I was on the verge of my breakdown & fighting it for all I was worth. I had chosen to ignore the anxiety and pain building inside – hoping I could ignore it like I had all the other times. I had taken to sitting in my office at work with all the lights off “because the lights caused migraines”; I cried frequently over small upsets or emotional stories; and I did not sleep for months. I went to bed one night confident that I would finally sleep because I had physically exhausted myself throughout the day. I slept for 20 minutes and woke up shaking uncontrollably, crying and knowing I had hit critical mass and was in trouble. A friend came to stay with the kids while my husband I headed to the ER. The ER at the hospital I worked for, no less. At this point, I didn’t even care if I saw anyone I knew or was admitted. My ego had finally taken a seat.
As it turns out, I knew every single person that assisted in my care that night and I was met with more compassion than I thought I deserved. I left feeling more relieved, loved and hopeful than I had in months. The next day required me to have the courage to take the action needed to get help. I called my boss to explain why I would be taking time off & then made one of the hardest calls of my life. I called to make an appointment to see a counselor. A few days later, I did something harder than setting up the appointment. I actually showed up for it. My anxiety was through the roof as I knew I was really going to have to face this stuff…in front of another person…in words…with tears. Shit. I was sure there would be lots of snot. I was right.
I spent the better part of the next two weeks sleeping 12-14 hours at a time. In my waking hours, I was completely numb or crying uncontrollably and needing my husband right by my side. Therapy was excruciating but my therapist taught me strategies to deal with the anxiety and obsessive thoughts. And, surprisingly, we laughed – a lot. It was a slow process but I returned to work 6 weeks later – shaky. I did not want anyone to look at me differently, give me too much sympathy or be afraid I was too fragile. Again, I was surprise – and humbled. I learned there were many people who cared for me, who had seen the signs leading up to this and were generous in sharing their own stories of depression and anxiety. At a time I expected to feel the most disconnected and separate from others, I was surprised to feel the opposite: connected, supported and understood.
Through this healing journey I had to acknowledge and accept the dissonance I felt building within myself. I no longer identified with the person I had been. .I loved being a librarian but had to admit it did not fulfill me as it once had. The need for something more was roaring to life. I knew in my heart I would not be happy until I found my life’s mission and started living it. This was a truly terrifying time for me – most of my life I just landed and flourished at the whim of the Universe. Since my eyes had been opened to a new world & perspectives, things were different. I knew landing & flourishing was going to be impossible from now on because I was seeking MY path, MY mission and MYself. I had to learn how to explore, seek and find the particular things that spoke to my soul.
I began taking Clinical Aromatherapy courses and was excited about the joy it brought to my life. A few months after beginning the courses, my full-time job was eliminated. At a time I was already feeling anxious about my future, my job, my security had been ripped away from me. How “ironic” that who I had been was being ripped away from me. I was being propelled into discovering who I was meant to be. Wow – the Universe really does conspire to help us. How many of us actually look at the perceived negative events in our lives as blessings? Take them as signs and opportunities for the change?
For the next two years I cycled between anger and acceptance. I knew & accepted I was being propelled forward but I was pissed that this decision had been made by someone else. In a cycle of acceptance, I decided to attend massage therapy school to compliment what I was learning through the aromatherapy courses. Maybe attending massage school would help me discover my purpose? Maybe it would just pass the time? Who know, but I knew I needed to do something to start moving forward.
When I told friends and family I would be attending school, the overwhelming reaction was “Are you sure you want to do this? You really don’t like to touch people”. Even though I attended a school with a great reputation, it was torture for me. Not only did I have to touch people, but I would have to let them touch me. I spent 700 hours being uncomfortable. Who does that? I’ll tell you who does that – someone who has walked through their pain and knows they will be better for the experience. Someone who knows to follow the signs leading them. Someone who knows their calling and is ready to shed who they were to become who they ARE.
I was not popular with my classmates or instructors. I take accountability and realize the stress I felt came out as resentment and bitchiness. After graduation, I had time to reflect on the impression I had left of myself on others – I did not like what I saw. However, this couldn’t be fixed so I had to practice those skills of compassion for myself and just keep moving forward. I am no pro at feeling compassion for myself. This was evident in the fact that I was left with such a feeling of unworthiness that I couldn’t move forward confidently onto the path as a healer. God the thoughts that raced through my head! How could I be such a jerk to all those people and then claim to be able to help people shed their pain bodies? I would never be able to help anyone if I wasn’t perfect myself! How could I claim to be a healer when I’m out in the world making mistake after mistake?? Again, I found myself in between two uncomfortable places and refusing to move forward. Again, I was forcing the Universe to make my decision for me. Ugh – it is becoming apparent that this is a common pattern in my life. Will I ever learn??
Continued…Awakening & Healing – part 3
GREAT NEWS!! You may be in the process of finding your spiritual path if you have felt:
- Like there HAS to be something more to this life than what currently is?
- Like you are here to do something meaningful for the world but can’t quite figure out what that is?
- Stuck? Unable to move forward? Not sure what direction to turn so you just stand still?
- Misunderstood and unable to express yourself to be understood.
- Alone in a crowd of people.
I’m here to let you know, you are not alone. I’m here to help you find your starting point – whether that is through a service I offer, a heart-to-heart, or in the act of connecting you to other people or resources. I care about your journey.