I grew up thinking I was odd, tapping my knees in sets of 4 and constantly feeling like something bad was about to happen or that I wasn’t worthy enough of my place in life. I remember the day my so called group of friends thought it would be funny to walk to school without me. I was 14 and they let me knock on each of their houses to be told they’d already left and then when I ran up the road after they pretended they couldn’t hear me. Thinking back it was petty girl stuff, but at the time it was enough to make me run all the way home but not without throwing up first.
This is the first horrible instance of anxiety I can remember and unfortunately, it got much worse before it got any better.
I’d recently moved to Perth WA and after 10 years of treading water, an anxiety was now plaguing every moment of my life. I was binge eating sugar to comfort myself and felt flat and defeated. Leaving the house or doing anything productive was a struggle and I was beyond frustrated with myself. I was eventually offered the route of medication but this just didn’t feel right to me. I knew very little about my own power or the steps I could take at this point but I was sure a pill wasn’t going to “fix” me. Not long after my Mum came to visit from the UK and she suggested I joined a gym to get out of the house and potentially meet new friends. I still remember walking into that floodlit Muay Thai box in Perth and thinking WTF have I done. People were kicking bags dripping with sweat and they looked wrecked! But any fears I had were soon replaced with a newfound sense of purpose that got me out of my head and into my life.
And that was the very first time I moved for my mental health.
Exercise wasn’t quite the missing piece to my puzzle but it was the start. With working out came this newfound awareness about what my body needed in order to feel strong and healthy and the link between mental and physical self become more and more apparent. The better I started to feel, the more I wanted to know. I started paying close attention to the foods I was eating, the company I was keeping and even the amount of sleep I was getting. Soon after I began to dabble with different types of mindfulness such as deep breathing, meditation, journalling and gradually over the years I started to build a mental resilience I had never experienced before.
These simple adjustments that hadn’t occurred to me or been suggested along with the medication route started to make a HUGE difference to how I felt and I realised the true capability I possessed to be in control of how great or how shitty I could feel.
It was about this time I started this little blog to talk about random crap I was up to with little to no direction of where I wanted it to go. Basically I love to talk and write so it seemed like a match made in heaven! It wasn’t until I started to share posts about my experience with anxiety like this one that more and more people started to reach out about their own struggles. It was at this point I realised my true passion; helping other improve their mental health by drawing from my own journey.
Eventually all of the books, podcasts, workshops and documentaries weren’t enough for my brain to feed on so I decided to enrol at The Institute For Integrative Nutrition and graduate as a Holistic Health Coach. Here they teach you how to practice a holistic approach to health and wellness, which basically means to look at how all areas of your life are connected and then act accordingly to reach your individual health goals. I adored the fact there were thousands of others, all on a journey of their own frothing over the same stuff as me so they could ultimately help to make a difference to not just their own life but others too. It was like I’d found this cool little tribe!
It’s been a long and windy road to get to how I feel today but I can honestly say that my last panic attack was back in 2016 and when life throws me a curveball I’m better equipped to deal with it than ever before. The year of being 30 has been a real testament to that fact, bringing with it the sudden and unexpected death of my Father, the break up of a 4 year relationship and moving countries, all in the space of 5 months. My mental resilience was very much put to the test and whilst some days were a challenge and involved more carbs than I care to admit, I can attest to being in the best headspace for the first time in my life.
So I invite you to ask yourself; why is it you’ve stumbled onto this website?
What post resonated with you and why?
What, you absolute sort, has you feeling a little overwhelmed and like you just NEED to feel someone gets it? Someone RELATABLE who hears you. Who truly fucking gets you.
Whatever the reason, you made it here. And I’m beyond excited that you did.