Welcome to another inspiring installment of our “Voices of Resilience” series, where we share powerful stories of individuals who embody the spirit of recovery and personal growth. Today, we have the privilege of featuring Katie, the compassionate owner of Oak Mountain Therapy located at The Velvet Mill in Stonington, CT. I had the pleasure of meeting Katie during a mental health event she hosted, and since then, she has become not only a great friend but also a steadfast supporter of ODAAT Apparel. Katie’s journey is a testament to the strength and resilience it takes to navigate through life’s toughest challenges. Her story is a beacon of hope for anyone on the path to healing and self-discovery.

Q: Can you share a brief overview of your journey and what led you to seek a path of recovery or personal transformation?

A: Mental Health was a topic that made its way into my vocabulary early on in life.... but not really because even in the 90s there was still a MASSIVE stigma. My mother was severely mentally ill and childhood was a bit chaotic with VERY harsh statements, words, and actions occurring. My Mom left when I was a teenager. I never saw her again and found out she passed away in a car crash in 2018. Of course I have an emotional wound that I had to acknowledge when I was an adult. I engaged in a lot of avoidant and self-harm techniques to cope with pain, chaos, and in order feel somewhat in control of life. The lifestyle of self-hatred and not taking care of my mind-body needed to change or else life was going to be shit.

Q: What does the mantra 'One Day At A Time' mean to you, and how has it influenced your approach to challenges and growth?

A: We can’t predict the future and we can’t change the past. When I am stressed my brain makes a mad dash to try and “fix” or “create” or “heal” things that I have no control over in this moment. I know I will have hard thoughts, hard moments, and want to engage in old coping techniques that actually caused me more harm than relief. ODAAT reminds me I can come back to the present, what can I do right now, how am I feeling right now, what is happening right now. 

Q: Can you describe a pivotal moment in your journey that significantly impacted your path toward healing and resilience?

A: I was losing hair, having anxiety attacks, and thought, “what was the point of life.” I could only see a very narrow path for myself and thought, “this is it.” Recognizing,”this doesn’t have to be it,” was a big awakening for me. I started to see my choices and what I COULD control in my life. 

Q: How have your experiences shaped your understanding of resilience, and what does being resilient mean to you personally?

A: Resilient to me means able to get through hard moments, sensations, feelings, and thoughts. It means I am aware it’s hard and I am not going to get carried away by this temporary pain.

Q: What role has community played in your journey? How do you connect with others who are walking similar paths?

A: Community is HUGE! Shame loves silence and secrecy. When I finally found a community that shared their stories, struggles, and humanness, I saw my shame decrease. Community gave me this ability to see beyond the shame and pain, see more of life.

Q: In moments of doubt or hardship, what practices, beliefs, or mantras help you find strength and continue moving forward?

A:  “This is a hard moment,” “This feeling will not last forever,” “It’s ok to feel and think whatever comes up.” I also try to move my body and seek out community. 

Q: How do you celebrate your milestones and successes, no matter how big or small they may be?

A: I share them with my loved ones and write myself a letter once a year.

Q: What advice would you give to someone at the beginning of their journey of recovery or self.

A: Change IS hard. There will be moments of, “can I really change?” “Will I feel better?” Yes. Yes you can and yes you will. 

Q: Is there a particular book, quote, or person that has been a significant source of inspiration and support for you?

A: Gabor Mate… understanding trauma and how it manifests.

Q: How do you incorporate mindfulness or self-care into your daily routine, and how has this changed your perspective on life?

A: Daily walks, daily check-ins with my mind and body, hydration, movement, mindfulness around how I am talking to myself. Allowed to see and take ownership of the choices I am making to take care of myself. Hold me accountable and recognize what I CAN control.

Q: What message of hope or encouragement would you like to share with the ODAAT Apparel community?

A: We WILL have all types of thoughts, feelings, and sensation. Just because it comes up, doesn’t mean we have to act on it. Also, the skill of being able to sit with discomfort in your body, face your self-talk, and be able to respond to yourself with compassion and accountability.. That’s huge.

Q: If you could describe your journey in three words, what would they be and why?

A: Messy, Powerful, Self-Discovery

Q: Looking forward, what aspirations or goals are you working towards, and how do you plan to achieve them?

A: Continue in my recovery for my mind, body, family, and community. Continue to reduce the stigma in Trauma and Chronic stress, offer education about mind-body connection, and provider care to individuals stuck in the chronic stress and trauma loop.

Q: How has your definition of success evolved throughout your journey

A: From “being perfect” to “being able to connect and feel relaxed.”


Katie’s journey is a powerful reminder of the incredible resilience that resides within each of us. Her unwavering dedication to mental health and personal growth, combined with her commitment to supporting others, makes her story truly inspiring. At ODAAT Apparel, we are honored to have Katie as part of our community and grateful for the wisdom she has shared with us today. As we continue to navigate our own paths of recovery and transformation, let Katie’s story be a guiding light, reminding us that no matter how messy or challenging the journey may be, the potential for powerful self-discovery and growth is always within reach. Thank you, Katie, for sharing your voice and your resilience with us.