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M Y S T O R Y
I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder at 16, earlier than most doctors are willing to diagnose. I was really suffering but no one knew how to help me. I was constantly irritable, angry, and emotional; I resorted to self-injury and self-medicating to numb the anger, guilt, and shame.
I wanted so badly to be a kind, joyful, loving person, but I felt like I couldn’t control myself. My family had been torn apart in their attempts to help, control, or change the concerning behaviors they were seeing. They sent me to doctor after doctor, therapist after therapist, inpatient and outpatient treatment. Eventually I went to college, but I was still in this cycle of destruction and pain and felt like there was no hope left.
The week after graduating from college, I should have been looking forward to my future. Instead, I was planning to end my life.
But this was not to be. Right as I was preparing to end my own suffering in the worst way, I met someone who changed my entire life in ways I could not have imagined. This person was an EXPERT on everything BPD-related, and knew just what I was struggling with. I was given treatment resources, started medication and Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and began building a support system. I learned what the BPD brain does when it’s having an “episode.” I learned what the research was saying about the illness and the recovery rates. I learned what type of skill to use in every situation.
I recovered, and I survived, all because of one person who recognized what I was going through and showed me the tools I needed to get better.
And most importantly of all, I learned that people truly cared enough to help me find a new way of life. I learned that there is hope.
I can now wake up each morning, excited about my day and ready to be a wife, a daughter, and an independent woman.
Since my recovery, I’ve devoted my life to those people who are lost and hopeless like I was. One person who cares, who knows what you’re going through, and who can help you learn the tools to change your life, is all it takes. Someone to call when you’re in crisis, a shoulder to lean on for support and encouragement, and a teacher to give you and your loved ones the skills to build the life you never dreamed was possible with mental illness.Learn More About Borderline Personality Disorder
The Path I Took To Coaching:
Many people ask, "Why did you get into coaching? What's your experience and training?"
I began my education in psychology, research, and mental health at an early age, graduated with a B.A. in psychology from the University of South Florida, and proceeded to participate in internships involving addiction research, mentoring teens in a residential setting, and finally with a group therapist specializing in Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Borderline Personality Disorder (all while struggling with my own mental health and recovery).
I received formal trainings in motivational interviewing, ethics, trauma-informed care, and other essential education in community health services (mostly through employment opportunities within the juvenile justice system).
But by far, most of my experience and training has come from work on the ground with women and men all over the world who have Borderline Personality Disorder, have a loved one with BPD, or are generally struggling with finding joy in a life that includes mental illness. Once I started my path to recovery with my own beloved doctor, my peers became the driving force for the remainder of my journey. They continue to be my driving force today.
Over the past 11 years, I have opened and administrated multiple online peer-led support groups with thousands of members from places such as Australia, Germany, Canada, the United Kingdom, and India, all to address the difficulties of managing the BPD diagnosis. Originally, these support groups were tools for me to help find community support in my own struggles. We set up teams to address crisis and link people with emergency resources in their area; gathered research and shared the latest information on treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder, and encouraged each other to participate in recovery.
Eventually these peer-led groups became the inspiration for a full-time coaching business. We have year-round weekly DBT-skills classes, individual consulting and coaching services, referral partnerships with mental health professionals in multiple locations throughout the U.S. and are building online courses and therapist-trainings in the near future to help equip more people with the DBT skills from the perspective of those who know how difficult it can be to live with mental illness.
As we continue to grow and partner with mental health communities all over the world, I hope you will join us in the fight to decrease stigma and spread the hope!