“The path you will take is unknown, and the uncertainty of that path will take you to places you never imagined” Shaina Feingold
My Journey To Becoming A Therapist Was Not Typical
I didn’t dream about becoming a therapist. I was not the person everyone went to when they had a problem. In fact if you would have told me that I would become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker I probably would have laughed at you. I was not very in touch with my emotions and did not open up about my own struggles.
My plan when I was in college, at the University of Maryland, was to work for the government. In fact, I had a position with the Department of Homeland Security in their immigration fraud department. It was far more interesting on paper. I did not find it satisfying sitting behind a computer reading about people’s stories. I needed something more! I wanted to hear people’s experiences myself, not just read about them!
It was that epiphany that led me to get my masters in social work. I realized I had a passion for hearing people’s stories and understanding the world from their point of view. I believe everyone has a story to share and that those stories have meaning. I know that, because I too have a story, and as I got older it’s my story that led me to specializing in maternal mental health.
So What Is My Story?
When I was 8 years old I was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis (CF). Of course living with CF is definitely a challenge. I would be lying if I said it wasn’t. Managing my health, motherhood and a career is not easy! Yet, for much of my life I held the belief that if I ignored my problems they would go away. I believed that talking with a therapist was a waste of time. No amount of talking about how CF impacted me would make my struggles disappear. This was my life and nothing could change that.
Then I tried to get pregnant and the struggles pertaining to CF came to the surface. I struggled with fertility and while the true diagnosis was “unexplained infertility”, I knew the CF was the cause. I became very frustrated and angry with my situation. I was watching friends and family fall pregnant (sometimes without evening trying) and I was devastated. That took a huge toll on my mental health.
Unfortunately, I Still Didn’t Feel The Need For Therapy
When I became pregnant through the magic of western medicine, everything changed. If I thought my mental health was bad before, oh boy did it plummet. My pregnancy was tough! My health deteriorated quickly, and with it my mental health. I finally made the decision to see a therapist.
I worked with a couple different therapists because ultimately you have to find the one that fits your personality and your needs. However, everyone just wanted to talk. I wanted to heal! I told my story 10,000 different ways, but nothing ever changed. I would feel satisfaction after a session, but nothing long lasting. To me that felt like a band-aid. As a result, I pressed the pause button on therapy. As I transitioned from being pregnant to being a mom I didn’t have the time or energy to sit and talk about my struggles. Who has time to not feel or see progress?
My Motherhood Experience
When I became a mother I thought I was ready for it, but it turns out nothing could prepare me for what was to come. No matter how hard I tried, I could not keep up with everything that was expected of me. I became severely depressed and anxious. Not only did I struggle mentally, but my physical health was in the toilet as well. There were moments when I felt like my legs weighed a thousand pounds and getting off the couch seemed like an impossible task.
At some point I realized I couldn’t continue the way I was going. I couldn’t be present for my son and that was devastating to me. Here I wanted motherhood and I couldn’t be the mom I had dreamed of being. That’s when I realized I needed to seek out therapy again, but this time I needed to find a different way. That is when I found Brainspotting.
For the first time I was able to not just talk about my experiences and trauma, but actually process them on a deeper, more profound level. I was healing those old wounds! With a combination of weekly brainspotting and a new miracle medication for CF, my life turned around. The emotional pain slowly dwindled and I am finally able to be present for my children.
MORE THAN JUST CF
Many people when they hear I have a chronic illness, see me as sick and fragile. However, CF does not define me, just like whatever you are going through does not define you. I am someone who enjoys running after my children, hanging out with my friends and family, petting my dog, Cali, playing board games, listening to music, and watching a good movie.
Furthermore, I have made sure to never let CF stand in the way of my dreams. Despite the challenges I face juggling motherhood and my health, I have had the opportunity to live in different cities, including Minneapolis, New York, Los Angeles, and Sydney, Australia. I have also gone bungee jumping, skydiving, and boogie boarding down class four rapids (I do not recommend that).
I don’t want you to think that I never have hard days, I do! Unfortunately, life has its frustrations, which we can’t always control. However, over time I have learned how to manage and release those frustrations, so they don’t impact me in the same way. These are the tools I hope to provide you, so that you can live the life in which you have always dreamed!
Your Healing Starts Now
Your motherhood journey is unique to you. Sometimes that path is filled with twists and turns that are difficult to navigate. There may be moments when you feel inadequate or defeated. Nonetheless, you are not defined by your pain and struggles. It is time to take back your power. Together we can achieve more than where you are currently stationed in life. Are you ready to experience connection, confidence, and deep fulfilment?