Accepting weakness begets strength.

I began my day depressed and anxious and exhausted as soon as i woke up.

I didn’t want to go to group therapy– i just wanted to wallow in frustration and go back to sleep.

But i recognized my responsibility to myself and my mental health.

I can’t force my emotions to change by the snap of my fingers or a fake smile…

…so i decided to embrace my darker feelings and allow myself to feel however i do throughout the day…

…while still adhering to my responsibilities to my well-being. (Including taking a PRN anxiety medication to help me better manage my stress..)

You can even see it in my outfit!

Especially my earrings…

I am queen of my darkness, and equally queen of my light.

I can own my struggles, i can own my pains, i can own those emotions that feel so very close to death.

They are mine, but i am not theirs.

I can relax in who i am, moment to moment, and see beauty even in the dark and quiet.

I aimed only to allow myself to feel, even if the feelings are dark.

I expected myself to be tired and mostly disengaged at group, but present.

….But, you know the funny thing?

I got to group,

I saw the beauty in the people around me, in spite of their traumas, weaknesses, doubts, pains, and very present darknesses.

So much beauty. So much pain. But so much hope, just barely in sight, for each of us.

The beauty of their stories and their vulnerabilities brought about connection and reassurance.

I became so glad i came to the group.

My own darknesses faded to the background,

–Still there, but as a dark canvas, ready to contrast with an image of bright, brilliant colors–

Replaced by a HAPPY, bubbly, talkative, supportive version of myself that i’ve only rarely gotten to experience.

I’m learning to love that girl– That happy-go-lucky but insightful version of me.

…as i’m also learning to love that broken, righteously angry, introspective, and compassionate me.

She is one and the same.

Beautiful and whole.

Strong through weakness.

Compassionate through pain.

Read More of Alissa’s Style Journey:

“It Isn’t Love If It’s Selfish” – An Outfit Representing Lost Love and Vulnerability

“It Isn’t Love If It’s Selfish” – An Outfit Representing Lost Love and Vulnerability

For so long, i’ve told myself: “It isn’t love if it’s selfish”.

There’s still nothing in me that has stopped believing that’s true.

Desire paired with selfishness is only possessiveness and in action, it’s only consumption.

It’s cruel and it enslaves. It suffocates. It disregards the needs, wants, and desires of another. It inflicts pain to all involved.

But what makes something selfish, anyway?
I’m not sure i actually know….. Is everything i want automatically selfish in my mind?… everything i think i can’t have?

More Mental Health Blog Posts:

Neutral Colors – Color Psychology Questionnaire Results

The following post is part of a series on how colors affect us. Much of the information contained is thanks to my wonderful readers who took the time to think about how they feel about various colors, submitting their opinions into my questionnaire. My hope is that it...

Happiness Is Freedom

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I do not believe that false “joy” and stagnant “hope” are the answer…But i do believe that happiness can be discovered in little things when you feel like it’s nowhere to be found. When we’re able to find true happiness, we gain power to free ourselves, both on an emotional level and in a way that allows us to more easily work towards our goals, which will set us free on a more tangible level.

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Fashion + Self Love Party: Uplift Your Confidence and Self-Esteem with Fashion

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Guest post by Lia from A Southern Girl, Lia.
Fashion and the clothes you choose reflect and affect your mood and attitude.
The magic begins when you find a super cute outfit, you put it on grab some heels and Bam! You see a different person in the mirror and so you start acting like one too. Your confidence starts showing and you start building a high self-esteem. Don’t forget that little dance we all do in front of the mirror when we are feeling fabulous.
I hope that my step by step routine is of help to you!

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Confidence and Self Love – Encouragement From Imaan at The August Clause

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Confidence is an interesting thing, isn’t it? Some seem to shine with it, and with ease. Others feel they’ll never find it. But really, all of us deal with a lack of it from time to time. It comes and goes. We can be so hard on ourselves, and that attitude of shame then easily permeates the rest of our lives. We need to learn to love ourselves. And love is a continuous action…so sometimes we have to learn again and again.

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Dressing Up With Nowhere to Go

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A lot of people envy a work-at-home life, sitting around in pajamas all day. But i can’t stand this anymore. Though i’ve always known i don’t work my best unless i get up and dressed, i’ve still gotten caught in this lazy cycle.
So, this week, i decided i’m going to get all dressed up, even though i have nowhere to go.
Maybe this will help me, maybe it won’t. Maybe it will just give me more to panic over. But i figure it couldn’t be worse than just sitting around, having given up on trying.

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Fashion + Self Love Party: What to Wear When Your Heart’s Been Broken

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Finding Comfort in Your Clothes After Heartbreak:
Guest post by Josie Mills from Open Mind Fashion (OMF).
I kissed a few frogs on the path to meeting my prince, my husband. And along the way, some left me green and croaking for a while. In those tough times, I would become even more aware of the textures & qualities of my clothes–my clothes became a form of solace, and dressing up would help me get through the next day even though I wanted to die.

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Dressing Up With Nowhere to Go – Day 7

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I challenged myself at the beginning of this week to stop being lazy about my outfits just because i have nowhere to go, and instead start getting dressed up in clothes that make me feel good about myself that day.

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I was surprised just how much more empowered i’ve been feeling with this simple task. By putting on clothes i love, and doing so for no apparent reason besides deciding i want to, i’ve also been putting on confidence.

What do you think? Will you try getting #AllDressedUp this week and see what it does for you?

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Warm Colors – Color Psychology Questionnaire Results

The following post is part of a series on how colors affect us. Much of the information contained is thanks to my wonderful readers who took the time to think about how they feel about various colors, submitting their opinions into my questionnaire. My hope is that it...

Connecting With Emotion

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Spending some extra time deciding on my outfits is my favorite way to recognize my emotions and prioritize my mental health.
Artistic expression has always allowed me an avenue to slow down, explore, and find beauty in the things i feel.
Sometimes connecting with my emotions feels like pure magic… I find power in being in sync with how i feel and accepting myself as i am.

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Never Have I Ever – #FashionSelfLoveParty Game – Fashion Blunders Edition

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Never Have I Ever – Fashion Blunders Edition!
We’re about to get REAL…

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The most honest people win!
1 point for everything you HAVE done.
Share: How many points did you get?
Which one do you think is the hardest to overcome?

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More Fashion-Philosophy:

Classy Colorful Confidence: A Style Story Interview with Shannon Holmes | + Thoughts on Building Confidence, Alabama Culture, and The Beauty of Kindness

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Shannon is a cheerful wife, mom, grandmother, and Realtor who lives and works in the Birmingham and Auburn areas of Alabama. She enjoys sharing her love for fashion, color, and life on her Instagram @StyleShenanigens.
Her confidence is unwavering, every day is an opportunity to be her best, and it truly shows in the playful professionalism of each outfit she wears. Her classy silhouettes elude her high standards for herself, and every pop of color gives way to her warm, open personality and kindheartedness. She’s incredibly sweet, passionate about life and people, and her upbeat attitude is inspiring.

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Happiness Is Freedom

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I do not believe that false “joy” and stagnant “hope” are the answer…But i do believe that happiness can be discovered in little things when you feel like it’s nowhere to be found. When we’re able to find true happiness, we gain power to free ourselves, both on an emotional level and in a way that allows us to more easily work towards our goals, which will set us free on a more tangible level.

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Fashion + Self Love Party: Love Your Style, Love Yourself

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Guest post by Alice from A Lot on Your Mind.
Two psychologists, Hajo and Galinksy (2012), coined the term ‘enclothed cognition’ which argues that your style reflects and affects your mood, health, and overall confidence. If our clothes affect our mood, why don’t we choose the clothes that express our best selves and will make us feel legitimately beautiful?
Here are some tips to owning your personal style:

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8 Elements of Character Costume Design

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Whether it’s for Halloween, Disney-bounding on vacation, or just for the fun of putting together an outfit that’s inspired by a favorite movie, TV, video game, or book character–I think we all enjoy getting into somebody else’s shoes every once in a while.

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This post will be looking not only at how to get the aesthetics right, but also at how to use character traits and storyline for inspiration, so we can get to the heart of the character we are portraying.

So, here are 8 aspects of costume and character design to consider before creating your character-based outfit:

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Attitude & Artistry: A Style Story Interview with Kader | + Thoughts on Culture, Confidence, and Compassion

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“I think the most iconic thing [about my style] is my attitude. I grew up in a culture where women are expected to wear certain things and expected to behave in certain ways  … The more I found myself internally, the more it is reflected to the outside world. I’m confident, outgoing, friendly, and open minded and when it comes to my style I feel like I project the same characteristics.”  –  Kader

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Kader oozes confidence, charm, and creativity in every outfit she wears. She appreciates beauty and beyond the surface, she holds a universe of profound thoughts and a heart of gold.

Another Post You Might Like:  #ClothingSpeaksMe - Communicating Who You Are Through What You Wear

Confidence and Self Love – Encouragement From Imaan at The August Clause

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Confidence is an interesting thing, isn’t it? Some seem to shine with it, and with ease. Others feel they’ll never find it. But really, all of us deal with a lack of it from time to time. It comes and goes. We can be so hard on ourselves, and that attitude of shame then easily permeates the rest of our lives. We need to learn to love ourselves. And love is a continuous action…so sometimes we have to learn again and again.

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Fashion + Self Love Party: Curbing Unhealthy Spending & Loving the Wardrobe You Already Have

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Guest post by Lindsey from Have Clothes, Will Travel.
Living in a day and age where everywhere we turn there is pressure to buy the latest and greatest fashion makes it very easy to fall into the “retail therapy” trap. And to make it even more difficult, our brain actually releases the pleasure-inducing chemical dopamine when you buy something new…
…getting addicted to this high is not only bad for your overall self-esteem, it can, obviously, be very damaging to your wallet.
However, I’ve taken a few measures to correct this…
… the trick to it all is creating the illusion you have a ton of clothes by swapping out key pieces when styling your outfits with clothes you already own.

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Dressing Up With Nowhere to Go – Day 2

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Starting your day off with one little thing that oozes confidence can go a long way in positively impacting your day–i think that’s why dressing up is helping me so far…plus, by dressing up, you’re carrying that confidence right over your skin….it’s close and touchable, and therefore easier to remember. If you feel comfortable in your own skin, it’s a little easier to feel comfortable with your mind and your soul.

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Never Have I Ever – #FashionSelfLoveParty Game – Self-Care Edition

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Never Have i Ever – Self-Care Edition.

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1 point for everything you HAVE done!
Have you made good progress in taking better care of yourself?
Share: How many points did you get??
What are you missing?…Which one will you work on today?

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How to Make Your Clothes Tell a Story – Fashion, Storytelling, and Symbolism

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How can you tell a story through your clothes? What we wear hints at who we are. It’s a powerful experience when we wear clothes that tell a story. Unfortunately, the meaning isn’t always clear to all who see your outfit–Often times leading to misconceptions based off of stereotypes. But using symbolism is a good start to bring more clarity.

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Styles You’ll Enjoy If You Liked This Outfit:

Dressing Up With Nowhere to Go – Day 5

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The day didn’t start out fantastic, but…I’m going to be fair to myself, with a focus on self-care and making sure i’m comfortable–first and foremost–while still pushing myself to do all that is necessary so that i feel accomplished at the end of the day.

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So i’ll start off with comfy clothes and accepting that this post is being published later than the other ones were.

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Dressing Up With Nowhere to Go – Day 4

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Oops. Two days in a row the title is not true. My family is going out this afternoon to see a play, and i decided to go with them. Funny how the week i decide to dress up despite having nowhere to go, i actually have places to go, huh?

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Happiness Is Freedom

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I do not believe that false “joy” and stagnant “hope” are the answer…But i do believe that happiness can be discovered in little things when you feel like it’s nowhere to be found. When we’re able to find true happiness, we gain power to free ourselves, both on an emotional level and in a way that allows us to more easily work towards our goals, which will set us free on a more tangible level.

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Where is Far, Far Away and How Do i Get There? | Peaceful and Adventurous OotD

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“Where is far, far away and how do I get there?” Adventure fuels my soul, but i’ve felt incredibly stuck. I MUST maintain inner peace as the first step in any new adventure. This peaceful and adventurous outfit embodies these things.

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Quaint Fashion Deals: Deep Discounts on Mori Kei and Cabincore Style Clothing

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Quaint Style is charming, peaceful, sweet, and independent. Based off Mori-Kei and Cabincore/Cottagecore, It’s quirky but cozy…fit for a princess who’s grown accustomed to being lost in the woods.

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Enjoy these quaint products at sales prices over 40% off while you can!

I regularly curate this page, so come back again to browse more newly discounted products in a few weeks.

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Dead Tired

I've been chronically exhausted since i was, like, 8 years old. I don't know why, but hopefully will soon. I'm finally getting it addressed with doctors... My psychiatrist gave me a cortisol test kit to see if i have adrenal fatigue and my primary physician referred...

Pages – An Outfit Representing a New Chapter of Life

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Life is a story… That we get to take part in both reading and writing!
We get to create who we want to be.
We get to watch life unfold.
Let’s enjoy every page!
What do you hope to “write” in this next chapter of your life?

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“It Isn’t Love If It’s Selfish” – An Outfit Representing Lost Love and Vulnerability

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For so long, i’ve told myself: “It isn’t love if it’s selfish”.

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There’s still nothing in me that has stopped believing that’s true.

Desire paired with selfishness is only possessiveness and in action, it’s only consumption.

It’s cruel and it enslaves. It suffocates. It disregards the needs, wants, and desires of another. It inflicts pain to all involved.

But what makes something selfish, anyway?
I’m not sure i actually know….. Is everything i want automatically selfish in my mind?… everything i think i can’t have?

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Quaint Style Guide: 5 Elements of Cozy Mori-Kei Fashion

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Charming clothing that is reminiscent of quiet and content, cabin-in-the-woods life–perfect for peaceful, sweet, nostalgic, quirky, independent (and especially introverted) individuals with a love for nature, creative works, and the idealistic thought of more simple, natural and relaxed living.
If that sounds like you, read on to learn how to create a wardrobe that is as Quaint as your soul, and slip into a quiet mindset as these nostalgic and cozy looks inspire a tranquil life full of simple pleasures and independence, surrounded by nature. With this charming, warm and comfy wardrobe strongly inspired by Mori-Kei (Japanese – Translates: “Forest Style”) you may experience a sense of peace and comfort in even the most hectic of days.

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Connecting With Emotion

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Spending some extra time deciding on my outfits is my favorite way to recognize my emotions and prioritize my mental health.
Artistic expression has always allowed me an avenue to slow down, explore, and find beauty in the things i feel.
Sometimes connecting with my emotions feels like pure magic… I find power in being in sync with how i feel and accepting myself as i am.

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10 Steps to Declutter Your Closet for a Wardrobe You Love
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