. Now taking this step for me was very bold and very unlike me. I don’t wear lingerie or sexy things and I don’t see myself as a sexy person so the idea of looking that way unimaginable. But something inside me was pulling me to do it. So I got myself on the calendar for a session and started to order cute outfits. I was really getting excited about it, but what I didn’t know was this photo shoot was going to change my life.

I cant explain the change in me since my Noir session. Just five minutes in I could feel this weight, that has been crushing me for so many years, lifting. It was the most surreal feeling. Each outfit change I felt more beautiful and confident then the last. By the end of the shoot I felt like the queen of the world. And then when I saw my images, Oh my. To look at myself and have my breath taken away by how beautiful I looked is a feeling that I hope never goes away.

I truly feel like a completely different woman. I am confident, I feel sexy, I look in the mirror and see beauty. I take more time to care for myself. I feel like I am winning at life and moving forward. The best part is I stopped caring what everyone else thinks of me and the negativity that drug me down and started learning to love me. The real me. The happy, beautiful, confident woman that I am.

I wanted to share my story for anyone out there who has ever felt the way I did or has experienced things in life that have crushed your spirit and self love, through no fault of your own. You deserve to feel loved and to be proud and to feel beautiful. You deserve to wake up happy, to wake up strong and to stand tall knowing that no matter what life threw at you, no matter how many times he hit you to the ground, no matter how many heart wrenching losses you endured, no matter how many negative words were thrown at you, that you my dear are beautiful and so loved.

This is what a Noir session did for me. And I truly believe it is something that any woman feeling low and struggling to love herself should experience. I promise you it is worth it.

“ So keep on climbing, though the ground might shake
Just keep on reaching though the limb might break
We’ve come this far, don’t you be scared now
Cause you can learn to fly on the way down”

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