Saturday, July 30, 2016

What I Realized About Careers at the End of the Healing Process

From Dream Dancer to Student Nurse

Dreams to be a dancer, a nun, and a scientist.
I wanted to be a dancer as a child. To me, becoming a dancer felt girly, feminine, and pretty dancing, and I liked that.  Later, I wanted to be a nun. I wanted to help people be happy.  Even later, I wanted to be a scientist.  Astronomy, biology, and physics were what I contemplated. I wanted to learn about the world around me. However, life didn’t present itself in a manner that allowed me to move in this direction. By the time I reached my teens, mental health issues from childhood trauma, sexual and emotional abuse, and two sexual assaults began to arise.  I lost my direction and went into survival mode.

Years of abuse.
Many years down the road, and after two failed marriages, I decided to do some work on myself.  Too many issues continued to bubble up and my emotions and behaviors were dictated by my past.  At the same time, life became extremely dark in a domestic abusive relationship that I hid from outsiders for many years. Some people knew about it, but never intervened.

My children became my reasons to continue living but also my reason to change when I finally made the decision to get help. I have a tremendous amount of gratitude towards my children. They really did save me.  I knew the stress was making me physically ill and seeking support was important.  My journey into healing began with spirituality and alternative medicine. I wasn’t about to admit that I was psychologically messed up, and I was afraid that I would be called a crazy person by going to see a psychotherapist. In the end, though, a psychotherapist is what I sought, and that process is what healed me.  I finally faced all my demons head-on. It was hard, sickening, and I felt shameful, but I persisted, and it worked!
Realizing Self.
I shouldn’t say that alternative medicine didn’t support my healing process, but it, definitely, wasn’t what got my head straight.  I, now, look back and see the alternative path as my stepping stone to the grand finale: psychotherapy. I can go on about the amazing benefits of psychotherapy and my amazing psychotherapist, but I won’t. What I can say is that once my therapy sessions came to an end, I, Desiree, had risen. I let go of so much ‘stuff’ in my head and heart that I was able to start discovering who I really was. I had an open space of clarity, not filled with junk (the distorted behaviors and thoughts), to begin to see what my likes and aspirations were. It's an amazing feeling, like dropping a ton of stones off your shoulders, when you talk to a mental health professional.

Values and beliefs change.
I started blogging in 2008 as a spiritual mentor and life coach. I was trained in both fields. At the time, my web designer thought writing a blog might be a good way to grab attention in my niche.  Writing also may have helped me through the healing process when I look back at my posts (some being a bit shoddy. Yikes!).  It was one of the things I did that was consistent.  I was able to express the various beliefs and values I had, and I know I helped others that were going through the same things.  Over time, but most importantly, after the healing process, I was also able to realize and see through my past blog posts how my beliefs and some values had changed.  This is a good thing. We all experience beliefs changing as we gain more education or we understand things more clearly.   

New found interests.
You'll have to imagine, before my healing process, my life was full of fog and uncertainty because I was so confused about everything: who I was, my relationships, what I wanted, and only after I did the work, as Byron Katie would say, did I gain clarity. Carl Jung stated, "Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life, and you will call it fate." This is so real to me. As I mentioned earlier in today's post, I knew I was reacting from my past traumatic experiences, and I knew it was time to seek help to resolve the issues so I could live a life free from such ache, chaos, and obscurity.  Nevertheless, what is truly exciting now, especially in this past year, is that I have become clear to how I want to brand myself, how I want to be seen in the world, and I know this feat was from my healing process and going back to school. I can only image how much more clear I will be after I complete my BSN degree. It's such an exciting process.

I know I will forever remain a life coach; I love the work, and I will always have my counselling and ministerial skills at hand. I may not be a dancer, a nun, or a scientist, but I am now a student in nursing.  I have noticed my interests lie in the science of health and healing at the cellular level. I have been reading various academic journals, throughout my time off this summer, which are all very interesting, but when I read an article around epigenetics and stress called "Hippocampus Neurons Adapt to Stress with Epigenetic Modifications" as well as "Vagus Nerve Stimulation Dramatically Reduces Inflammation" with people suffering from chronic pain (which may or may not sound too interesting to you :)), I felt a burst of excitement, and passion surfaced like nothing before! A nurse working in the field of neurology?  Hm, we'll see.

Writing at my core.
Nonetheless, I will never let go of writing. I have bonded so well with it over the years, and I will incorporate a writing career into my nursing career as I pursue my masters degree.  A nurse health promoter writing for various newspapers and magazines are something that interests me a great deal. I have a background in spirituality, counselling, and life coaching.  Adding nursing to my list will only enhance my skills as a writer promoting health and well-being.

What I realized in the end.
In the end, what I realized is that even though I wanted to be a dancer, and then a nun, and then a scientist, but later became a minister and a counsellor and an awareness life coach, careers can change at any point in time due to life's circumstances. In our imaginations, or, more so, when we are young, many of us have certainty to what we want to do, but then life happens. For a long time, I would dwell on what I could have been if I didn't have such a dysfunctional life with such chronic traumatic experiences that affected me so, which took me over three decades before I got the nerve to seek help. But then I came to see that careers are actually quite fluid, especially in today's times, and you must learn to adjust; especially when you go through the healing process, who knows who you will become and what you will want to undertake.

There are so many shifts and turns through the healing process, it blew my mind to how much more instability and chaos I had to go through.  When I actually thought I was going to get stable from my past, I realized in my sessions that I had to become completely unraveled and confused before I could get to stability, calm, and clarity. Anyways, the point is to keep rolling with the tides, as we must for financial purposes, but also to keep our minds agile to life's circumstances when it comes to career choices.  

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