I’ve been with AU as a Bridger for a little over a year now and as a former participant in the program, it’s been an incredible full circle opportunity to get to be a part of a program that was so vital in my own recovery. I strive to bring the experience I was given to the participants I get to work with – That in addition to gaining connections to resources that could advocate for me, I could also learn to advocate for myself. That shift in thinking opened my world to possibilities in self-healing I had never known, and experimenting with “nontraditional” therapies like yoga, EMDR, and acupuncture led me to a mind/body connection I had never experienced, which in turn helped immensely with my mental health and addiction struggles. Physical acts of healing help me feel less trapped in my head, and more connected to where my feet are in the present moment. I also learned a balance was possible- to be more comfortable asking for help outside myself, without discounting the healing of also looking within. Maintaining that balance is a big foundation in my healing process.
Through connections and trainings at AU, I’ve learned that my difficulty finding success within the system didn’t mean I was a failure, it meant the system had failed me. That maybe my depression and anxiety weren’t flaws, maybe they were actually healthy responses to a flawed society. In learning to reframe my beliefs and unlearn my survival mode, I became empowered to live authentically and find my voice. I recommitted to healthy ways of escape through books and music, while on the journey to no longer needing to escape.
I’m passionate about humanity, spirituality, and reconnection with nature. One of my favorite ways of doing that is letterboxing, an outdoor hobby that combines elements of orienteering, art, and puzzle solving. I find it much easier to hike a trail if I have a goal to work towards. My son also loves it! In our world of constantly growing and consuming technology, it’s important to me that I provide experiences for my son to bond with nature, as well as integrate my healing tools into my parenting so that my son may grow up learning the value of self-care and healing.
My favorite thing about working at AU is being part of a community of people that are agents of change, at an organization that allows me to combine my personal and professional ambitions of exploring the ways people can connect and heal and create spaces for that to flourish.