Sometimes it is not all rainbows
I am completely transparent with you all. There is nothing fake, made up or deceiving about what I share with you and I think it is important to show the other side of my journey that is not as fluffy.
This is me, unapologetic. Forcing a smile, while screaming on the inside. Standing at one of my favourite places in the world absolutely miserable and in a state of panic.
Byron Bay, New Years Day 2018 reminds me of this picture and how much I was struggling with my mental health and anxiety.
The most important relationship we will ever have is with our thoughts. I learnt this a long time ago and will always need reminded. Everyday I am learning to cope with my anxiety being a part of my life.
One of the biggest misconceptions about anxiety is that it is the same for everybody who suffers. Anxiety changes with us, when I was younger I had terrible social anxiety and feared public humiliation (don't get me started about school athletics day!), as a teenager I panicked about what the future held and all the mistakes I thought I was making, now in my 20's I fear the unknown, lack of control and my own mind. At times I crave an escape,. I find this escape through yoga, meditation, nature and going 'off the grid' even if only for a little while.
This year has been one of the most challenging I have faced. Although I am a big believer in strength growing from experience, it can be difficult to hold onto this in times of despair. Earlier this year I shared with you all that I suffer from Multiple Sclerosis, you can go back to the blog below to read more about that.
My MS has debilitated me quite intensely at different times this year which has resulted in many specialist appointments, hospital admissions, medication/treatment adjustments, a lot of time off work and some seriously heightened emotions. I do not believe my MS is the root of my anxiety although it is definitely a strong branch that smacks you in the face during a fierce wind. I have learned to accept what is in my control and out of my control - my MS progression falls under 'out of my control', it is impossible to ignore yet becoming easier to acknowledge.
With all troubling thoughts, I practice mindfulness through deep breaths and pranayama exercises to release what no longer serves me. Not to judge it or analyse it, simply let it be and let it go. Every day I practice flowing like this through the motions of life. With a deepened yoga practice and regular meditation I find this lifestyle much more enjoyable and achievable. I only wish I could share this with Abbey 10 months ago standing on the beach in Byron Bay, or Abbey breaking down to her Mum for the hundredth time & most definitely young, innocent Abbey who is terrified of going to school and feels alone.
I pray that me sharing my stories and experiences might help even one person to know they are not alone.
If anything on this blog triggers something for you, the below details are available for you to reach out: We don't need to face our mental health alone.
Lifeline Australia: 13 11 44
Lifeline NZ: 0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE) or free text 4357 (HELP)
Remembering there are two sides to every story helps me feel balanced and I hope being so raw and revealing adds some depth to the ever growing story of Raising Space.