struck somewhere deep inside.

 

The words from the song, “Bring Me To Life” by Amy Lee captured my existence at that time.  When I first started dancing (stripping), I was 17, but it wasn't until 18 I worked in the clubs. At first it was something I saw as empowering, and glamorous. The money was good, which I justified for what was expected in the club. Over time, things changed. As a little girl, I once learned ballet, jazz, and tap, but this was not the dance of my youth. Overtime, I began to hate what I was doing. 

 

By the time I was 24, I was ready to be done. Because of how bad things had become, I checked myself into an out-patient treatment program to get sober.  Making that phone call to get help meant using my voice to speak up.  Somewhere along the way I lost my song and in my silence, there were many lies I believed about myself and what I was doing.  At that time, already five years in the industry and struggling, I would convince myself to work one last time.  For me, to continue in the industry meant not only losing my voice, my soul and my song, but my life. 

 

When I was little, I loved to sing, dance, and create.  All of those things I stopped, trading the movements of my body as groomed to do, to act like a commodity for what I thought was acceptance and power.  The time finally came when I wanted nothing more than to come alive again, because the lifestyle I was living caused me to feel dead inside. 

 

The process of leaving the industry was a challenge, but it was worth it.  As I turned to God, read my Bible, prayed, and worked with a counselor to get sober, things changed for the better. As I got sober, I got my voice back. Since I've gotten my voice back, I've also gotten my song back. Now,  I’ve been sober 13 years.

 

Some of my favorite things to do are sing, dance, and create in ways that honor God, but which also cause life in my Body, Spirit and Soul. I went back to college, got my degree, and now provide support and counseling for women coming out of tough circumstance. I've written two books, and know for certain, I would not have been able to do that, had I still been stuck in the industry using substances. But, I had to come to the place on my own, where I knew it was time to get out, and I know thats's the same thing for you. I love you and I honor you, whether you are still working in the industry or not. I get it. Please reach out if you'd like to visit, or perhaps simply get a cup of coffee together. I'd love to hear your story. 

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@ 2014 Bella Daughter