I’ve been on my own healing journey for many years now. I think perhaps we are on this journey from the day we are born, especially for people that have been through childhood trauma or generational trauma – which unfortunately, most of us have.
I’ve experienced anxiety, depression, trauma, sexual harassment and more… But for the most part, I’ve been unable to find joy in life and were completely unaware of my trauma and patterns.
As a result of this, I used a lot of coping mechanisms such as controlled eating, drinking excessively and codependent behaviours.
In the past, I thought a lot of these behaviours were quite normal and was almost asleep to the effects that they were having on my mind, on my body and in my relationships – especially the relationship I have with myself.
I’ve now learnt that these behaviours were an attempt to regulate my nervous system and escape the pain/fear of the present moment that I was experiencing.
I think we’ve all heard what this feels like before. There is so much awareness about the feelings and results of these mental health issues such as panic attacks, self-isolation, and suicide. But I think it’s important to highlight the action that can be taken to limit these experiences and the need to understand that it is completely up to the individual.
I went on for about 27 years experiencing these feelings of utter hatred for myself and complete hopelessness for the life I was attempting to live. I felt like no matter how much I tried to be the best daughter, sister, girlfriend, friend, etc. that it was never enough. I’ve attempted to end my life a few times over the years when the pain was unbearable, I’ve had to beg people attempting to end their life to not go through with it and I’ve had loved ones end their life and experienced the feelings of knowing they’re gone forever. So, I feel like I know this person and their thought process pretty well by now.
All I can say is that it is completely up to the individual to change their life. For me, it took just over 27 years. I urge you, as the individual reading this, to take complete responsibility for yourself, to make your healing and mental health a priority. It’s the best thing I ever did, and I assure you that it will be the best thing you ever do too.
I got to a point in my life not too long ago where I’d blamed every external possibility for the way I felt about myself. I’d also blamed myself for the way I was. Neither worked, at all. So I decided to ask for help, which was something I’d not yet tried as I was too busy blaming the world for my problems.
I ended up seeing a counsellor as well as finding my own educational resources (The Holistic Psychologist, Insight Timer, Brene Brown) and slowly, week by week, uncovering the parts of myself that I needed to ‘put back together’. I say ‘put back together’ lightly because more than anything, it felt like coming home to myself. It sounds super corny, but it’s like discovering the best version of yourself and finally being able to breathe.
The biggest lessons I’ve learnt so far are to be so gentle, kind and patient with myself.
I’ve also found that you will always have resistance to something new but repetition is key in rewriting neural pathways. I tend to look at this now as self-discipline or an act of self-love. I know I show up as a better person in the world (and to myself) when I take myself to therapy, have difficult but productive conversations, limit the amount of time I spend working and increase the amount of time I dedicate to my own development, rather than wishing the world would change.
I now acknowledge the interconnectedness of my mind, body and soul. I’m able to understand my symptoms and identify my learned behaviours. But most importantly, I see myself as a powerful, active participant in my own healing – rather than leaving it up to everyone else to ‘fix’ me.
One thing I did want to highlight is that healing does not come without pain. You’ll feel more pain, shame and fear than you’d expect. But, it’s ok – because on the other side of discomfort is transformation. And the very best part of all of this, is that you are never, ever alone.
Even in your darkest moments, when you believe with every cell of your body that it’s impossible – there will always be possibility and it’s only a decision away.
Enjoy the journey,
Bec is the founder of Burn and Bloom, a local Sunshine Coast business that supports conscious founders in cultivating fulfillment through mindset.