I'm so honoured to be joining as a community champion, as like most of you, these forums have provided comfort to me in the past, and I look forward to paying it forward.
I am in my 30's, live in (bloody cold) Melbourne, but grew up in (warm) Perth. My family is from Central Europe and that very much led to a strict and high-expectation childhood.... needless to say, this resulted in perfectionism, anxiety and depression manifesting themselves as an eating disorder (ED) through my teens and my twenties. But turns out just when I thought I was "healed", the ED was just covering up the real issues of a compulsive need to achieve and seek worth through my accomplishments. Cue the burnout where I stopped being able to read/write/work/leave the house.... But it was what I needed to really focus on dealing with what was a vicious cycle of unrelenting standards fuelling anxiety, fuelling more achievement, fuelling more anxiety and, depression and panic...leading to the big burnout.
Since then, I have left my demanding corporate life and returned to my studies and am studying post grad Psych. I am passionate about providing psychological safety to employees and preventing burnout (especially in COVID times when we are just expected to be available 24/7 when working from home). I'm also a bit of a nerd on attachment theory. Love it.
In my spare time, I absolutely love my dog (mini schnauzer) and I have started a blog because, it turns out my psychologist was right, writing things down is actually therapeutic! Who would have thought it?? I love books and I love learning - my nickname at Uni and work was "Hermione Granger" (from Harry Potter) and I've been described as embarrassing in courses (because I sit up the front, do all the pre-reading, put my hand up). Clearly, I am still working through the perfectionism bit...
I guess, at the heart of it all, I just want to make the world a better place, and, when I'm well, I am forever an optimist that hopes kindness and love prevails. Equally, though, I understand how that spark and hope can diminish when you fall into the darkness of your mental illness and how hard it is to get out of it. But you can get out of it - it's not always easy and sometimes you will relapse, but you can find your way out.
I look forward to speaking to you on the forums.