My Path To Helping Others Started With...
Me struggling in almost every area of my life.
I was recovering from 6 surgeries, had 3 kids under 2.5 years old at home and my husband was often traveling for work. I had severe chronic fatigue, my hormones were a wreck, and I was completely overwhelmed.
My marriage was struggling from all the strain, distance and challenge.
We moved across the country, and I didn’t have a lot of people to trust, lean into or ask for help. I was jobless and needing to recreate myself, but I didn’t know where to start. I just knew that what I had tried before wasn’t the answer.
I internalized the stress of all the toxic expectations that I felt I had to live up to.
I was so tired it hurt. I landed in the ER twice with panic attacks. I had severe breakdown of my body on the verge of autoimmune disease, hashimotos and thyroid issues. I had night sweats, early perimenopause, and anemia. My gums were receding and I'd grind my teeth to the point that I broke on average a tooth a month for almost a year straight! I blamed my body and got so angry at it for being unable to keep up with the incredible demands I would put upon it.
It was a sludge fest to get out. I felt so shamed.
I didn’t express myself, I raged and fumed in private and couldn’t get out of bed for even a quarter of a day. I couldn’t even read or write or move. I’d just lay there with my eyes closed and repeat over and over, “there’s something wrong with me, somethings not right, there’s something wrong with me” I didn’t trust my husband who tried harder than anyone to help me.
But I felt like it was too indulgent to take care of my own needs.
I was afraid of failure - or reaching my definition of failure and terrified of others seeing me fail. I was afraid of being rejected and alone. I didn't know who or what to ask for help. But I knew my options were to stay miserable or change. I couldn’t continue blaming my body and blaming anyone and everyone else around me- it wasn’t working.
I had one option left. Me.
It was time. I found a therapist and set up an appointment with a naturopath to look at my hormone and stress levels. I began allowing time to be alone without meeting a child’s need every waking moment. I started to share my pain with a few, only a few, but more than before. I did my hair and got dressed for myself, even if knew I wouldn’t leave the house for the day. This was the start of a different exploration. There was a bit more grace and self compassion.
I finally realized if I didn’t show up for myself, nobody else was going to either.
It had to start with me. Around this time I started going to therapy individually and as a couple. In one of my individual sessions, after putting all of me on the line and turning my life around, my therapist looked at me and said, "You should do this. You should be a therapist. You are a healer."
Somehow EVERYTHING made sense and I knew this was the way.
I completed an application in a day that should have taken weeks. I trudged into the admissions office of USF weeks after the admissions due date in workout gear, a baseball hat covering unwashed hair and 3 kids under 5 in tow. I handed the lady behind the desk my application, looked her in the eyes and said “I need this”. I was accepted and from there forward I have been a therapist, a healer of myself and of others.
Everything changed in that moment.
We all have times in life we could use extra support. It's helpful to be reminded in those moments of our unique gifts and strengths and blessings. It is my belief that when we harness these fully, that we have found our purpose and are at our highest use. I help others recognize their strengths, gifts and resources and help them use these gifts to enrich their own lives and the lives of those around them.
I don’t want anyone to feel alone and hopeless.
At the end of the day we are all alone at some point. But we don’t have to feel desperate, unsettled, afraid and lonely. We can learn to buoy ourselves with our own kindness, compassion and nurture ourselves with a personalized dose of love. We can find our deepest soul connection even after we’ve ignored or discarded it for a very long period of time. We can learn to live for love and joy. And then, we can teach others to do the same with the very unique and intimate nuggets we learn in our journey. Every pitfall has a purpose. You simply have to keep your Heart Wide Open, again and again.