I learned how to change what’s around me when things are hard instead of trying to change myself.
I know how scary it is to embrace what makes you different, and let go of who you thought you were in the process. I have experienced that vulnerability and I learned how necessary that vulnerability is to thrive.
I haven’t always loved my life, and the self-love I have today was not easily won.
I received my ADHD diagnosis when I fell apart after grad school.
I now realize that happened because I lost the only life I knew, being a good kid and a good student. I tried to “fix” myself by “fixing” my ADHD, which caused me to fall into a deep depression.
My life was so insufferable that I became suicidal, leading me to admit myself to an inpatient psych unit. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but I did it to save myself.
I realized I had spent my entire life creating an identity based solely on the needs and approval of others.
Masking left no space for me, and I lost my sense of self.
In the years since, I have learned to work with my medical conditions, be openly queer despite the discomfort of others, navigate disclosing my invisible illnesses, and ask for appropriate accommodations in day-to-day life. I’ve learned to live in alignment with my values even when it’s hard.
To be clear, I don’t love being in pain or struggling with executive dysfunction, and being queer in the Bible belt isn’t exactly a field trip. But I do radically accept those parts of me and show them love and care. I am proud of who I am.
Loving myself and others led me to walk away from a career in occupational therapy and become a coach.
Coaching is heart-centered and puts the client first. The healthcare system in America ignores the needs of the people it claims to serve and abuses its workers for profit. I can’t contribute to that kind of dysfunction and live the heart-centered life that I want.
Today, I get to put my clients first and utilize my knowledge and skills to truly help others and create good in the world. I get to lead with love.
All of my experience qualifies me to be a coach, but what sets me apart from everyone else is that I am queer, polyamorous, neurodiverse, mentally ill, and invisibly disabled.
I have been diagnosed with ADHD combination type, generalized anxiety, depression, dermatillomania (excoriation disorder), premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and general chronic pain (likely fibromyalgia).
What i have learned from life so far is that Love is an action, not an ideal.
When I was bullying and criticizing myself, change was impossible. I didn’t see change until I decided to love first.