Sarah came on board with The NAN Project in February of 2018 after completing a Peer Mentor Training at the TEMPO drop-in center in Framingham. Since then, she’s been crushing it with us! Sarah’s main message is about her struggle with parental abuse, and how that led her to having poor body image issues, and severe anxiety. She has a great message about how beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, and how she powered through her struggles. We had the opportunity to sit down with Sarah and ask her a few questions and this is what she had to say!
Hi Sarah! Thank you for coming out to do this!
Thank you so much for interviewing me. I feel honored!
You’re welcome! I want to start off by asking you to briefly talk a little bit about yourself. What do you like to do in your free time?
I’ll first start off and say that I am a senior at Framingham State, and my major is Sociology with a minor in Psychology. I also live in Framingham, with my boyfriend and our big cat named Bunnie. In my free time, I like to draw, journal, find new music, play lots of video games and lastly I am trying to teach myself to play the ukulele… with some success! (laughs)
That’s so cool you’re teaching yourself to play the ukulele! I was wondering what your overall experience has been like working for The NAN Project.
It’s really different from any other job I’ve ever had and I feel like this is actually a really good fit for me. The biggest challenge I face is that I have actually always been really nervous of public speaking, which can make it hard sometimes to step in front of the crowd. I feel like I always have my face in my paper (laughs), but each presentation makes it a little easier to talk in front of a crowd. The reward from this job is that I feel like it’s fulfilling. It’s important for me to be doing this.
I totally agree with you, Sarah. I was excused in high school from all public presentations because it would scare me so much…but look where we are now!
Me too! (chuckles)
What motivates you to keep working with us? What about the job makes it worth coming back?
A couple things makes it worth coming back. It’s really rewarding and important work, like I said before and I really think that’s one reason why I keep doing presentations. We’re making a difference by doing this work and it matters to people. Also, I learn more about myself by writing my comeback story and condensing all that I’ve been through into a cohesive narrative. It put some things into perspective for me and I feel like I know myself better, so that’s also been rewarding as well.
Thanks Sarah, that was a good answer!
Thanks Elli, I say smart things from time to time! (giggles)
I’m wondering if you can tell me some skills you use on an “off” day to cope with your mental health challenges.
I really do like to journal. I like to write about how I’m feeling and stuff that happens to me throughout my day-to-day life. I like to draw as a distraction to my mind, and I also use breathing exercises. For example, I like to breathe in for three seconds, and exhale for three seconds. I also use grounding a lot and lastly, my cat is a good resource when I’m upset. He probably doesn’t know that, but I really like to sit with him or put my face in his fur; it’s really soothing.
Okay last question: What do you hope for in your future?
A couple things. The first is that I really want to be comfortable with myself. It sounds like a small thing but it’s really hard for me to love myself. I’m working on it, it’s definitely better than it was but I’d really like to say that I genuinely love who I am. I’d also like to have a career in mental health, whether that be mental health education or mental health support. That’s really the direction I want to go. Lastly, I would really like to live in Boston!
Alright! Well thank you Sarah for answering these questions, and good luck!
Thank you Elli!