Resilience Week: Day 2, February 6, 2024

Resilience Week: Day 2, February 6, 2024

Day 2: Guest Speakers
  • Mariella Ordonez
  • Darrell Park
  • Sapna Sareen

Mariella Ordonez


Solstice Alumna

"My transformative journey with Solstice began approximately two years ago. My life's narrative unfolds as an immigrant from the Philippines who arrived in the United States at the tender age of seven, accompanying my father, who grappled with a lifelong battle with drug addiction. Following his departure, my resilient mother became my anchor, sacrificing everything in pursuit of a better life for us.

Life, however, hasn't always been a smooth voyage, and the shadows of mental health challenges have lingered throughout my existence. Generational trauma, experiences of abuse, codependency, and moments of absolute despair have been part of my narrative. Yet, even in the darkest corners of my life, a relentless desire for a brighter future persisted. I yearned for happiness and made it my life's mission to dismantle the generational trauma that afflicted my family.

My journey has been a quest for healing, a commitment to breaking the cycle of pain that has haunted my family for generations. I firmly believe that the path to healing commences from within, though we cannot traverse it alone. My goal is to leverage my personal experiences as a source of motivation, not only for myself but for others treading their own paths to healing. By sharing my story, I aspire to offer solace and inspiration to those navigating the intricate terrain of their healing journeys."

Darrell Park


Solstice Alumnus

"Growing up in a middle-class family, dysfunction and challenges were familiar companions. In that environment, I unwittingly developed codependency, PTSD, anxiety, and depression, viewing these struggles as part of normalcy. It wasn't until my transition into young adulthood that I began to confront the deep-seated anger issues within me. Through trial and error, I crafted my own coping mechanisms, albeit unhealthy ones, believing they were effective for me.

As a young adult, I began to recognize the deep-seated anger issues within me. Through trial and error, I crafted my own coping mechanisms. Whether healthy or not, they seemed to work for me—at least, that's what I believed.

Both my personal and professional life were meticulously orchestrated, with mindful planning and a relentless pursuit of activity. Juggling 3-4 jobs and multiple projects became my shield, a means of self-isolation that kept me disconnected from forming genuine connections with others. I maintained a presence in social circles long enough to be recognized, yet never lingered long enough for anyone to truly know me. Deep down, I harbored a fear that if people saw the real me, they would recoil from the ugly truth of my hidden anger.

Despite these struggles, the idea of seeking therapy never crossed my mind. There was a stigma attached to it that I, regrettably, internalized. In my flawed perspective, therapy was something other people needed, not me. It took time for me to realize the fallacy of this belief. I was wrong."

Sapna Sareen


Solstice Alumna | Solstice Pacific, Patient Advocate

"My name is Sapna Sareen, and for the past six months, I've been dedicated to serving as a Patient Advocate at Solstice. Nestled in Mission Viejo, OC, I share my life with my husband of 31 years and our two grown sons. With a Master’s degree in Molecular Biology, I've also embraced Ceramics as a serious passion.

However, my journey has been marked by profound resilience over the past two years and beyond. About two and a half years ago, I found myself engulfed in deep depression following a personal trauma. Anxiety and panic attacks haunted my days, while sleep eluded me at night, relying heavily on sleep aids just to find some semblance of rest. I withdrew from the world, unable to engage with even the simplest tasks or interactions. It felt as though I was trapped in a cycle of fear and shame, isolating myself from loved ones and succumbing to relentless negative thoughts, devoid of hope or purpose.

At the urging of a friend, I reluctantly sought professional help, ultimately joining the PHP program at Solstice—a decision that would prove to be the turning point of my life. Initially resistant to opening up, I found solace in the unwavering support of my family, friends, and the compassionate facilitators at Solstice. It took time, but gradually, I began to confront my grief and acknowledge my inner strength. I vividly recall the moment when I first uttered the affirmations, "I can do this," "I believe in myself," and "I am a survivor." Through the program, I gained invaluable insights into the power of self-compassion over self-pity, the importance of seeking help without shame, and the enduring presence of hope amidst adversity.

Mindfulness, breathwork, wellness practices, and cultivating a positive perspective became integral parts of my journey towards resilience. While my circumstances remained unchanged, my outlook on life underwent a profound transformation. Today, I stand on the other side of despair, filled with gratitude and happiness for the resilience that carried me through."

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