My Own Struggle With Mental Health

My Own Struggle With Mental Health

Since it’s World Mental Health Day, I thought it was appropriate to share a stigma about my own mental health. Over the past 20 years, I have suffered from Panic Attacks and Anxiety caused by well, the unknown. I go into a place where nothing makes sense to me – my life, the universe, why we’re here, what it’s all for – to such a degree that I will actually think I am dying. Then, flight or fight kicks in and then I really feel like I am dying. And this scares the bejesus out of me because I have no idea where I’ll go. I’ll just be gone.


And the cycle continues. I somehow find my breathe and calm myself down and then I will think “hey, I am feeling great, what happened to that last bad thought? Oh, there it is.” And the anxiety reappears and off I go, lost in the abyss unable to move, function or do anything really accept panic, pace, shake or try and breathe it out. This has happened a few times to this extent in my life but the worst was last week.


I was attending an amazing event in Kelowna with some really dear friends of mine and for whatever reason, I just could not get a grip on this feeling. It took me out. It took me out so badly that I was literally in bed for days. I went to two doctors trying to get a pill or something to calm my nervous system and mind down but I walked out empty handed as both Doctors trusted I had the tools to calm myself. God damn yoga. But to be honest, I couldn’t do it alone.


It took my Mom. It took her comforting me, snuggling me and talking to me. Plus, my chats with my husband over the phone and all the other amazing support I received. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me and why I was feeling like this.

I voiced that I was really sad. I was really sad that the world and the people in it were struggling. I am sad that so many people have suffered. I am sad that I don’t know how to fix it, I am sad we’re not better to our planet and I am sad that I have no idea what this all means.


I sometimes don’t know why my life has been so good and why I haven’t suffered like some people I know or why I haven’t had to triumph over some super crazy odds. I feel like I won the jackpot in life – where I live, my health, my friends, my husband, and even my dog. I mean don’t get me wrong, life isn’t always peachy, but it’s pretty amazingly sweet.


I FEEL SO BLESSED and taken care of and that makes me cry too! 
Since it’s only been a week since I had these debilitating thoughts and feelings and I have been OK now for a couple days, I don’t think I am able to speak in definite terms yet on the change and learning I will receive through this. Yet I know there are learnings.
If it doesn’t kill me, then it’s here to make me wiser. 
What I have taken out of this experience so far and the learnings I have integrated are: 

* I need to take care of my physical and mental health. That means eat consciously: watch what I put into my body and eradicate the addictive habits like wine every night to soothe and coffee in the morning for a high. I haven’t had either for a few weeks now and I am not sure what role they will play in my life going forward.


* Exercise, Kundalini and Meditate every day! These activities are my lifeblood. I need these moments to myself to function in a conscious loving way.


* Don’t take on other people’s suffering. When I am listening or reading about someone else’s sorrow or suffering it’s not mine to ingest and bring into my body or hold or try and fix. I am here to shine a light, offer guidance and support in ways that feel life-giving. Not where I take on the suffering too.


* Input vs. Output. I am steadily watching how many things I commit to and what I give my energy to. I need to make sure my cup is full (you know the saying) before I giveth to others. More so, just to be aware of how much I give, before I give back to myself. So I monitor all my activities to see if it’s an output or input and watch my boundaries between the two.


*I am in transition, and that’s a place too. So often I want to be somewhere, know it already, get to the destination. But in fact, not knowing is a destination in itself and it’s ok to be there. So that’s where I am. I have uprooted my life and moved to the island. I have started a new business which requires me to be completely vulnerable and brave as it’s finding its legs, because it’s me. Because I am ever changing, evolving and growing and being inspired by the minute, it’s hard to wrap myself up into a 2-dimensional website and brand copy.


All I know for sure is life is a mystery. I don’t have it all figured out. (Sorry Marie Forleo – not sure this one is figure-out-able) and if it is, well I think that’s when we might move on. That’s my theory but who knows for sure.


I know it’s OK to wade into the big mystery and to allow more for yourself. 
I don’t know it all, but I do know for sure that I am here to help uplevel our world by being more conscious, kind and creative and I believe my anxiety was here to let me know that it’s time to change.


I am open to see where it takes me.


If you are struggling with anxiety, my best advice would be to talk to someone.
Someone who can hold space for you to unpack what is real, and what is not and to shine a light into your depths so you can start to see the sun.


All my love to you today and always.

Thank you for reading.