It’s taken a lifetime to come to grips with the secrets I’ve kept about my mistakes, struggles and poor decisions. Relax. These aren’t dirty secrets. These are the kind of secrets you’re only fooling yourself by keeping. Meanwhile, I’ve grown a career as a helping professional who believes in the power of storytelling, of authenticity, of connection. As a child, I created stories and dreamed of becoming an author. I studied journalism in college and wrote a column for the campus newspaper. But through the haze of coming of age as a mother, a wife, a professional, a human of the world, I stopped writing. Without that tool, I lost my voice in a way. And I forgot the power of my story.
One day, not very long ago, I started to write again. My story began to unfurl first in my mind then on paper like a dog taking a long stretch after a deep, fitful nap. This exercise was not a an intentional self-intervention, but was instead a spontaneous reflex of sorts. I just couldn’t carry it anymore. I had so many words and I wanted them OUT. At some point along the way, the courage of other women and encouragement from my partner led me to close my journal, emerge from the soft glow of my iPhone notes app, and share my Journey Up with you.
To be 100 percent truthful, chronicling my personal struggles on the internet takes courage I don’t come by naturally. My efforts are evidenced by a short stack of dog-eared personal development books. I also ran hard to intensely inspirational music and put serious mileage on my car to the tune of motivational podcasts. I sincerely hope this is the recipe for enthusiastic mediocrity in beginner blogging. That’s what I’m going for, at least for now.
Journey Up is the fruit of months of journaling, almost two years of motherhood, six years of clinical experience, over a decade in recovery, and a respectable lifetime of finding my own path upward despite myself.
This is not a how-to for wellness and recovery. There won’t be recipes, workout videos or before and after pictures of my body. I don’t really have parenting advice to offer you either. JourneyUp is an exploration of whole person wellness in the context of motherhood, mental health and eating disorder recovery.
My intention with this blog is partly self-serving: to document the path I’ve traveled to build a meaningful balanced life. But at its core, Journey Up hopes to connect a community of women on their own path finding a joyful life beyond or maybe even in spite of mental illness.
This is a place to embrace the nooks and crannies of our past, to celebrate individuality, and to be endlessly curious. This blog will probably start as one thing and turn into another thing entirely. I don’t know, guys. But I do know that for me, life has been a florid series of hiking metaphors. We’d never enjoy the peaks if we hadn’t trudged through the valleys to get there. Growth happens below the tree line.
If you’re reading this and you’re not my mom (Hi, mom!) you’ve already made this worthwhile. Welcome to Journey Up.