Reaching Success Meant Losing Myself

I’m going to share with you a little about how I got to where I am now in my life and how reaching for the perfect success drove me over the edge. I was stuck with this ideal that success to me was how much I made, what car I drove, and how big my house was. No lie, I used to think that. I worked my ass off trying to reach the TOP of everything. The top in my career, the top in my class, the top of a project. I was considered Miss Overachiever in college, at work, at home, etc. I was involved in everything from head of company projects, school PTO President, national organizations. You name it, I would have said YES! It was, to say the least, the most draining part of myself always trying to make myself perfect, better, smarter, faster … at anything.

I was so determined to be successful at everything that I completely lost the fun out of life and it came back to bite me in the ass.

I actually majored in Computer Science at Hawaii Pacific University. I was the only female in my CS classes and it was a bit of a competition. Not for the guys, but for myself. Honestly, the guys really didn’t care, as much as women like to think men see you differently in computers, it’s actually the opposite. Men think its rather awesome for a female to be in any technical career field, but for myself, it was an opportunity to show them up and just be THE BEST! I was in the e-Business, Search Engine & Social Media industry for a while helping new businesses compete on the Web and market their name. I also played video games and joined a lot of computer, business, and gaming organization.

But after three babies, all 17 months apart, I was able to land a telecommuting job at home for a marketing company that had me working from home AND taking care of my three babies while conferencing with clients. Talk about stress! So, I put that aside and then moved onto Video Game Journalism and Beta Testing at home until I started suffering from loss of breath, heart palpitations, dizziness, and fears of death on an constant basis.

stress

You see, I suffered, and still do at times, with Anxiety Panic Disorder, depression, OCD, and Fibromyalgia. These are scars from a decade long fight alone as a military spouse enduring long deployments without family or friends around while raising three Autistic children (all seventeen months apart) and being married to an Autistic husband.  Top all that with trying to be THE BEST at everything, I was a time bomb waiting to happen. There was no support for me and my husband did not know how to console in most cases.  Through years of struggle, between several different Psychiatrists, Psychologists, medications, and group therapy, I was able to find my balance and reconnect with myself.

I began to write a series of military children’s books to help the children and the families cope with changes. Changes in relocating and changes in life. This put me on a path to helping not just many families, but helping myself too.

me speaking at a military mental health conference
me speaking at a military mental health conference

In 2010 I Founded the first non-profit organization for military children called Kids of Americas Heroes that focused on communication and mental health awareness for military families. The organization was such a success that it was embraced as a school club in many elementary and middle schools. I was awarded several volunteer and military spouse success awards for my service and participation in the military as well as nominated National Military Spouse of the Year 2010 by CINCHouse and Military.com.

Me receiving a military award for Spouse of the Year
Me receiving a military award for Spouse of the Year

After 40 years of military life, 20 in digital education, and 15 years of playing the mental health balancing act, I shifted my focus to coaching families and women on life balances in digital education, mental health, and the military lifestyle. I have not become successful through money or fame, but rather through defeating my own personal setbacks and moving forward to helping myself, my family, and my community.  No matter what you consider “success”, it will always be hard work and perseverance, but you will only reach that success if it continues to make YOU happy!

I stopped trying to be successful to everyone else and simply focus on being successful with myself! And you know what? I like who I am!

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