“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was ending, he turned into a butterfly.” – Anonymous proverb
In honour of mental health awareness month, I wish to share a deeply personal experience with you. Over 12 years ago, I went through a very difficult period where I was riddled with anxiety. In my case, it was as if the anxiety came out of nowhere. During that time, my entire mind & body were hijacked by high levels of anxiety & fear. I began to fear that I would never be normal again. I share this because I know I’m not alone. Anxiety affects many of us, including our children.
I do believe that we all experience anxiety to a certain extent. It’s natural as humans to have some level of anxiety. This is why learning to live with it and manage it, is very important for our wellness. However, sometimes the anxiety can feel like it’s bigger than us. It can affect the quality of our lives and our ability to experience joyful moments.
Personally, I was incredibly blessed to have a husband who immediately recognized that I needed help. I’m not sure that I would have had the courage or strength at that time to seek help myself. I was also fortunate to have the resources to help me seek out the professionals I needed to heal. It took me a few months to find my strength again – but eventually I did. Here is what I found to be most helpful for me during that intense period: mind, body & spirit –
- Medication – I needed to get my physical anxiety under control first so that I could begin my healing.
- Therapy – This gave me a space to explore my feelings and practical tools to help me manage my symptoms.
- Nutrition – I had recently finished a period of intense “cleansing” which likely messed with the chemistry in my body. Even though I had no appetite, I tried my best to increase my carb intake and eat a nutrient dense diet. I’m very careful now not to deprive my body.
- Supplements – I started seeing a naturopath who helped balance my vitamin deficiencies and support my adrenal glands. I still see him regularly to this day.
- Energy Healing – I followed my intuition and seeked out energy healers to explore what was happening on a spiritual level – reiki in particular was especially helpful to me.
- Connection – I found that physical touch was incredibly helpful in settling my energy during intense periods. You can’t talk someone out of an anxiety attack, but you can sit with them to help them feel safe & grounded.
- Clear Boundaries – I became very aware of the spaces that triggered me and did my best to reduce my exposure to them.
We are complex beings – what both triggers us and helps us will be completely unique to each person. It’s been a healing process for me personally and I’m blessed to say that I now feel healthy, balanced and (mostly) calm. I still have feelings of anxiety at times. However, my awareness is such that I can now feel it coming and I am able to draw on the many other tools I now have which include: reiki, yoga & daily meditation. I would actually go as far as to say that I’m now grateful for this period in my life because it deepened my understanding of myself and played a big part in my spiritual growth.
If you are experiencing anxiety, please know that you are not alone. Reach out to people in your circle who you trust or a professional. Do the best you can to create an environment that supports your state of calm. My favourite saying during difficult times is – “This too shall pass.” Trust that it will.
The purpose of this post is to share my personal experience with anxiety and to offer inspiration. It is not meant to replace professional treatment.