From Mel: This women and her journey give me goosebumps because she's owning her space, her body and her story in a season where it's actively being rewritten. I have only recently learned about breast implant illness and have found to my surprise that three people I know have suffered from it. This post is not intended as an opinion about breast implants, it is shared here with all the respect, suffering and beauty that Kelly's personal experience deserves. 

From Kelly:

I got breast implants in 2014 beacuse it was the right choice for me at the time. I felt I needed it to feel more confident. To feel womanly. To feel more like I was expected to feel. I would be lying if I said I didn't second guess it, but at the time I was a different person and the choice was right for me. I struggled for a year with changes happening to my body, ignoring my gut instinct, beliving doctors who didn't listen to MY story. Because I pushed my inner voice down, my physical body suffered. In 2015 I was diagnoised with a thyroid auto immune disease, hashimotos. I plunged into a new life of researching and trying new things. I went from a healthy person, to one that couldn't stay awake, my hair was falling out and I couldn't gain weight. I went on medicatons tried different diet restrictions and things moved in a better direction but I still hadn't found my trigger. August of 2016, I finally listened to my body. After multiple appointments and multiple crazy looks, I electively scheduled to have my implants removed. Come to find out, one of the implants ruptured shortly after my implant surgery. Having them removed was the best choice for my physical body, but that is when the journey started!

The damage physically was done. I have 3 auto-immune diseases, hashimotos, celiacs and scleroderma. I can no longer live my life the way I want. I have to eat differently. I have to stay active differently. I have to learn to handle my emotions and stress differently. I have shame when it comese to my body, I feel guilty for doing this to my body, even though I logically know I had no way of knowing. I have guilt that I am not living up to expecations. The biggest obstacle that separates me and others knowing this part of me is my abilty to be vunerable. I keep everything in, which I am learning isn't healthy. I have guilt and shame that keeps me from connecting with others. I isolate and retreat.

My biggest obstable is trusting that I am enough. I am enough to spend time healing, to ask for time to myself, to share and to grow on my identity through this journey.

My experiences have changed me. I would want you to see how it has been a driving force in putting myself first. The experiences have pushed me closer to finding and defining my identity and self worth. I am learning who I am. I am me. I am not an activity that I do, I am not a meal that I eat. I am me, ever changing I feel sometimes.

I strive to be an advocate for others to trust themselves, to forgive themselves, and to move forward in to a vulnerable space of healing. The experieces have taught me to search for answers outside of the cultural norm in my life. The experiences have brought me closer to my Faith. The obstacles I face are ever changing it seems. The biggest obstacle is explaining the consequences, both negative and postive, of my experience's aftermath. That obstacle applies to telling others as well as coming to grips with it myself. I will never be who I once was and that's ok. My experiemces are forcing me out of my comfort zone and it is a blessing that I get to learn so much about myself and interact in the world more genuinely and wholly.

I feel misunderstood in my quest to be healthy and educated in the aspects of food and alternative medicine. In my environment/family life it is very out of the norm to seek different answers that a Doctor would give me. Some of my familyand friends and trust the doctors and their practice with medicine, and I challenge it. I feel like I have to be quiet about my choices to seek different treatments. I feel like I silence myself, so I don't have to try and explain my position on my health and treatments. I feel like others don't value their health and it truly makes me sad for them.

I feel silenced by a twisted connotation of submitting. I feel like I should be more of one thing or another because of what society values currently. I feel like the twisted connotation of submitting puts me in the middle of how I want to act and how I am expected to act.

I don't want to change the way I see myself, I want to change how I feel about myself first. I wouldn't want to make changes until I felt comfortable and confident with myself and my choices. I want to see myself embrace the hard. Then, then I could see myself through clear eyes, full of acceptance of myself internally, not just phsyically.

I heard a quote and I agree, she said "she wished she could slap the society out of people." I couldn't have said it better. If I could change the one thing about the way I see myself, it would be they way I think others see me. I wish I didn't care, I wish the weight of others judgement didn't weigh me down. I would live in this world full of confidence if I could, when i can.

I want to change the gap in which I see myself and the worry of how others see me.

My name is Kelly and I am a tenacious woman.