The following is a video from Teachable creator and entrepreneur, Angela Alston. Angela is the therapist and owner of A Journey To Wholeness, LLC. As someone who has been in the human services field for over 30 years, Angela has worked with a variety of clientele from developmentally disabled clients, clients on methadone maintenance, teenagers in a group home setting, adolescents in juvenile detention, and more. Her content has been featured at 2020 and 2021 The Teachable Summit and featured in several podcasts. In honor of Teachable’s Creator Month, in which we celebrate and share the expertise of creators everywhere, Angela shares her journey and the past that lead her to create and teach.

Video transcript

Hey, hey, hey, you know who it is Angela Alston of A Journey to Wholeness LLC. I’m here today just to give you a little bit of backstory about who I am.

I was born in Birmingham, Alabama. I was raised by a single mother—me and my two siblings. And we were raised in the projects in Birmingham, where we experienced a lot of environmental traumas. Many of my friends died very young, due to gun violence or alcohol [or] drug abuse—things like that.

Every one of us grew up the same way: None of us had a father. So we didn’t have the foundation to understand what relationships were—to understand what true love was. And as a result, I ended up in a variety of abusive relationships. I’ve experienced sexual trauma, mental health, physical trauma, so many different things. And, how I got out of it was by the grace of God, and that’s what I choose to believe.

Because at that time, we couldn’t talk to therapists. We couldn’t talk to our teachers in school. We were told what happens in this house—you figured it out—stays in this house, right? So with that being said, I kept a lot of my trauma inside. And as a result, I add suicidal ideations. I attempted suicide twice, and I thank God, to this day, then I didn’t accomplish it. But I just thought the world would be better without me. I hated myself. I hated my features. I hated the family that I was born into.

With everything that we have experienced is so much dysfunction in my family, my mother only had an eighth grade education. So she could only do what she could do, right? She could work with only what she had. And with that being said, I experienced a lot of the effects of that lack of knowledge.

And when I moved to Connecticut, I decided that living on my own was expensive. (Hello, especially living in Connecticut!) I realized I had to go to college. That was the only way I knew at the time. So then I decided to go to college. And I have four degrees and three in which I use today.

But with that being said, I decided to do more. I wanted to help more. Working in the prison system for the past ten years, I began to see the pain. And it was so familiar because I’ve experienced [it] myself. I know what it is to live in a psychological prison, and I walk around smiling like I’m OK—and I was never OK. So once I decided that, I was no longer happy working in the prison, because I felt like those guys leave with a lot more, but they couldn’t get it. So I decided to branch out and to leave my state job with great benefits, alright, and to work in my practice full time.

So that’s what I do now. I’ve worked with many ex offenders on a commission for scrip program—and that’s a reentry program working with ex offenders. And they are not my only population that I work with, but I have a special place in my heart for them.

I also have a special place in my heart for entrepreneurs and high earners. Because I understand mental health is a thing, right? And we can be very successful. But if we don’t take care of our mental health, eventually, things are going to crumble.

So although I came from that background, through all those traumatic experiences I had, I just knew I had to use my God given gift to help others. And that’s why I’m here. I’m so grateful for Teachable’s platform that would allow creators like me to come forth and to bring my creations to the world. And hopefully that someone may decide that they want to care for themselves on a deeper level.

Someone may decide, “Hey, if she could do it and if she came from poverty, and she came from trauma, then I can too.” My goal is to continue for the rest of my days—I’m 51, ok, 51 years young—but I’m planning to do this as long as I can, and I’m hoping that I’ll have more content to bring to you through the Teachable platform. Thank you very much for listening. Have an amazing day.