I hope you feel beautiful today quote - Here's to Strength
Elise Riannen - Founder and Designer of Here's to Strength #theselflovemission. Lifestyle Blogger.


Cramping, aching, sharp, invisible, exhausting, stressful, lonely pain. Sound familiar?

It did and still does for me too!

Before I became the creator of Here's to Strength, I was a young, divorced, single mother in her 20's with a successful career managing 1800+ doctors in the government health industry. I was incredibly happy, funny, creative and most importantly in love with my role as a Mumma Bear.

Growing up, I had a pretty confronting childhood, battled anxiety, weight issues, migraines and ovarian cysts but when I was 24, everything changed.

Having just survived emotional, physical and sexual violence by my partner at the time,

I couldn't sleep, laugh or function anymore and was left only a shell of who I used to be.

Over time I started experiencing unknown and sudden widespread pain. 

Literally every part of my mind,

body and soul felt like it had been beaten up all over again. 

I can't recall exactly how many tests the doctors put me through, but the answer was always the same, "everything is normal, exercise and you'll feel better". 

I honestly wish I had a crystal ball that could have given me absolute direction because I spent years of my life devastated with how quickly my world was falling apart, trying to understand,  find miracle treatments, using any medication thrown at me, and dealing with the strained relationships around me that didn't believe or know how to understand that my illness was real or what it actually meant. 

I was grieving.

Not only did I feel the people in my life were failing me

but now my body was failing me too.


So how did I end up here?

Fast forward a few years and the answer is - it took time.
A long time to be exact..

I needed time to listen to my body and advocate for myself and what I was going through. I resigned from work, binge-watched American Survivor,

went camping and allowed myself to hide away from the world for a while without guilt.

It's funny because you would think that the hardest part about being in pain is the actual pain itself, but ironically for me it wasn't the pain but the fact that it felt like

no one seemed to believe it was actually real. 


 Two years later, countless doctors, hospital admissions, a crazy concoction of medications, lifestyle changes, and specifically requested tests that I begged for, I was finally diagnosed with a proper, thoroughly researched and evident illness that was proof it wasn't all in my head from grief. Once they found out one, the rest of the symptoms were quickly answered too. 

By the age of 27, I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Fibromyalgia,

Spinal Sclerosis, Bilateral Sacroiliac Arthropathy, Bilateral Bone Marrow Odema, Vasculitis, Joint Narrowing Disease, Joint Disfunction, Sacroilitis, Osteoarthritis,

CSF Leak (caused by a negligently performed lumbar puncture), Chronic Migraines,

Bilateral Sciatica, Bilateral Bursitis, Menieres Disease, Endometriosis, Cervical Lesions

and most recently Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome.  

I have to admit, I feel pretty proud of how hard I pushed to get the answers I got

because not everyone is lucky enough to get the answers they need like I eventually did, but if there is anything that my story can help others do, it is to never give up on yourself because your inner strength, willpower and belief will see you through.

Whether your pain is physical, mental, spiritual, permanent or temporary, you aren't alone, and that is why Here's to Strength was born. 

I wanted to create a self love movement where all the creature comforts were re-designed by someone who knew first hand what is actually comforting when you feel at your most vulnerable as well as give women an amazing experience sourcing chronic pain relief products. 

If you are like me and love wearing oversized t-shirt's, fluffy socks, cuddling up to heat packs, drinking too much coffee and craving constant love from your animals then this is the store for you!

Here's to Strength is all about toasting a cheers to your inner warrior.

You are the only person who can make a real difference to your life so give yourself a break, wear the comfy clothes, heat that heat pack and don't forget to believe! 

Sending you beauty, happiness, kindness, strength,

Elise x

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