Diana, Orlando, and Mat

Samantha Chamberlain

People of Corpus is designed to allow people the space to share their stories, open their hearts, and expand their minds. Last week Diana shared how she had to reinvent parts of herself. Orlando expressed how he had to learn to love his authentic self before loving others. Mat recollected a time of desperation which ultimately led to a big change in his heart.

We all have a story to share that will undoubtedly help others heal. As we continue to learn each other's experiences, we are able to bond beyond artificial means... with people we've never even met in person.

And so, I wish to speak on the ways this project is healing me, by going over their stories in this blog centered around People of Corpus. I will share whatever comes to mind about these posts until it stops being cathartic. Maybe you'll get something out of it too.

This is a safe space. If you'd like to take the first step in opening up, you can come forward here. We're rooting for you.



Diana is one of the most gentle and helpful souls I know. I feel that her having experienced this sort of grief has helped shaped her into the person she is today- a person who is friendly, supportive, and kind.

Although we tend to think of grief as death, I believe that individuals who struggle with addiction aren't entirely the person we have come to know. We still love them, but a big part of them has changed. It's in that change it feels as if we've lost them. Only they're still there.

Still loved. Still loving. Still capable of seeing more, feeling more, and being more themselves than ever before.

As Diana explained, we all are.



While I don't know Orlando personally, I hope to eventually. From how I read this, it's at the lowest point in his life that he realized he needed to love himself before loving others, which meant putting himself first. This sounds cliché, but is so so true.

Please, take it from him, take it from me, and whoever else you've heard this from: Love yourself. The health of your relationships with family, friends, and strangers can be determined by the amount of love you give yourself.

The less you love yourself, the harder it is to make decisions that are good for your well-being. Period.

I got married before I loved myself. Bad decision.

I stayed during abuse. Bad decision.

The person I became then was the person I was repeatedly told I was: bad. My identity was defined by others, because I didn't love myself enough to know that I was more than my mistakes. The decisions I made as a result? Bad.

We take a lot of shit that can completely alter who we are, just because we feel like it's what we deserve. You deserve whatever you want in this life. And you can have it as so long as you believe you're worthy of it. Once you understand this, all you have to do is accept what's already yours.

Stop taking shit. Put yourself first. Be who you are destined to be.

Easier said than done.



Do you remember periods of time where you felt desperation? I feel like we all could probably name a few. Maybe there were times that dealt with money or food, alcohol or drugs, depression or anxiety... the list could go on. 

A moment that's off the top of my head was one of my last dates with my husband. We went out for a night on the town trying to salvage our marriage, but I was too far gone. Before we went out, I had dropped acid and popped a molly. A term I learned later that night which was known as "candyflipping."

The entire time we slammed back drinks, he thought we were fine -never realizing that the only reason our date was going better than all the others was because I was under an influence that made me stop caring about our very pressing, deeply rooted problems.

I remember leaning my head out of his car window, smiling in the pleasantness of the breeze, while feeling a deep sadness in the pit of my stomach at our extravagant, yet lifeless relationship. I was desperate to feel better, but as so long as I was in his presence it couldn't be helped. Not even on ecstacy.

Looking back, it's as if I did everything wrong in those final months. Maybe I was trying to escape the inevitable separation. Maybe I was sabotaging it all too. When things were beginning to look up, I was focusing in on everything that could hold me down.

I feel like loving yourself is the opposite of that escapism, self-sabotage, and pessimism.

Who wants to live life in a way where they feel the need to runaway and hide? This restlessness... it's destructive to your inner peace. It's the separation of you from yourself.

Like Mat, I live with intention now.

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