More Than a Life Coach
When I reflect on my career choices, I see how becoming a social worker was a fantastic distraction from my own problems. Here’s a secret about therapist and other mental health professionals; we have problems too. You can have a great recipe and still make a crappy cake.
From the perspective of friends and family…I was killing it. I was the only female in my entire extended family to have earned a graduate degree. I owned a home, drove a nice car, made good money, and had a healthy retirement account.
But in those quiet moments when I was alone, I’d silently acknowledge the stress in my life and my carefully masked depression. Over the years, my clients had become a mirror to my own suffering and stress. I couldn’t see it at the time, but I chose to surround myself with dysfunction because I was comfortable in it.
After all, I grew up with dysfunction. You could say I was programmed for it. Which is why I felt right at home being a professional in the dysfunctional mental health care system.
Nikole Seals, MSW
Surviving Is Not Thriving
I had always believed my greatest strength was my ability to endure and survive. It took me 18 years, 2 leaves of absence, numerous failed relationships, 5 doctors, 3 misdiagnosis, semi-annual bouts of depression to come to this conclusion: I was lost. I wasn’t living my life. I was surviving my circumstances. Surviving is an important mindset, but you shouldn’t live there.
What I did next was radical and changed my life forever. I acknowledged my emotional pain and decided I wanted to stop feeling wounded. I got honest about my beliefs and my emotions; and from this act of self love, I remembered who I was meant to be.
My self awareness led me on an amazing self help journey of discovering my own inner therapist (she’s nothing like the clinical therapist I was taught to be). She was courageous enough to help me face my truths. She encouraged me to go back to school and study holistic health which forever changed my body. She’s also the one who convinced me to open my own life coaching practice. She’s created a life I didn’t think was possible and now I can’t imagine living without her.
The Good Stuff
If there’s a stray dog on the side of the road, best believe I’m pulling over.
I feel the need to save every glass jar I bring into my house.
I can live without my phone, but I can’t live without my Nutri Bullet.
I love to dance and will do so to the point of injury.
I refill my tank by spending time in nature and playing with my dog.
I swear when necessary and because it just feels right.
I think humor is more effective than anti-depressants.