1. Tell us about your journey! What led you to this point?
I am an ex-engineer turned dance movement psychotherapist and mental wellness consultant. And as a depression survivor, I’m passionate about mental health advocacy and helping fellow advocates to amplify their impact.
My journey initially started as perhaps a typical story of a career migrant. I come from a small town Kudus in Central Java, Indonesia. At 22, having graduated with a bachelor’s degree in computer science and having briefly worked as a software engineer, I got a scholarship to continue my master’s studies in Sweden. Afterwards, as a non-EU citizen I was able to stay through a string of employments in academia and engineering in the Netherlands. Among others, I did and completed a PhD in design engineering during this period of my life.
Underneath that determination I seemingly had my life in order, though, I was struggling with high-functioning depression. Which, in my case, layered with culture shock, loneliness, and imposter syndrome, eventually developed into a clinical depression. It was spring 2012, I recently turned 30. That’s when I realized how super tough it is, being an ex-pat and dealing with mental health challenges. I never felt so alone in my life.