On the outside people see me as a confident, outgoing and friendly woman who can talk to anyone and embrace life and all of it’s opportunities; but throughout most of my life, on the inside I have often felt like a young self-conscious girl full of doubt and self-loathing living with a highly critical internal voice that is never satisfied with anything I do.
I have experienced periods of depression, low mood and anxiety through my life. Since the age of 14 I have struggled to admit when I am not ok, seeing it as a failing compared to others who seem to be able to cope with the busy-ness, noise and energy it takes to just ‘do’ everyday life. I struggled to understand and manage myself and my own wellbeing as a teenager which had a significant impact on my personal confidence and self-worth. With low confidence and little self worth, I struggled to come to terms with the impact of an alcoholic parent with mental ill-health. Then, I was devastated when, after years of trying, I lost a baby and was told I couldn’t have children. For years, all I could do was to keep powering on through, battling every step of the way until I had no choice but to hide and withdraw from the world feeling broken. A fraud. A failure. Then I’d get back up and start all over again, repeating the cycle.
Over time and with support, I have learnt that I don’t have to do it this way: I can use the resilience I have gained to manage and work through challenging times; build my inner confidence; and start to accept and even like myself for all that I am. This has meant learning to say when I need support, let go and give myself permission to take time-out and connect who I truly am with who I present to the world.
I love to relax whilst listening to my favourite music or reading a good book and eating great food! When I’m feeling more active, I love a good boogie or going stomping with my two dogs at the beach or in the woods. Podcasts or TED talks help me find inspiration and keep my brain busy.
I am determined to make a positive contribution to help people feel they have the power to be and do whatever they choose to -something I am learning more about everyday in my own life. I want nothing more than to work with, connect, stretch and grow with others to remind us all that we don’t just need to survive, we can thrive!
Caroline struggled to understand and manage herself and her own wellbeing as a teenager, which had a significant impact on her personal confidence and self-worth. She knows just how challenging and painful this can be, especially for young people. Caroline wants to help people feel they have the power to be and do whatever they choose to – something she is learning more about everyday in her own life.