My name is Katie Hancock I am a 40 year old mother of two beautiful, crazy boys, I have two degrees, in Science and Psychology, and I am part way through a Masters of Neuroscience. I have over 15 years experience in strategic HR, 7 years at management level, and in October 2015 I suffered a breakdown.

When I first shared this story in November 2016 to a group of HR professionals I had absolutely no idea of the impact my story would have on others, or what sharing my story would do for my own healing and recovery.

The feedback I received from others touched by my story was the same, over and over again. Almost everyone was able to see themselves in my story, some in small ways and others much more. And in listening to another person’s journey it allowed them to begin to deal with their own stories and to recognise that an inability to cope with challenging times was not failure but rather part of life and probably inevitable in the busy, ever changing world we live in.

Many people reached out to me via email and social media to thank me for sharing my story, and to tell me their stories of bravery and recovery from similar journeys. We are all human beings and we thrive on being connected and belonging, and in sharing this story I was able to make connections that will continue to make their way out as people feel able to share their own stories of tough times and allow themselves to be vulnerable and truly human.

Resilience is about our ability to withstand, deal with and recover from difficult situations.

My story, like many similar stories, was full of tragedy and pain and challenges that became too much to bear.

Yet it is what has happened since I shared the story, and as I have recovered more fully, that I am most proud of. In sharing my story, in owning my story, in being completely honest and raw and laying myself bare for all to see, the power my story had over me has disappeared. And I have been able to let go of all that pain and sadness and come to a point now where I can be proud I survived that journey, and more than that that one day I will once again thrive.

My journey is not over yet.

Whilst considering my present state of mind, given where I find myself now, I thought about the analogy of the palm tree. The palm tree is the most resilient of all trees, and has the capacity to bend almost double without breaking. It has been well documented that during huge storms only the Palm Tree is able to withstand without breaking or being uprooted. But the thing that rings most true for me is that not only does the tree survive, its root system is actually strengthened by the storm.

This gives me comfort that whilst the journey I have been on was incredibly difficult, sad and at times pushed me to the brink I am now emotionally stronger than I was before and can use this strength to keep myself, and all those important to me, happy and healthy and able to withstand whatever life's next storm might be.

Originally posted on: 18 April 2017
Last updated on: 25 February 2024
Katie Hancock

Katie Hancock

Katie Hancock has over fifteen years’ experience delivering strategic HR solutions to clients in the private and public sectors in Canberra, Sydney and the UK. Katie has degrees in science and psychology.

Katie is passionate about helping leaders understand how the state of their brain impacts on their own health and performance, and on the performance and health of their teams.

No Comments Yet

Let us know what you think