By Stephanie Hollman (cast member on “Real Housewives of Dallas”)
A little over a month ago, I went on a journey to hopefully heal some open wounds from past and present. I went to a spiritual retreat called Hoffman Institute so I could find myself, address some internal conflicts and honor my past. I realized that some of my behaviors, habits, and insecurities could be passed down to my boys and I don’t want them carrying my insecurities and behaviors, and making them their own. I also realized that my past creates a barrier in the health of my marriage at times. I have been on a journey for a little over a year to learn to love and be kinder to myself, come to terms with old pain and see the good in life and in others. I hope to make those little voices in my head uplifting, kind and be a healthier, stronger role model to my sweet boys.
I use to be someone who cared so much of being perfect, making people feel a certain way and having a certain public image. I would leave social situations and immediately feel guilty for not spending enough time with guests or not doing the right thing or even making people feel special enough. I would drive myself crazy trying to be everything to everyone that I was nothing to myself and the people who needed me the most, many times that included my family. This is a pattern that has exhausted me my entire life, something I hope to change into a healthier pattern of self love, self acceptance and self compassion because you cannot truly love others the way they need to be loved until you first love yourself.
I want you all to know that I am a regular mom who second guesses herself, constantly feels mommy and wife guilt, and doesn’t always make the right decisions. I am a girl who has dealt with depression for much of her life. I know how lonely and scary depression can be and there have been times when it has been hard to get out of bed because of how overwhelming life seems. On TV, it is so easy to watch a glimpse of my life and be portrayed as a happy, bubbly person, but I do struggle with depression. Just as I am able turn on the cheerful personality, I am sure many of you have friends that are the same way. They are able to be kind, caring, and uplifting in social situations, while dealing with some demons of their own inside. I am not a socialite, I am not perfect, I struggle with self love and self worth and have always struggled with feelings of self doubt and shame.
Hoffman was like a lifetime of therapy jam packed into 7 days. Hoffman helped me find myself, love myself, and realize that I am only responsible for my feelings and actions. It has helped me see the world, my family, husband, friends, cast mates and children with new eyes. I realized that giving people power and letting old patterns take over your life is a choice, and something I want to work on to create healthier boundaries and stronger bonds with those I love.
Life is hard! We need to give ourselves and each other a break. Thank you all for everything you have given me! You have given me support, love and strength, and for that I am eternally grateful. There are times when I feel so down and alone and you write the most kind, supportive messages that bring me to my knees to thank God that he has surrounded me with so much love. Cheers to loving ourselves and each other a little more. Spread some kindness today and remind those around you that they are loved!