Planting flowers of hope

Former Young Women’s Trust trainee and Advisory Panel member and entrepreneur, Cee Casey, reflects on her experience using our Work It Out coaching service and how it helped her to realise her passions and challenge racism at the same time.

When you have battled with depression for a long time, you can end up using metaphors to describe it. For me, that metaphor is a ‘dark void’. One that spans for hundreds of miles. But in that void lays a single blooming flower of hope and every time I find myself in the darkness, I focus on looking for that flower.

Working it out

It was a Wednesday morning and I had just been woken up from a short, rough sleep in my hostel room by my phone ringing at the loudest volume. ‘Hi Cilla!’ chirped a friendly voice. That voice belonged to my coach, Yasmin.

“How are you?” she said. Before I even had a chance to respond, my body started trembling from chest tightening anxiety. Thoughts began pinging around in my mind

“Sorry, Yasmin. I’m just a bit overwhelmed”, I responded, tears streaming down my face.

What I didn’t realise at that moment was how deep into the dark void I was.

“I’m here, we’ll take all of this one step at a time,” Yasmin responded, and there it was…my flower of hope.

In life, encouragement, guidance and empathy can go such a long way. I had all the skills I needed to start my journey towards becoming a food and community activist, but after so many setbacks, I was feeling lost.

Thankfully, Work It Out coaching by Young Women’s Trust was there to get me back on track, and now I am inspired to help others find their flower of hope in the dark void.

Challenging the voids

There are many types of voids. Take racism for example, a void all too familiar to those of us facing a society riddled with discriminatory norms. Racism is a special type of void because it has the sneaky ability to disguise itself and seep into institutions, industries, beauty standards and even laws.

If allowed to do so, racism consumes the lives of those it targets before it slinks away, leaving confusion, anger and division in its wake. While depression is blameless, racism is not. It’s kept alive by people.

Thankfully, there are people who are actively working to dismantle racism and advance towards a more equal and accepting society. One way I am contributing to this is through Black CHEFS Collective, an empowerment platform I founded to encourage Black representation, promote inclusion and challenge discriminatory norms within the food and drink industry.

Reflections and dreams

Black History Month is drawing to an end and throughout it I have been reminded of those who are not only working to find their own ‘flowers of hope’, but who help others find theirs too. I have waded through the void of depression many times and wrestled with the shapeshifting void of racism, but through it all I have always found my beautiful flower of hope.

My dream is for a world where compassion and empathy prevail, a world where we come together to challenge destructive voids and plant flowers of hope in each other’s lives.

(Special thank you to Yasmin)

If you’re a young woman and you are ready to challenge the ‘dark voids’ in your life and find your ‘flower of hope’, you can sign up for free coaching sessions today. 

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