It’s 6 a.m. and your alarm goes off. You make a deal with yourself that you can spend ten minutes on your phone before actually having to get out of bed. The glow of your device spills onto your face and you start the day off by reviewing everyone else’s highlights.
Tina is on vacation; Rebecca has a body of steel, and it looks like Dustin got his wife Roses again. Unconsciously, you carefully calculate precisely when your next vacation will be, determine it’s likely Rebecca is hungry and spends her life in the gym, and inadvertently roll your eyes at Dustin. You tell yourself they’re probably apology roses, and subscribe you’d rather not have that kind of negativity in your life. . . but then you catch yourself trying to remember the last time your husband got you roses. . .
Whether we’re conscious of it or not, we’ve allowed social media, and the fairy tale it portrays to become a part of our personal perceptions. It’s one thing to stay up-to-date on your friends' whereabouts, it’s quite another to use these stories as a litmus test for your comparative happiness.
The truth is, this isn’t the truth. Social media is the story we’re comfortable telling, but it’s not the whole story.
These are our friends, Kim and Scott. . . .
Kim and Scott are the faces behind Authentic Brave Apparel, a clothing company dedicated to telling the rest of the story.
This is their story.
After getting married, Kim and Scott were ready to take what is commonly acknowledged as the next step in their life and start a family. After the old fashioned way didn’t take, the two committed to starting fertility treatments. For nearly three years, Kim and Scott found themselves in and out of medical offices.
“It was expensive, it was stressful, and it was frustrating. It became a proverbial emotional roller coaster that would begin with a muted optimism, crescendo into cautious hope, and ultimately plummet into a pool of disappointment and despair.”
“Over and above the struggles we faced with infertility, we both struggle with anxiety and depression. We were sad. Looking back, there was a part of us that was ashamed. We wanted to be like everyone else and experience the happiness that appeared to exist in every corner of the world except for ours.”
“And then, finally, we got pregnant. . . and then I miscarried.”
After quietly accepting the solitude of their unhappiness, the couple decided to put their personal struggles to a more positive use, and Authentic Brave Apparel was born.
“We started this company with the intention of telling the rest of the story; we wanted the brand to serve as a reminder to people everywhere that they weren't alone. Knowing you’re not alone is half the battle. And if we can be of any assistance to people facing personal struggles, well that was an influence we were interested in having.”
“When you deal with anxiety or depression, there are no physical implications and perhaps this is why so many people struggle in thinking of it as an illness; it’s the anonymity of the illness that tends to make people feel alone. People don’t just wear signs that read: ‘I have anxiety’ or ‘I love someone that deals with depression.’ That’s what got us thinking, ‘but, what if they wore a tee shirt?”
“We chose the term ‘brave’ because of its capacity to mean different things to different people. Being brave might mean sharing your story, it might mean acknowledging you need help. Ultimately, we knew being brave is easier if you know you’re not alone.”
The brand and the positive messages associated to it are intended to emanate experience, and by extension, remind those wearing the clothes, or passersby, that not every story is a happy one, but that adversity has the capacity to foster a strength within us, and that can be a beautiful thing.
Take a look at some of the amazing looks we’ve created in celebrating this strong but beautiful brand.
Courage over Fear
Positive Mind. Positive Life. Positive Vibes.
Love and Gratitude
Authentic Brave Apparel
To purchase your own piece of positivity
keep an eye on their social media accounts for pop-up shops throughout western Canada.
If you or someone you know is struggling with infertility, please make a point of joining the Facebook Group, YANA (You Are Not Alone) - a support group for men and women facing infertility.