A different story

It’s World Mental Health Day and I’m taking it one deep breath at a time.

I just applied for a job at a tech company that for years I held quite distant from my interests. Not that I disapproved of its contributions or it as an organization. I just lacked the confidence to place myself into such a prospect.

I did not believe that there could be a seat for me at the table.

I internalized my own inferiority so deeply and for so long that without ever any real thought or contemplation, I projected an outwardly facade that *this* environment or *that* industry was’t a good fit. That it was always about them, and not about me. I was so full of shit – literally carrying it around inside me unwilling to deal with its removal. Deep down, I had so little sense of my own value, to keep my small inner self safe, I hid my insecurities behind a variety of fringe ambitions. I could not have ever known what work in corporate settings would be like since I had never tried it.

Until about seven years ago, I moved mental health to the top of my priorities list. It is precisely what has paved my path forward and helped build up the confidence I have today but I still have a long way to go before I am fully balanced. Once I was ready to take a good look at my inner shit show, the first things that came to light were physical challenges and complex PTSD.

I never complained about body aches while as a teen or in college, under the assumption that everyone felt the same way living a computer heavy lifestyle. But, as with any mechanical issues, there had actually been much more to it. As soon as I learned how to become its ally, my body taught me about its unique connective tissue and how I’ve neglected it over the years. No wonder why I struggle with ADHD symptoms. The hundreds of internal signals per day are hard to ignore when embodiment is a priority.

My parents certainly didn’t have the luxury or privilege to tune in and attend to themselves physically insofar as preventative care but I feel compelled to break this cycle.

Same with childhood trauma – everyone has it. But not all of us have access to resources to address its impact.. Imagining my child-self standing next to my adult-self helps bring clarity to each momentary need and keeps triggers in perspective. I have an amazing therapist to thank for this tool.

These days, I care for my body with bike commutes, yoga/ pilates/ weight training, and mostly healthy foods. Long walks are my favorite as they help me center my mind and realign with the body. I also heal from cooking, writing, taking pictures and thinking about planetary aspects. When I am resting a lot and doing all these things, I feel a natural confidence pursuing full-time work with any company I align with. Forever dedicated to my self-care, and regardless of this application’s outcome, I will always be winning. Throughout this process, I have gained clarity around framing my work experience and where I want to take it next. Receiving these gifts, I could not be more grateful.

When my wellness program is well-rounded and I attend to all my needs, I am able to share my talents, skills and interests with those around me. Aligning in this way helps me contribute to any company with ease and with a constant awareness of the value I add for its mission. After all, with waking up comes great responsibility.

Happy World Mental Health Day!

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