Today we’d like to introduce you to Melony Hill.
Melony, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Born into madness, my mother allowed her husband and friends to physically, emotionally and sexually abuse me from a very young age until her death from HIV when I was 17 years old. A lifetime of abuse and neglect left me with severe emotional scars that presented as “acting out.” Hyper-sexual, violent and extremely depressed, I wandered through life barely maintaining. By the time I turned 30 years old, I had been in the adult entertainment business professionally for five years and declared legally emotionally disabled.
I found out through extensive therapy that the lifetime of abuse and neglect had led to serious emotional instability. While I was questioning my duality and why I could live such different lifestyles simultaneously, I was suffering from an emotional disorder called dissociative identity disorder, along with other issues such as PTSD, depression and generalized anxiety disorder.
For the first time, I started to get the help I needed; I wasn’t being constantly told that I was a liar and making up my problems. For the first time in my life, I felt validated in my pain, my experiences and my survival in the face of extreme abuse and neglect for the majority of my life.
In 2017, after 7.5 years of therapy 1-3 days a week, I walked into my therapist’s office and was told she no longer took my insurance. Point blank, she dropped me; no cushion. I went home and got in bed, waiting for the world to end. I thought she was all I had, but God found me there in my despair. I kept hearing the phrase “stronger than my struggles” repeated in my head. What came next was the fruition of prophecy spoken over me in 2013 that I would travel the world and share my story of how God had saved me. I launched the Stronger Than My Struggles platform as a place for survivors from all walks of life to connect, commiserate and know they are no longer alone.
In the last two years, *I’ve published 8 books, becoming an award-winning author, and helped 16 others become published authors as well. With a focus on mental health and wellness, I’ve launched a series of live events, including the first-ever Black mental health awareness tour (Crazy Like A Fox Tour www.crazylikeafoxtour.com) in 2019. For the last two years, I’ve held a weekly free therapeutic writing workshop in the Baltimore area and hope to extend the program nationwide in 2020.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Talking about mental health and wellness in the Black community especially is never an easy thing. Being legally disabled and on a fixed income didn’t help much either. Thankfully, I was able to launch a Life Transformation Coaching business to help fund Stronger Than My Struggles before we acquired an investor. Additionally, my health is a huge barrier. I have days I can’t walk due to my fibromyalgia, days I can’t function due to my mental state, etc. It took my family quite some time to come around as well, talking about my pain highlights their flaws.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Stronger Than My Struggles – what should we know?
Stronger Than My Struggles is unique because not only was it started on a disability check and a dream but, it’s run by someone who is so transparent that it allows others to shed their masks. Battling D.I.D. (multiple personalities), I was forced to not hide anything in my past, but stand on them, as a platform and springboard to my future.
So many who have suffered trauma, feel that the things they survived or mechanisms they adapted to survive are so bad, distasteful, so unforgivable, that they hide in the background for the rest of their lives. Not over here, we empower survivors from all walks of life to step out of the shadows of their past into the bright light of their future.
As an organization, *I think what we are most proud of is our 4-city Black mental health awareness tour. They told us that Black people don’t care about mental health, city after city we proved them wrong.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Stronger Than My Struggles was founded on a disability check and a dream. Our initial website and promo materials were purchased with a donation from Canada. Our weekly therapeutic writing workshop is possible because of the scholarship I’m on through Impact Hub Baltimore. I would name everyone but I’d forget too many. In 2018, we were blessed to pick up a Belgian investor who fully funded our Black mental health awareness tour, community outreach, and donations thus far for the year.
For almost a year, I’ve been working with branding master, Jen Kem and doing self-development with Lisa Nichols, they have both helped Me remove lasting barriers that were keeping me from showing up my full self and creating the life I desired AND deserved.
- Life Transformation Coaching $1500-$2500 (3-month program)
- Support & Weekly Live Group Coaching (Free *Tuesdays in office)
- Website: http://www.strongerthanmystruggles.com
- Phone: 443-961-4636
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/strongerthanmystruggles
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/strongerthanmystruggles
- Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/stmsbmore
- Other: http://www.melonyhill.com