Throughout my journey of recovery, there have been moments when I would question myself as to what my purpose is and whether I have what it takes to accomplish that purpose. For the past 3 semesters, I have been in a doctoral program at USC wondering if I am “good enough” to be here. My fears of failure and letting people down often overwhelmed me as I would fall into a trap believing that I was once again that powerless girl who was lost in her addiction. Each time I would have to speak in front of a class, I would have anxiety because I was afraid that people would see the impostor I was who had no place being in a doctoral program. This is how my addiction plays out today… it gives me every reason to run, every reason to hide, and every reason why I should just give up.
What I have learned about myself this semester is that despite all the negative dialogue that goes on in my head, I have the determination to push past my fears, people in my life who are there to support me and believe in me, and a strong purpose that keeps me motivated to overcome challenges as they come. These things help to quiet the noise that tries to bring me down. If I don’t know what I’m doing, I have plenty of people I can ask and it’s okay to ask for help. I don’t have to know everything, I just need the openmindedness and willingness to listen to guidance.
As I continue to move forward in my career, work towards helping other Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders struggling with drug addiction, and improving cultural competence in the field of social work, I will remind myself that I have the courage to make a difference in this world. I never forget where I came from, but will not lose sight of where I am going. It is those experiences that have made me stronger and I am proud of the resilient person I am today.