Grit & Grace: Erin Berrigan

“I grew up on a farm in western New York. We did not lead a very conventional life. Since I was a little girl I was raised to work hard, and be a contributing member of the family. I have always been a helper. My entire life I have struggled with self esteem and feeling “worthy” and I knew I wanted to enter into a field working with kids and families. I got my Masters in Counseling and Psychology and worked in both elementary schools and middle schools as a counselor before working for Lahey doing in-home therapy as a Clinician. Helping others, and working with children and families makes me feel like I am living a worthy life.

Turning 40 two years ago was empowering. I feel like my voice matters, means more, and I have more confidence in using it. Dealing with Type 1 Diabetes is complicated, grueling and difficult, but I also feel more ready than ever before to treat my body with value. Tomorrow is never a given...but to me, living a life that feels valuable and meaningful is about putting one foot in front of the other and tomorrow being a new day because let’s face it, some days are hard. Very hard. No sense in being miserable over it. Forgiving yourself, and taking care of yourself is a huge gift you can give yourself and your family.

My kids and my family have seen my ups and downs, my highs and lows. I want to be a role model for them in showing them that hard work, discipline, kindness, and a healthy perspective can help them get to where they strive to be in life.”

Erin is currently a Planning Room Facilitator for the public school system, and former preschool teacher at Christ Church Parish Day School in Hamilton, MA.