What is a Role Model? Not too long ago, we decided that it wasn't enough to cast fashion models based on height and comp cards. We wanted to showcase the stories of real people, who are brave enough to wear their label. Trish is one of those Role Models. Here's her story.
WYL: Tell us a bit about yourself
TK: I'm clumsy, weird and basically the queen of awkward. I live in Fredericton, NB with my husband, my dogs and my cats. I'm definitely a homebody and spend most of my time with them because well, they are awesome. When I'm not at home I can typically be found either visiting the horses that live nearby, hanging out with my friends, getting a new tattoo, or playing with my dogs at the dog park. Otherwise, I'm usually cuddling up with a good book, consulting the tarot, or researching home renovation projects. I love nature, art, fashion, makeup and interior design. I consider myself a feminist and love terrible jokes.
WYL: What is your connection to mental illness?
TK: Five years ago I was in a terrible car wreck that left me with some serious and life changing injuries. Shortly after the accident I felt broken, frustrated, angry and confused. I'm a very independent person and having to rely on others for assistance with everyday living was a huge struggle. I was depressed, anxious and suffering from PTSD. I felt trapped and ashamed. I felt like all my future plans were ruined.
When my physical injuries were mostly healed, I started cognitive therapy to help cope with my emotional distress and physiotherapy to help regain my strength. It was a very long and consuming journey, but several years have passed and today I feel more like myself than I did even before the accident. I still have off days when I feel very low, but I've learned some great coping skills that work well for me. I've also learned to accept myself for who I am now, rather than worry about who I was then. Most importantly, I no longer feel ashamed of my mental health struggles and that has been a very empowering discovery.
WYL: What is your favourite method of self-care?
TK: One of my favourite self care methods is simply hanging out with my animals. Those furry little dudes are super intuitive creatures and seem to always know when I'm feeling run down or anxious about something. Their presence alone is very calming and therapeutic.
WYL: If you could describe your mental heath journey in one word, what would it be?
WYL: Do you have any advice for someone who may be struggling?
TK: It might seem like common sense, but surround yourself with people who are supportive rather than those who aren't. The right kind of support can make a world of difference. I also found that adopting animal companions helped immensely and highly recommend it. If you live somewhere that doesn't allow pets, perhaps try volunteering at your local animal shelter instead.