“The biggest event I remember was reading in the local newspaper that my father had died when I was just 18 years old. It was the most traumatic, shocking thing that ever happened to me. I remember feeling a wave of pure dread cloud over me. From that day on, my life changed forever and I guess it shaped me into the person that I am today. I was drowning in so many painful feelings of loss, grief, blame, despair, hate and many more. I didn't know what to do with them. I sank quickly into a deep depression that I didn't even know why I was depressed or how to admit it to myself. For the next eight years, I lived my life in and out of waves of black depression. All I wanted to do was escape those dark feelings. I carried on my life as best I knew how. I had never been a quitter.
I had always loved travelling so when I was feeling okay, I completed a teaching course and went to work and live in Turkey to gain some teaching experience. It was when I was living there that I realized and admitted to myself that the death of my father had been the reason I had been depressed. Up until that point I hadn't admitted it to myself as he wasn't my biological father (he was my stepfather) and I felt that I didn't deserve to feel the pain I had been feeling. This was a huge realization for me which would have probably taken years to realize had I stayed in my hometown. After living in Turkey, I went to live in Switzerland. There I learned that my father's death hadn't been my fault. This was the most important realization for me and I never experienced that depression again. I still had many feelings I hadn't dealt with, but now I know I was dealing with one big feeling at a time; it was too much to deal with them all at once. A year ago, I became a life coach. It's my passion to work with others to help them find the courage to deal with any painful feelings they may have, create new emotions that serve them and, most importantly, accept their true selves and live a life they truly deserve- something I could have benefited from all those years ago. I love helping others and it helps me too.” - Jasmine Navarro, Life Coach