I’m off on another adventure across country to California. I started in Charleston, SC with my friend Adam and Bryce. Our first stop was Las Vegas. Here are some of the images from there to the Grand Canyon. While driving I started tearing up, this world is so massive and ready to explore. I cannot begin to express how grateful I am to be alive and be able to present for this. For a long time I keep a job out of fear. Fear that I wasn’t going to pay my bills, fear of letting down my parents, fear of not being a photographer. Last year I finally left that job and am able to travel and create. I finally let go of pleasing others and started living my truth. Here’s the first part to my journey, I hope you enjoy the ride. Next stop, CALIFORNIA.
“Until you cross the bridge of your insecurities, you can’t begin to explore your possibilities.”
I’ve been working on this project with Alicia Johnson since September and finally ready to share. Tomorrow will mark my six month mark of being completely sober and TODAY is the women’s march in DC so it was only fitting for this to be released now.
When Alicia came to me suggesting this collaboration, it felt like this was what I had been called to do my whole life. As a rape and abuse survivor I’ve always wanted to help others, but I was worried about what other people would think, if anyone would believe me or if it would even matter. I’ve had ex bosses, co workers and family tell me not to post political or angry content on social media since it was deemed inappropriate. After the recent news about Kavanaugh Supreme Court and the #metoomoment, I feel like this is the time to come out. I’m setting my fear aside, this is my story, and it might be yours as well.
I’ve always felt different. From receiving threatening cat calls on the street to be raped and drugged. In college 70% of my female friends had experienced some type of abuse. It disgusted me, but I felt powerless. After the trauma in college occurred, my drinking and drug problem escalated to shade out my feelings of not being in control. This only made things worse, and I had a hard time helping others.
Most recently I had an ex stalk and threaten me. When I went to the police with emails they informed me he had to physically harm me for a restraining order. This escalated into a drinking binge where I ended up jumping out of a strangers moving car because he refused to take me home.
After this, I realized I had a problem. I had been running from my problems for ten years. I wanted to help others but I could barely take care of myself. I sought help from AA and I have been sober ever since. It was an extremely humbling experience to seek help and finally look at myself.
Since then, my life has changed drastically. I’ve been able to travel, I’ve made real connections, and helped others heal. I’m no longer a slave to substances and I can be present for myself and others.
I didn’t do any of this alone. I had an AA fellowship of amazing women, an amazing therapist, not to mention old friends that stuck by my side. I could never do this by myself and I am grateful to every single one of you.
If this story speaks to your truth, please like and share this video. We all have similar wounds that we are working to heal, and we can’t do this alone. If you are so called to message or comment your story I would love to hear it. The rise of the feminine is coming and the only way this will come to light is if we all band together. I love you, and I see you. You are important and you matter. We can do this.
If you’re still reading, I hope our message resonated with you and inspired you to live the best life you can. Please go to Alicia’s page to read her inspiring, strong and beautiful story.
If you want to see more of my work and similar content you can follow @stephaniesteinphoto on Instagram or www.stephaniestein.net/blog for all the images.
You are never alone, don’t forget it. 💓
Julia and I created an empowering sexy photoshoot. We had three different looks to create this dynamic and fun collection. Hope you enjoy them as much as we did making them <3