Hi, I'm Liz.
When I think about telling my story, I typically have the thought, “I’m a completely different person than I was ten years ago.” But the truth is, I’m ME now. I’m so much more ME than I was ten years ago, and I’m becoming more ME every day.
Over a decade ago, before I started my own healing journey, I was trapped in my own mind by obsessive thoughts and anxiety, and I didn’t know the way out. Paralyzed by shame and perfectionism, I hid my true self from others; and honestly, I was so caught up in trying to make others like me that I didn’t know who my true self was. My self-worth depended entirely on what I assumed others thought of me. I wore masks and changed my behavior depending on what type of “Liz” I thought each group of friends might like that day. I lived to help others and tried like hell not to let myself be vulnerable or really seen; I certainly couldn’t let others see all the stuff I thought was wrong with me. Who’d want to be my friend then?
And because I struggled with these issues, I also inevitably suffered from depression, self-harm, and suicidal thoughts.
This was pure hell. Both my personal life and career were suffering. I was anxious, depressed, and no one close to me really knew me.
I needed help.
So when I started grad school to become a therapist, I also started seeing a therapist. This is where my world started to change. The work was hard. Really hard. The journey of growth and self-discovery was brutal, and then it was wonderful. Then it was even more brutal, then even more wonderful. Allowing yourself to feel the emotions and pain you’ve tried so hard to stuff down your whole life.. well, I didn’t think I would survive it. I didn’t think I could get through the pain, and I wanted to turn back.
But I DID get through it. And I started getting BETTER.
When I started to really experience the pain that I had tried SO hard to stuff down and distract myself from, I started healing. And the more emotion I experienced, the better I felt. I realized that my pain wasn’t there to harm me.. it was there to HELP me. I learned that emotions weren’t a thing to be feared and avoided, but that by allowing them to rise and fall naturally within me, they would become my wisest teachers and most profound healing instruments.
As I continued the process of healing, the more I returned to MYSELF. I started trusting my own, inner voice. I started noticing how much less anxious and depressed I was feeling; the obsessive, ruminating thoughts were diminishing more and more each day. I felt inspired and alive. I started to understand what it felt like to love myself. I started taking more intentional action in my life, rather than living my life solely to please others. I started just being ME - no matter who I was around - and I didn’t change who I was to attempt to please others. And as a result, other people started to SEE the real me. And for the first time, I felt what it was like to be truly KNOWN in relationships.
And the truth is, this was all just the beginning.
As a person committed to growth, I continue my healing journey every day. Whether it’s my daily practices I’ve learned over the years, therapy, other healing methods, connecting with trusted friends, etc., I’m committed to growth, because I’ve experienced the absolute freedom it gives me. Present day, I’ve never felt healthier, more grounded, more vibrant, more deeply connected in relationship with myself, others, and my spiritual source (mine is God). Feeling this way doesn’t mean I don’t come across hard times, hurt deeply, grieve, and otherwise feel pain. What it DOES mean is that I can withstand, and even embrace, the storms. I can see the storms as a painful yet fruitful part of life, which leads to even more growth and vitality. To more freedom. More ME.
This is my story; this is me 😊 Nice to meet you!
Okay - hobbies! I LOVE hiking. Also love dancing, drawing, painting, crafting, journaling, and just being outside. My ideal day would be to hit the trails in the early morning, come home and have a big breakfast (biscuits & coffee!), spend the afternoon in a big, cushy lounge chair outside with my journal, sketch pad, and another good book, and then to round out the evening watching a movie with my husband. Cuddling with our big orange cat, Mr. Darcy, of course.