As a survivor, we are all on a journey. From the very first time that we open up and share, reach out and seek the help of a professional, or start advocating for ourselves in any number of ways, that journey begins.

We move from victim, to survivor, to thriver, and often go back and forth between stages as our lives unfold, new memories are realized, relationships come and go, and the ebb and flow of life plays out. No one can predict exactly how your journey will look, but the common goal for all of us is freeing ourselves from the shame of our past. To work towards a place in our life where we can be both content and inspired, encouraged and motivated; to wake up each day embracing the possibilities and our own ability to handle whatever comes our way.

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Matt Pappas, CLC

My journey started when I first reached out for help from a therapist. My marriage had just ended in divorce, and my world seemed to be crashing down around me. I didn’t know where I was headed, how I would get there, or which end was up. I knew that I needed some guidance and perspective, along with a healthy dose of encouragement to go along with the reality that was my life, at the time.

Throughout the process of working with that wonderful therapist, the memories of a traumatic past came into view. Things that I had suppressed for about 30 years were now showing themselves and there was no turning back. Not only was I having to pick up the pieces of my life from a broken relationship, but now it was incumbent upon me to figure out the puzzle of a broken childhood.

During that process, a shift began to happen in my life. I was no longer unaware of how my past was affecting ever aspect of my life, from relationships, to family, to my career, even my hobbies. I was able to see why my self-esteem was always low, and the confidence in myself was nearly non-existent.  I started to see myself in a new light, and my potential was no longer being limited to my own self-defeating mindsets.

I’ll never forget the quote that J told me one day in a session, “You are a survivor, and that is amazing! (I still have a meme of that on my phone today).

I began to journal, and not long after that, Surviving My Past was born. I was sharing my story and opening up in vulnerable ways that I could never have imagined myself even considering before. Oh sure I was a writer for a long time, a blogger, for sports websites and forums, but never in a million years did I ever think that my healing journey would lead me into starting a blog like this, doing podcasts, recording videos, and sharing the stories of other survivors.

Each step in my  survivor journey has been leading me to this point, the next destination on my road of healing advocacy, becoming a Certified Life  Coach and starting my brand new website,

My friend, I’m so excited to officially announce my coaching business, and the ability to begin taking on clients both in a 1 on 1 setting and in group coaching.  It’s been a long road, full of so many twists and turns that even Google maps would a have a difficult time navigating.  There is still so much more to come, and now with Beyond Your Past, I’m excited to be able to work with you and help you move forward from what holds you back.

Rest assured, Surviving My Past will always be here, it will never go away. I will continue to feature survivor stories and allow SMP to always be a place of validation and encouragement, offering hope and giving a voice to those who have been silenced for far too long, just as I was.

As a Certified Life Coach, my specialties are in the world of Overcoming Anxiety and Trauma Survivor Coaching, two areas that not only do I have a lot of experience in but also two areas that I am extremely passionate about.

As a survivor myself, I know the unique struggles that come with trauma recovery.  Life is difficult and confusing as it is, but add that to dealing with the effects of abuse, and now you’ve got already difficult situation turning into an overwhelming one. Being a trauma survivor is not something you simply get over, or just avoid and hope it goes away, because if there’s one thing that is painfully evident about being a survivor, it’s that if you don’t deal with it, it’s going to keep coming back until you do. Embracing that reality and a mindset of healing means that you’ve already taken a gigantic step forward on your own behalf.

Coaching is a personal experience that is designed to be all about you. As a Coach, I take that responsibility very seriously because your journey matters, you matter.

Learn more about Anxiety and Surviving Coaching, and check out my Group Coaching programs that are also launching soon.  This is your time to take your life back because the alternative of staying stuck and questioning your ability to handle what life throws at you, shouldn’t be the only thing that you wake up too each day.

Let’s work together to help you move forward from what holds you back, in an atmosphere that is supportive, encouraging, enlightening, and yes we’ll even have some fun too! We’ll take your situation in life, right now as you are, and develop a plan to help you move forward towards all of the goals and dreams that you thought were not achievable. The goals and dreams that you never thought you were worthy of even attempting.

Now is your time my friend, and I’ll be with you ever step of the way.

-Matt Pappas, CLC