The Good Fight and Finding Your Beauty Within

Pittsburgh Boudoir Photographer-0005-3Sometimes our biggest obstacle is ourself. Sometimes our biggest fight is with ourself. Most times in life your best friend and greatest enemy is the person staring right back at you in the mirror. It's a reckoning. It's a knock down drag out fight that's bloody, hurts like hell and leaves you in rivers of tears. But when you finally give up and give in to what will be, and you surrender yourself to letting go of all that you thought you had control over, there is a peace in it. A slow exhale that allows the next breath to be the first step in acceptance, courage and healing. It's one of the most beautiful things in the world to witness.

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Meet Roxxy. She's bold and gregarious. She's quiet and sweet. She's funny and loves to laugh. She is beautiful. I met Roxxy a few years ago when she came in for a session with me. We had a silly amount of fun so when I got an email that she was back to see me again I was thrilled! Roxxy brings a couple of rays of sunshine with her no matter where she goes and of course that is always welcome in my studio. A few email exchanges here and there and all of a sudden I get this:

"For the past year and half, I've seen all kinds of doctors and been tested for everything in the entire world for something that started off as a bad neck pain and mood changes. My diagnosis has changed at least 7 times with two of them pretty much staying the same. 
What we do know is that I have a neurological/autoimmune disease. As to which one it is exactly is the tricky part because they all mimic each other so much. Diagnosis of these types are done by exclusion. I do have Dystonia and Chorea. These are both Neuro disorders that affect my nerves and muscles. but these are not the actual disease itself, they are the beginning
symptoms to bigger problems. They have placed their bets on Huntington's Disease.
I see what all of these things have done to me that are probably not noticeable to others but bother me terribly. It's been a rough year and for awhile I pouted like a big baby and lost myself. It didn't work out too well for me so I've decided no matter what it is, I'm not going to go out without a fight and that means I'm gonna look good and hot for as long as I can. I don't care if people think I'm too much. I got to use what Mother Nature gave me before Father Time takes it away. I want beautiful memories of the fun me! 
And that's where I need you. There was no doubt I'd have to come back to you or I just wouldn't do them. You're FANTASTIC and your work is AMAZING☺️. You did such an amazing job last time with everything from making me feel comfortable and pretty and confident and sassy. Hehe! I loved it all and I think this is exactly what I need now." 
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My goodness. Cut to session day, and through a roller coaster of many laughs and lots of tears, we captured Roxxy as she is: tough as nails, soft as feathers and simply gorgeous.
And after a few more email exchanges, I woke up to this:
"You're the sweetest and truly have an amazing personality and spirit in you. It's contagious. 
I can't wait to see the edits too. It was just what I needed. Now I'm crying again. It sucks being a damn girl. Lol! You're also one of the first people besides my close friends I've told about my struggles.  There's a shame you feel about it or maybe it's just me. But talking with you was very helpful and kind of lifted this huge weight I've been carrying around on my shoulders. For once I didn't feel ashamed. I felt in control. I felt good and it was nice to have a day where you leave your problems at the door. It's like you physically and mentally strip yourself of your issues. And that was because of you. 
I'm sure there are other women out there maybe not suffering from the same thing but feel the same way. And they probably have never thought of doing something like that. 
I saw your video with the friends and I thought it was sweet. Girl power❤️❤️❤️. Maybe sharing something like this could help push others to get out and do the same. Give them the courage to stop being ashamed and embrace change. Like you said, we can't let it control us. We need to take back our lives and feel good again. 
You have that power. I can't say it enough how wonderful you are.  You bring out the best in people. Just like it sounds like your husband has with his disease. I know you filmed some of it but I was still a little nervous. If it's something you're interested in maybe we could redo the questions when I'm not so nervous. 
I can't thank you enough for helping me, it may seem little but today was very empowering and honestly the best day I've had in awhile. More people need you in their lives. You're amazing❤️❤️❤️❤️
Fight the good fight. It's worth it.
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Makeover by Jae Lee Paredes.