FIGHTING THE STIGMA FT. LEEANNE LOCKEN & STEPHANIE HOLLMAN #RHOD

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FIGHTING THE STIGMA…

Stephanie and LeeAnne are standing up against the fight, and making waves in the mental health community. The duo shared their brave stories of depression and suicide  along side mental health advocate, Vanessa Fernandes, at North Park Mall last Saturday. After opening up on camera about their past,  Stephanie and LeeAnne partnered with the Nation Alliance of Mental Health and Nordstrom to spread awareness and support for the community. The new friends took photo’s with fans and shared their message with attending guest. Battling my own demons in the past, I relate so much to Stephanie’s story and glad that she decided to share it with us on episode two.

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MY STORY…

Many choose to tell their stories, while most tend to hide things from the ones they love most. I myself, am a hider. Housewives is more than a show for me. While its crazy and fun to watch, it gave me an escape from life. For that one hour it airs, i’m submerged into the lives of others, forgetting all of my personal struggles. My story with mental health began as a gay teen growing up in a small town in the deep south. Unaware of any other gay people in my community, I began the battle with my inner self. Is something wrong with me? Why am I not normal? What will my life be like living a lie? Why me?…

With no one to turn too, this began eating away at me bit by bit. The more I tried to hide it the more depressed I became. I was a fat bullied gay teen living in the south with close minded family members. Slowly this started to effect my self-esteem. I didn’t want this life, I just wanted to be normal! Sinking further into the dark I knew I couldn’t handle living like this for the rest of my life…

I turned to the one thing that seemed to always make people happy, drugs. This began my downward spiral in life that luckily, came to a sudden Halt! But sadly, not before taking a little piece of me with it. As my academics started to slip, I became heavily involved in the wrong crowd. While it wasn’t a fix to my problems, being high kept me from being in my head and swimming in my feelings. It made me happy, and laugh hysterically for no reason. It came to a point where I was no longer able to function being sober. I was so sad, depressed, and alone I couldn’t handle being in my right state of mind. One dark night after being called a “Fag” in the middle of class, I thought to myself, I could just end the pain and all it would take is a bottle of water and a few pills.

This was the darkest time of my life. I remained in an altered state fighting the depression for several months before my parents caught on to everything I was doing. The same day they found out their innocent child was poisoning his body with substances, is the same day they found out I was gay. It was a rough few days in my household, but hearing my parents say they accept me made the pain start to fade. Slowly I started to come out to more and more people who supported me, boosting my confidence. I began to remember what life was like before I realizing I was different.

That dark place was the beginning of starting my path to the person I am today. Getting back to a normal routine, I began to remember on all those dark nights how this little reality show brung me so much happiness. Yes the show is full of drama and petty bullshit, but It was my escape from life. It allowed me to transport myself into another world that I would typically not be accustom too. I started to relate to these women and see that being vulnerable is not a bad thing, its normal. And most importantly, it’s healthy to your mental state! In life there will always be ups and downs, however having the right people who support you by your side is crucial.

Starting my new life here in Dallas, has helped me so much. I’ve gained this feeling of inner confidence and reliability in myself. I moved here with zero friends and/or family in the area. It has taught me to be independent, and that I can do anything if i set my mind to it. As the days have now turned into a month, I’ve realized the world has so much to offer than I ever felt living back home. Dallas is very gay friendly, therefore I don’t feel judged or in defense mode when going out in public. I have FINALLY reached that point in my life where I feel accepted, loved, and most importantly; worthy of myself.

THAT WAS A MOUTHFUL…

Now that I’m finished rambling on about my life, I want to thank Stephanie, LeeAnne, and also the other ladies of RHOD. They have been so kind, accepting, and loving to not only me, but the entire RHOD support group. I love these ladies and following their journey in life, and on camera. So keep on shining Stephanie and LeeAnne! You ladies truly are…

✨🌟STARS🌟✨

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