How Her Pain Turned Into Something Beautiful

The Stories Project: Camille

Camille Paddock has been through a lot!  She was bullied to the point where she considered taking her own life.  Thankfully, she did not.  She decided to use the challenges she faced for positive change.  Check out Cam's Story, brought to you by our friends, The Nuno Twins:

She started her own online anti-bullying community through Facebook, called Cam's Dare to be Different where she could reach out to other people dealing with bullying and give them a place to vent and find hope.  She advocates for anti-bullying, suicide prevention, and "just being who you are."

Bullying Lead To Thoughts of Suicide

In 4th grade, Camille was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called Alopecia Areata, it caused her to lose her hair (including her eyebrows) which resulted in bullying from people at her school.  It got worse in middle school.  They called her names; like a freak, hairless cat, ugly, told her she was worthless.  Then they started calling her names online and they would text her and call her and say horrible things.  Camille fell into a deep depression that led to self-harm and thoughts of suicide.  She asked God, "Why, is this happening to me?"  She explains, "Suicide seemed like the only solution."
Then she wrote her suicide note.  She was home alone and had a bottle of pills she was ready to take.  Then the garage door opened and she heard her sister come into the house.  Her sister felt like something was wrong and that she needed to come home. She asked Camille, "Are you, okay?" and it hit Camille...she couldn't leave her family.  Camille decided she couldn't go through with suicide.

Sharing Her Story Helped Others

She wanted to get better, but she didn't know how.  Camille then decided to start a Facebook page, Cam's Dare to Be Different because she knows everyone has something about them that makes them different.  On her page, she shared her story, vented, shared inspiring quotes and stories that helped her so that they could help and inspire others.
[bctt tweet="Everyone has something about them that makes them different. #daretobedifferent"]
People started reaching out to her and it began the healing process for her.
She was a cheerleader at the time and the cheer gym asked her to share her story with a cheer team that was struggling with bullying, teasing, and bickering.  It was really hard for her to speak in front of those cheerleaders, but as she finished telling her story, she looked up and everyone had tears in their eyes.

Sharing Her Story Helped Her Heal

It hit her that she had the ability and power to do something good.  All of the pain and hurt she went through could be used for something beautiful.  The more she spoke at schools and events, the better she felt about herself because not only was she helping people but they were helping her to heal.

Tell Your Story (Video)


Have you been through something similar to Camille?  Is there a way you can use the pain and hurt you've experienced and turned it into something beautiful?  Let us know in the comments!

If you or a friend need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, for free confidential, 24/7 help. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world. For additional help, please visit the suicide prevention resource page.

For more information on bullying, here's a guide to understanding the types of bullying and cyberbullying and how to deal with it.

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