The Conversation Everyone Needs to Have

This blog post will look a little different from my previous ones. It still deals with holistic health, but in a way you may not have previously associated. It's about honesty. It's about crushing a stigma and having an open conversation instead. It's about feeling vulnerable but staying strong. I'm about to pour my heart out to you, so please be kind.

This post is about a conversation that everyone needs to have. It's about

MENTAL HEALTH

According to mental health.org, 

  • One in five American adults experienced a mental health issue
  • One in 10 young people experienced a period of major depression
  • One in 25 Americans lived with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. It accounts for the loss of more than 41,000 American lives each year, more than double the number of lives lost to homicide.

Adults are not the only ones affected. "Half of all mental health disorders show first signs before a person turns 14 years old, and three quarters of mental health disorders begin before age 24." (https://www.mentalhealth.gov/basics/myths-facts/index.html)

People with mental illnesses look like everyone else. They may seem completely "normal" to you. But inside, they are suffering a pain that is indescribable. It's mental tug of war with the thoughts that come into their heads and the actions they take. It's feeling of trying to keep it together when inside they are falling apart. It's about trying to just get through the day, every day.

Ok, it's about to get real. I'm going to share my story about a time where I battled some mental demons. It's a time of my life I'd rather soon forget. But, if there is one thing I've learned from all the life coaching and power of the mind classes I've taken, is that we never truly forget. These experiences hold in our consciousness and influence our actions. We have to learn how to accept and release them or they will continue to come back to haunt us. Here is another manifestation of my release....

I was in my mid-twenties. Within a period of 18 months, my dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer, I was diagnosed with cancer, my dad passed away, I had surgery to remove my cancer, I got engaged, bought my first home, my engagement broke off a few months before the wedding, and my home was almost foreclosed upon. Whew. Sounds like a whirlwind, doesn't it? This period of my life was full of extremes. Extreme sadness to extreme joy. One emotion after another. Up. Down. Up. Down. Down. Down. Until finally, I began suffering from full blown anxiety.

You see, at the beginning of this time period, I was in a hole. With each experience, the hole got deeper and it was harder and harder to get out of. Towards the end of this time period, I was so deep in the hole, I didn't think I'd ever get out. I was a recently single teacher who was living in a house I could no longer afford yet ironically couldn't afford to sell either. I was barely scraping by on bills. Many would go late or unpaid. My water was shut off. My cell phone was disconnected. I was avoiding the mail like the plague because I couldn't bear to see more bills. I lived with the curtains closed all the time and hid in my own home. I was embarrassed and ashamed of what my life had turned into.

I felt trapped in my own home when I was there. I never wanted to be home because it reminded me of the bills I had to pay. During a tornado warning one evening, I was secretly wishing my house would be hit so I wouldn't have to deal with it anymore. I avoided staying at home any chance I could. I would spend the night at friends' homes. I would use any excuse I could to go out and party so I wouldn't have to deal with anything. I was in fight or flight mode and I was all about the flight. If I could run away from my problems, then it was outta sight, outta mind. But this solved nothing.

Eventually, I got out of my hole and found love again. I sold my home and used the profit to pay off my debt. I got married and started a beautiful family in a new home. It seems like it was all behind me.

But it wasn't.

I noticed every time I felt financially stressed for one reason or another, I would resort to the habits I acquired during that difficult time. I had developed an emotional pattern that I kept repeating when triggered. While happiness would temporairly stall this process, it came back like clockwork every time I endured financial hardship, no matter how minor it was. 

There had to be more I could do.

Botanical remedies help me get through these issues whenever I was triggered.

  • I use aromatherapy for a "quick fix". Since your olfactory system is directly connected to the seat of your emotions in your brain (limbic system), I can instantly calm my central nervous system through inhalation. I use it in baths to relax me or in a massage lotion.
  • I use flower essences to recognize, resolve, and release emotional patterns. I create my own blends, specifically tailored for my core emotions and intentions, to bring balance to my emotional health.
  • I use Reiki to energetically calm my racing mind and ease my tense body.
  • Nutrition to give my body the right fuel it needs. Your mental health is in your gut. We are what we eat! 
  • Meditation and mindfulness to retrain my thoughts which directly impact my emotions, which in turn, determine the actions I take.
  • Acupressure techniques to open the channels of healing on an emotional and physical level. 
  • Life coaching to diminish my limiting beliefs by using frameworks, insightful self-reflection techniques and guidance so I could reclaim my livelihood.

I'll be honest with you. Botanical remedies, such as essential oils and flower essences, alone will not help you solve your emotional patterns. As helpful as they are and as much as I love them dearly, they are COMPLEMENTARY. They can assist in bring balance. They are amazing at making you more aware of what you need to heal. But they do not cause the problem to go away. Techniques such as therapy, counseling, life coaching, whatever support system you chose to help you PROCESS and RELEASE your emotional difficulties combined with holistic therapies is the golden ticket. It wasn't until I studied life coaching and mindfulness that I truly came full circle in my emotional healing. It was transformational. 

That's why I shifted my business focus to working on emotional healing. If I would have been able to work through my issues during that difficult period of time maybe I wouldn't have gotten so deep into the hole. I have seen so many close loved ones afflicted with anxiety, stress, sadness, and fear. I am using my knowledge of all these holistic modalities to treat each person as the unique person they are in body, mind, and spirit. The techniques I have studied all merge together to manifest into the life everyone deserves to be living; a life void of fear and stress and full of fulfillment and faith in yourself. My mission is to heal emotional wounds so the physical body takes suit.

I am NOT saying that this is the right path for everyone. There are definitely people so deep in the hole that other methods are NECESSARY for their health. There is no shame in this. Mental illness is real. We don't need to label nor discriminate. You wouldn't tell someone who has diabetes to just get over it and start producing insulin already. Mental illness should be treated with the same respect as a physical illness. Because we are more than the physical body. We are holistic in mind, body, and spirit. Everyone's needs are different and everyone deserves to be treated as an individual. You do what's right for YOU! 

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