Change Is More Than Therapy and Medication

A picture of a person outside smiling.Before entering foster care, I lived a terrifying childhood. I was dehumanized, abused, starved, and neglected. Living in survival mode had become the way I functioned for so long that I did not know how to live without chaos. I began my journey into adulthood and freedom by operating out of trauma, living every day as if my safety was in question even when it wasn’t. My trauma manifested itself in every aspect of my life. Despite the way I was accustomed to operating, I was still a high-achieving young adult defying statistics every day. The one statistic that I have almost become part of more times than I can count, is the one for suicide.

My life changed when my approach changed. My best friend taught me how to prioritize my social, mental, emotional, and physical health. Imposter syndrome and survivor's guilt were holding me back, and the changes I made helped me start making progress toward my life goals. I put a lot of effort into having a healthier and consistent diet to lessen anxiety and depression. Movement and activity became part of my daily routine. Going to the gym, taking daily walks, yoga, meditation, and even dancing in my room helped me start to manage stress and free my mind. Journaling helps to free myself from limiting beliefs, and I use music and art to express the creative part of my brain. With these new strategies in place, I started living with intention and purpose no longer focused on my trauma. I practice a holistic approach and self-discipline to intentionally heal and break generational traumas as I grow into the person my inner child was always meant to become.

Mental health awareness isn’t spoken about enough in the world of child welfare, let alone the real world. In order for real change to happen, people need to understand it is more than therapy and medications people need to make the change they want in their life. I hope all our stories help to change that.