As a child, I was very sensitive, outgoing, loud and bold. I loved performing and playing sports and you could often find me singing on the school benches during recess, at all of the talent shows and in front of any friends or family that came over (even though I’m pretty much tone deaf), or you could find me on the rink, the field and the court. I was so full of life! But, I was also wildly hard on myself and struggled with constant worrying, overthinking and perfection. I actually had my first panic attack when I was 5 years old when we had to bring in our favorite teddy bear to school to draw and I couldn't make mine look realistic enough.
In Grade 6 began getting bullied. My worrying, overthinking and perfection began shifting into symptoms of anxiety, depression and OCD. Those years of my life caused me to to hide my uniqueness and lose confidence in myself. I developed limiting beliefs that I wasn't worthy or enough, I judged and criticized myself very harshly and I put so much pressure on myself to be liked that I disconnected from who I really was - my Truth.
The disconnection with myself was the theme for my teenage years and into my early 20’s.
To try and "fit in" with the popular group, I started smoking and drinking at the age of 12. All I wanted to do was be a part of something and have real connection. But I was so focused on my image and how I was perceived that I didn't act in a way that supported what I really needed. By 16 I was lost in the world of hard drugs and before I knew it, I was 19 and waking up to my first real rock bottom.
I was addicted to painkillers.
I woke up in a pool of sweat, shaking and vomiting. I remember that morning so clearly. I remember my boyfriend at the time playing it off like it was no big deal. I remember being shocked, angry and so confused. I had no idea that it was possible to become physically addicted to something. That it could make us sick. That we would be dependent on it. That it could hold that power. I also remember feeling a full body F*CK NO, THIS IS NOT MY LIFE, and a voice inside say to me "You're meant for more". I was just a kid, a little girl who was being a little wild. I didn’t want this. I knew in my heart that I was meant for more than this, that this wasn't me. And in the same hour of discovering I was an addict, I was on the phone with a methadone clinic to get sober.
This is where it became more difficult than I thought it would be.
The methadone clinic in my city had an 8 month wait-list. And I knew that if I waited that long I would be dead. I sought out help in multiple places, from my family doctor, to my surgeon (who was removing my wisdom teeth) and I even went to a treatment center. I begged for help. But I was turned away every place I went.
I asked my family doctor for a referral to a clinic and he said there was nothing he could do to help me.
I told my surgeon the truth during the consult after he asked about drug use and he just told me he couldn’t do the surgery until I was clean.
I fell to my knees, bawling and pleading at the clinic and was escorted out by security.
But I didn’t take no for an answer. Perseverance was in my blood. I knew I wanted and deserved more for my life. And I finally found a clinic who could take me in.
On my 20th birthday, I started my methadone program and was clean and sober from that day on.
But my journey was just beginning.
A few months into my methadone program I realized that it was commonly seen as a lifelong treatment. And again, that was NOT what I envisioned my life being. Daily or weekly doctors visits, peeing in cups while nurses watch, feeling comatose and lifeless. I wanted more for my life.
And so began the two year journey of continuous tapering (hello, patience!) to finally find my freedom. In the 39 years that my doctor had been working with methadone patients, I was the ONLY ONE who successfully stopped. That is a proud moment for me, and took me a long time to really own.
It was empowering and exciting to be free. But, that feeling was short lived as I traded one addiction for another after I was left with massive weight gain, struggling with health issues and hadn't work through any of the emotional pain I had experienced.
This led me to my battles with anorexia and exercise bulimia in the years following and at the peak of it I entered the fitness industry as a Personal Trainer and Strength and Conditioning Coach thinking that would "solve my problems".
I became obsessed with "health" and losing weight as I thought that was the answer. But no matter how much weight I lost or how fit I was, it still wasn't enough.
I still wasn't enough.
All this work I had done to be sober and healthy, but I hadn’t spent any time getting to the root of my struggles. I just masked one with another.
This is when I hit my second rock bottom.
Size 00 clothes were hanging off of my body, my gums were receding, my hair was falling out. I was skin and bones. And I became a compulsive eater. I was lost, frustrated and hopeless.
After the worst binge I had ever had, I was laying on my bathroom floor, curled up in the fetal position, crying out for help and I heard again in my heart, “You're meant for more”.
I’ll never forget the moment when I let the light in.
When I released control. Surrendered. Softened.
I was DONE living on the all-or-nothing spectrum. I was FINISHED with being a control freak or a complete rebel. I saw what living in extremes did to me and I wanted balance. I wanted to feel like me again.
That is exactly when my journey to self-understanding, acceptance and love began. It was time for me to explore, discover and become my True Self. I was ready to stop running in fear and connect with my Truth.
And the beautiful part? She was inside of me all along.
I was coming home.
In my darkness I was guided by my strength of heart. The inner strength that allowed me to be vulnerable, courageous, compassionate and empower myself to break free from what was keeping me stuck. The need for change, the drive for freedom, the will to live life as I was meant to - it came from inside of me. Inside of my heart. My Truth.
As I transitioned into the light, I used that same inner strength go inside to heal the beliefs and stories that were causing the same patterns to repeat. To release the deep wounds I was carrying. To rediscover who Amanda really is.
When we are young, we know who we are.
We trust our hearts.
We believe in ourselves.
That bold, outgoing, loud, confident, weird, loving kid? That’s who I found at the core of my being. That’s who I really am.
Today, I live every single day in my strength. And my story is not one of shame, of regret, of guilt. It is one of empowerment, compassion and courage. I stand here today proving that everything we have ever needed is inside of us, and that ANYTHING is possible.
By coming home...
I was able to regain my confidence
I was able to believe in my worth
I was able to know that I was enough
I was able to rise up into my Truth
I was able to create the life of my wildest dreams
And now it is my mission to help you do the same
To help you reconnect with your heart and awaken the strength you have had inside all along
To REdiscover who you truly are so you can live the life you really want
I STAND FOR YOUR FREEDOM
I am trained as a Life Coach, Holistic Health Coach and NLP Master Practitioner. I am also on the path to becoming a Teacher in the Narrative Enneagram. But my most valuable training is from my personal journey. The lessons that I have learned are pivotal to my teachings and allow me to go deeper in my work with clients to create profound transformation. As we work together, everything will be specifically curated for you and your growth which will create awareness, understanding and integration that allows you to experience lasting change and wholeness.
A LITTLE MORE ABOUT ME...
My favorite TV show of all time is Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Probably because I am obsessed with female empowerment and also she is a freaking badass who learns how to embrace both strength and vulnerability/sometimes I really want to call myself Amanda the Fear Slayer)
90’s/early 2000’s hip hop, rap and R&B is my JAM and you can catch me every single day vibing out, usually in my car. Music in general makes me feel all the things and I love ittttt. (I took dance class for 2 years and for some reason think I am really good at it...I'm not)
I love green juices, get weirdly excited by healthy food and eat plant based but you will still find me face deep in pizza, a burger, tacos, ice cream, a box of doughnuts or cereal on the occasion (Cinnamon toast crunch is my fav)
Stretchy pants or no pants (There is no in between)
I still sometimes check under my bed for monsters and ghosts (Thanks, The Sixth Sense)
Learn more about my coaching here!