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The Healing Power of Stories - Meet Megan

June 26, 2024

MeganLife Prior to HopeWay

I’d heard stories about people overcoming mental health struggles before, but I never believed one of those stories could be me. My experience felt different. Like I was the only one this deeply consumed by depression and anxiety. So, when my parents recommended I go to HopeWay, my initial reaction was resistance and anger, even though deep down I knew I was in a place where only professional help could pull me out of the bottomless hole I was living in.

Realizing You're Not Alone

With a slight glimmer of possibility, I found myself skimming HopeWay’s website and eventually landed on the client testimonial page. Reading story after story, one in particular resonated with me and made me feel less alone. The individual shared their struggle with suicidal thoughts, feelings of emptiness, and loneliness – just like me - but with HopeWay’s help, they were ultimately able to rise above it and get better. Seeing my own struggles reflected in their words was a tangible reminder that recovery was possible, and I realized if this perfect stranger could get better and come out on the other side, why couldn’t I? I admitted myself to HopeWay’s residential program a couple weeks later.

The Support and Benefits of Group Therapy

Once at HopeWay, I continued to recognize the true power of stories. Group therapy was the most effective part of treatment for me. As other clients shared their life experiences, challenges and triumphs, I realized even though no two stories were the same, we experienced the same feelings and emotions. I had developed coping mechanisms for my eating disorder several years before, but hearing from others helped me understand that I needed to address the deep-rooted issues. The supportive environment of group therapy encouraged me to let my guard down and be vulnerable to confront these issues head-on while simultaneously building my confidence and self-esteem. This vulnerability was crucial for my healing, as it allowed me to truly feel and process my emotions. Sharing my story helped me understand that my past didn’t define me and that I could move forward.

Finding Passion Through HopeWay

Using everything I’ve learned at HopeWay, I am now one of those stories of recovery and hope. In addition to learning valuable tools like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy skills to manage my mental health, my exposure to different treatment modalities and seeing the effectiveness of evidence-based treatment at HopeWay solidified my desire to become a therapist. Four years later, as I pursue my Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at UNCC, I now find purpose in helping others. As I walk through life with a different perspective, empathetic and driven by my own experiences, I am beyond proud to be able to share my story in hopes that it will help someone else realize what’s possible.


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Editor’s note: This blog post is presented for informational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose or treat any illness. If you have any health concern, see a licensed healthcare professional in person.