Although the process hasn’t always been easy, Kenlyn Mirbach is finally comfortable with being herself.
Kenlyn began experiencing depressive symptoms at a young age and recalls thoughts of hopelessness and suicidal ideation as early as the third grade. During her senior year of high school, 17-year-old Kenlyn became overwhelmed with social anxiety and stress. She also had an impending sense that she was alone. These feelings caused Kenlyn to attempt to take her own life. It was after this near-death experience that Kenlyn made a commitment to seek the necessary treatment that would provide her with the emotional skills to live.
Transitioning to Paradigm’s inclusive and warm environment was not easy for Kenlyn after years of feeling excluded and lonely. Kenlyn recalls, “When I first arrived at Paradigm, I worried that I wasn’t depressed enough to be there. But my therapists gave me space to heal and helped me to learn to be myself. I could then put my feelings in context. Paradigm taught me that I could be honest with others and that people would care.”
It has been four years since Kenlyn’s stay at Paradigm. She credits Paradigm’s commitment to integrated treatment of the mind, body and spirit for providing her with the skills necessary to sustain a healthy state of being. She may be busy completing her undergraduate degree in psychology at Claremont McKenna College, but Kenlyn knows to prioritize self-care. She says that, “Paradigm taught me to live a spiritual life and to always take care of myself. The journey may not always be easy. True healing is not a linear process. But the more I commit to working on myself, the better I will feel in the long run.”
Paradigm empowered Kenlyn Mirbach to move into a bright future. But the memories of the early days of her recovery motivate her to be a role model for others who have not yet progressed past despair. Kenlyn would like others to think seriously before making any drastic attempt at self-harm and would like to impart the following lesion: “Paradigm taught me to always keep going. I know it is hard advice to hear. But even in the blackest moments, there are always good times to remember. Paradigm gave me the ability to encourage myself to hold onto the light no matter how dark it may get. I would like others to know that they can make it like I did. Just keep going-it really does get better.”