Follow Loubelle Butalid on Her Transformation and Journey of Self-Love and Healing | That’s What She Said DEBUT

That’s What She Said is a Canadian-based multi-media platform that aims to change the narrative of the female single story as seen by local Writer/Videographer Mikee Mutuc. #StClairWest

This series Highlights Stories of Women in and around Toronto communities. Mikee Mutuc seeks to show and tell the stories of Moms, Dads, Sons, Daughters, Sisters, Brothers and Humans who are overcoming personal obstacles and helping to reshape our perception of both women and men toward something positive.

Loubelle Butalid #thatswhatshesaid

There is an obvious sense of pride in the way Loubelle carries herself daily and, quite frankly, she should be. I watched as she shared the journals she’s filled front-to-back, her eyes gleaming at how much she has had to say over the past two years. There was a large diary she deemed her travel journal. She wrote religiously every single day during her trip in The Philippines as a volunteer rural nurse. There was a smaller one that followed this. Finally, her arm reached over to grab the very first one she started; a medium-sized fuchsia-coloured matte notebook with gold edges and an orange trim on the pages. Some entries were odd ones from random years. Some were afterthought postings with nothing much going on. While flipping through, she scanned each page and landed around a series of entries around June 2015 that marked the chapters in which her journey would finally begin.

“It’s so crazy to think about the pain that I went through and all the pain that I was in when I read my stuff”

She recalled to mind exactly how fast all of the words poured out of her through such harrowing experiences. At the age of 24, Loubelle did not know what to do with herself. At the time, the University of Western Ontario nursing graduate was reeling through having broken up with her live-in boyfriend of five years whom she moved to Toronto with. While both had equal part in the fall-out of their romance, she describes this as a very toxic relationship that surfaced personal struggles of low self-esteem, depression and anxiety. With a deep sigh, she says, “It was probably one of the lowest points of my life because at the time, my whole perception of myself and my feelings of self-worth were dependent on this guy and dependent on the relationship, but I didn’t know it at the time. That’s why it was difficult for me to get out because that was my whole world.”

With no family in Toronto, or in Ontario for that matter, she was also dealing with physical displacement on top of emotional grief. Being a third-world culture kid, Loubelle already has a difficult time grasping the idea of what “home” means to her. Having been born to Filipino parents and raised in Dubai until the age of 17, moving to Canada and meeting her first love in university was her way of stabilizing. “People ask me where my home is and I still don’t know. And I guess, at the time, he was my home and that was the only life I’ve ever known for five years.” The loneliness consumed her so much so that she had no idea what to do with her time. During her days off, she spent three to four hours on the 504 King streetcar sitting by a window seat and listening to mood music while crying her eyes out until it was time to go home.

Two years later, Loubelle now sits in her single-room basement apartment in North York, at peace and in control of her life due to having found the power of self-love. She says she was able to transform her pain into healing and into love through self-care practices such as therapy sessions, book therapy, yoga, meditation, journaling, and dancing.

Loubelle is just one of many women and men who deal with codependency and depression in relationships. When people are at their lowest in their lives, some do not know what to do or how to start. Some do not know how to balance all that they do in their lives or how to balance social responsibility with personal responsibility. Some are also scared to get to know themselves for fear of finding the truth about who they are. What makes her journey so significant is the understanding that beautiful things can occur when we get to know ourselves in the most intimate way possible.

However, given this, her personal change was not an overnight epiphany. She says a mantra she tries to live by reads, “It’s okay to be healed and still healing, it’s okay to be broken and still be open.” The concept of this quote suggests that a person’s standard of one hundred percent will not always look the same every day, and that settling into this reality is the mindset one should have. It breaks the misconception that happiness is something that stays consistent once a bar has been reached. She continues on to say, “People have this misconception that once you’re happy, that’s it. You don’t express any other feelings like jealousy or frustration or loneliness or pain. But that is the paradox and the beauty of human emotion. That it’s okay to know that you’ve healed but that there are still days where you feel like you’re still healing.” In other words, perfection should not be the goal, but being your unadulterated self should be.

Currently, Loubelle is fulfilling a full-time scholarship for a Masters of Health Care Policy, Innovation and Management at Maastricht University in Maastricht, the Netherlands. Simultaneously, she plans to continue her life blog, The Phoenix, which is a platform that allows her to document her journey “through a lens of growth, love, and kindness”.

Follow The Phoenix:

Also, keep up to date with Loubelle on Instagram: @loubellebutalid


  1. I met Loubelle back in Al Ain, UAE for one of our Community gatherings. Looking back, I personally thought she was the standard of what all young girls should strive to be. She trained hard in swimming competitions, passionate student, responsible and loving daughter/ sister. Seeing her all grown up and share her pain didn’t break my heart but humanized my perception of her. Pain and struggle is a grueling journey to go through; to share these intimate and private thoughts whether you’re still in your journey or have overcome your mountains, people are drawn to this fire. We look for healing in ourselves quietly in closed rooms as we face our internal battles. Seeing and hearing someone share these personal moments is a relief and a form of healing as we see someone who had walked our shoes. Truly, there is power in storytelling. Thank you for sharing the way you love and your journeys to finding peace.

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