When I was 22 I was diagnosed with a severe anxiety + panic disorder.
Dealing with the challenge of strengthening my mental health was a decade long gruelling journey.
For 10 years I spent most of my days in a chronic state of anxiety, having experienced at least 3-5 panic attacks daily, and just counted down the hours until I could climb in bed and rest... before having to wake up and do it all over again.
I will never forget my first appointment at the Adult Mental Health Clinic...
I felt like I was broken.
Like I was 'crazy' or damaged goods.
I remember that first day going to see my counsellor, I pretended to be there for another reason because I didn't want the people in the waiting room to think I had 'mental health' issues.
The stigma in 2006 was surprisingly much greater than it is today. Yet the sad part is, today it is 3 times more likely that young adults will be diagnosed with mental health disorders.
Truth be told...
I thought it would be a temporary thing that could easily be fixed. I mean, I was a Pageant girl with straight A's, big dreams and a clean record. How could I have such a fault?
And at the age of 22?
I just launched my career and was ready to take on the world
It wasn't until I went to Australia in 2009 (let's not even talk about how a 24-hour flight went!) that I had this one defining moment that changed the next 6 years of my life.
I remember sitting on a bus that was taking me from one of the hotspot beaches, and I had this full blown panic attack, ordering the bus driver to pull over. I got off the bus and walked back to my residence. 2 hours in the blistering sun. My back was on fire, my feet hurt, I had no idea where I was going. I cried the whole way home.
When I got to my room, I googled "anxiety" and came across a program that changed the course of my life.
It was all about lifestyle food, water, exercise, meditation and doing mindful techniques to help the body enter a state of calm.
I learned so much from this program that helped me to stop fuelling the fire of FEAR.
Until this point, all I had known was medication and numbing the pain through self-abuse of alcohol.
I was finally starting to get better as I worked on bringing my mind and body and emotions to a state of balance.
When I got back home, I returned to my job as a manager- long hours, stressful sales goals and a lifestyle in a chronic state of exhaustion (coffee, alcohol and little sleep). Needless to say, my body and mind went right back to my old habits.
Eventually, I had put my foot down. Enough is enough.
My lessons had taught me the inseparable connection between the mind, body and emotions/spirit. So I knew what I had to do. I signed up for a 6-week meditation course. I started getting treatments in energy healing. I saw a holistic nutritionist to start healing my gut (did you know your gut holds 90% of your body's happy chemical?!) I took my personal training more seriously.
I started to see that magic shift turn around again.
As my body became aligned, so did my thoughts. I started to create calm and peace in my life.
It was in 2012 that I started my blog website, My Mind Fitness. I would document my journey and how I was progressing towards a healthy and more 'fit' Mind.
There was still one problem.
I was a workaholic.
In all honesty, I still am in some ways.
I have an addiction to being productive and getting ish done! As much as I knew my job was the last thing I had to change in order for me to fully step into a "whole" healthy person, it was so hard for me to leave. I loved what I did, I loved my team, I loved being successful, but my body hated the stressors that came with that specific role.
You can catch my business story here to see how I moved from my corporate job to designing my own life.
Its been almost 3 years without a panic attack. My anxiety is almost null (I still make things comfortable for myself when travelling), and I know that everything I went through, I went through to help others.
This decade-long experience taught me grit, perseverance, attitude and the certainty that we are the ones in control of our lives.
Getting healthy isn't easy. It takes patience, repetition, willingness and long-term vision.
Whether it's mental health, physical health or financial health, you have to take ACTION. You have to choose to change habits, patterns and your lifestyle.
Now, I get to teach others how to ignite the fire inside them, start to bust through the blocks holding them back from living their true potential life.
How to knock down the door to FEAR and step into their true power.
All of us have gifts we are here to share. We have a unique message we are meant to deliver to the masses.
What is your greatest challenge turned the greatest gift? Have you found a way to share it with the world?
Your time could be now...