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Ashley's Story: Finding your Strength

Ashley & Laura ~ almost instant life-long friends!

Today, on Mother's Day, I want to share some words of wisdom from a near and dear friend whom I admire very much-she happens to also be an incredible mother.

Ashley and I met over a decade ago in our Bachelor of Social work program at STU. We became almost instant friends; always there for one another despite the distance of two different cities, 6 kids between us and busy schedules.

We've navigated many of life's ups and downs together (we still are) and In the process she has taught me so much about myself and inspired me as a person and therapist, but also as a mother in countless ways. Ashley has made incredible sacrifices for her children and is stronger, braver and more beautiful than she will ever realize.

She has affirmed for me that motherhood is hard and messy; we all struggle, we all question ourselves. She has taught me that even on bad days when we have lost our sh*t countless times, we can still re set and be present with our kids for just 10 minutes. She reminds me I am enough as a mom, as their mom. There is no map for this and we are all learning to trust in ourselves as we go.

There is no one more qualified to speak on resilience and to offer her heartfelt wisdom; Ashley is an incredible sounding board and a genuine gift to me as a mother and a friend.

And Ashley has an inspiring story to share, below. ~ Laura

No one is Immune to Struggle

Ashley & Laura

This picture was taken on hands down, the most terrifying day of my life.

Only weeks earlier I had been told that my young daughter required an imminent liver transplant in order to live. Eight days prior the doctors had decided that a piece of my liver would be the match her body needed to be healthy again.

On this day, I spent 8 hours on an operating table in Toronto General hospital, while my daughter was across the street, in Sick Kids hospital, in another operating room.

In this picture I lay in the ICU while being comforted by a dear friend (who you may recognize!) as we desperately and anxiously wait for an update from the doctors on the success of my daughter's 12 hour surgery. I have never in my life been so scared.

It was, to date, the hardest day of my life.

The weeks and days leading up to this one were terrifying. The anxiety and fear were at times paralyzing. Even simple tasks felt overwhelming. The stress and uncertainty felt heavy and never rested. There were days I didn’t know how to put one foot in front of the other.

Life can be unpredictable and scary for every single one of us. It can be hard. No one is immune to struggle. Separation, loss of important loved ones, infertility, illness, trauma - often we find ourselves faced with these or other difficult situations that feel beyond our control and we feel unequipped to handle.

Resiliency is not the ability to avoid or ignore life’s challenges. It is not an opportunity to neglect our feelings or push them away. Resiliency is the ability to find the strength to persevere despite these obstacles life throws at us. It does not erase our anger, or sadness- it can’t take away the worry we feel entirely, but it shows us a way through them. It is recognizing that life has hard days and hard seasons but we can overcome them.

Whatever life is throwing at you right now, - whatever struggle is affecting you personally and making life feel impossibly hard, know this- you can survive this difficult season.

But you don’t have to do it alone.

Together in therapy, we can find a path forward, develop new skills that allow you to feel better equipped to cope and uncover strength that you didn’t know you had. Every one of us needs support, acceptance and a place where we can feel our hard feelings without reservation - and therapy can be that space.

Today when I look at this picture, on the other side of this struggle, it feels like a lifetime ago.

There have been, and almost certainly will be, other challenges in my life but what this difficult journey has taught me about myself is that I am strong- even when I don’t feel like it - and I can handle what life throws at me and persevere- and you can too.

We are here to help you uncover your own strength, to walk with you through difficult times and provide you with unwavering support. Whatever you are struggling with right now, know that you don’t have to face this alone.


We're here if you want to talk :)

Take the first step and call us for an appointment ...(506) 651-1239

Read more about Ashley here.

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