I started using when I was only 11 years old. I used alcohol and drugs to deal with the loss of my father at a very young age and the deeper issues in my dysfunctional family.
When I turned 18 I joined the Army. I thought that getting away from my family would change everything, but my challenges were only magnified. When I got out of the military I was diagnosed with Military Sexual Trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (MST/PTSD). My addiction got even worse which fed and cycled with an intense anxiety disorder. The rollercoaster of addiction and anxiety became unbearable.
In November 2015, with the support of my family, I checked into into Veterans Village of San Diego. I agreed to ONLY do 3 months which turned into a year and 3 months. During this time I was attending AA meetings at a Buddhist temple in downtown San Diego. I met THE teacher who would change my life. This is where my daily meditation practice began. When I was offered a grant to learn a new vocational skill I decided on becoming a Yoga teacher. The practices of Yoga and Meditation had helped me so much and I knew I wanted offer that same gift of healing to others.
Since then I’ve delved very deeply into my meditation practice and yogic studies, including the Prison Yoga Project.
I am now almost 4 years clean and I truly thank the journey. If it were not for the hard falls, I do not believe I would have the life I live today. My life has changed in ways that I never could have imagined. I am up before the sun because I now dedicate my life to the practice of yoga and meditation. It is what keeps me sober and sincerely happy. What I want to do now is to give back what has changed my life. I want to become a Yoga Therapist to competently give the gift of healing back to my fellow veterans, addicts and anyone who is struggling in life.
I know that I have a lot more to study to serve in a skillful and knowledgeable way, but I definitely have the experience of pain and suffering. I also know what it is like to be free from such deep wounds. My heart is and will be fully available for those I have the opportunity to work with.
By donating you are helping Carley and others like her to invest in a life and career of helping others.