Editor’s Note: In this interview, we have the honour of featuring Taylor Aller from The Relationship Project! Taylor was also crowned Mrs. BC 2018! We asked her what ‘Freedom’ means to her and to share a bit of her story with us. We also asked her to tell us how she is empowering others to access their own sense of freedom through her work and platform. (If you would like to be featured, please contact us)
What does Freedom mean to you and what are you “Free from”?
Freedom, to me, means embracing all the parts of me–the good, the bad, the weird–and knowing I’m worthy anyway. It’s about accepting and loving myself for who I am and who I am growing to be, instead of resisting parts of me, hating parts of me, or ignoring parts of me. Freedom is, really, just me. As me.
I am free from Self-Sabotage. For so many years I would hate parts of me, especially the parts that struggled with mental health, the parts I felt were ugly, the parts I thought were crazy. I would stuff them down so hard, I would create situations that were unnecessary, I would suffer and it would all be because of my own actions.
I would sabotage myself, my life, my dreams because I felt I wasn’t worthy. That “someone like me” couldn’t do or have those things. Because I was afraid…of me. I would ruin relationships, opportunities, my health–you name it. And now, I am free from that. I am not scared of me. I do my best to accept and love all parts of me. (And that is still really hard some days!)
Freedom is embracing all the parts of me–the good, the bad, the weird–and knowing I’m worthy anyway.
Tell us a bit of your story. How did you get from where you were to where you are today?
Oh this story is a long and winding road!
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It started when I was a child, really got worse as a teen, got to its worst as a young adult, and now is at a place where I accept, manage, and celebrate. In total I have battled/still battle depression, anger management, and high-functioning anxiety.
In the past, I’ve self-medicated with alcohol, booze, poor health decisions. I’ve lost close relationships, missed opportunities, and was in pain for so long. I had hormonal issues that led to severe suicidal thoughts and becoming a suicide survivor. That moment in the bathroom, for me, was rock bottom.
I ignored what I battled until it nearly took my life. That was my wake up call: I needed to do something with this and I couldn’t do it alone. I had to reach out. I had to trust in the fact there are people who can help and I had to be brave and ask.
I had to trust in the fact there are people who can help and I had to be brave and ask.
That’s when I realized I had to get help. Single-handedly reaching out and seeking therapy regularly changed my life. If you’re reading this and struggle, too–I encourage you with all of me–reach out. It will help.
This may sound strange, but I wouldn’t change a thing. Where I am now? I am so grateful!
This struggle, the countless hours in therapy, the relapses, the acceptance, have all led me to becoming the woman I am today. To the marriage I have with my husband (who is incredible), to the career I have, the financial success I enjoy, the places I’ve travelled, the true relationships and friendships I treasure. It’s lead me to the best place I’ve been yet.
If you’re reading this and struggle too, reach out. It will help.
Describe the contrast between how your life looked and felt before experiencing this sense of freedom and after?
Ugh. Like night and day. Resisting and hating myself and my mental health nearly took my life. I can’t even put into words how devastatingly hopeless and in pain I felt. It came down to some life or death situations for me and where I am now is nowhere close to that.
I am not perfect, but I am me. I like me. (That feels so good to say!) I love my life. I have bad days, but so many more good days! I would never want to get to a place where that is jeopardized again. Being free from my own judgement and sabotage gives me that.
I am not perfect, but I am me. I like me.
How are you committed to sharing this message of Freedom?
I volunteer with organizations that empower others to know their bodies are more than what they look like. I share my story wherever I can. I refer others to resources for help. I commit to accepting those who battle for exactly who they are and where they are in their battle.
This experience has fundamentally changed my life and I wish there had been someone to tell me I am normal. I am okay. I am loved.
This experience has fundamentally changed my life and I wish there had been someone to tell me I am okay.
I wish to play a part in changing the stigma that implies mental health shouldn’t be talked about–changing the narrative that it’s something to hide, to whisper. And especially changing the narrative that if you manage a mental health diagnosis that you can’t have a thriving life.
I am committed to sharing that message as loud and as far as I can for others who may need to hear it like I did. (And still do!)
I wish to play a part in changing the stigma that implies mental health shouldn’t be talked about.
What message do you have for others who may feel trapped or alone right now?
You are not alone. I love you. I may not even know you and I know I love you. Whisper to someone right now that you need help, reach out, someone will be there, I promise.
Whisper to someone right now that you need help, reach out, someone will be there, I promise.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Life isn’t about hiding our struggles; it’s about embracing them. You can absolutely manage a mental health diagnosis and thrive in your life. (Even when it may not feel like it!)
Thank you so much for letting me share my story!
Life isn’t about hiding our struggles; it’s about embracing them.
More About the Taylor
I’m Taylor Aller (Oomen) and I am a small town girl with huge heart dreams and all about that multipotentialite life. I serve the Lower Mainland as an RMT, Educator, Speaker, and Mentor. I’m also obsessed with all things relationship-related and Co-Founder of The Relationship Project with my kick-butt husband. On most days you can find me balancing 5 different things, snuggling my handful-of-a-rescue pup, volunteering as a Facilitator with Free to Be Talks, or trying my darndest to go to bed early!
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