Those who make the journey are in the best position to define the landscape.  ~ Penni Kolpin


Penni Kolpin

I am an unintentional explorer.

The image above is Mount Rundle in Banff, Alberta, Canada. In 1998, while on a short vacation to Banff, I endured what I called a “severe stress breakdown.” Like so many before me, I trudged through muck and mire that I didn’t even know existed, all the while knowing that my experience was for a much higher purpose.

It is the people who make that type of journey who are in the best position to describe it, in order to find tools and paths that can help others through to a healed and healthy place.  In hindsight, my breakdown was actually more of a “breakout” — a breakout from unhealthy dynamics that I had been toxically enabling.

After several months of trying to seek help through the mental health industry, which only added more stress and traumatized me worse, I left my old life behind to rebuild my life in Montana where I grew up. Ultimately, my journey became a “breakthrough” as I awakened to the many lessons I learned along the way.

I wouldn’t trade my experiences — because I learned way too much, including a much greater understanding for how people can get trapped in such a collapsed and compromised state.

I am now sharing my experiences via a more public platform with the hopes that I can provide a voice to help others who have been lost in the labyrinth of such a journey and to educate others that such crises are not just survivable but also thrivable.

There are many different paths through such experiences.  Such a journey is certainly not easy. In fact I have often described it as “ridiculously difficult.” I have also said, “It hurt like hell. It hurt like nothing I had ever heard about nor read about.”

Despite that pain and confusion, my journey was very worthwhile — a very heroic, albeit unexpected, journey indeed. I am a “penny” very well spent.


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