There can also be some shame with respect to my mental illness. I am quite a bubbly, extroverted person. So when I am vulnerable and talk about that side to me that is very sensitive and emotional, I almost feel like people don’t believe me.
I’ve surrounded myself with strong, powerful women. I look up to my mother all the time who came here to Australia when she couldn’t speak a word of English. She’s overcome the biggest hardship, I think. My smaller struggles just seem less significant.
There are so many people out there who do like me. I don’t know why, as a kid, I expected that everyone should love me. Of course, not everyone is going to be everyone’s cup of tea.
I spend 50% of my time on a construction site that’s a total boys club. I have found a lot of fulfillment, self-empowerment, and personal confidence by overcoming those obstacles in my day-to-day job. You know, I’m a 24-year-old girl who works on a construction site with 400 tradesmen.
Ever since I was a kid I was much bigger than everyone else. Everyone was tiny and I was like 6 foot by the time I was twelve. So imagine how I felt when everyone’s doing school sport and weighing themselves and I was like 20kg heavier! That was a lot for a little girl to take on. I felt so different.
I even wrote a contract with myself saying ‘Sarah you are never to eat naughty chocolates, and always make sure you’re eating in front of people’ signed by me and then the date. When I look back on things like that I’m realise, wow, I’ve come a long way.
It’s this double-edged sword of feeling like ‘yay now I’ve changed my hair, I feel better about myself’ but then also super conscious of other people perceiving me now as insecure.
when I get a wave of self-love I put it onto others. I just want to share that vibration. Literally passing on love is what self-love looks like because when you’re feeling that yourself you just want to give that to others.
Seeing people who suffer from illnesses that make it hard to love themselves, it makes me look at myself and realise just how lucky I am.
As females, I think we get to a certain age where you start to meet boys, and girls start becoming a little bit judgmental as that’s when insecurities start to come up. You start doubting yourself. For me, I had regular self-doubt like most other people. I was not a super skinny person, so I was like, ‘oh god, maybe I’m too fat? I’m not sure.’
Rachael Akhidenor