I grew up in Oregon, a creative, introspective kid who loved nature (still do!). I did very well in school and, outwardly, I probably seemed pretty well-adjusted.
I also spent a long, difficult time battling anxiety and depression. I didn’t know my own value. I was out of touch with my potential. I was disconnected, unmotivated, even suicidal at times. I know what it feels like to be isolated, alone, and unable to trust. I know how it feels to be in a cycle of self-harm.
Following a crisis in my marriage, I ended up in the office of a counselor who changed my life. He challenged every belief I had about myself and the world around me. I spent years working hard, identifying, sorting out and healing from pain, which had overshadowed and controlled my life for a long time. Although my marriage ended (amicably), my personal journey of self-discovery continued on.
Dedicating my time and energy to learning healthier coping mechanisms, I wanted to understand why I behaved the way I did, and where my feelings came from. Everything I based my life on, and who I thought I was before, was torn down to bare bones. That is a scary place to be, my friend! When you’re at loose ends and have little to hold on to, it can send you into a panic.
But, being so exposed, it turned into a beautiful gift: it gave me the option to consciously choose how to rebuild my life. Choose how I see the world. Choose how I see myself. And I finally gave myself permission to reject unhealthy, ineffective patterns and choose a healthier way.
I am who I am today because of those good parts of my life AND because of the bad parts. If I didn’t have the exposure to the difficult times, I wouldn’t have the drive I do now to figure things out, and the passion to understand mental and emotional health. I wouldn’t have the desire to understand what makes a healthy relationship, and I wouldn’t have the same level of compassion for others. I wouldn’t have the same desire to help people who may be struggling with what I struggled with.
So why am I here now, talking to you? I definitely don’t crave the limelight. I have had stage fright since as long as I can remember! But I am putting myself out there because I want to provide to others what I desperately needed when I was younger. When I was vulnerable, alone, and looking for answers. I want to share things that I wish I knew then. I want to provide resources and support in a setting that is safe and accepting, in a place where you have control of your journey and your growth. I am here to help you learn to be your own champion.
I don’t have everything figured out. I’m definitely not perfect. But what I have learned along the way has completely changed my life and I am hoping that maybe it can change yours. Even if just one thing strikes you and makes a difference, it will be worth it.
We all hurt, and we all crave love and acceptance. BYOC was created to be part of the movement of helping hands.