My Story

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.

Sincerely,

Katie with her kids