I didn’t want to be as wounded by my trauma as I am. I tried to deny my dysfunction and fears. I struggled to accept that I too needed professional help. In the meantime, I was gripped by my anxiety and unhealthy coping mechanisms. I struggled to sleep, be present and make healthy choices. And in the moments when my pain was too great for my denial, I shamed myself.
In early 2013 I had a revelation. I realized that some people were living passionate lives and somewhere deep within I knew I was dying to live that same way. Not knowing where it would lead, I decided to set out on a new journey.
"You will only take people as far as you've been willing to go yourself."
My journey inward, through therapy, graduate school and continued education has taught me the importance of self-acceptance. I've learned I need to accept myself as a whole person - full of flaws, hopes, fears, and gifts. Once I began this process I found a new freedom to take courageous steps towards the life I longed for. Self-acceptance is a powerful antidote for many of our mental health troubles. Our stories are deep, multi-layered and complicated. When we share them in a sacred setting like therapy, with a specialist who knows how to listen for the places under the surface where we are wounded, we begin a loving acceptance of ourselves and grow into freedom.