“Loving ourselves through the process of owning our story is the bravest things we will ever do.” –Brené Brown

Owning our story is an incredible process. It’s moving. It’s terrifying. It’s inspiring and eye-opening. As I’ve mentioned many times – but it’s worth mentioning again – society has these unspoken expectations of us. Treating others with dignity and respect should be a given. In doing that, we forget that we count in the “others.” It requires grace and dignity to allow ourselves to be just us. No changing who we are, no fitting in, just us.

Getting to the point to begin the owning is its own battle. It’s a choice to own who we were meant to become, especially if there are external pressures wanting us to move elsewhere on our journey. As I’ve learned to own my story, I’ve opened new doors. It hasn’t been comfortable and easy. I’ve had some I thought were close tell me, “Oh this isn’t you. Is this really what you want?” For a minute, I believed their questioning and retreated into fitting in. It wasn’t until I’ve began – it’s a process, I’m working on it – to embrace me, Kristen, did I learn so many things.

My social and support circles have shifted, with some folks staying, others leaving, others joining. My goals for my personal life and career have taken focus. Own your story. I’m doing it and looking ahead.

Kristen Ellis

Kristen has worked in the mental health field since 2013, with a focus on crisis work, substance use services, and bringing a voice to lived experience. Her ambition is to change the way mental health care and recovery is seen and achieved, so to redefine what it means to defeat adversity.