Erica: “Letting go of pain and baggage”

The following is a story written by Erica Anthony-Benavides, a member based in Austin, TX. Erica has many skillsets and works in a variety of different fields — tutoring, coaching, copy and content editing, and pet sitting. Erica is also the founder of Escalada Education Co., a tutoring company that prides itself on improving learning for students based on their specific, individual needs. In her story, she tells us how she overcomes years of baggage through the help of talented members on Simbi.


A bad fall many years ago. Several times after that when I threw my back out. A whiplash injury from a car accident in 2012. Another whiplash injury from another car accident in 2014. Lawyers and insurance agents were consulted, mediations were held, payouts were made. But the therapists I was sent to or found by myself either did a horrible job or didn’t quite get at the root of the problem. Years of scar tissue from months of inadequate or nonexistent therapies and continuously occurring flare-ups left me in a lot of pain, a bit irritable, and depressed by my early 30s because I could no longer play capoeira, upright bass, or guitar without paying for it later. At one point in time, capoeira was my fire, and music was my livelihood.

I had originally thought Simbi would be a great way to promote my tutoring services, the one thing I could do without too much physical discomfort, and find a steady stream of clientele in addition to finding some cool services like massage therapy. On my first go around, I wasn’t able to drum up much business, nor did I have much luck with the couple of local therapists I reached out to. It’s cool — they were probably busy, and I, myself, became busy, too.

Fast forward to several months later. After I had some more trouble with my back issues and therapists who were good but not exactly what I needed, I found myself giving Simbi another chance. I reached out to some newer Simbi members and met a lot of really fun, interesting, and talented people in my area and far away. I also found a friendly massage therapist named Stephen who not only works with several different modalities ranging from clinical to relaxation, but really customizes his massages to fit your needs rather than his typical routine. He always insists on setting a “game plan” before he starts and double-checks to make sure he understands what I want him to focus on. Not only that, but he really digs in and does everything he can to reverse the old injuries without causing me too much discomfort.

I have been doing well and we have tapered off from regular sessions.

While I am not quite my former weight-slinging, tumbling, music-playing capoeirista self, I have finally been able to have days at a time where I didn’t have limited range of motion and aches in my neck, and have even picked some other hobbies back up. I feel lucky to have met him, and I never would have without Simbi.

In addition to letting go of this baggage, an eclectic collection of trinkets and pieces I had saved up for years because I just had this feeling that “someone is going to need them” found a nice, new home with Cloette Z. She was looking for craft scraps for her crafts, so I stuffed a box full of things she said she could use. And away they went! Not only am I glad to have helped, but she sends me photos of the cute and crafty gifts she makes for people dear to her with the items I sent.

In a way, Simbi is not what I hoped it would be, but ended up being more of what I needed: a chance to connect with other people who love helping others in ways where we benefit most.

Erica A.


Simbiotic Stories are real anecdotes told by you and other Simbi community members. Tell us about your Simbi deals and experiences with other members. If your story is published, we’ll credit your account with 150 simbi. Submit your entries by starting a conversation with us via this link.

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