Heart pounding, hot flushes, dry mouth, stomach pains and nausea! Welcome to anxiety. I have suffered Anxiety since I was a teen. Walking up to the local shops on my own, standing up in-front of the class to do a speech, or entering a room at a function alone almost had me passing out.
Back then I was unaware of the label for all these symptoms. All I knew was that all of the above situations made me feel extremely unwell. Fast forward a few years and I entered the workforce as a young adult. I drank coffee, wine, stayed out late, loved chocolate and fast food. Id get sick all the time, be in constant pain in my stomach, nauseated and overall felt really not great. The Dr's ran tests, found out I had an inflamed gut, allergy and intolerance to certain foods - but yet after illuminating these I still had these symptoms. Life went on and I just dealt with it thinking this is just the norm and ill forever be feeling unwell and a burden to my family as I was always in hospital.
Fast forward 10 years, happily married with a little girl, my heart was filled with so much love for our daughter. I was however exhausted. Our little munchkin had reflux and FOMO (fear of missing out), yep she was a no sleeper. Day or night! So here I was a new mum, sleep deprived, not eating well (surviving off chocolate muffins, crisps and coffee) and throw in raging new hormones. Little miss refused to let anyone but mummy hold her, and if I ever left the room or stepped out for a few hours she was distraught and this in-turn had my stomach turning and that horrible feeling started to creep back in. My old mate anxiety returned to pay me a visit again. This time there may not have been any triggers. It would just rear its nasty head when I least expected it.
Id spend hours in the bathroom at functions, and pretty much spent my brothers entire 30th Birthday locked up in the toilet at the restaurant because I was in agony and way to nauseated to move. As we drove home that night I remember crying thinking "when am I going to feel normal again or is this it". Later that week I took myself off to my GP and got a referral to see a psychologist and started cognitive behavioural therapy. During our therapy I decided to go on a very mild dose of medication to rebalance things - which enabled me to have a clearer mind to work through therapy and function normally.
Medication and therapy alone wasn't the answer. I needed to make healthier lifestyle changes which involved clean eating, regular exercise and rest. After studying Health and Nutrition I was drawn to all things natural and using essentials oils became a daily ritual for me, along with learning to meditate and practicing mindfulness.
Creating conscious daily habits enabled me to manage my anxiety & I went almost 4 years without it popping by to say hello. This was until last week. I was about to work 4 days at one of the biggest wellness expos in Australia. It was way out of my comfort zone and id be sending time away from my family. The morning of the event I woke to that horrible racing heart, dry mouth, nausea and stomach pains. Straight away I went into panic mode thinking " how am I going to get through today feeling so unwell". I spent a good hour in the bathroom before the opening almost fainting.
Opposite my stall was a church stand & I asked this beautiful lady Lu if she could pray for me as I honestly wanted to crawl into a ball. Between Lu's prayers, applying my essential oils onto my wrists and temples, telling myself "this is just anxiety. You are safe and everything is going to be ok" I got through the day! For the first time I didn't allow Anxiety to take over me or define me. I did it! I stood tall, cried tears of joy and felt so empowered.
A once scared girl who would have just given up and allow anxiety to take over, but not this time. I am stronger than I could ever have imagined. I want you to know that you too are stronger than you know. Anxiety does not have to take over and you are not defined by it. You can achieve what your mind believes. I'm proof of it xo