A little about me
Eight years ago, I was actively suicidal.
How I got there isn’t the point. That would be like reading the recipe when there’s a decadent dessert sitting right in front of you, right? So, let’s dig into the chewy centre, shall we?
I was fortunate to reconnect with a woman in the DC area, a woman I met through an online fan forum. Believe it or not that woman, that woman who lives on the other side of the continent, has come to mean the world to me. We’re Besties, BFFs, ‘Bros. Bestie and I developed a scale from 1-10 shorthand to gauge our emotional states. We did this daily. Anything below a two was the red zone and anything above a five was a miracle. One day she asks me, and I respond with, “Twenty-three.” I get a couple of question marks in return, and I tell her, “That’s how many sleeping pills are in my bottle.” I had counted that afternoon.
I was at a crossroads. I had lived under a black cloud since before I hit double digits. I have since learned that many Gen-Xers expected to die young, so I wasn’t alone. When I hit 40, though, it felt like a cruel joke. Month after month, year after year, the darkness got darker and fed on itself. It got to that point where it was so black that it absorbed everything, couldn’t even reflect light back. That was the day I decided that enough was enough; I was either going to get my life back – presuming I ever had it – or I was going to kill myself. I was done, so I chose.
Each time you go for counselling, you get to fill out a questionnaire to gauge your levels of *cough*crazy*cough* depression and anxiety. It’s like getting your blood pressure checked at your doctor’s office except it’s a single, simple number. The questionnaire my counselling office uses sets the threshold for depression at 62. At my first session, mine was 128. Over twice the legal limit!
I am grateful to the counselling centre for giving me tools. I am grateful to Hillhurst United Church, to Women Talk, and to MeetUp for helping me find community. I kept going to counselling, weekly at first. Then bi-weekly. Monthly. Finally, “Christie, we’ve done everything we can.”
I felt better than I ever had, but I stalled out at 80. Appointment after appointment, it was 80. There was nothing left to try. Bullsh!t!! I could see Nirvana. I could taste it. Every once in a while, I could even feel it. I remember my first 8. Bestie and I did a wild happy dance but concluded that it wasn’t sustainable.
It was. It is. That’s why I built my mental health coaching business. We all deserve a shot at choosing life. I had gone the conventional route, and it was time to give the unconventional a go. I studied everything I could get my hands on. Inner child therapy. Hypnotherapy. Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy. Shadow Work… You get the idea. And I will never stop learning and integrating new skills into my practice. Being a golfer has taught me that we never stop improving our game!
I have worked with people living with a host of different traumas and trauma responses. Sexual abuse by a family member, death of a sibling, violent rape, narcissistic mother. Alcoholism, adult ADHD, anger management, cutting. I wish I could say that this wasn’t the tip of the iceberg, but it is. Suffering at the hands of factors outside of our control is universal. That is my ‘Why’. I work with people to help them take their power back. You don’t have to continue living as a victim of circumstance, a victim of what happened to you.
That is also the core of my upcoming Reimagine Your Future program. Crafted with compassion, it moves the people who take it through four distinct stages. The first, Victim, is the quickest, because just by investing in the program, they’re already demonstrating their readiness to leave that behind. Because they’ve already taken a step toward investing in themselves. Second is Survivor. Next you will be a Thriver until finally you emerge a Victor.
Victim to victor, because we all deserve to get to that place where we choose life.
Mental Health Coach
Inner Child Therapist
Registered Massage Therapist
With gratitude to
for my photo.