When you think of Destiny, the word that undoubtedly comes to mind is resilience. She is a certified nursing assistant currently attending nursing school, and lives with her twin brother and her pug, Lola in The Dalles, OR. She’s passionate about caring for others and giving love, since it’s something she never received for herself. As a child she was mentally and physically abused and diagnosed with depression at age 11. “A common misconception is that everybody’s depression is the same,” she points out. She recalls being bullied in middle school, at a time when she was just trying to figure out who she was. She was often labeled because of her mother’s drug abuse and mental health challenges. Addicted to the control she found in making herself smaller, she developed an eating disorder at the age of 15.
I’m a human being just like everyone else. We’ve all got issues.
Destiny has taken medication for depression and anxiety since she was 12 years old, and finds that when going off her medication, her mental health typically suffers. “I am a human being, not just depression as a label, because I am so much more than my diagnosis,” she says with confidence. She strives to be a light to guide others through their own struggles because, “I’ve been there, I’ve done that, I’m here to listen.”
Destiny would tell you that compassion is first being open to listening, and then being kind, being vulnerable, and being human. As she acknowledges, “Everybody’s story is different.” Her long term goal is to learn from her own experiences and work with people with mental health conditions.