It’s been said that experience is the best teacher and the worst experiences teach the best lessons. DeAvila Sade Bennett legit took her life experiences and turned them into a career, THEN she allowed her career to teach her possibly one of the biggest life lessons of all. DeAvila battled with depression that contributed to many twists and turns in her life. She experienced lack of direction in her journey for higher education, in her career and even went through a divorce before finding her purpose as a mental health therapist. Imagine her surprise when she started applying the things she was teaching her clients to her own life.
DeAvila now owns her private mental health practice and has authored her first book “The Therapeutic Journal.” She obtained her Masters degree and is currently a 2nd year doctoral student. She has accomplished things she never dreamed she could and learned so much about herself and her own mental health that she attributes to her choosing mental health therapy as a career. DeAvila dishes on the 4 most valuable lessons that her craft taught her about herself and her mental health journey.
Learning to Become Self-Aware
For a long time, I did not take accountability for the role I played in my divorce. We were both toxic for each other; yet, I refused to acknowledge the pain I caused him and myself. I learned to accept accountability while also learning to forgive him and myself.
Acknowledging and Addressing Generational Depression
Until I studied the symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder, I was very blind to it. Even more so, I never realized that both my grandmother and mother battled with it. I was the first person in my family to take charge of my mental health once I realized that I was struggling with depression. In turn, I have been able to help other family members seek the help they needed as well.
Healing from My Daddy Issues
Throughout my journey of becoming a therapist, I was made to confront some deep and painful memories. I mean how else can you help others if you do not help yourself first. My father and I always had an estranged relationship. After my parents divorced, it only grew worse. I eventually cut him out of my life only to find myself dating and ultimately marrying a man that was just like him. Can we say toxic? I could not continue the pattern of searching for daddy’s love in every man I met. So, I began therapy. I honestly believe that every great therapist has a therapist. I processed my hurts and toxic cycles and began rebuilding a healthy relationship with myself and my father.
Teaching Me to Affirm Me
I sought validation from everyone, but especially men. My worth was tied into whether they chose to stay around or not. Whether they loved me or not. When the love I gave was not reciprocated, I felt a sense of worthlessness. I had to learn that my worth was not tied into whether I had a ring or not. All the love I was trying to give to so many other people I needed to start giving to myself. Now, I live by positive affirmations. You have to be your #1 fan.
Learn more about DeAvila Sade and her mental health practice here.