Kathleen D.

10352037_2190998625518_7939184970541428423_nI never would have considered myself anxious or depressed growing up, but when I hit college I had a few obstacles that really shook me. This in part is why I chose to study psychology and spend my time volunteering for sexual assault crisis hotlines. When I graduated, I landed a job providing therapeutic treatment to middle schoolers with mental health diagnoses from low income families. I felt like I was in way over my head, to be, in many cases, the one trusted adult (at age 22) in these kids lives that had experienced such deep struggles, abuse, and tragedy. I had nightmares every night and put on a happy face at work to mask the deep depression that was slowly eating away at me. I was on medication for a while and got counseling myself, but what really saved me is rededicating myself to my yoga practice and going to BYTT. When things were particularly low I committed to a 100 day challenge at HYC, and every day after work I took 4:30 or 6:30yoga and sweat away my day. Through my yoga practice, I learned that sometimes when things challenge you to your core, it is a sign that you SHOULD pursue them. I also learn that you don't have to be perfect yourself to be a leader whether it's counseling others or teaching a yoga class, it is our vulnerabilities and our quirks that make us loveable humans. I know that my yoga practice will continue to be the self-care that I need to continue to do meaningful work.