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How to turn a "Detour" Into Your "Turning Point" – Detourist Mental Health Tips

You’re on a road, and you have to make an unexpected turn. Sounds like life, right?

I’m the only person in the world that feels this hopeless. 

How can things ever get better?

I feel so alone.

These thoughts raced through my head for years.

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These were thoughts I had when my “thought-out” life took a detour.

What’s a detour?

detour is a curve in the road, a bump in a path, a big sign in the middle of your trip that says sorry, you have to go that way. Nobody expects a detour to happen in life. It’s what happens when we think we have things planned and all figured out, and then we’re thrown a curveball.

Believe me, I didn’t expect to be in a coma my senior year of high school. It’s a mouthful, I know. That was my detour. I thought in just a few months, my path would lead right to college.

The most important thing I learned about a detour? You can still live a happy, healthy fulfilling life. I even got to college — at 25!

But the great part about a “detour?” You get to travel a route you never would have expected. The road may be tough, long, winding and seemingly out of the way, but what I finally realized is that it’s the twists and turns in life that ultimately make us who we are. Now that I’m in my third year of college, I’ve realized that physical and mental health issues are things we all think about, even if we don’t label what we experience as an “illness.” We all need to learn how to cope when life doesn’t go like we expect it to. We all could use a few tips on learning how to love who we are.

I turned my detour into the best trip ever.

My advice as a “Detourist?”

  1. Show up.
  2. Trust that you are capable.
  3. Be curious to see where the detour may lead.

Here’s the bonus step: Find great resources.

TurningPointCT is literally there to guide you down your detour and to help you find that turning pint where you can inally find that “flower” on your detour.  You can hear the stories of others, find questions to answers you may have about mental health, get some practical wellness tips and tools, and even take a self-assessment.

Remember, every “detour” can be a big, bold, beautiful Turning Point.

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We all have detours in our lives, and we become empowered when we trust that we can travel those detours and come out OK — and even better! This “detour” in my path has turned into the richest time of my life and I’m overwhelmed with gratitude. That’s why I call it my “beautiful detour.”

Detours can lead to new, unexpected and amazing opportunities. What will you find on your detour today?

Amy Oestreicher is a PTSD peer-to-peer specialist, artist, author, writer for Huffington Post, speaker for TEDx and RAINN, health advocate, survivor, award-winning actress, and playwright, sharing the lessons learned from trauma through her writing, mixed media art, performance and inspirational speaking.
As the creator of the Gutless & Grateful, her one-woman autobiographical musical, she’s toured theatres nationwide, along with a program combining mental health advocacy, sexual assault awareness  and Broadway Theatre for college campuses. All was created by Amy to take care of her own mental health. Learn about her mental health advocacy programs, her art  for students, and find out how to take part in the #LoveMyDetour movement, striving to create compassion through stories.

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