Content Warning: The following article contains discussions of suicide, suicidal ideation, and self-harm.
Ariela Weinberg is best known by many for appearing on 90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way, but the New Jersey native shared a new side to herself in a YouTube video. The partner of Biniyam Shibre and mother to baby Avi addressed difficulties she faced in a candid video to fans. Ariela opened up about her self-harm scars, including her experience with depression and how she overcame her past to find peace and sustainable happiness.
The premiere of The Other Way season 3 on Sunday night revealed more about Ariela and Biniyam’s romance. The 90 Day Fiancé franchise couple moved into a home together in Ethiopia where they can live with baby Avi. Ariela has employed a nanny to help her navigate parenting in a foreign country where she doesn’t speak the language. The couple will soon be facing drama, however, as Ariela’s ex-husband Leandro will be visiting the couple to meet Avi and reconnect with Ariela. Though viewers have called Ariela out for being so close to her ex, Ariela has defended her choice to remain close friends with Leandro.
Ariela revealed a new side to herself last week in her first YouTube video. The mother explained that she wanted to address the self-harm scars on her arms after many people asked her about them. “I don’t mind talking about it,” Ariela clarified, as it was something she had done when she was younger and did not currently do. Ariela said, “I did suffer a lot and I definitely was not happy with myself for a very long time.” She explained several family deaths hit her hard as a young child, as well as being told that heaven was not real. She became too preoccupied with death and a search for meaning in life. Ariela described her unhappiness as a spiritual problem, as she didn’t know her place in the world even at a very young age.
As a child and young adult, Ariela explained she was very awkward and never felt like she belonged. She described herself as overly sensitive and unhappy. She began self-harming in an attempt to relieve herself from the difficult feelings she faced, though it soon developed into a compulsion and means to punish herself. “I really didn’t know how to handle my feelings of loneliness, of feeling disconnected,” she said. Eventually, her parents were alerted to her self-harm and she was forced to see a child psychiatrist and experiment with different medications. Ariela said neither of these solutions worked for her, and the medications actually made her feel suicidal. Instead, Ariela found other ways to regain her happiness, as she reminded her viewers there is always hope.
What did help Ariela was ending high school and traveling the world. When she was 17, she moved to Argentina and gained confidence through independence and learning a new language. She also was able to get outside of her head by learning about new cultures and meeting different people. “I think what really helped me was to not focus so much on myself,” she explained. Seeing the world helped her to get out of her head and escape her negative, repetitive thinking. Ariela also channeled her nervous energy through exercise. Becoming spiritually fulfilled also helped her, and she hopes she can now help others heal. “You are so young. You have everything ahead of you. Everything that you could possibly want to do, you can do it,” she offered as advice.
As a parent herself, Ariela added she is very conscientious about what she impresses upon her son. She also said she sympathizes with other parents who have children experiencing self-harm. The aim of her video was to help people who have experienced self-harm or those who want to understand it. Ariela said she was aiming to help remove stigmas from a topic that not many people want to discuss. The mother would like to use the launch of her YouTube channel to focus on more positive stories moving forward.
90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way airs Sundays at 8 PM ET on TLC.
Source: Ariela Danielle/YouTube