Jill Ana

Why would you like to be a part of this project? 

I want to show all of myself to the world; to say I am who I am, how far I’ve come and how proud I am of the things I have conquered. Through all the craziness, the pain, and the gut wrenching heartache, I’m finally at a point where I love my self, inside and out. I want to give myself this gift and share with others that we are all beautiful.

What about the project speaks to you, and how do you think you would benefit from and to the project? 

I find this project so inspiring; looking past the flaws we see in ourselves or that others have projected onto us. We are all strong and beautiful and deserve to find empowerment in that. Honouring our past struggles, our femininity, our power, and all that we have given and still have to give to our family, friends, and community. 
I want to be a link in this amazing and empowering chain of women. A chain I know that has helped me and will help others. I want to take a moment and set all internal crap I’m still holding and have fun just being in my body, above the earth, below the sky, connecting with everything. I want to be able to look back at this experience and remember the complete hell I went through and am still able to smile, am still beautiful, and nothing will take that away from me.

What kind of inspiration can you contribute? 

We have all experienced pain, but there is beauty in that.There are sides of ourselves we would have never discovered without the pain and heartache that are bricks building us towards who we are and who we will become.  
Each struggle is real; what may be a small struggle to one, can be the hardest thing another has ever been through. We can support each other, love each other, help each other know that no one is alone. Even amongst the darkest and stormiest sea, there is a lighthouse that will give you hope and a direction out of the struggle. I want to share that with anyone and everyone that I can.

What's your story?

This past year has been horrifically hard. So many things happened that could have torn me or my loved ones apart. One thing after another that tore at everything I am. The anxiety and depression were overwhelming at times; I couldn’t be by myself in my apartment, in my car, I even started to have panic attacks going to the bathroom by myself. I honestly didn’t know if I would make it through.  
I worked to make sure that I took care of myself so that I could help my family through all the painful turmoil that kept getting thrown at us. I ended up back on pharmaceuticals after I had worked so hard to get off of them. I would never judge another person for their use of them, but I always tore myself apart for my need of them; something that others in my past didn’t help with. I had to take some space for myself to let my internal judgment go, and feel how much more myself I was after I started taking them again. I was able to find beauty and joy in things again, and in myself.

I feel immense gratitude in myself for reaching out to be a part of this incredible project, gratitude in the women organizing and running it, and gratitude to all the women for their bravery and strength.

- Jill Ana