Woman who dreamed of suicide due to amputated hand has an inspirational message
A young woman, who was plagued by thoughts of suicide after having her hand amputated at birth, has turned her life around to become a body-positivity blogger with a powerful message. 23-year-old Molly Higgins, from Los Angeles, is now an ambassador for the NAM (Non-Airbrushed Me) movement and is hoping to inspire people in a similar situation to her.
Molly had her right hand removed shortly after she was born and has a severely damaged left one. She says that when she was growing up, she was constantly battling with "toxic thoughts" about what people thought of her, as well as becoming self-conscious of people staring at her in the street.
However, Molly has now defeated these thoughts and is on a mission to show the world that there is more to her than just being an amputee.
Speaking about her difficulties, Molly said:
"I haven't known life any other way. From the beginning, I had to learn how to do everything differently - there was no one else to look to for guidance or to teach me, which made me fiercely independent and headstrong. Each new experience was uncharted, uncertain waters which I had to traverse on my own."
"I also learned how to put up boundaries, walls and shields to protect myself. Don't look vulnerable. Don't look like you're struggling. Don't let them know you're hurting. Keep your guard up and make sure everyone thinks that you are fine, because you need to prove yourself, your strength, and your worth. And that's the way I've lived for most of my life."
"I've always felt the need to go above and beyond to prove to others that I am 'just like everyone else'. I don't feel like 'that girl with one hand', yet that's how I am perceived to many."
Molly says that the biggest obstacles she had to overcome as a youngster were those set by herself. While she acknowledges that the stares and whispers hindered her, it was her own psychological battles that were getting in the way.
"Yes, people judge me. Yes, people stare at me. Yes, people doubt my ability. But those people aren't really stopping me from what I want. Anything I haven't done was because of myself," she explained.
"My own fears and insecurities have held me back from experiencing so much life, which is why I want to fight back against those toxic thoughts and behaviours that tell me that I'm not good enough, not worthy enough, or that someone like me shouldn't do what I want to do.
"For maybe the first time in my life, I'm starting to think that I deserve happiness and fulfilment too - even if the way I can work towards it looks a bit different."
The 23-year-old uses her Instagram to document her life and spread a message of strength and positivity. Molly claims that social media has helped her grow, adding that she wasn't always the confident young woman that she now appears to be.
"Sometimes you have to fake it until you make it and showcasing myself and my struggles is an important part of getting closer to the confidence I wish I had," she added.
"Thoughts of others' judgements held me in a grip of fear and shame that I couldn't get out from under. I just wanted to hide constantly, and more than anything I wanted to be anyone else that wasn't me."
"I was in a deep depression that I didn't and couldn't confront for the majority of my life. I was bullied, dreamt of suicide, and was really angry about the circumstances I was placed in. But I just got to the point where I was tired of hating myself. It's exhausting."
"I resolved that it was my life and I only have one, so why didn't I let go and ease up on myself a bit? That's what motivated me to start being more open about my own struggles and journey, because I felt so alone for so long and didn't want others to feel the hopelessness and isolation I felt."
In terms of the advice Molly would issue to other people having similar thoughts, she says:
"Become your own best friend. You are stuck with you forever, so start to love yourself."
Molly's story is one of strength and resilience. In a world where those who don't conform to society's 'beauty standards' are pushed to the outskirts, we need more people like Molly to stand up for those who feel marginalised.