Stories from the Journal:
Life-Changing Impact

'I am proud of who I am"

My name is Monique. In January 2016, I received a grant from the Sky’s the Limit Fund, allowing me to go to Open Sky. Where I would be for 11 weeks. In that time, my life completely changed. It was by no means easy, but considering it took far longer than 11 weeks to get myself into a position where wilderness therapy was needed, it was the best commitment I could have made to myself. The ripple effects of this opportunity extended to and through my immediate family. Changing the way we communicate and support each other, our emotional vocabulary, and how we choose to show up in the world. Several years later, I share tools like four lines and “I Feel” statements with others as tools I trust. I am conscious of my words and actions. I have healthy relationships inwardly and outwardly. I am proud of who I am. Words I never imagined I could say and mean about myself.

Since rejoining the World of Clocks, I have practiced what I have learned daily. I recall fond memories of my team, the staff, and especially Anne W. who set the tone for what my ongoing therapy needed to look and feel like(which means I have gone through several therapists until I found one who would call me on my shit and have the banter I need before we dive into the work.) I have moved away from my rescuing tendencies into a coach, holding space for others on their journey. I have had to challenge my tool belt when my shame cycle flares. I still struggle at times but trust myself to get through it.

For the first few years after leaving Open Sky, I was worried about the optics of sharing my journey. That has changed in this last year. I confidently shared my journey with a select few and it has helped them make informed decisions and even just hear that not everyone who looks like they have it together truly does. I did not think I would make it passed my 27th birthday. Soon, I will be turning 28 and I was recently promoted to Executive Director of an In-Home Care Company I have worked at for five years. I am proud to share my story as a means of information or inspiration to others.

"You get what you put in"

“Before I went into Wilderness Therapy, I was fragmented, lost, and completely disconnected from reality. I couldn’t trust anyone and all options seemed bleak until I received a full ride scholarship to attend. Upon arrival, I knew I had found my safe haven and I finally got the help I needed. Being fully immersed in nature, guided by passionate and empowering staff, and presented with situations where I could learn and grow has given me the strength to keep moving forward. I’ve gained so many tools and resources to be my best self and have safe, mutually beneficial relationships. I can confidently say my life has completely changed because of Wilderness Therapy, and I’m eternally grateful to all who supported me. We were often reminded that “You get what you put in” and to “Trust the process”. So if you are on the fence about going to the woods to heal, hold these words close to your heart, open your mind, step up, and get ready for change.”

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