After two months of mulling over this project, a conversation with my dear friend Phillip helped me realize today was the day to jump in.
Hi there! My name is Jamie Schmidt. I’m two weeks away from turning thirty, and my life is a complete wreck. I’m trained as a Licensed Professional Counselor though my career is in transition again for the umpteenth time in the past 5 years. And honestly that’s ok because I’m completely disillusioned with the mental health field. I believe healing will never efficiently occur in a system as innately flawed as American healthcare. My passion is to be a healer, not a cog in the insurance based machine. If that means re-branding and a couple more years of being broke while I figure it out – Ah so what?
If we had crossed paths a few months ago, I would have told you I was in a completely different place. I was engaged, and had been a mother to the most amazing little boy for the past 3 years. After taking a break from my career to find my footing in parenthood, I had spent the last year rebuilding and was excited for what the future would bring.
But things happen and life smacks you in the face sometimes. Today I’m ok with that. Other days I’m consumed with grief. It’s all part of the process.
What I’ve come to realize though –
is that maybe it didn’t work out,
maybe I am starting over YET again,
because I’ve always built the wrong thing.
Ouch! That’s a harsh pill to swallow, all the time energy and effort gone towards the wrong objective. (I can at least say it was not time wasted because there were tons of valuable lessons learned in it!)
I did not want to begin blogging my story until I had all the details worked out on what the next chapter would hold. I am a recovering Type-A personality and not having an idea of the final outcome before beginning a project IRKS me to no end. But I’ve realized I’m wasting valuable time + I totally need the grounding benefits of a writing routine in my life right now.
So as I begin to share this, I kinda, sorta have a plan for where I’m going with both my life and career. What I think might just be the right path. It means a complete re-arranging of lots of pieces. And as of right now, many factors are up in the air thanks to spending the last few months waiting on a litter of puppies to be ready for homes (a story for a different day I promise).
I think that by doing this I can take all of the lessons I have learned in the past decade and deliberately create a life that works for my unique needs and that is sustainable.
This blog will share my journey along the way. It is a practice in authentic living for me. The first time I have ever been able to pull the curtain back and publicly share my own unique ideas and perspectives on these topics.
As I wrap up this intro post, I want to share just a few of my core beliefs about life. These four themes have been consistently present in my life and the work I do with clients over the past decade. They make the cornerstones for my understanding of life and what I believe is necessary to reach an existence that is less filled with suffering.
- Authenticity is a necessity on the path to happiness. We cannot expect to find lasting contentment unless we are living as our truest form of ourselves. If we are hiding important aspects of who we are out of fear or shame, it will inevitably effect our overall wellbeing.
- Trauma occurs in all of our lives and the overwhelming majority of mental health concerns can be viewed as symptoms of trauma. When we move from a disease based model (your brain chemistry is flawed + you need medication) to a symptom based model (you are experiencing this difficulty because of something that happened in the past) we reduce shame and stigmatization and provide hope that true and lasting healing is possible.
- Healing is possible for all. Healing occurs through connection. Therapy is not the be all answer to getting past your hang ups in life. Any time you can sit and be honest and real with another human being you are in the space for growth to occur. When are experiences are validated by those we trust, we then have space to let go of nasty emotions like fear / jealous / shame / disgust.
- Many, many aspects of 21st century life are very bad for mental wellness. We know that technology is changing what it means to be human and has already dramatically altered the path and flow of our lives in over the past 30 years. Mental health diagnosis (especially in youth) are at crisis levels. If we want to begin to get his under control, we must begin addressing this at the societal level. This is cultural – there are things we can do and choices that could be made to improve the quality of life for all and we need to start having those discussions.
I’m super passionate about HEALING and I believe it is time we reframe how we talk about mental health. This blog is my engagement in the conversation. A clinician who is taking a stand and saying instead of talking diagnosis and medication management lets talk about how we can get to a place where our clients no longer struggle with XY&Z.
I believe that is possible. If you feel the same way, I’d love to connect and chat. We always need more likeminded individuals in our tribe!
I think that’s a good enough start for now! Don’t want to bore you with too much at once!
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While this blog will often discuss topics of mental health & my opinions are informed by my training in the field, information found in these posts is solely educational in nature. My belief is that you are an informed consumer and you are the only expert that resides within your body. Thus I truly believe you are most suited to make decisions about your life and your mental wellbeing. That being said, I am legally obligated to tell you “do not make changes to medication or treatment plans without consulting with your prescribing physician.” Interaction with this blog does not constitute a therapeutic relationship. I think it’s absolute bullshit that a liability message of this nature is necessary, but that is the time and day that we live in…