What does it mean to be yourself?

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Be Yourself Blog is a chance for Little Voice to share the stories of those finding their little voice, those struggling to hear it, and those using it to inspire others. These are the stories about people just like you, and how they listened to their inner voice to build, create, explore and discover.

AFTERTASTE is a unique three part blog that shares the personal story and struggle of Little Voice’s illustrator Samantha Clusiau-Lawlor. 

“When Samantha came to me with her story and her hope of sharing it with others, I immediately stood by her like any partner would! Little Voice is more than just a children’s book, we are a movement. Not just one movement, but many movements. Whether we are supporting Alzheimer’s disease or other causes in our community, or even Samantha’s story, we want to use our platform to support every little voice; in times of strength and times of weakness.” – Amanda Bernardo, author

Last week on June 2nd, the world came together to promote the World Eating Disorder Action Day. Today, Samantha is opening up with all of our readers on her own personal experience in an effort to promote a worldwide knowledge of eating disorders and the need for comprehensive treatment.

This is part two of Samantha’s story:

In December 2015, I hit my lowest low.

In October of that year, I had lost my grandmother to cancer three weeks after she was admitted to the hospital. Shortly after that, I had lost my job due to changes following the federal election. I had just bought a house with my boyfriend, and was worried about being able to afford it. The obstacles that were thrown my way made me take vigorous control of my body and food intake in the most punishing of ways. I buried my emotions and masked them with workouts, healthy food and a false sense of happiness. As a result, I was even thinner.

One evening, a dear friend of mine came over to see my new home and cheer me up about all the recent events that were taking place in my life. I could see this genuine concern in her eyes as she proceeded to ask me if everything was okay. I broke down. I couldn’t bear the weight (pun intended) of this obsession that was taking over my life. My little voice was shouting at me, and I could finally hear her loud and clear.

Before anad After

I admitted to her and to myself that I was done living this way.