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MY STORY

Meet my support dog, Charlie. (above)

I was born and raised in a Mormon Utah household by two alcoholic parents who were secretly involved in  criminal activities throughout much of my childhood. This unique form of contrast, chaos, and conditioning created a great sense of confusion, dissonance, unease, distress, and heartbreak. My mother eventually had a physical and mental breakdown and left the country when I was a teen, leaving me and my three sisters with our unstable father and a lasting mark of abandonment on my psyche.

 

When I was finally able to move out and create my own life, I got married at 19, started a family, then moved to California (and later Chicago) and found myself on an unexpected and arduous journey through chronic illness that presented itself through Lyme Disease, Graves Disease, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, POTS, debilitating migraines, severe allergies, and a whole host of other mystery symptoms and illnesses that left us financially ruined and me mostly bedridden for more than a decade (all while my husband was working a full time job, raising our kids, putting food on the table, serving in our church, and getting a doctorate degree).

 

I was swimming in complex trauma and we were drowning as a family during that time and eventually lost our house and had to move back to Utah with our four children for a period of radical rest and recovery.

We fought hard and I studied voraciously and did everything I could to heal and persist through the constant gaslighting and ignorance offered to us by friends, family, church associates, and health professionals.

 

I was eventually able to claw my way to a moderate level of physical relief, only to then watch my son go through a very similar journey with his health that created another round of medical chaos that I simply wasn't ready for.

That became my mental rock-bottom and a wake-up call to get professional mental health help.

 

It also became a time of great unraveling of my entire conditioned belief system.

 

During that time, I worked with several coaches and therapists and poured myself into the study of mental health and personal well-being through books, podcasts, articles, and videos created by licensed mental health professionals. This combined effort turned out to be life-changing and helpful for me in many ways.

Little by little, I rebuilt a new, beautiful life.

 

I don’t share my story to "play" victim or to get pity. This was my reality that I did not choose.

I was a victim of many painful life experiences I never asked for.

Many people use the word "victim mentality" as a weapon to bypass, ignore, downplay, and gaslight actual victims of mistreatment, harm, trauma, or heartbreak. I vowed I would never do that to people who have gone through difficult things in their lives. Bad things happen to people who don't deserve it and everyone deserves love and compassion through their challenges.

 

Even though I did not ask to go through the kind of traumas that were handed to me, I always knew I had to fight for something better if I was ever going to find peace and fulfillment in my life. I knew I had to do the work to heal my mind and body in whatever ways I could.

 

So that’s what I have done.

I have worked hard to learn, heal, and change my life to be in greater alignment with the values that bring me the highest level of peace and fulfillment.

 

And here I am today. 

 

I am not at the end of my story.

 

There is so much more life to live. 

I don't have everything figured out.

 

I still deal with many health challenges that will most likely never fully go away in my lifetime.

I know that life will continue to throw challenges my way.

 

I am an imperfect human that is simply trying to heal, deal, and accept the ups and downs of life while cultivating joy, beauty, and peace wherever and however I can along the way.

 

I now have a greater understanding, wider view, and better tools to help me navigate life, accept my story, own my own life, and create a life of purpose and meaning that makes sense to me and the people I love.

My life is not is not perfect and will never be just one thing,

but it is real,

it is honest,

it is beautiful,

and it is mine.

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