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The HER behind the smile.

Hi Everyone!

Welcome to Behind Her Smile, my name is Ashley Forte and I am blogging out of Kansas City, Missouri! I am a 26 year old mom, Behavior Interventionist, and a Cheer Coach. Mental health awareness and advocacy are my biggest passions and something I love to research and digest in my spare time. I am constantly learning how I can live my life according to Gods word and live out his plan He has for me. I love to shop, mainly online, read my favorite blogs and watch movies with zero interruptions!

Writing has always been therapeutic to me. Actually, my earliest memories of me writing are from around 2nd grade, I still have a few of my first “diaries”, in which most of the memories are somber and grave. But, if you ask anyone who knew me as a child they would say the polar opposite—I was always the life of the party, smiling and one of the most positive people they would want to be around. Dark thoughts plagued me from the time I woke up until the time I closed my eyes. Depression in children will sometimes be overlooked and seen as defiant or disruptive behaviors. My childhood depression  interfered with school work, which is still a trigger for me, and maintaining positive relationships with my family.

Luckily, I have parents who recognized signs early on and got me the help I needed and deserved. That does not mean my elementary years to the present weren’t full of trials, tribulations, suicide thoughts and an attempt. It means I have lived and learned about myself, which has subconsciously brought me to my purpose. My purpose as a person and blogger is to motivate you, inspire you, and share what has helped me these last 18 years. Mental health is essential to your overall well-being and it is my job to help you reach your healthiest you while feeling at home. I am the voice for those who are ready to win their race against mental illness.

There is no need to be embarrassed, ashamed or weak. I am the daughter of one of the most high profile men in my area. My father is Darryl Forte, KCPD Retired Police Chief. He was a Police Officer from before I was born until May 2017. I mention that because a lot of my actions I would have to watch due to his position. During my junior year of college, I went months without medicine, therapy and anything else I needed to be mentally healthy. I didn’t say anything to anyone due to his position being so prominent in our community that I didn’t want to “embarrass” him if I checked myself into a hospital. After class one day I jumped in my car and drove myself home and asked my parents to take me to the psychiatric hospital not too far from our house. I let them know that I hadn’t felt like “myself” in a long time but didn’t want to say anything because I didn’t want anyone knowing who my dad was once I got in the hospital. My sigh of relief came when my dad told me he was proud of me for recognizing when I needed help and that he would never be embarrassed of me. I mention this story because getting help and knowing you need help is the strongest thing you can do. Our minds can become ill and can be just as debilitating as a physical condition. 1 in 4 people will be affected by mental illness at some point in their life and if you’re the 1 then you are not alone and will never be alone.

Throughout the series of my posts I will be sharing my personal testimony and what has aided in my healing and recovery from my lows.  You will get fresh new posts at least once a week! Each week will be something different including topics like: The importance of positive self talk, how to win over depressing thoughts, how can we change the way mental health is viewed, and why writing is good for your health. Those are a handful of topics I will delve into, but I also want to hear from you! What are you interested in? What is something you would love for me to write about? I’m all ears 🙂

I hope you laugh with me, cry with me and ultimately find your way to a happier and healthier you!

You can use the contact page to leave me a message or to schedule a speaking engagement at behindhersmileblog@gmail.com or leave a comment under the post 🙂 I can’t wait to go on this journey with you all!

Behind Her Smile (3)

Be the author of your own story.

xx-

Ash

32 thoughts on “The HER behind the smile.

  1. I’ve been your long distant friend for years and I never n we about this. You have and still are a bright, strong, and kind person. I often looked to you for guidance and support not knowing your were dealing with your own issue. I thank you for always listening , states away and with everything you go through. I am so happy you found a passion and voice from you experiences. I love you to the moon and back friend and I cannot wait to see what you do with this blog. Congratulations & happy blogging.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So excited for this AshFo!! This is beautiful and will help so many people! Love you!

    On another note, I’d like to know how you’ve managed to be a strong mother in spite of your obstacles? What are some things I should take into consideration while journeying through motherhood? ♥️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Monie!
      Good question and super important question to ask! I knew long before I became a mother that when it was my time to be a mom I made sure I kept myself first. It will be super hard making sure that YOU are taken care of, mentally and physically, but you can’t take care of another human being if you are not cared for. Make sure you are using self care practices like praying, taking walks, sitting down ALONE and journaling, deep breathing, and ASKING FOR HELP. The last one, was a big one for me. I feel as if when we, as women, take on the role of mom we feel as if we have to have all this super natural power and do everything by ourself. Sometimes, when we ask for help and people don’t do things the way we are accustomed to it turns us off of asking for help in the future. Ask whomever you need to, to help assist you in making sure your mental health and wellbeing is first!
      You will be a WONDERFUL mommy and I can’t wait for baby Jeuce!
      Love you.

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  3. I continue to be amazed of you. You are such a strong woman with amazing strength, compassion and care for others. Thank you for being brave enough to share your stories with the goal of reaching others need. You’ve made a lasting impression on many and your smile will forver lead to smiles for others. Much LOVE and respect my dear friend. Xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So proud of you, Ash. You were one of the first I told when I was spiraling downhill from my GAD. I will never be able to fully articulate how valuable it was to have a friend who truly understood the depths of hell I was experiencing then. You made me feel normal and strong for getting help, instead of shame. ❤ you

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ash,
    I am so proud to be your Aunt. You are a beautiful person inside and out and you should never be ashamed or feel like you will embarrass anyone. I’m so proud of who you are and have become. You’re an excellent mom, daughter, sister, neice, granddaughter and great granddaughter. Do not ever change who you are. Love you to the moon and back and then to the moon and back again.

    Aunt Stace

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  6. I am so proud of you Ash. If others learned to share their stories maybe others wouldn’t feel so alone. No matter what you’ve gone through you ALWAYS push through, support those around you and deeply care for your friends and family. I am so lucky to call you a friend. Love you girl

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  7. You’re awesome AshFo I️ love you! I️ know the struggle of depression and mental health and I️ am proud of you for being a voice to many who are too scared to speak. You are so strong and you will touch many lives!

    Love you!

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  8. I have so much to say…I absolutely love your transparency in this post! I’ll just be short by saying how absolutely blessed we are to have you in our daughter’s life. I’d love to hear your thoughts on how to overcome the fear of what others think…or the worry of what others think. Thank you for delving into topics I feel so many women struggle with, including myself.

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    1. Thank you! You all have been a blessing to my life in many ways! I would love to talk about that! I will start writing about it sooner than later because I totally had to overcome those worries and fears when thinking about writing my blog! It’s no short cut, it takes time but it’s a skill set that comes with lots of patience!

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  9. Ashley, you are just as amazing and brave today as you were when you were 3 yrs old and blew a kiss to the audience as you left the stage during your first dance recital. I’m so incredibly proud of you, GOD couldn’t have picked a better person to share the good news of the strength and courage HE has to give. I love you Na-pooh! you truly are a blessing.

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