Hey, I'm Michelle
I am a licensed nurse, anthropologist, certified life coach, and feminist geek.
For around 30 years I was a mixed bag of anxiety, depression, and shame. I believed I wasn’t an actual person, just an outlier trying to emulate what real people do, and I wasn’t very good at it either.
I spent so much of my life feeling like a pretender. I tried to find the magic combination of clothes, opinions, interests, and jokes, that would prove I was normal (to myself as much as anyone else). It was exhausting, and even when it worked, I didn’t feel normal.
I didn’t know how to exist in the world. I was desperate to feel noticed and loved, while simultaneously believing the longer someone was near me, the more likely they would see through me. I receded into video games to cope. I waited for something to change, or someone to rescue me, just like the fantasy stories and games I lived in.
Sometimes I just wanted my game to be over with.
On New Year’s day, like so many other women, I dragged myself into a gym with another resolution I assumed would fail, because that’s what we do. I flipped through random podcasts, on the treadmill, and picked one that said something about feeling better. I just wanted background noise.
That day changed everything. I was introduced to my own mind, and myself. There was an explanation for my misery that made sense, and I could change it. It wasn’t a mystery. It wasn’t magic. I realized I had been living my life without the faintest understanding of who I am.
I had wanted my suffering to end, but in that moment, I realized I hadn’t even begun.
The truth is no one teaches us how to press start. So many of us, including me, get it completely backward. As women, we get bombarded with thousands of mixed messages from birth. We end up disoriented, with no good answer, stuck on “pause” mode. Our brains are a mess because we don’t understand them. We mistakenly think it’s normal. We think it’s the way life is supposed to be.