MY DARK DAYS

I had a happy childhood so the first time I felt depressed, it
came as quite a shock to my parents. I was 18 years old and
away at college during my second semester. I felt displaced,
alienated, withdrawn, and also paranoid. I didn’t have any
appetite, and even easy things were difficult to do. I couldn’t
concentrate. I thought everyone was looking at me or talking
about me. I called home a lot crying, and finally had to leave
the college, interrupting my education.

For 17 years, I had the diagnosis of major depression until I
had an “up” (a manic episode). Then I was diagnosed with
bipolar disorder. The up days were great! I needed almost no
sleep, had tremendous energy, could read and recite several
books at once…….the world was so beautiful! But these days
would follow with severe downs.

Throughout my life with bipolar disorder, I have had to be
hospitalized four times, experienced deep, severe self-hate,
attempted suicide twice, and have undergone three rounds of
ECT (Electro-Convulsive Therapy).

ACCEPTING MY ILLNESS

To me, acceptance means being able to face the fact that I
have a mental illness that needs to be taken care of for the
rest of my life. My acceptance came about slowly. At first, I
was in denial. It was really hard to think there was something
wrong with my thinking. I just couldn’t see it.

The fear of rejection was very difficult for me also. I feared
that if people knew I had a mental illness, they would judge me
or think about me differently. There is so much stigma about
mental illness. I had to realize that it’s really not my fault
that I have a brain disorder. Now, I actually feel that I don’t
need to be ashamed anymore…… and it actually feels very good
being honest about where I’ve been in life. The illness is not all
of who I am, but it was part of my path.

TREATMENT

My treatment consists of taking medications, seeing a
psychiatrist, and being aware of my stressors. I have noticed
that the stress that is created by my fear or negative
thinking eventually causes me to get depressed. Stress is
different for everyone. I know what tends to get me down,
and I try to avoid situations that may be stressful to me or
deal with them right away when they come up.

What has been the most helpful to me in sustaining my
wellness is the study of spiritual principles and being aware
that my thoughts create my feelings. I have noticed that
every time I have gotten depressed in my life, it has started
with my not loving myself fully. I would find myself criticizing
myself, comparing myself to others, and believing I’m not good
enough. Then the spiral would just go downward, deep into the
depths of depression where I would end up hating myself. It
has been extremely painful to be in that place.

Being conscious of the thoughts I think, releasing my negative
feelings, keeping my focus on the present moment, and relying
on my inner self to calm me and guide me are my greatest
tools for wellness.


SUPPORT

I am very blessed to have the family and friends and husband
that I do. My commitment to you is to support you by helping
you transform your unhappy feelings, so you can live a fulfilling
life.

SUCCESSES

Although I live with a severe mental illness, I have been able
to accomplish a lot of good things in my life. I graduated with
an associate’s degree, a bachelor’s degree in education, and I
have done a good deal of graduate work in counseling. I have
maintained a marriage for 27 years to my high school
sweetheart and raised three healthy and happy children. I've
always followed my passions in life, and it has led me to some
wonderful jobs, people and experiences.

My most powerful passion is this. I look forward to inspiring as
many people as possible with my message of hope and helping
my clients connect to their inner selves, so they can feel
confident on their own path toward a happy and fulfilling life.

PAIN HAS A PURPOSE

Although my illness is like a nightmare and “hell on earth” at
times, I do feel I am fortunate to have experienced the full
spectrum of emotions that a human being can experience. And,
although I hate this illness at times, I also love it because it
has taught me so much. Depression has been the #1 teacher in
my life. I realize that the purpose for the pain I have
experienced through depression is so that I can be an
empowering teacher and mentor to others who are
experiencing pain. It has led me to a deeper connection with
Spirit, a genuine acceptance of my Self, and a better
understanding of others. It has taught me to have an attitude
of gratitude and a real trust in life. Because of all that it has
taught me, I know that pain really does have a purpose.

EMBRACING THE INNER ME

In 2009, I began valuable personal growth work with the help
of a life coach. Finally, I began to accept and love myself just
as I was. I also learned my life purpose. This inspired me to
become a Certified Life Coach. I knew I wanted to empower
people to truly love themselves so they could change their lives.

EMBRACE THE INNER YOU

Now I know I am living my purpose. It is a pleasure to wake up
each day and work toward something I have a passion about as
well as a purpose for. And, it is with purpose and intention that
I speak, write, and encourage people to connect to their true
selves and create a fulfilling life.

I am committed to serving you in the highest way possible so
you can break through to your happiness and Embrace the
Inner You!