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  • jolwajda


Damn. This girl. I met Alyssa while working at a restaurant in Moncton, N.B. My first time seeing her, all I could think was, whoa this girl is STUNNING. Like, drop dead. And my second thought, after she opened her mouth, was that she was funny. Actually, incredibly so. I remember selfishly thinking, “…didn't know God gave with both hands but okay, cool.” We didn't spend much time together initially; I was on some sort of cleanse almost every other month and hardly, (okay, never), went out and socialized. But then she decided to go a year sober. We started weekly brunch dates, getting to know one another. One day over breakfast we started to open up to each other about childhood trauma. I was staring down intensely at my omelette and fruit bowl

nervously recalling something that had happened to me in my past. When I finished, I looked up at her and she was crying, and all I could think was… this girl gets it. We've had very different trauma, but trauma all the same. Fast forward a month or so, something pretty serious had happened to me. I phoned her in a panic, way too late, hoping to stay the night. She invited me with open arms. What ensued was five days of me occupying her space and time. With that came some of the most therapeutic soul-searching conversations I've ever had. She showed up for me hard; she signed over her apartment to me when she moved, and set me up with her therapist. She showed up for me at a time she wasn't even sure she could show up for herself, and she did it with ease. Before Alyssa moved to British Columbia, she was months into her cleanse, and let me tell you, I watched this girl change right before my eyes. When she left, I told her how much she was going to thrive when she moved to the west coast. And goddamn, did she prove me right. Alyssa started an elegant jewelry line that shares uplifting words of wisdom about mental health and trauma, and donates a portion of her earnings to the Canadian Mental Health Association. She has since spoken on two different podcast episodes about her severe childhood trauma and the mental illness that plagues her because of her childhood experiences. She started a blog to showcase that it’s okay not to be okay sometimes, and to bring light to the mental illness that people struggle with because of their toxic upbringing. It seems impossible to describe Alyssa in just a word or two, but fuck it, I like a challenge, so here goes: Alyssa is a fighter. She fights every day for the things she believes in; fiercely for the ones that she loves. She fights to advocate and bring awareness to the stigma of mental health. She fights to bring a platform for people to share their stories and struggles. She fights to be the best possible version of

herself, and she fights through the very real, very excruciating struggles of her own mental health. She fights. And she wins. And in my opinion, there just really isn’t anything more honourable than that. She has started to live the life of her dreams and is making the move to Houston, Texas to start a new chapter with her boyfriend, Israel. Check him out. He’s blowing up and bringing awareness to so many important subjects through his artwork… Like the “everyBODY” project he has recently started. Alyssa is doing GREAT things and is ALWAYS bringing big hoop energy to the mix. Expect to see more of her. This woman inspires me every day day to pursue my dreams, deal with my issues, and go for what I want. I'd be lost without her. Keep killing it girl. it's what you're good at. xo JW

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