Categories
Mental Health Recovery Trauma Treatment

In Recovery, We Lean In to Let Go

Being in recovery from mental illness, substance abuse, alcoholism, eating disorders, behavioral issues, et cetera, require that we lean into some things that make us uncomfortable. Let me tell you, “leaning in” isn’t easy. Our brains like pleasure and revile pain. In fact, finding ourselves in rehab tells us that our habitual patterns of trying to put an elementary salve on a gushing wound weren’t working very well. It means that drinking, drugging, stealing or lying our way out of our feelings doesn’t work — at least not permanently. Frankly, none of these “solutions” ever work. Not in the long or short term.

By suggesting that we lean into our difficulties instead of leaning away, I am asking for you to embrace your courage. I am also asking you to trust in your exemplary clinical team, your support team, and in your own ability to do this difficult work while you are in treatment and beyond. Positive thinking or praying for it all to magically go away are both examples of temporary, feel-good actions that don’t provide a long-term solution. It’s wise to also recognize that the recovery process often requires legitimate, clinically supported psychological care.

Recovery is about change. It’s about shifting perspectives and learning how to redefine and revise old paradigms in order to create healthy ones. When we face our old thought patterns and old ideals, we offer ourselves the opportunity to let go. We often find ourselves able to walk through our issues not around them, recognizing that while they are present, ready and willing to make us miserable, we don’t have to take the bait. When we begin to look at our issues with some awareness and compassion, their negative influence has a chance to dissipate.

Our ability to recognize the negative for what it is allows us to invite the positive experiences and influences into our lives. In our recent blog, “How do You Stay Motivated,” I quoted Dr. Rick Hanson, Ph.D., who addresses this very thing: “The remedy is not to suppress negative experiences; when they happen, they happen. Rather, it is to foster positive experiences – and in particular, take them in so they become a permanent part of you.”

Negative experiences do not have to own us; in fact, they can be part of the landscape without being part of our foundations.  This is emblematic of recovery.

The process of recovery is not something you have to do alone. In fact, you can’t. There are support groups, clinicians, treatment facilities, therapists, et cetera, as available resources to you. Yes, there are things you may have to face and work through, but coming to an understanding that you don’t have to ride through that storm alone is a welcome relief.

Categories
Alumni Feelings Mental Health Recovery

How Can You Stay Motivated After Treatment?

It’s important to stay motivated after you leave treatment. But that’s not always as easy as it sounds

Treatment provides a protective and supportive cocoon where clients can discover, lean into and heal from their difficulties.  One discovers a broadening network of support and a plan to maintain it. Still, it isn’t always easy to stay motivated. Some clients move back to their home state, where there isn’t quite enough support or where meetings and sober options are slim.  Phone conversations are helpful, but often times, there is a need for real-time human interaction. Skype or FaceTime are viable options here.

Here are some tools to help you make a solid plan to stay motivated:

  • Know your needs. Write them down. Be specific and spare nothing.
  • Have a list of people you can call and connect with on a regular basis that not only know your goals, but also will support them wholeheartedly.
  • Understand that there will be rough days. Getting sober doesn’t mean everything becomes perfect or that you live happily ever after. This is life, after all, and that means that stuff will happen. Some days, we will handle the difficulties with grace, and some days, we may fall. It’s ok. You are human.
  • Expectations: Are they realistic? Unrealistic expectations can create more suffering then good. Thoughts like, “If I stay sober, I’ll get ____” or “If I stay sober, so and so will love me again.” Getting sober provides the opportunity for change, but positive change takes time. Addiction and untreated mental illness caused harm and restoring the good requires a commitment to affecting this positive change.
  • Remember WHY you got sober. Some experience the “pink cloud” syndrome in early recovery, where everything is all sunshine and roses, but when that pink cloud dissipates, one is left with reality, and reality sucks sometimes. Especially when everything was so “perfect” for a period of time.
  • Make an effort to remember the good. According to Rick Hanson, Ph.D., in his book Buddha’s Brain, “Your brain preferentially scans for, registers, stores, recalls, and reacts to unpleasant experiences; as we’ve said, it’s like Velcro for negative experiences and Teflon for positive ones.” He goes on to wisely say, “The remedy is not to suppress negative experiences; when they happen, they happen. Rather, it is to foster positive experiences – and in particular, take them in so they become a permanent part of you.”
  • Journal daily, or write as close to daily as you can muster. This can help you process what’s going on, experience the negative and revel in the positive.
  • Gratitude lists: I swear by these. Even in the darkest of times, there are things to be grateful for. Write them down. Sometimes, the things you are grateful for are simple and seemingly plain, but they are something. Yes, that means if on Tuesday, you are grateful for toast, and hot tea, and a shower, it’s ok. Nothing is too small, or too insignificant.

Staying motivated means that you have an inclination of enthusiasm for what you are doing. Note the good that is coming from your recovery, the positive things that have arisen and the negative ones that are beginning to move through. You cannot magically think your way out of your troubles. Feel them, name them, and give them emotional space to heal; The only way out is through.

Categories
Recovery

How Kindness Can Support Our Recovery

A simple act of kindness can go a long way, especially for those in recovery. No one comes to treatment because their life was in order or because they are doing well. They come here because they are suffering, because they are emotionally lost, and some might even say broken. Over time, I have chosen to shift my own perspective and ceased to use the word “broken” in reference to recovery. Instead, I use injured. I find it more akin to supporting the healing process as it facilitates a more profound perception of ourselves as we grow and change. Peter Levine, founder of Somatic Experiencing and author of “In an Unspoken Voice,” says this about trauma and healing, “Trauma is a fact of life. It does not however, have to be a life sentence.” Stepping or falling on the path of recovery, tired, injured and overwhelmed, recognizing the light representing the possibility of healing can be profound, especially as we grapple with the necessary changes required to get sober.

This is prime time for kindness.

Imagine coming into treatment terrified, not knowing what to expect, not knowing what the outcome will be. Imagine someone witnessing your feelings and sense of overwhelm, validating you and encouraging you to have your own experience. Imagine someone looking at you with kindness in his or her eyes, offering empathy rather than judgment. Imagine feeling heard and being seen in this way. These are the very things that can allow our hearts to soften just enough to let the light in.

Doing the work required in recovery requires courage. It requires that we delve into the innermost parts of ourselves with a sense of curiosity, bravery, and kindess. It’s not comfortable looking at the causative factors of why we were using drugs and alcohol in the first place. When one is in a nurturing, safe environment where healing is cultivated and encouraged by support staff and skilled clinicians, change begins to occur. Even when there is resistance!

As sobriety takes hold, and clients begin to practice being of service, kindness acts as the through line. It is through small acts of kindness that we can begin to see that we are not the only ones suffering, nor are we the only ones having the experience we are having.

There is a wonderful Buddhist story about a grieving mother named Kisa, who lost in the depth of her grief, was unable to reconcile herself with the loss of her son. She begged and pleaded for help and began to go mad in the process. She asked the Buddha for help; The Buddha told her that if she wanted to make medicine, she would need mustard seeds, but the caveat was this: she could only gather mustard seeds from a home where no one had died. Through her search, something happened to Kisa: She discovered that she was not alone in her suffering and in her grief but rather in great company. Not one home was without loss. While she came back empty handed, she found herself feeling less alone. Risa’s suffering was met with kindness, empathy and understanding. The emotional shift for her was profound; her healing could truly begin.

I like this story in relation to recovery because often times, there is a perception that our suffering is unique. We inevitably discover that our suffering is, in fact, in direct alignment with our community. Though our experiences are our own, the resulting dissatisfaction is universal. Through connection and acts of kindness and service, we can walk this path as a community seeped in healing and encouraging change.

Categories
Recovery

Why It’s Wise to Unplug From Time to Time

Let’s unplug so we can plug in.

 

The current generation of kids has been raised on Internet memes and media sensations, and they have learned to communicate via social media and texting. This makes them tech savvy, but it also makes them disconnected.  Every day that I pick three young teens up from school, I notice that the first thing they do is jump onto their phones to check their Instagram accounts.  Social media has become THE way to communicate with one another, and sites like Instagram, Vine and YouTube have opened up the world of media consumption.

As we have become more plugged in and more connected, we have ironically become disconnected. Text messaging has become a primary means of communication for many, because it’s fast, convenient, and it takes away the discomfort of confrontation. It’s become commonplace to break up with someone via text, or to ask someone out. Bad news is more often than not shared via texting or social media. I, myself, have found out about a death in the family via text, and there is something deeply impersonal and haunting receiving such a weighted message digitally. While social media is convenient, it places a keyboard and/or screen between you and the person you are attempting to communicate with. It’s easy to “unfriend” someone on Facebook or “unfollow” someone on Instagram—often times, the person in question has no idea of the “unfriending” and won’t for a while! This is surely much easier than letting someone know you are unhappy with the way your relationship has devolved.

What baffles me the most is seeing groups of kids having “conversations” but never once making eye contact with each other. Even in my car after school, the kids will talk, but all of them are ensconced in their phones.

NPR recently reported on a UCLA study that investigated the effects of screen use in 6th graders. Their findings were that kids who spend 5 days in a media free zone (aka camp), had more positive interactions with their peers, and a marked improvement in their ability to read social cues in people’s faces. I would agree that the removal of digital screens does improve social interactions and it also creates a more stable community. At Visions, we don’t allow phones in residential treatment, and as a result, a community develops. Even in our Intensive Outpatient Programs and Day School, screen time is limited — and earned.

In recovery, community is foundational. Reaching our hands out and introducing ourselves helps us stay accountable, and it lets others know we are present and part of the same thing. So perhaps we can let our screens go dark for a spell and reconnect with our communities. Make an effort to unplug and spend some quality time with your family, your community and even yourself. Check out the sky, or the clouds, walk on the beach, feel the sand in your toes and the air against your skin. It’s enlivening to do things like this and it’s innately grounding to connect with the earth, yourself and those around you. Unplugging is good for you, the community, and your recovery.

Categories
Recovery Self-Care Service

Taking Care of Yourself While Being of Service in Recovery

We need to be of service in recovery. Getting out of ourselves and helping others is a time-tested component in the recovery puzzle. When we suffer, helping someone else can be liberating. Being of service acts as an unexpected and welcome emotional salve. Being of service shows us that we are not alone in our suffering; it shows us that relief is available. Being of service provides support, and it encourages community. Service work is a wise requirement.

 

There is a shadow side to service work, though, and it rears its head when we don’t take care ourselves. Sans self-care, we risk being overwhelmed, stressed out, tired, and depleted. If you are a gardener, and you tend to everyone else’s garden before your own, your garden will wilt. The same thing applies to taking care of ourselves–Being of service is also an inside job.

 

Where are YOU on your list of priorities?

 

On an airplane, we are told to give ourselves the oxygen first in case of an emergency; Similarly, we must apply this same ideology in our day-to-day lives. If we are depleted, we cannot effectively be of service.

 

Is ensuring someone else’s happiness more important than safeguarding your own?

 

The feelings that emerge when we are of service can be profoundly positive. It feels good to help others. However, we cannot sacrifice our own needs in order to do so.  It’s important not to lean toward people-pleasing behaviors — behaviors that inevitably feed resentment and drain our personal resources for self-care. When we people-please and neglect ourselves in the name of being of service, we risk resentment, which leaves us sitting miserably in silent rage and frustration.

 

Remember that sacrificing yourself is not tantamount to being of service. Pushing yourself to the point of emotional exhaustion will tap your nervous system and leave you overwhelmed, tired, depressed, and frustrated. We are no good to anyone when we are depleted.

 

Yes, you can take care of YOU and be of service!

 

1: Take care of your needs first: If that means taking a walk or going for a run or taking a nap BEFORE helping someone else, do it. Fill your well.

 

2:It’s okay to say NO: If you are exhausted, and tapped out, saying no is a way of being of service. You are no help to anyone if you are worn out.

 

3: Maintain healthy boundaries: If your go-t0 answer is always “yes,” then you are likely to end up overwhelmed. Are you overcommitted?  Practice saying “No.” Practice taking care of YOUR needs before taking care of the needs of others. You are just as important.

 

I love this Buddhist quote and share it often. It’s definitely apropos here:

You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.” 

Categories
Holidays Recovery

Staying Sober on Labor Day Weekend

It’s Labor Day weekend, the first holiday of the school year and the one that indicates the real end of Summer and the transition toward Fall. Labor Day represents the culmination of Summer barbecues, eating al fresco, long days and warm nights. Stores already have Halloween swag for sale and it’s still August! I wish I was kidding.

For addicts and alcoholics, long weekends tend to mean parties. But as the path of recovery becomes your own, the meanings of holidays change. They become opportunities for making healthier choices, having sober fun, and making long-lasting connections.

Still, for someone new in recovery, holidays might be overwhelming. Holidays may be the first relatively unstructured time for the newcomer fresh out of treatment, or it may be reminiscent of times past where things went awry. The reality is, recovery requires a shift: a shift in social circles, life choices, and a shift in how we represent ourselves to the world. Gone are the days of calculated debauchery and lost memories.

Here are some helpful tips to help you stay on track this Labor Day weekend (and any holiday weekend from here on out):

  • Get active: Play in the surf, go on a hike, or a long bike ride.  Firing up those endorphins is good for us and positive for our mental health.
  • Go to extra meetings; There are meetings going on at all times of the day—early morning to the infamous late-night meetings.  Often times, there are marathon meetings on holiday weekends.
  • Stay in contact with your sponsor and actively engage with your recovery support system
  • Be of service! Helping others gets us out of ourselves and into action. At 21 years sober, I spend more of my time being of service than I ever did. It keeps me present, engaged, and out of my head.
  • Host or attend a sober event. In sober living? Maybe your house will be up to the task of making an in-house sober fun day – BBQS, pool party, et cetera.
  • Engage in a contemplative practice: yoga or meditation. Yoga and meditation are both a direct route to self-care. They cultivate the engagement of the breath, which helps us stay in the present moment. They both ask that we are present: not in the future and not in the past. This, in and of itself, is profoundly self-regulating.
  • Say “No” when and if you need to. Remember, “No,” is a complete sentence. If something doesn’t feel right to you, “no” is a perfectly acceptable answer. It’s a boundary and good practice in recovery.
  • Ask for help: You cannot do this alone. Understanding that asking for help is a learned skill, practice whenever you can.  If you are lonely, or overwhelmed, or emotionally triggered, reach out to someone. Work with moving against the discomfort of asking for help – it does not imply weakness, but rather, tells those around you that you are courageous.

And most of all: have fun this Labor Day weekend. Like Theodore Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss) once said, “Fun is good.” Try to find joy in the little things: a cuddle with a dog, a great cup of coffee, a cool dip in a pool on a hot day, the majestic cloud formations, a sunset, or whatever strikes you. There are nuggets of goodness everywhere. And if you have trouble finding something joyful, do yourself a favor and jot down 3 things you’re grateful for. It will help you find your way. Have a safe and sober weekend

Categories
Mental Health Recovery Service Treatment

Fiona A. Ray, MA, LMFT – Clinical Director

Bill Hoban has been our infallible Clinical Director for the last 12 years. His expertise and dedication helped make Visions the program it is today. It has been an honor working with him in that capacity. Recently, Bill has stepped down from his role as Clinical Director; he has passed the torch to the inimitable Fiona Ray as she steps into her new role as Clinical Director.

 

Fiona’s had an inspired vision for our clinical growth. Her fierce determination to execute positive change and create a solid team in our Outpatient facilities has been remarkable and we are excited to have her take on this role and do the same for our residential team. In her role as Director of Outpatient Services, Fiona created an environment replete with a dedicated staff willing to stand on the front lines alongside her to ensure that clients get the best care available. Fiona is not afraid of change, nor is she afraid to make the tough decisions sometimes necessary in treatment; she does it with compassion and wise intention. She is keen on creating an environment that is supportive and respectful for her staff to flourish and be the team they are meant to be.

 

We are thrilled to support Fiona Ray in new her position as Clinical Director. She is a well-respected fixture in the recovery community, recognized for her tenacity, dedication, and quiet, but fierce presence. Fiona has this ability to approach difficulty in a calm, collected way while making a family feel secure, supported and cared for. She has been instrumental in building out our Extended Care program, Launch, and the DBT training for the staff.  Fiona’s desire to create an environment that is healing and empowering for clients and co-workers is astounding.  Her drive to make Visions the best adolescent treatment is something to behold. Fiona is one of a kind and we consider ourselves deeply fortunate to have her in our midst.

 

Categories
Addiction Mental Health Recovery

The Challenge and Freedom of Letting Go

Are you faced with a big breakup and having trouble letting go?  We all know breaking up is hard to do. It’s tough whether you’re in a failing relationship, a waning friendship, a job that isn’t working out, a partnership that feels splintered, or any relationship that has simply stopped serving you. What if that relationship you so desperately need to end is your relationship with drugs and alcohol? What if the relationship that isn’t serving you is your relationship with your anger or greed? Being faced with a breakup of this caliber is tough.

 

It’s not ironic to me that we stay when we should go. Letting go is hard. It’s scary. It’s full of what-ifs and the unknown. Letting go of something that isn’t working can mean failure, but really what it most often shows us is great success. Our attachment to the familiar holds us back from investigating and cultivating change. In fact, change is something many of us fear. I once knew someone who was so afraid of change that he stayed in the same house, wore the same clothes, ate the same foods, spoke to the same people, and lived in the same town, all to his detriment. Every time an opportunity for change appeared, he recoiled, and became angry, volatile, even. The unknown was unbearable; change was his bogeyman. He ended up stuck in the sticky bitterness of his fear.

 

Addiction and the behaviors around addiction represent an unhealthy relationship. Addiction is that relationship we attach to while spinning out of control, creating external and internal harm, along with a cycle of shame. This relationship with addiction reminds me of the abuse cycle itself:

 

  • We are intimidated by it
  • We feel threatened by it
  • We feel bad about ourselves because of it
  • It isolates us and controls our relationships
  • We deny its existence
  • We lose our jobs or can’t get a job
  • It makes us financially unstable
  • It lies to us, making us feel good so we forget and start all over

 

These relationships with addiction and anger are the ones we need to end. Breaking up is hard to do. In letting go and moving toward freedom, we face the unknown, and often times, we have to face the thing we were hiding with our addiction. Things like untreated mental illness, poverty, sexual abuse, domestic violence, alcoholic parents or caregivers, and untended trauma are daunting. They are the beasts in the shadows. Still, the relationship to addiction has to end in order for any truths to come out. We have to lean toward our difficulties so we can eventually move through them. This is the breakup of your life: the one that will change your life for the better, and the one that will ultimately set you free.

 

Your relationship to addiction does not serve you. It never did. This breakup? It will serve you well. Recovery will set you on a path to heal. You will learn to set healthy boundaries; you will learn to love yourself; you will learn to be of service. You will learn to let go.

 

Remember this: Asking for help is a form of self-care, and accepting it is a form of self-love. You are worth it.

 

 

 

 

 

Categories
Feelings Mental Health Recovery Self-Care Trauma

Acknowledging and Honoring Grief

With addiction and mental illness comes something that we often don’t want to look at, which is grief and the deep sense of loss that arrives when we or a family member steps into recovery. Drugs and alcohol and/or mental illness are often viewed as the villains in the aftermath of addiction. But the underlying weight of grief often gets shoved to the side or bypassed entirely.

 

The truth is, grief can be crippling. It can take the wind out of us and make us feel like we’ve landed flat on our faces, gasping for air. When we ignore it, or devalue the importance of the grieving process, we suffer more.

 

Mental illness and/or addiction may have ripped your family at the seams. It may have poked holes in your belief system, and placed a shadow on your hopes and dreams for your family. The truth is, everyone suffers: the one with the disease and the ones close to them.

 

I grew up with a parent mired by the tragedy of her own childhood, which was fraught with a mentally ill mother and a stoic father. Now, I see this same parent as an adult and it affords me the opportunity to recognize the untended grief and loss she’s endured and the great suffering that has resulted. A large portion of our existence in a scenario like this revolves around survival and learning how to endure the shame and fear associated with our circumstances. It’s not uncommon for the grief we feel to be ignored or for us to feel as though it is something to endure.

 

How can we stand tall in the midst of suffering while honoring our grief?

 

Talk about it. Develop a relationship with someone you trust that can help you process your feelings. It could be a counselor, a therapist, a psychologist, a good friend. What we hold onto holds onto us. Processing grief is part acknowledgement and part letting go. It evolves and becomes something we can hold with care instead of treating it like a hot stone.

 

Practice self-care. Take walks, meditate, do yoga, surf, get a massage, take a bath. Indulge in yourself. Healing is hard work; it’s important to nurture ourselves in the process.

 

Lean toward your difficulty. As counterintuitive as that may sound, this is ultimately the way out. That which we fear, can hold us back. We have to find a way to feel our feelings, touch our own hearts with kindness and compassion, and begin the process of finding acceptance and letting go. Take baby steps here. You don’t have to take on the high dive just yet.

 

Grief is present all around us. In adolescence, we grieve the loss of childhood and the inference of responsibility. In recovery, we grieve the person we were, the things we missed, and the damage we did. We also grieve the perceived “fun” guy/gal we thought we were. Be patient: recovery will afford you many more fulfilling ways of having fun.  This list goes on, but it doesn’t have to be daunting.

 

My experience has shown me that when I lean toward the thing I fear, the fear lessons. When I acknowledge the shadow side and hold the difficulties with compassion, the light starts to trickle in. I suffer when I turn away, and when I ignore the suffering, it becomes more unbearable.  The work in recovery teaches us that we can walk through difficulties with grace, we can begin to feel our feelings and we can crack open the barriers around our hearts. With our feet planted on the earth, and our minds open to possibility, the plight of suffering has a place to fly free.

Categories
Anniversary Blogs Recovery Service Treatment

Ashley Harris — Recovery Mentor

Ashley Harris, Recovery Mentor, has been with Visions since 2011. She is one of the bright lights that graces our facilities and touches the lives of our clients and staff alike.  Ashley Harris is one of those people who make me smile at the mere thought of her. She motivates and inspires those around her to embrace life and its challenges with verve, honesty and presence. She skillfully uses humor to break the ice and to make people feel at ease and she has the ability to soften the hardest heart. Ashley retains a sense of youthful joie de vivre while maintaining firm boundaries, earning a deep sense of respect from those who get to work with her.

 

The staff echoes my sentiments about Ashley. Read on. You won’t be disappointed.

 

Ashley cares deeply about our kids and is a great role model.  She is reliable, dedicated, and passionate about her work.  She has a great sense of humor, and never takes herself too seriously.  What an asset to the Visions family.  High five Ashley! – Patrick Schettler
Ashley Harris is truly the gem of Visions. Her unconventional style truly reaches all Visions clients because she openly acknowledges her journey through recovery and celebrates everyday of it. Ashley holds no punches, and says the things we all wish we had the gall to say! – Corrin McWhinnie

 

The “everything” girl. She’s got it all.  – Mie Kaneda

 

You can trust her with your darkest secret then share your dirtiest joke right after. – Roxie Fuller

 

I first met Ashley on her first night shift and immediately I knew she was going to be part of the family.  I’ve seen Ashely grow into a strong, positive example of what we look for the clients to aspire to.  She is a great role model for women in recovery and always brings a smile and laughter into the room where ever she is! It’s truly a blessing being able to work alongside her! – Nick Riefner

 

Ashley Harris is Visions’ face of social media!  Her photos are worth a thousand words…Ashley’s excitement for our team and the families we help is so easily captured in photos.  Harris and Hoban selfies are without a doubt some of my favorite posts! — Christina Howard Micklish 

 

Read on for Ashley’s answers to our 10 questions. Her wise wit is well-played!

 

1: What makes you laugh with complete abandon?  

I laugh a lot every day- usually at inappropriate humor. I love a good “That’s What She Said,” and potty humor is a weakness. My cats make me laugh a lot too. Lately, I’ve been finding myself laughing at my own ridiculous thoughts–the things I get mad about and daily frustrations now tend to make me smile and realize it’s not that serious.

 

2: Are you a landlubber or seafaring lass?   

I’m comfortable with both. There’s something incredibly calming about the ocean though. For the first 6 months of my recovery it was my higher power.

 

3: Do you sing in the shower?

Yes! Who doesn’t? My neighbors probably don’t appreciate it but it happens. I turn into Whitney and Adele as soon as the water starts. On rare occasions I think I’m Biggie.

 

4: SuperMan or Lex Luther at 6 Flags? 

 Lex Luther, hands down.

 

5: Funniest April Fool’s day stunt? 

People are always shocked by my lack of participation in April Fool’s day. I guess I just assume that people are too paranoid that day to really fall for anything so I do it throughout the year to keep people on their toes! I usually just try to scare people as much as possible.

 

6: Top three things on your bucket list are:

Oh man. This one is tough.

1. I want to travel. I’ve always wanted to go to Iceland.

2. When I was 12, I promised myself I would live in Australia for at least a year.

3. Have as many people say “You’ve changed my life” to me as I’ve said to people in my life.

 

7: If you could say anything to your teen self, what would you say?

I would tell myself it gets better. Everything always does. I struggled with a lot of various issues as a teen and I wish I could give myself the kindness and compassion that I now have for myself. I would tell myself to slow down and take time for me. But knowing me, I wouldn’t have listened.

 

8: Would you rather sing karaoke or do stand-up comedy?

Karaoke for sure–But not alone. No one wants to hear that, unless it’s a Pearl Jam song. I can do a killer Eddie Vedder impression.

 

9: What superhero are you?

DA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA BATMAAAAAAAN

 

10: Why do you choose to work for Visions? 

I love Visions. I love the clients and the opportunity I get to help them. It’s amazing seeing them come in wounded and scared and watching the light come on. They get their fire back. Being a part of that process blows me away on a daily basis. Some of the best people in the world work with Visions and they’ve taught me a lot about the industry, relationships, and myself. Visions really is a family–we fight and bicker sometimes but at the end of the day we all have each other’s backs and it’s incredible.