“Just like people label daddy issues, a lot of people have mommy issues,” Pauleanna Reid states. The professional writer and motivational speaker hopes to open up the dialog of this very relevant issue in her new book Everything I Couldn’t Tell My Mother. As her book launch, inside the prestigious downtown Toronto Pantages Hotel, she shares, that although her novel is fictional, it is inspired by her own story.

“The love from a mother is very special and very unique,” Reid says, admitting to having experienced a not so perfect bond with her own mother. “You really want to nurture that [relationship] so as you develop as a woman, you can teach the world how to love themselves as well.”

The book, as she describes, is meant to be a conversation piece that is supposed to make you uncomfortable, because amazing things happen outside of your comfort zone. And amazing things did happen when teary-eyed Pauleanna, shared her story in front of a packed room of supporters about how she pushed herself out of her comfort zone of complacency and decided to do everything she could to find her happiness while going through periods of serious depression.

“This is my life and my dreams are worth it!” Pauleanna pushed the crowd to loudly chant the mantra she told herself every day as a tool to find motivation for change.

The book, though fictional in format, tells an honest and explicit story that readers, even family and friends of Pauleanna, were hearing for the first time.

“It’s good that there is so much truth to it,” shares the author’s sister, Paula Reid, explaining she was initially shocked by her sister’s bravery. “I think that’ll make it easier for her to share the story because it’s first hand information and that’s what I really like about it.”

Other supporters also had a lot to say about the book and Pauleanna’s impact. Nathan Powell shared his perspective as a male who believes men are part of the problem, as well as the solution. “People like her help guys like us who can’t relate to that level, because we’re not women, but however, deep down we still want to help and it’s very easy to help when we have people like Pauleanna, so we can pass her book or pass a link to help a friend who’s going through a situation.” Powell shared with the audience that he was going to hold onto the book for his four-year-old daughter to read when she turns 14.

More than a book launch it was a platform for open conversation about relationships and self-motivation.

Words By. Emma Kombora + Photos By. Janelle Scott-Johnson