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If you feel distressed or you’re at risk and need to speak to a mental health professional, please call your local mental health line or if in Australia visit here for resources and contacts.

In life there are cycles. Repetitive and entrenched, sometimes bringing good things and other times not.  Cycles can be broken.

The first time I remember feeling like I was worthless was when I was in primary school. I loved the teacher I had, but the consensus was that I wasn’t doing well academically, particularly in Maths, and I needed a tutor. This coincidently didn’t help because I convinced him to focus on English instead of Maths, clearly what I was good at was debating! This worthless feeling was one that cropped up multiple times in my life. In primary school when I realised I wasn’t athletic, at netball when the ball hit me in the head and the coach told me “maybe that will knock some sense into you”, in high school when I was bullied for my weight and even as I moved into the workforce and despite my passion as a hairdresser was told 

“you will always be a sweatshop Betty”.

As you can imagine, I grew up with a pretty serious lack of confidence and this became apparent in all sorts of ways. Dabbling in drugs and alcohol, always wanting a relationship, acting out at school, and at home and the result was never one that gave me positive feedback. I had a rocky relationship with my family and felt like I was never accepted, the fuel I needed to pull myself further and further away from those around me. I had a string of toxic relationships and that helped me to develop major trust and abandonment issues- what a catch!!

At the age of 23 I got into what was a particularly toxic relationship and fell pregnant very quickly and by 24 I was giving birth to my son as a single parent. Once again, I faced judgement, both by people around me and even the nurses at the hospital. I was tired, lonely, and exhausted and caring for this beautiful baby who needed me at my best. The pressure was overwhelming! I didn’t want to accept help, I needed to prove that I could do this! This was something I would be good at! And you know what? I was. I put everything I had into making sure my boy was getting so much love that he would never have to feel the worthless feelings I had struggled with. 

Fast forward to present day and a lot has changed. I am now a mother of 3 amazing kids and have been married to a kind and patient man for almost 10 years. When I left hairdressing, I went into the Disability Sector and then found my way into Counselling via a brief stint in Psychology. 

In starting my Bachelor of Counselling, I felt like I had come home.

Here was a profession that used all of the best skills and qualities that I had, and I got to make a positive difference in the lives of other people. I miss the creative outlet that hairdressing provided but I make sure that I have plenty of other things in my life that let my creative side shine.

I have gone through extensive personal change and growth in the last 10 years and although there are still times that my brain likes to remind me that I am worthless and provide a great monologue of all the reasons why, I work hard every day to ensure that I am taking control of my thoughts rather than letting them control me. I practice mindfulness and challenge my negative self-talk, and I have learnt to reach out for support when I need it because strong doesn’t mean coping alone. I have a wonderful friend’s network and my relationships with family have either healed or have been let go with acceptance. If I could tell you anything to take away from my story its this: 

The person you are right now, is not the person you will always be so keep going and write your next chapter yourself. Break the cycles that held you back.

Kat Munson

Kat Munson

Kat Munson is the owner and Principal Counsellor at Changing Tide Counselling & Mental Wellness. Kat has always had an interest in Mental Health and when starting off life as a hairdresser joked that it was “just like counselling but with busy hands”. Kat has completed a Bachelor of Counselling and Diploma of Holistic Counselling and will be undertaking her Masters of Counselling & Psychotherapy in 2020. Kat has a background in Disabilities, Mental Health and AOD and uses this combination of experiences to ensure that each session is personalised and catered to the client. Check out www.changingtide.com.au

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