When I graduated High School, I was so excited to begin my college experience at Grand Canyon University. During the first 2 years, I double majored in Music with an emphasis in voice and Psychology. I was pursuing a career in Music Therapy. After 2 years, I dropped my music courses because I was struggling with my music theory and music history courses and failed more than twice! I lost one of my scholarships and decided to drop my major because, I couldn’t afford to keep retaking courses.
Music had always been my passion but I guess I was meant to go in a different direction. The goal was to graduate in 4 years, but after dropping my music courses, I still struggled immensely with Algebra 1 – 2 and Algebra 3 – 4. That’s 2 semesters that turned into 4 because I kept failing the classes! By then, I’d lost all the scholarships I walked in with, my GPA dropped of course and I took out an additional student loan. I did not want to quit or pause. I was determined to finish what I started. After 5.5 years, I finally graduated with my Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology.
After graduation, I began an internship in Adoption and Foster Care. I had an interest in Social Work but, I knew I couldn’t afford to go back to school and get my Masters. I considered being a Case Manager at an adoption agency, but instead I began my career in the Behavior Health Field. My first stable job was working as a Behavior Health Paraprofessional, working with adult clients diagnosed with Serious Mental Illness. One thing I enjoyed most was facilitating 1:1 and group sessions on various topics, helping my clients to better understand and cope with their diagnosis. After 2 years, I was hired at therapeutic school + home that provides treatment programs, emergency shelter and so much more to girls ages 10 to 18. As a Behavior Health Technician, I learned so much about intervention, trauma informed care and more. However, during all of this, I was fighting my own battles with depression, anxiety, and I one point, suicidal ideation.
In my last blog post, I gave you sneak peak of my childhood. I was super shy, struggled to make friends, struggled with low self -esteem and as a young adult, I had a few heartbreaks along the way. I’d been ghosted, cheated on and had relationships end unexpectedly. I’d had a few childhood friends from my church growing up, that as we got older, we grew apart. So, aside from dating – I was otherwise often alone. I Somewhere in the middle of all of that I discovered my purpose and found my confidence. That is, until I lost it again. More on that later.
During my last year working with adults with SMI, I had a few panic attacks. Often times, I felt under a lot of stress and under pressure from my personal life – dealing with my own toxic thoughts and emotions to work related stress that comes with working in a high-intensity, sometimes chaotic and triggering environment. Stress doesn’t just affect you psychologically but it can take it’s tole on you physically. This is something I’ve struggled with for YEARS and have had to learn how to live a preventive lifestyle doing practical things everyday to reduce the effects of stress.
I typically have panic attacks after I begin to feel the stress physically – like, chest pain and tightness/pressure, muscle stiffness, muscle spasms, as well as nerve sensitivity and pain. When I’d experience these, I’d instantly become anxious, because my mind would jump to the worst conclusions like fear of having a heart attack. Too often, I made the mistake of looking up the symptoms I was experiencing on Doctor Google. You know, WebMD. Big mistake. Listen, my panicking just made the symptoms I was experiencing worse. For me, this led to multiple urgent care and ER trips, EKG’s and x-rays ran that ultimately came back normal. Oh, and of course the medical bills from all of those urgent care trips followed.
Some days, I would interact with clients and would become anxious. I remember having to walk outside trying not to hyperventilate in front of clients and coworkers, and trying to practice deep breathing and grounding exercises to calm down. There were days when I left work early because I was in so much physical pain. One thing each of the clients had was a folder that held their personal treatment plan, details of their triggers and coping skills, etc. You know what I did? I created my own version of a treatment plan for myself. I was educating and supporting clients during the day and going home to my own inner battle.
I stayed for 2 years before starting my job as a BHT working with the girls 10 to 18. That was a change of pace for sure, but exposed me to levels of trauma and treatment that I was eager to learn about. I was also eager to work the nightshift, because I had a special project I was working on. If I wasn’t on an overnight trip at the hospital with a client, then in between walking up and down the halls every 30 minutes doing routine bed-checks, I could be found writing my 3rd book, Empower You! Mindset Transformation: A Daily Devotional for the Mind. Now, if I could summarize this book in 1 word it would be: Empowerment. Today, as I think about it, I am amazed out how I was able to create content as such, when the state of mind throughout the years was opposite of that.
I have always found a way to write about my pain and heartbreak and end it with a word of motivation and empowerment. Writing and poetry has been my preferred outlet for years and since the beginning, I have never been able to simply right about my pain without encouraging someone else too. I found purpose in my pain. I found purpose in my struggle. I was going through my own mess, while working a 9 to 5 that required me to support adults and children going through their valleys. It has never been about me going through just so I can say that I survived. It’s always been about going through so that I can help someone else.
I share this part of my story, because I need you to understand that there is ALWAYS purpose in your pain.
You might have gone through some things and some of you may be going through right now and you may be wondering why you had to go through that situation. You may be searching for the purpose. This might catch you by surprise, but I want to encourage you to stop searching for the reason. If you’ve been searching and wondering and haven’t found it.. Consider this: It could be that the purpose is so that YOU can HELP someone else. Simple as that. There is purpose in YOUR storm – you never have to look too far to find it. We are destined to go THROUGH the storm so that we can effectively HELP someone else get through their storm.
There is purpose in your storm. That means, if you keep going, you’re going to survive your storm. Eventually, you will come out on the other side.
Thank you for reading! Share this post with someone who needs it.