“Don’t let anyone who hasn’t been in your shoes tell you how to tie your laces.”
When popular Instagram influencer and successful model Chanelle Greene penned those words on her fan page, she wasn’t mincing words. But only very few people had any idea what she was talking about or could understand the trauma of what she went through as a child.
Chanelle is an influential image maker, model, sports and fitness enthusiast, and positive-minded online personality. It’s easy to look at her today and be impressed by what she’s doing for herself. But in truth, Chanelle Greene’s life wasn’t always this beautiful. She’s been through a lot; bruised, beaten, and battered by life, yet she refused to stay down.
Indeed, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
Chanelle Greene isn’t only stronger today; she’s leveraging her life lessons to inspire her teaming followers and fans.
Before she rose in her career as a model and social media influencer and attained the status reach she enjoys today, it didn’t seem like Chanelle Greene’s life would ever turn around for the better.
There were many points throughout Chanelle’s journey when it became hard for her to look past her rut.
After all, what was there to indicate that fate was on her side? Nothing seemed to be working out for her from the very beginning. Nothing made logical sense.
By her admission, Chanelle says she had been a naïve and confused teenager without guidance. It became difficult for her to know how to make healthy decisions in her life.
When she lost her father to cancer at age 11, her role model at the time, Chanelle’s world, turned upside down. At age fifteen, she started using alcohol as a crutch to help her cope with the emotional pain. From then on, she continued adopting unhealthy coping methods, being that she was never taught anything different.
“My sisters started experimenting with drugs and illicit substances,” she recalls in an emotion-laden tone.” Even her mother, who never drank before her husband’s passing, began to use alcohol to cope.
According to Chanelle, her mother became a closet drinker for years following her father’s passing. She didn't know how to cope, and it took time to get herself together. She never fully recovered from that singular family tragedy of losing their breadwinner. “For years, she would hardly come out of her room,” Chanelle recalls.
With that unfortunate tragedy, Chanelle Greene and the rest of her siblings, three other girls, had to grow up on their own. Of course, with their father gone and their mom emotionally absent, it was understandable that things may only get worse.
Chanelle had begun drinking more heavily and experimenting with other dangerous substances in her early 20s. Generally leading a lifestyle unbecoming for a supposedly well-brought-up teenager, she got into a lot of trouble in high school. “I was drinking a lot,” she says. After graduating high school, she also got involved with drugs like cocaine. Men and parties rebelled against authorities; they just came with the territory. It all looked bad, but this was simply Chanelle’s way of surviving the tragedy she experienced throughout her childhood/teens.
As she fell deeper into her addictions, Chanelle started to experience anxiety, stress, and panic attacks. She attributes the panic attacks to what she later realized were PTSD and heavy drinking, which only exacerbated her symptoms. Around this time, as a result of Chanelle always being on the go, working out, building a business, and continuing to binge drink to cope, her physical health drastically declined. Chanelle ended up with a spinal injury, COVID, and painful gut issues, all at the same time.
At that point, Chanelle knew she had had enough. She let her knees hit the ground and prayed for help. “It was the most amazing, beautiful life-changing moment I've ever experienced," she declares. “I felt completely embraced and at peace as I begged God for the strength to make changes.” It was from that point on that her life took on new meaning. Chanelle was able to get sober and decided to seek intensive trauma therapy.
Looking back to those dark days, Chanelle admits she didn’t know what she was doing. Things got so bad at the time that while in her depressive state during her teenage years, she resorted
to overdosing on sleeping pills as a form of crying for help. She was checked into a mental hospital for a week, where they evaluated her, and then she was released.
In the transition from the person she was back then and the person she is now becoming, Chanelle recognizes that she has come a long way. She has re-discovered herself and lives a life filled with positivity and new opportunities.
Chanelle says she's not about to compromise her happiness and emotional well-being for the trauma that controlled her in her past. Moving forward, Chanelle uses her status as a social media personality to advocate for women's empowerment. Her goal is to help as many people as possible, so they don't have to go through what she did. And, just in case they're already going through critical situations in life, Chanelle’s message is clear and straightforward: “You are not alone.”