I have been mentally, emotionally, and verbally abused by a lot of people. “You’re worthless, you’re lazy, you’re a leech.” No, I’m severely disabled. After being bombarded with so much negativity, I stopped recognizing anything positive, and I went through a lot of pain before I could pull myself out of that emotional pit. I finally reached a mentality where I can say: “If you can’t accept me for who I am, then get out of my life.” That wasn’t an easy step to accomplish, but it was necessary in order for me to start healing. I will always lean on the people that are worth my trust, but real happiness starts from within. My Living Proof bracelet is like a constant, gentle hug to myself. Every nudge from the fabric reminds me to stay strong, and that I can endure anything. The words lay hidden against my skin because they’re meant for me, and no one else needs to know that it’s so much more than a pretty bracelet.