We celebrate RECOVERY. Thank you to our alumni for sharing their stories of recovery, healing, and transformation. Keep checking back for new stories to be released.
February 2021, Jewel, San Francisco, CA
I grew up thinking being mad or sad was a bad thing. I didn’t know how to properly handle these feelings in a healthy way… And it did catch up to me as an adult. This compounded into so many other unhealthy habits, but I kept pushing myself. I didn’t have the time to take care of this. I had to take care of everyone else and anything else, but myself. That’s the tragic part about being unable to cope… Thinking you can keep going and going, until you either drop or get help. I eventually had no choice but to get help, and wow. I am so grateful I did.
I loved so many things about The Bridge, but I’d say the most influential part was my fellow trauma campers. (Backstory: We had a running joke, my other group members and I, that we were at “trauma camp.” Hey you can’t get through the hard stuff without some laughter too!)
But in so many ways it did feel like camp - that comradery, that bonding, doing everything together, telling each other’s stories… It was seeing others just like me that made me feel so at home. I tear up as I write this next sentence because I have never felt so validated, so welcomed and so like myself in my life than when I was in a room with my group. Those moments with them, the crying, the pain, the laughter, and even those moments of anger - they all mean the world to me.
Oh… I love this question, lol. Immediately after the Bridge I felt ready to take on the world, but I kept asking myself how I was going to prove this. How was I going to show everyone in my life I have changed and gotten better? I scheduled my therapy appointments and meetings, and set up my self care routine. Oh so ready for this!
And then March of 2020 happened… And I had to go into Covid survival mode. I won’t even go into detail about what I had to go through because that doesn’t matter, but I did have to put my recovery on a hiatus and take care of life. The Bridge saved me because I would not have survived 2020, and I don’t mean by not getting the virus. They taught me the tools I needed to mentally survive.
My family no longer has to walk eggshells around me in fear of me breaking down. I feel anger and sadness, but I don’t have to be angry or sad and let it control me. The guilt and shame I used to carry with me from childhood traumas no longer exists. Poof! Gone! I set boundaries and enforce them. I ask for help. I talk about my feelings with absolute confidence.
Honestly the Bridge taught me something I already knew but had to remember. I am so damn special, valid, and important. Everyone in my life saw it, but me. The Bridge just showed me how to look in the mirror to see for myself.
When I first walked into the IC closet I had my eye on this little turtle. However turtles have always been my family’s favorite animal, and this was supposed to be about me not them.
My inner child is a rainbow lion that’s about… two feet long? Haha I swear she is like half my size, and definitely was the size I was when I was about 5 lol. She’s so vibrant because of all the colors, and flamboyant because she’s so big and her mane is wild.
Everyone loves her! I remember walking through the airport with her in my arms because I was not going to put her in my bag, and everyone commented on how cool she was. You know… Just an adult woman carrying a huge stuffed rainbow lion around. How cool is that? Apparently hella cool lol.
“And I remind you that each and every day as you move through this earth and dance across this world - you get to function from approval instead of for approval. Because upon your creation you were already approved. You are already amazing. The light in me honors the light in you. The Goddess in me honors and respects the Gods and Goddesses in you. Namaste.”
I am unapologetically me. I am not afraid to express myself nor am I afraid to show the world the real me. I’ve always been amazing, but now I have the love for myself that equals that.
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The Heart of Phil Leedy Lane
“ Honestly the Bridge taught me something I already knew but had to remember. I am so damn special, valid, and important. Everyone in my life saw it, but me. The Bridge just showed me how to look in the mirror to see for myself. ”
- Jewel, Alumnus