I started playing ice hockey at the age of 25. About four years after I started I took up goaltending. I loved it so much that in 2001 I decided I wanted to become a sports psychologist. I always knew that I wanted to go back to school to get my Masters, but it wasn’t until then that I knew what I wanted to study. So, I started doing research and came across a school called JFK University in Northern California that had a sports psychology graduate program that I was interested in.
Every year for about ten years I would request information on the school. Time passed and I procrastinated going back to school. I told myself that I just didn’t want to indebt myself again with student loans, but the truth of the matter was that I would constantly get derailed by my depression and throw my goals out the window. I would lose confidence in my ability to accomplish anything long term. I would also worry that I would be making the wrong decision and would regret going back to school. I worried that I wouldn’t be able to handle the school work.
But finally, in 2011 I applied to this graduate program. I went so far as to fly to California for an interview with the school. I got accepted into the program and was going to go. There was one problem, though. I had just started seeing this guy and I knew that if I moved to California that would be the end of the relationship. It was way too early for a long distance relationship to work out. Knowing this, I decided to forego school for the relationship.
For a couple of years I forgot about school and put all my energy into my relationship. But the desire to go to graduate school kept resurfacing. And in 2013 I found a program at Sofia University to study counseling psychology to become a licensed professional counselor. The school specializes in transpersonal psychology and this seemed to be the perfect match for me. So I applied.
I got into the program and was going to start school in January 2014, but in December of 2013 I had a miscarriage and was not mentally ready to go back to school. So I deferred my start date to the fall of 2014. I booked my flight to California for my first intensive in September 2014, but three weeks before I was supposed to go, I got extremely anxious and depressed and talked myself out of going. Again, I deferred my admission until the next year.
Finally this year I worked up the courage to start school. I made it to California in July 2015 for my first round of intensives. It ended up being a life altering event. I met six wonderful people that are like kindred spirits to me. I love them all. I love the program, too. It indeed is the perfect match for me.
It has been a long time coming. My bipolar symptoms have kept me as a spectator in life. I am finally a player and am happier than ever because I have a deep connection to my life and I feel like I am finally fulfilling my purpose. All those depressed and anxious days and nights that I have spent in my adulthood are the foundation of what I feel is going to be a thriving counseling practice. I have firsthand experience that I can use to help others feel better about themselves and their lives so that they don’t live under the umbrella of bipolar.