I used to be pretty messed up. During that time I felt really alone. I wasn’t, but it felt like it. I didn’t realize that I had lived with depressive episodes on and off most of my life. I know that sounds kinda dumb. But as they say, ya don’t know what you don’t know. I thought it was normal to feel that low. Feeling that way and not really liking myself led me to be in some pretty tough and abusive relationships. Not fun.
In a way I guess I was numb. Now I’m in my 50’s and I’m finally living the life I was meant to live. I like me now.
I also started to remember that I was also a very anxious child. When I say anxious I mean ANXIOUS, severe anxiety disorder. School and most life and social events were terrifying to me. The thoughts of being outside the comfort of my home was scary. Most people who know me now find that hard to believe. I was crippled by fear; fear of the unknown and fear of what others thought of me.
My parents brought me to a psychiatrist. I don’t remember the visits, I was very young. But what I do know is that since then I have had an overwhelming desire to help others, and of course animals. I remember telling people when I was 7 years old that I wanted to be a psychiatrist and of course a Go Go Dancer.
Fast forward many years later. I am not a psychiatrist but I did complete my Masters in Social Work. My dream came true despite the early paralyzing anxiety and later on the depressions. My work led me to working most of my career in Northern Canada including the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Labrador. While working in small northern communities I helped the community cope with trauma and grief, often acting as front line first responder as well as follow up clinical care. I am lucky to have been able be 30 years social work field.
While working and living in Labrador, I found myself embracing the Inuit culture and acquired my own team of husky dogs. These amazing teachers have imparted many lessons to me including appreciation of my own resilience and the importance of self-compassion; and many lessons about living and dying. I love them so much and we are all getting older of course, and am slowly loosing them one by one as they head over the rainbow bridge.
Side note; I am also the crazy cat lady, we won’t even go there.
I wouldn’t go back and change anything. Years of suffering helped me grow as a person. It also gave me insight into how others may be feeling. Which makes me good at what I do.
It has also brought me here today with you, and that is wonderful.
Some of my work stuff that you might be interested is that I have been in the field in different capacities since the 80’s, yup the 80’s. I worked more or less as a social service worker for many years and finally completed my Bachelor of Social Work in 2003. A big part of my career was in corrections which I loved at the time and eventually worked in family services, long term care, elder abuse and sexual abuse agencies, walk in counselling clinics and with a mobile crisis team. I like to describe my work history as eclectic. I have served on many boards with agencies that work with those affected by trauma and proud to say I won an award for my work in the elder abuse field. I am also proud that several years ago I graduated with my Master’s Degree in Social work at the ripe old age of 55. I like to say that I am a late bloomer, which I am also proud of. It’s never to late to do what you want to do.
I take a soft approach in my sessions. Soft but direct and I want you to be engaged.
Thanks for taking the time to get to know me, I am looking forward to possibly connecting with you,