I was up again for the third night in a row, holding my 6 week old son in my arms. I could see the tears streaming down his little brown scrunched up face. He had been crying for over a hour at this point. As I walked down my hallway away from my bedroom (because I didn’t want to wake my husband) I rocked him, sang to him, kissed his sweet face, I tried everything I could think of to soothe him. He was still crying and before I knew it I felt the tears running down my cheeks too.
My son cried and I cried too, because I had no idea how to take his pain away. I had this crushing feeling like I had failed my job as a mother. I mean that’s my job, my sole purpose is to ensure the happiness, safety and well being of my children. And here I was 6 weeks in with baby #2 and I still couldn’t get it right.
That wasn’t the only thing that I couldn’t get right. Baby daddy and I just got married, moved into our first apartment, my big boy had just started Kindergarten, and I was finishing up my Bachelor’s.
I was drowning in a sea of responsibilities and confused about how to be everything everyone needed. to top it all off I felt fat, ugly, and unworthy. On the outside it appeared like everything was under control. I would wake up with the baby, get my oldest son, and husband ready for the day and then usher them out the door. Right after, it mommy duties until daddy came home then we’d switch off so I could attend night classes.
I was a B average student even when I wasn’t trying. After class I would come home and resume my mommy and wife duties. I would do the same thing the next day.
People would ask how’s the baby? The new place? How are the kids? How’s the married life? Never how are you Trea, what are you feeling? Are you ok? It got to a point where I didn’t even look in the mirror most days. I didn’t want to see what I was living in, what others saw when they looked at me. I didn’t want to see who I was becoming.
I went out one night for a friend’s birthday… almost 2 months after having my second son.
She sent me a photo from that night and I burst into tears immediately. I saw myself for the first time in a while and I was almost 100 pounds heavier than I had been before pregnancy.
My face, feet, my entire body was swollen. I didn’t recognize that woman in the picture. My friend didn’t understand my sadness, but she quickly replied “I think you look great. You just had a baby” What happened to my snapback though? I knew I had gained weight but I didn’t realize it had gotten that out of control. Between the breastfeeding, house cleaning, homework, husband and night classes I had put on a whole lot of weight.
I didn’t realize at the time but I was experiencing post-partum depression, my entire life I dealt with anxiety and low self esteem. However, after having the second baby and seeing that photo of myself I felt like I hit an all time low. I would take showers and stand underneath the water and sob until the water turned cold. I didn’t even want to shop for clothes, do my hair, nails. All the things that used to make me happy I no longer wanted to do. There were times where I wouldn’t even want to be around my children, because I didn’t feel like I was worthy of being their mother. I wasn’t worthy of my own children’s love.
My marriage suffered big time, my husband and I barely communicated, barely went out, we weren’t even being intimate. I didn’t feel sexy and couldn’t stand being naked with my own husband. There was one night, my husband and I had just finished arguing about him “not being satisfied”. I rolled over and picked up my laptop. I can’t even remember how or why youtube was on the screen but it was and I clicked on a brow tutorial by Beauty by JJ
As I watched her apply her makeup I fell in love with the confidence she exuded during her makeup tutorial. I fell in love with the finished look, the process, all of it. I wanted to feel beautiful like she did. Not just look pretty I wanted to feel it. I wanted to look in the mirror and like what I saw before the makeup and after. Everyday I watched beauty videos on YouTube, while I was doing homework, while my son was napping, while I cooked, all the time. Then I would go to the beauty supply store and purchase everything I saw the beauty gurus using. I would lock myself in the bathroom and try everything I watched.
At first I was terrible, but that wasn’t the point. For the first time in a long time I was looking in the mirror on a consistent basis and loving it. It wasn’t the jus the makeup it was the process applying the foundation, trying a new eyeshadow technique, a new lipstick. It was therapeutic for me, and boy did I love blowing our money on new makeup products (still do) .
Then something happened that I never expected, I began to want to do something about the body I was so ashamed of, the body that I had neglected, the body that I didn’t want to call mine.
It started off slow. I would get up at 5am and jog around the park by my house. The first couple of weeks I just walked around the park feeling stupid, embarrassed, and ashamed. But one day I was walking and another jogger said “You got this” as she jogged past me. I felt my feet begin to move faster and before I knew it I was jogging around the park. First for 15 min, then 30 min, then I would try to jog 2 miles everyday.
For the first time in 2 years I felt something inside of me, something I hadn’t felt in a long time. I begin changing my diet and incorporating more water, veggies and fruits. Forced hubby and the boys to change their eating habits with me. I began working out not 1 but 2 times a day and the boys even worked out with me encouraging me every step of the way.
It’s been 5 years since I began my love affair with makeup and it’s been worth every minute and penny. I like to think that makeup saved my life, I don’t know who I would be today if I hadn’t watched that first tutorial. I was in such a dark, lonely, cold space. Looking back on it now I feel so sorry for who I used to be and wish I could put my 28 year old self in my 22 year old body. If I could I would tell myself that everything will be ok, that I am Beautiful, Worthy and deserving of every pleasure life has to offer. I’ve lost over 50 pounds since then, got a masters degree, became a teacher, got my license, and hubby brought me a car!
If you would’ve told me 5 years ago that I’d be the woman I am today I would’ve laughed. Back then I couldn’t fathom all of these things happening, let alone happening to me. But it did and I’m so grateful. Grateful for every night I cried myself to sleep, grateful for all the days I was sore from working out, grateful for all the pain.
My love for makeup helped me find myself agin, helped me lose weight, and gain confidence. But how could I keep all of this to myself. I want to share my newfound love with every woman I can, which is why I became a makeup artist. Now I’m able to help women with applying makeup so they can slay and feel beautiful. I don’t believe women need to wear makeup to be beautiful. But there’s nothing like a sexy red lip or a pretty highlight accentuating the cheek bones.
This is my journey, my story, and how makeup saved my life.