#lifestagesEnding Generations of Family Violence

20 comments | November 23rd, 2011


(story and picture submitted by Mama's Tantrum, a Chestist)

We first posted this beautiful story about 6 weeks ago.  As we go into the Thanskgiving holiday, we're reposting some of our OOC Faves, some of the stories we're thankful for having been able to share, and this is one of them. Happy, happy, you guys.  XO, OOC

Message Body:

Ah, the bedtime ritual. Oh how I love the constant interruptions of a good movie, dinner or maybe even a make-out session because my little one has decided to defy sleep.


Something happens to her sleepy body when I leave her bedroom. My absence acts as an amphetamine for her. I put her down. I leave the room. She gets outta bed. Sometimes she fakes exhaustion to get her little game going, and I fall for her deception every time.


Generally, I'm snuggled up on the couch with a trashy magazine, a book or Sweetie when I hear what sounds like Darth Vader in the hallway. The loud sucking sound of her paci gives her away and when we spot her, she always, always has a proud smile behind her paci.


The other night this went ...

#lifestagesHer Diagnosis: Bipolar Disorder

5 comments | November 16th, 2011

chestist threads

(story submitted by Euna, A Chestist)

This is one of those stories that reminds us all that no matter how dark today, tomorrow's always around the corner.  Let's get right into this,  sent us some months back by Euna, a chestist and one of you:

When I was 11, I started cutting. Stupid, I know.

When people think of a cutter they see an emo kid listening to The Cure slicing into their wrists saying, "No one understands me!" For me, I was just a normal kid. I realized, with a pair of scissors, how amazing the blood looked as it trailed down my finger. It was an accident at first, but I continued to do it. I became obsessed with the pain, because it filled some infinitesimal hole I felt had burrowed it's way deep into my heart.

By the time I was 13, I had multiple scars on my arms and legs. I fell into rapid depressions that would last for days at a time, and I hardly ever went to school. My teenage years were filled with these depressions, as well as periods of ...

Happy MakingProfessional Difficulties, Overcome.

7 comments | November 8th, 2011


(story submitted by Goshawk, a 25 yo Chestist)

Work can sometimes be, well, work.  Whether it's office politics, finding the time to be great at what you do and still have a life, or dealing with career  challenges, it ain't always a bowl of cherries in and around the office.  Here's one reader's story:

I just worked through a really difficult time professionally - I failed a professional test. In my line of work, you only get to do that once before you're standing in front of a review board deciding if you're worth keeping.

As you can imagine, the upcoming training and re-test ate my life, and every day I seemed to have less and less confidence in my abilities. It was awful. I doubted my work ethic, my competence, my capabilities. I cried myself to sleep - I love this job and I can't think of anything I'd rather do with my life. The idea of failure was crushing, yet every day felt like it brought me closer to that finish.

But when it came to the re-test, as soon as I sat down to begin...I ...

#lifestagesAbout Her Parents. And Yours.

6 comments | October 27th, 2011

new chestist

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

My Message:

My parents may be 'progressive' but they're the biggest patriarchs I've come to face.  {end story}  

So what struck us about this story, was the writer's obvious discomfort at her folks' contradicitons.  We.  Relate.  To.  That.  And so we figured maybe there were some of you who could as well.  Let's talk parents.  1 word...when you think of your parents, what do you think?  Just 1 word.





#lifestagesPleasantly Surprised

9 comments | October 22nd, 2011

new chestist

(story submitted by Zena, a Chestist) My younger brother, is that guy who loves girls who are skinny and all those types you see in music videos and so on. He talks about how 'hot' they are and how much he would love to 'bang' all of them. I always assumed that he is so narrow minded and only want the so called 'fake types'.  I'm kind of chubby and have low self confidence since I was a kid but I wouldn't exactly show it, who would?


Everyday I smile, laugh and tell people how beautiful they are, no matter what 'size' they are and I mean every word. When any of my friends feels like they are not beautiful because they don't get attention from guys, I say this, 'screw the society! screw what the media says! Beautiful is not a size zero! Confidence as well as when you smile makes you beautiful, makes you out shine out all of them.' I even tell them to cry, crying is actually really good, it lets everything out of your chest, makes you feel lighter. To be honest, ...

#bodiesSlowly Reaching Perfect

6 comments | October 20th, 2011

new chestist

(story submitted by a Chestist)

Subject: Body Issue Damage  

Message Body:  Fatso! Fatso! That was what I would scream in the mirror at myself in the mornings.


I couldn't wear clothes that weren't baggy. I hated my body so much. But the thing is though, I wasn't "fat" at all. Every one of my friends thought I was crazy. I was twelve and 127 pounds.


I was going crazy. I was five foot four inches. And apparently a completely normal weight. Skinny and fun was what people actually thought of me as. But what I thought of myself was a freakshow. A fat ugly freakshow. It really sucked.


I got my hopes up for every guy and it was really painful. It still is since I still have guy issues. But sometimes I feel better. I guess I still feel that way just a little taller. But I've felt better.


With help from my friends and myself and my family I've been feeling better and so can any girl who feels fat when really, they're not. I mean, what does fat even mean? In a dictionary it's written as ...


6 comments | October 19th, 2011

new chestist

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)


Message: AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I think I've fallen head over heals in love!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  {end story}


We love a happy story here @OOC HQ.  Let's talk about being in-love.  What's it feel like to you?  When/Who was the first time?  Ever fall-in love with someone you wish you hadn't?  Are you in-love now?  Love, love, love...#discuss.  

A reader suggests ‘The This is ME’ campaign

4 comments | October 19th, 2011

new chestist

(story submitted by "Believer" (we think that's a psedonym), a Chestist)

"Pretty pretty please. Don't you ever ever feel like your nothing. You are perfect to me."


Those are the lyrics to Pink's song F***ing Perfect. And it's something all girls should listen to. You are perfect in your own special ways. You don't need to change for a guy or anyone else for that matter. Don't change what's on the inside and don't fret about the outside.


Too many girls become anorexic or bulimic because they think they aren't good enough or skinny enough. They plow their faces with makeup because they believe they aren't pretty enough. I propose that every single girl on this website agree to some terms. We'll call it the THIS IS ME campaign.


All girls will pledge to not do anything rash, don't starve yourself or become any of the things listed above, don't let what other people say get to you, and most importantly...Be Yourself. You'll be happy and even attract more people. So what if you're not the most popular or pretty?


You are you and you are an amazing person. ...

The Little Things

38 comments | October 18th, 2011

small plsrs

(story by Mir, from Woulda Coulda Shoulda)

I am very much a glass-half-empty person by nature. I could pontificate on the whys and wherefores, but at its crux I do think it's kind of an inborn thing. (And not just because I recently read an article that says so.)  This is not to say that I am at peace with being a pessimist or that I'm not constantly trying to break away from it; I'm just explaining that---for whatever reason---I think I'm more given to the Eeyore end of the spectrum than the Tigger one.

What that ends up meaning, from a very practical stance, is that being happy (or, sometimes, even just being content) is more work for me than for someone who's more naturally given to optimism. Left to my own devices, I'm likely to find not just the hole in the bucket, but decide that the bucket is ugly and the well dried up and we're all going to die so who cares, anyway? I used to think this was a curse of sorts. How is it fair that I have to work to find ...


11 comments | October 13th, 2011

new chestist

(story submitted Anonymously, by a Chestist)

My story:

Alright. To whomever sees this.


I have felt my lowest. I have felt so bad I wanted to end my life. I have been there. I have done that.  But I have to say thank god I didn't do it. Thank god I didn't kill myself.I never would have sent this.


I never would have been an inspiration to some girl. (hopefully)


I never would have felt as happy as I do now. :)  {end story.}  


We've got only 5 words.  Yay, and thank YOU, Anonymous

These Words Changed My Life

4 comments | October 13th, 2011

new chestist

(submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

My Message: These words changed my life: "People don't want to be greedy, they want to be happy but they're often too greedy to notice ” (Julian Casablancas)


It just made me realize that I'm greedy for happiness, so I will never be satisfied. What I need to do is stop being greedy so I can be happy.  {end story.}


If we hear her right, she's saying that in a greed for happiess, the happiness you have is never enough.  Now, while veryone can always use a little more happiness, there's a wisdom in what she - and Julian - say.


What about you...are you greedy for happiness?  Any words, lyrics, poems, paintings...change your life as these did hers?  Let's share em.

#chestismsSexy is When…

9 comments | October 11th, 2011

new chestist

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)


My Story:

Sexy is when a girl can walk out her house with her head up high, with no doubts in her mind that she's being the best she can be.


Sexy is when she speaks her mind in a classy way.


Sexy is when she tells the world "Hello World, I'm beautiful and nobody can put me down.


Not today, not tomorrow, not never."  {end of story.}


What's sexy to you?  Who's sexy to you?  

Our Bodies Our Selves

5 comments | October 11th, 2011

happy birthday

A big and happy 4-0 to this seminal book (is it weird to use the word seminal about this book?).


Have you read it or used it as a reference?  Are there other books that have been helpful in teaching you about you?


Let's share some favorite titles and start a little reference library.  What do you say, are you with us?

Happy Birthday

3 comments | October 10th, 2011

er and o

(story by seth @OOC)

Truth is, I didn't really feel the need to have kids.  I wasn't opposed to it, but I liked our life a lot, and didn't think anything was missing.  Then, 6 years ago today, our daughter was born and - of course - everything changed.


Yea, like pretty much every mother or father that's come before me, I became a walking/talking cliche.  Want to see a picture?  Just look up.


Helping this now 6 year-old girl (and her almost 5 year-old brother) become their happiest selves is what inspired us to create Off Our Chests. 


The thing is, there are so many things that can get in the way of her, of their, of your happiness.  And as parents, we wanted to do whatever we could to help kick those things out of their way - and yours too.  Because we're all in this together, you see.  And the more we all get off our chests, the more we'll see ourselves reflected in the world, the more we'll believe, become, belong, the better we'll all feel, and the happier the world will be.


And even just a litttle ...

3 Things I like About Me

14 comments | October 7th, 2011

3 things

Ok, 3 things you like about you.  At least 3.  Go as long as you want.  Don't stop.  Keep on liking you.


Have these things changed over time...or have you always liked them?


1-2-3, go.