My Personal Reboot

What Do You Choose to Become?

That’s what has been running through my head the past few days after watching someone dive deep into depression and anger over the past few weeks. How long do you stay angry at the injustices you’ve experienced in the past?

victimchoice2The more I start to examine this, I’m starting to believe you are a victim when IT happens to you. Whatever IT is. After IT, that’s the real test of your mettle: you can either stay a victim or become a Survivor.

That doesn’t mean your anger has to go away, or will go away. But maybe it’s more about what you choose to do WITH that anger that becomes important. There are Survivors who work -HARD- to process what happened to them and move beyond it. Move to a place where they no longer judge themselves by IT happening.

IT becomes a (small) part of who we are, a tiny thing that makes up the larger SELF that is thriving and vibrant and moving towards freedom. They take their anger and they DO something with it.

But… then there are Survivors that can’t seem to understand that they’ve Survived. They’re still lost in their victimhood. They’re still fixated on their wrong, and allow their anger over being wronged to drive them forward (when really they’re regressing backward). Never to grow, never to move past IT.

We are a culmination of our traumas and our triumphs, and triumphing over a past trauma is a journey that never seems to end, but can get better and become incredibly rewarding with hard work.

What kind of Survivor do you want to be?

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My Personal Reboot, Random Thoughts

A Year Ago Today(ish)

I was going to write this two months ago to mark a different anniversary, when I was laid off from a job that was the culmination of my career in entertainment and social media. The weeks and months ahead left me struggling with my self-esteem in a way that completely surprised me. I was going to take my time remembering the fear and anger, the sense of betrayal, and a resurgence of the depression I’ve struggled with my entire life.

But I changed my mind and decided to write this for a different milestone, celebrating when my life changed for the better in a way I hadn’t thought possible.

Crisis counseling was stumbled into on a total whim, after reading the job posting and thinking, ‘What the hell?’ Because hey, I’ve been through some SHIT. Good writing gigs are always hard to come by– at least, the kind that don’t make you question whether or not you’re a compassionate or productive member of society. So in the meantime, why not try <gasp> GIVING. BACK?!?

And you know what? This year of trying something totally new has become one of the most rewarding of my life. This job, while hard and emotionally draining at times, is also the most satisfying thing I’ve ever done professionally.

Yes, there are challenging calls and frustrating callers. There are also moments that are beautiful and profound that leave me walking away from my shift feeling like I’ve actually made a difference in the universe today, even if it’s just because of one conversation. It’s the most tangible proof I’ve ever had that I’m not alone, and we can still connect with total strangers in a way that can be life-changing.

So far I’ve figured this out: the Me from a year ago that thought my professional life was over was right in a way. That part of my life – the hustle for leads and scramble for pitches, the constant checking of feeds and measuring of trends – that part is over, for now. Just… for now. And maybe… it’s over forever… I’m at peace with that too if that’s how the cards lay out.

It’s been a year of a different life, a different career, a different purpose, and it’s been one of the best. I thought my life was imploding, now I know that wasn’t the end. But at the time I was so immersed in the pain that I just couldn’t see that, and maybe it’s like that for others, and if I can help in any way it’s to say this:

Please don’t give up – there’s always a chance that it can get better. Sometimes it’s working hard and keeping that chin up, sometimes it’s just getting to the next day and trying again, but never doubt that great things can be ahead if you keep fighting for them.

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My Personal Reboot

Paradise Found?

After weeks of searching for the right fit I saw an ad looking for crisis hotline specialists and decided it was a long-shot, given that I have zero experience working in non-profits or as a counselor, but that it was something I should try.

Just in those first emails with my now-supervisor, it really clicked that I might have found MY PLACE.

Going through the training to become a crisis counselor only solidified my resolve that this is what I’m supposed to be doing. As a survivor of sexual assault and a suicide attempt, I can’t think of anything more important for me to do than to try and help others going through the same thing.

I want to tell men and women whose wounds are still fresh that with time and an unwillingness to give up on themselves, they can make it to the other side of recovery. They can have a life again, they can have strength again. It really does get better, cliches be damned.

 

Belief in yourself is one of the most powerful things you can have in your corner. Let’s all work together to make each other collectively stronger.

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