acceptance, compassion, forgiveness, healing, Self Acceptance, Self-Love, Speaking our truth

Forgiveness: Looking Back with Compassionate Acceptance

When we choose to forgive it is incredibly healing, but the only way forward is to look back into our past.

Forgiveness is something that I have been confronted with time and time again. On the list of people to forgive are ex-boyfriends, ex-friends and even bullies from my school years, but my mom is the person that I have had the most difficult time trying to forgive. It has only been until recent months that I have been able to shift my perspective and see everyone who has ever slighted me in some way, through a lens of compassion. I have come to see these people as my teachers. Each and every one who I have felt in the past had done me wrong has taught me invaluable lessons about myself.

The saying “forgive and forget” really triggers me. In fact, I completely disagree with the idea. Having gone through a total shift in perspective myself in the timeline of “before” I suffered from my postpartum mood disorder to “after”, I truly believe that I have had what some would call an awakening. There was a moment as I was coming out of my darkest hour, where I decided to dedicate my entire being to heal myself, so that I would become completely whole again. Over the past year, I have been doing a lot of inner-child work, as well as Teal Swan’s “The Completion Process”. Teal’s school of thought is that we need to reintegrate the aspects of ourselves that we abandoned long ago. It is when we suffered from trauma in the past that we separated from our own being and in turn, fragmented ourselves. Now as an adult, we need to look back in the past each time we are triggered in the present in order to reintegrate all of these aspects of ourselves.

Since actively following Teal’s process and doing inner-child work with my psychologist, I have found that looking back into my past has been an integral part in my recovery. With the compassionate lens that I now look through to see into my past, I can now see that the people who have hurt me, have suffered from their own trauma and this is likely why they did what they did. I have even begun to make progress with forgiving my mom. I have been exploring an exercise where I imagine her as a child and this helps me to see that she was once innocent too. She had a difficult childhood and her parents weren’t able to provide her with what she needed growing up. I have also realized that this is actually a problem that has been passed down from one generation to another, in my family.

For me, the idea of “forgetting” after forgiving someone who has hurt me feels like I am abandoning myself. It feels like I have to swallow it down and forcefully make peace with someone who has caused me pain. The pain that I have felt isn’t something that is easily forgotten. I would absolutely consider these past instances to be traumatic and therefore they have visceral affects. In fact, some might argue that your neural pathways have been altered as a result. So, for me when I am going through the process of forgiving, I need to allow my past “self” to feel what it had felt like in that past moment in time. Since it isn’t until we reach adulthood that our past childhood memories surface, a grieving period is neccessary to complete the forgiveness process. Most of us have learned how to stuff down our feelings and as a result we have lost memories, but they will always resurface into the present so that we can deal with them. So being able to grieve something that happened in our childhood, is an important step in this process.

Another part of the process is coming to a place of acknowledgment and acceptance for what has happened. This doesn’t mean forgetting what has happened. In our minds-eye we can visualize ourselves standing with our past ‘self’ in that traumatic moment and let that ‘self’ speak to us about what happened and invite them to tell us what they need from us. If you allow yourself to come into a meditative state and ask yourself these questions, you will have to trust the inner voice that is providing you with the answers. This is when we can truly heal and reintegrate the past. After this process, we can become self-compassionate and we are able to see in a whole new light. We find ourselves being able to forgive more easily and we can begin to move forward and let go of the past. In no part of this process are we forgetting what has happened. We use our past experience to reclaim our power.

When we choose to forgive it is incredibly healing, but the only way forward is to look back into our past. We pick up the pieces and put ourselves back together. We learn from our mistakes and the mistakes of others. We take all of this back into the present moment and give gratitude to these moments that have shaped us into the people we are today.

Sending so much love and support to each and every one of you reading my posts. xoxoA woman thank God

healing, Self-Care, Self-Love, Speaking our truth

Self-Care Ideas that Work For Me

I decided that I wanted to share all of the self-care tools that I use that have worked for me. Take only what resonates with you. We are all unique and what works for me, may not work for others. I just hope that this helps at least one person. Sending so much love to each and every one of you reading this. xo

Being able to say “NO!” / Honouring what you need / Boundaries
I truly believe that we have to look within ourselves and ask, “What are my boundaries?” By listening to our inner guidance, we can find the answers that we are looking for. The key is to practise reading the physical symptoms that we are experiencing. For example, sometimes a “NO” may feel like tightness in the chest, heaviness on the shoulders, difficulty taking breaths in and or a feeling of a pit in your stomach. By making a daily practise to check in with the self, and ask: “what / how am I feeling today?” helps us to get to know ourselves and what our needs are.

Inner-child work
Meet your inner-child. Ask what she needs from you. Everyone has suffered some form of trauma as a child. For example, getting a new sibling is traumatic for a child. The more we get in touch with our inner child, the more we will find out what our adult self needs. https://lonerwolf.com/inner-child-work/
https://tinybuddha.com/blog/7-things-your-inner-child-needs-to-hear-you-say/

Sleep / Rest
As a mama of two, I have realized that my expectations needed to be brought way down and the housework can wait… it is just going to be messy in a few hours… I’d rather relax with my babies, instead of stress clean… Well, I fall in the trap when I stress clean and I am yelling at the kids… so it’s a learning experience for me.

Working Out
Do something that makes you happy. Don’t push yourself to do a work out you hate. Be gentle with yourself and do what makes you happy. Yoga, restorative, cycling, workout at home.
Wanderlust TV for yoga at home: https://tv.wanderlust.com

Choosing Foods that Nourish
Bone broth, Green Smoothies, a great cook book is: Oh She Glows by: Angela Liddon

Supplements
For me, Vitamin D, Magnesium & adrenal support has been top of my priority, but please speak with your GP or Naturopathic doctor to see where you’re

Meditation
It doesn’t have to be sitting still for 1 hour. There are so many ways to do it. For example, body-talk and visualizations. Every night before bed, I begin relaxing each part of my body, from toes to the crown of your head. Then visualize: roots coming out of your feet and growing down into the earth. Imagine that the earth is nourishing your body with its nutrients. Then imagine a white light at the crown of your head and send it down to your toes. This will allow your mind to settle down and you will feel rested and relaxed with this exercise.

Therapy
It is so wonderful to have a person to check in with once every few weeks. It also helps you to build tools that may be helpful for when you’re not in a good place in life.

Creativity
What did you used to enjoy doing as a child? Was it painting, colouring or baking? We all have many talents and we can use these talents to cultivate self-care. Whatever it is, it is taking time for you.

Asking for Help
No matter the reason: depression, being a mom, overwhelm. We just can’t do it all and sometimes we need to ask our friends, family and neighbours for help. There is no shame in asking for help.

Facebook Support Groups & Pages
I would like to suggest some pages and groups that are inspiring me today:
Soul Sister Tribe, Women Who Run With the Moon, Wild Woman Sisterhood, Global Sisterhood

Spirituality
This looks different for different people, but all does the same thing, as long as it is serving your highest good, we can use spirituality as a way to care for ourselves.

Gratitude
When we are in a state of gratitude, our mood shifts to become more uplifted. You can use a gratitude journal to help remind you to list what you are grateful for. This can be a daily practise, weekly etc.

Journaling
Sometimes just writing out your feelings or emotions can help you to release and let it go of what you’ve been holding onto.

Bath
Surround yourself with candles, incense, crystals, plants add Epsom salts, Himalayan salts, bath bombs, allow this time for you.

Aroma therapy

Reiki & Chakra balancing

Positive Affirmations
The key is that you use affirmations that you actually believe in. For example, if you have an affirmation that says: “I am so full of love with myself”, for some, this might not feel true. So we can alter it for now and work up to the “love myself” affirmation. Like: “I like that I am kind to my friends”, “I am worthy of love” can bring you closer to loving yourself.
Here you can find more examples: https://www.louisehay.com/affirmations/

Self-Care During Menstruation
During this time of the month, our bodies are going through so much and we may feel exhausted and or emotional. We must learn to honour ourselves during this time. It is a chance to give the body and mind more rest and nourishment. This is a chance to embrace our womanhood and feel empowered.

Be Gentle with Yourself
We are human and we can be really hard on ourselves. Once we get rid of the negative self-talk i.e.  that we aren’t good enough, I could be better… We can move forward into a kinder self-talk i.e. I am doing the best that I can do at this moment in my life. I am enough.

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Self-Care Bath
Speaking our truth

Connecting with the Inner-Child

I love the innocence in this picture of my daughter. She put her boots on the wrong feet. I look at it now and I think, it’s a great reminder to think of ourselves as young children. We were all this innocent once.

I think we need to acknowledge our child-selves more and embrace that innocence. It is a reminder to find compassion for our adult-selves and to not be too hard on ourselves.

Especially, as parents. We tend to be so hard on ourselves and we put so much pressure on ourselves. We then fill ourselves up with guilt/shame when we make mistakes or lose our tempers.

When we treat ourselves, like the young children we used to be, we become compassionate and understanding towards ourselves. We then find peace within and begin to love ourselves again. I promise you, it’s true.

I’ve been doing a lot of inner-child work and I have to say that I am seriously beginning to treat myself with kindness. My negative self-talk has lessened. I bounce back after a shame/guilt spiral much faster then I used to before the inner-child work.

Confession Time: I can be very impatient with my two young ones. I lose my temper, lose it like an adult child who doesn’t know how to control his or her own emotions (I never learned how to regulate, growing up in a dysfunctional home). But ever since I began the inner-child work, I have gained more compassion for myself. I don’t lose it as often on my kids. I still do, don’t get me wrong, but not nearly as often as before.

It’s a relief, I never envisioned myself as a mom who lost her temper all of the time. Before I had kids, I imagined myself to be a compassionate, kind, maternal, loving kind of mom. The reality after having kids, was that they helped to resurface all of my childhood trauma and the negative beliefs that I held about myself.

In my most turbulent times, I felt so out-of-control. When you have little ones they do what they want. They’re their own being and they’ve got their own personalities. You really can’t control them, nor would you want to. But I would find myself desperate to control their behaviour, especially in public, but they have their own agendas and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. It was a huge learning experience for me. I’m sure all of you Type A personalities and micro-managers, can relate to when I say the kids have taught me to loosen up and It has been liberating for me.

I have begun to work on myself more than ever, I feel it is so important for me to dive deep and challenge my negative belief system. Look at the things in my life that I am doing that doesn’t serve me anymore. I don’t want to make the same mistakes as my parents did to me. I am still working on my relationships with my mom and dad. I’m still very angry and resentful, but there are days when I can look and find perspective and think about how they were raised and how they didn’t know what they were doing. They grew up in a time where you did not express your feelings. You put on a smile and you didn’t dare tell the truth, not on your life. At least, I know this was the case for my parents.

So back to the inner-child work, I have been reintegrating several ages within me (for more information on reintegration, I highly recommend Teal Swan’s book: The Completion Process) I feel that I don’t self-hate as often anymore. This is a huge step in the right direction for me. I used to hate myself and tell myself that my kids didn’t deserve such a horrible mom like me. I actually believed this for a time and I was miserable. I was grumpier with my kids; because I believed that I was so terrible at being a mom, that I should just give up. I’ve left this negative black hole within me now. I am so sad for the person that thought she was undeserving and unworthy of anything good. When I think about my child-self, I begin to cry. I was once an innocent child and that part still lives within me. I am fragmented. There are many aspects within. So for me as a 35-year-old mom, to speak to myself with such hatred… it breaks my heart.

So if anyone out there is self-hating right now, I encourage you to look deeper, within. Look to the child part within you. Speak to him or her. Imagine cuddling that child and speaking kindly and quietly towards them. Help them to regulate. Tell them it’s okay to be angry and sad. You are now with them, as the adult part of you.

I promise you, once you begin this practice you will be so surprised to see the results. The kinder and more compassionate you will be towards yourself.

Good luck on your inner-child work and I am sending you so much love and support. I am with you on this journey. You are not alone. Self-hate, no more!

healing, Self Acceptance, Self-Care, Self-Love, sharing our story, Speaking our truth

Accepting Myself on My Healing Journey

During my journey into healing, I have been practising how to accept myself exactly as I am and allow myself to be exactly where I am supposed to be on the journey. This is no easy feat and there are loads of times that I can’t.

I am trying to practise asking myself: What am I feeling right now? What is it that I need? Am I being trigged at the present time, by something from my past? I have been learning to sit with how uncomfortable it is. Allowing myself to become fully immersed no matter how badly I want to escape it. My mind will fight with me and tell me how horrible I am, but another voice in my head will disagree and most of the time I all of a sudden I feel a sense of love for myself. This process has taken a lot of practise. It is not easy.

Doing the healing work has made me feel raw. I find myself becoming more reclusive. I crave the time to reflect. I’ve been trying to get to know myself and figure out what my emotional body is trying to tell me. While in this place of reclusion, I have realized that I have an unhealthy relationship with boundaries or rather, a lack-there-of. This lack of boundaries has left me feeling powerless which in turn has ignited the feelings of anger that I’ve carried over from childhood.

To begin my practise in creating boundaries, I’ve had to begin saying “NO” to things that make alarm bells go off in my inner guidance system. Asking myself “By saying yes to this, is it to make me happy or to please someone else? Does it bring me joy to say yes to this? What I struggle with the most is speaking face to face with family and friends to convey my true feelings. Through my many years of people-pleasing it has prevented me from speaking my truth. It has also prevented me from identifying with my true self. I have only recently come to figure out what I am all about. During these conversations, I am so consumed in worry with how they are doing, if they are comfortable, I abandon myself in the process. This is especially true when it comes to speaking my truth to my mother.

When it comes to creating boundaries with my mother I feel completely paralyzed. I often ask myself why do I continue to let her hold power over me? I am filled with so much anger towards myself. I am unable to tell her my true feeling and our relationship is one that is built upon lies. What I want to express to her is how deeply her drinking has hurt me. I want to tell her things like “You weren’t there for me. You constantly lied to me. You said hurtful things that you can never take back and sometimes I am filled with so much hate towards you.” But when I see her in real life, I see a frail, weak old woman and I feel sorry for her. I am also reminded that she is ill. Sometimes it is so difficult for me to differentiate the disease from my mother.

I still carry a broken heart from everything that her disease brought with it. I suppose it is the disease that I need to express my feelings toward.

I don’t know if I will ever be able to speak with my mother about her disease and how it has impacted my life and or make peace with my childhood while she is still here on earth. This disease is tricky and makes her live in full-blown denial. It often feels like a waste of energy to have a real discussion with her, when only one person is being open and honest.

I know that I need to change the way that I interact with her. I need to be brave and express my boundaries. It has been difficult since having children. I have allowed her to watch them once per week. But with that, I have also allowed her to infiltrate my life. I have given her power over me. It is me who needs to wake up and change my behaviours. She will always be who she is. I need to be who I am. It is incredibly challenging and I find that I easily fall down a self-hate spiral while working on this.

I want to express my intentions to you right here, right now in the hopes that you will join me on my journey. If you are struggling with the same issues as I am, please read the affirmations I have listed below. Together, may we take back our power and rise up and move forward.

I create boundaries with ease.
I am confident in myself to know what is right for me.
I have come to terms with my past and I allow myself to move forward.
I am exactly where I am meant to be on my journey into healing.

Sending so much love to each and every one of you who is supporting me on my journey and on their own journey into healing. xo

Blur_Pic_Blog.jpg
hoto Credit: Mark Eleven Photography
awareness, healing, sharing our story, Speaking our truth

Showing Up Authentically in Relationships

There are many people who know me, that think that they have me all figured out. They think that I am just a “nice” girl. I want to share some insight into why they are completely wrong about me and how you may be able to relate.

In the past, when attending social events, with certain friends, I’d often feel like I was too boring to be around. I didn’t have anything to talk about with these friends. Aside from the debilitating social anxiety that I was experiencing, I felt like there must be something wrong with me and that was the reason why. At the time, I didn’t know it yet, but it was because I didn’t show up as myself, I showed up as the person I thought that they wanted me to be. I was being, in essence, completely inauthentic.

For the most part, I would describe myself as being the friend who will ask only how you are doing and deflect at any time the conversation turns over to me. I would become so uncomfortable when we would discuss ‘me’ because I was unable to see past the mundane things that I was doing on the daily & never thought that anyone would be interested to hear about my experiences with depression or anxiety and how this was affecting me. How my past had a significant part to play in all of this. I believed that if I shared my experiences, it would expose all of my flaws and this would ultimately bring my friends moods down, so I thought, why bother telling them any of this? Just show up as the happy, positive friend, that they needed to have, right at this moment.

There have been people who have tried to take advantage of me, for my inability to say no to them and or whatever they were asking of me. I have to be very careful about who I give my time to now and that has been a hard lesson learned.

During a time, when I had just become a new mom, a friend warned me that I was going to have to become a disciplinarian and that it had to be shared between my husband and I. My husband shouldn’t be the only one to take in that role. I remember that this really bothered me. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to express this to her. I just thought to myself; Wow, she really doesn’t know me at all, and how could that be? We’ve known each other for almost 10 years now.

This was the first time, in a long time that I felt like I really needed to examine my relationships with others. I had to ask myself, why did it bother me so much, that she was so sure that she knew what I was all about? I must be presenting myself in some way that makes others feel like they’ve got me pegged and figured out. I was presenting myself in such a way: that I was a simple-being, too nice and I had no depth. I had always been agreeable. I would never offer my opinion about anything. I played it safe. If I agreed with everything you were telling me, then you would think I was a nice person and I would have secured you as a friend. Upon reflection, it seemed as though I was being manipulative…

The truth is, I’ve never allowed anyone to know ‘who’ I truly am inside. My dysfunctional upbringing shaped the way that I presented myself to others. How I showed up in relationships. The fact is, I threw-away ‘who I really am’ a very long time ago. As a child, I was trained to be a good girl. I was taught to be the bigger person, when other children would bully me. I was taught to listen and to obey. This was the beginning of a core belief forming, that I didn’t matter. As long as I was well-behaved, I wouldn’t get in trouble. This all had to do with the fact that my mother suffers from alcoholism and I feel like she loved me conditionally. So, from childhood on, I didn’t really know who I was.

I am beginning to find myself though. I am opening up and sharing my experiences, the good and the bad. Sharing all that I’ve been learning, for example, how I’ve been taking care of myself. Sharing anything that I believe, could be helpful to others, going through similar experiences.

During my experience of healing myself, by finding out who I am authentically, I’ve come to realize that maybe I don’t know others, as well as I think, just as I feel like they don’t know me. I’ve had a very difficult time cultivating relationships, beyond a surface level. I now know that it is because of my lack of trust in them. One of my core beliefs that I am working on, is that if I open up too much, they will abandon me. They will not like what they see and leave me. Therefore, I must not share who I really am, in order to protect myself from being abandoned. The funny thing is, I had already abandoned ME, in the process. It has taken me a lot of therapy, to realize this about myself. (Yet again, this belief is a by-product of my upbringing.)

As my awareness grows, now when I interact with others, I can see myself in them. The people who seem to have it all together. All done up, eating healthy, working out, managing a job and the kids, flawlessly. I find that most often these are the people, that really don’t have it all together. Especially, the way that they present themselves on social media. It feels like a lie and it feels this way to me, because I too, was once, this way. I would show up and present myself as that nice, happy person. But, I was wearing a mask. I hid my true feelings. It was all a lie. I feel like the people that I am describing may not even know this about themselves (or be able to admit it to themselves), but I can sense the sadness within them. All I want to do is, give them a hug and tell them that they can drop the act. They don’t have to put up appearances and be the person that they think everyone wants them to be. It is okay to share your vulnerable self.

I truly believe, that when we show up as our true selves and share our difficult past and show that we have flaws, we become our most authentic self. (If you haven’t read Brené Brown, I recommend that you read her books. She describes what it is to be your true authentic self, like no other.) We begin to get to know ourselves to a degree that is so deep, within the core, that it hurts. It hurts because of how much we suppress ourselves, when we act a certain way for others. When we decide to show up as ourselves we can cultivate deeper relationships and more meaningful friendships. We build trust in others, as well as build trust within ourselves.

The purpose that I intended for this blog post, is that, I want people to realize that it is okay to be you. Simply, unapologetically, authentically, you. I encourage you because just as I have found for me, I believe that you will find the freedom you seek, when you show up as ’you’ in relationships with others, as well as showing up as ‘you’ for yourself.
You. Will. Become. Unstoppable!

Now all we need to do is practise! I am in the process of doing just this. It scares the hell out of me, yet I am filled with excitement. I’m challanging my beliefs, putting myself out there and I am beginning to reap the rewards. I am no longer ashamed of who I really am. If the people that I am surrounded with don’t like my authentic self, then they are not meant to be the people I surround myself with anyway. Simple as that!

I am sending so much love and gratitude to each and everyone who is reading this post right now. Thank you for reading and for your support. Big HUGE hugs to you all xo

Be Authentic written on desert road

healing, Speaking our truth

Unspoken

When we do not share our deepest truths, and allow others to share in our vulnerability with us, we not only hurt ourselves, but we hurt those around us. We hurt those closest to us and those within our communities.

When we choose to keep grief, anxiety, depression and all of our deepest wounds to ourselves, pasting on a smiling face, pretending that we are doing just fine & our lives are in perfect order. We are disconnecting from who we truly are. We don’t honour our feeling and we feed, an already, dysfunctional society.

There may be times when we are so disconnected that we can sometimes hide our truest, truth from, even ourselves. We’ve been programed to trudge on and tough it out, despite our true feelings. We are taught to ignore our emotions. We like to stay in the positive realm and never to stray into the uncomfortable emotion.

An example that comes to mind for me, is when mothers do not admit that raising a child is one of the most difficult things a woman can endure. Each and every developmental milestone can cause triggers from our past and cause us to hurt all over again, whether we realize that we are being triggered or not. We may be so full of shame, that we do not want to share our truth, for the risk of being judged by other mothers, who seem to have it all together. But this is just an illusion. If everyone is hiding their truth, then everyone feels isolated within their truth, which makes them feel shame and the cycle continues.

When we can be brave enough to lift the veil and show our true-selves, we become unified and whole again. We begin to heal together, by sharing our stories. We take away the shame and the judgement. When we shine a light onto it, it no longer holds power over us.

As mothers, our messy homes, our disobedient children (which is completely normal, by the way. They’re not meant to obey, they embody what it is to be true to oneself. We are meant to love them unconditionally.). Our marriages that seem to be out of sync and suffering from drought, as the seasons turn, within a marriage. Our inability to be in control at all times, sometimes, we may scream or yell profanities. And yet, all of these examples that I’ve listed are completely normal.

On a soul level, we are not meant to live on an earth that is perfect. We are not meant to be perfect. We come to this planet with a mission to face adversity and learn from our mistakes. We become resilient, growing and flourishing, when faced with hardship. It is a beautiful, messy, chaotic journey, through, which we are meant to share with one another. To support one another and to gain strength, from the support of others.

When we don’t share our truth, we isolate one another, and we fuel the cycle of shame. I believe that it is time for a change. We need to speak up. We need to share our stories, our truths. We need to stop mom shaming and that is just the beginning. I am determined to shed light, on every dark aspect about motherhood and bring awareness on what mental illness is and how it affects the person suffering from it.

Maybe it is because I grew up in a home where my mother was an alcoholic and my father enabled her behaviour. I grew up in a home where you did not speak your truth. I was denied my true feelings and emotions. I was taught not to share what was really going on. And for years my voice has been closed up. I haven’t been able to identify who I really am. It is only through my experience with a postpartum mood disorder, that I have become, awakened. I want to be the voice for women and mothers who cannot speak their truth, for fear of being judged by other mothers. Or for the person who is suffering from mental illness and cannot share that with others. And for the adult child who grew up in a dysfunctional home, who is struggling with how to live on a daily basis, because they were never taught how to live and survive in our society.

This is just the beginning for me, and my hope, dear readers, is that you will follow me on this journey. I want to help others to be able to feel comfortable to be who they truly are inside. Speak their truth and live their truth.

I am sending love to each and every one of you out there who is too afraid to speak out. You are not alone. I am here with you. Together we stand strong and I will not quit until each and every one of us can stand up for what they believe in.

All my love;

xo

HandpressingShareYourStory

going off of antidepressants, healing, sharing our story, Speaking our truth

My experience weaning off of Pristiq

Disclaimer- trigger warning for this blog. I speak about topics such as suicide.

During, my postpartum depression and anxiety, I had been taking Zoloft to help control my obsessive, intrusive thoughts. I was happy with the Zoloft, but it wasn’t helping to lessen the anxiety that plagued me. My GP, suggested that I try Pristiq. She told me that she had a lot of luck with the drug, treating patients suffering from anxiety. I thought I would give it a go.

The Pristiq worked wonders for me, for many months. I felt like I had a new lease on life. I was feeling back to my old self, but even better. You see, I had always lived life with anxiety. For many years, I didn’t know what anxiety was. I thought that I was just the type of person who felt extreme nervousness at all times. Stomach aches and tightness in chest at all times. Someone, who experienced racing thoughts at all times. Someone, who seemed to be more comfortable, playing it safe, in a box, no danger to fear.

So when I finally figured out that this was in fact, anxiety that I was experiencing, I was relieved to know that it was a condition that I suffered from. It wasn’t who ‘I am’. Though, this helped, it didn’t stop the anxiety.

So, when the anxiety was suddenly absent, I was ecstatic. Is this how people live, who don’t suffer anxiety at every moment in the day? Wow! This is amazing!

The Pristiq worked for me, until suddenly, it didn’t.

It began, in October of 2017. I wasn’t coping as well as I used to. I was feeling lack of motivation to work out, to take the kids outside. I was exhausted. I started to experience my old friend, irritability. I began to lose my temper more often. I didn’t know what was happening to me. It didn’t occur to me that the Pristiq’s dose was beginning to become less effective.

I went to my GP, two times explaining that I wasn’t feeling well. I wasn’t myself. I was snapping at the kids. I’m not sure if I was telling her the extent of the yelling, irritability that I was experiencing, but she told me that; “this is parenting.” You need to cut yourself some slack and forgive yourself and move on. I felt disheartened. This isn’t the way I wanted to be as a parent. I didn’t want to be constantly yelling or losing my temper on my children. I felt like something wasn’t right. Why wasn’t she listening to me?

As the weeks went on, I fell further into depression. I began drinking alcohol, in order to cope. I felt like I loosened up and became a fun mom (in the evening), when I drank my glass of wine.

I booked into see my GP one last time before the holidays. (Unfortunately, I was no longer able to continue on being her patient. Due to some unforeseen circumstances, she had moved to a different medical clinic. It was very expensive and the only reason I wanted to be there was to be able to continue on with my GP. It was a heartbreaking decision to have to leave her.) I burst into tears and explained everything that I had been going through to her. The thoughts I was having about being a terrible mom and that sometimes I wanted to run away, or just “be gone” from this world (not that I had a plan to kill myself, but I was living a hopeless existence. I didn’t want to carry-on this way.) luckily, I had finally gotten through to her. She understood me. She agreed that I needed help. And this is where we parted ways. I hugged her goodbye and promised I would be fine, I wouldn’t go off an kill myself, I promised.

During, the Christmas holidays, I began to drink more often. Day-drinking didn’t seem to be unacceptable during the holidays. I became addicted. I needed to buy a bottle of wine a night. My intention for drinking, was to get through the day. Cope. As some of you know, my mother suffers from alcoholism. I was slipping further into the hereditary disease. I’ve always had to be conscience of this and right now, I knew I was knocking on that door, wanting to ‘not’ feel a thing.

January, proved to be a challenge. It wasn’t acceptable to day drink anymore. I needed to be ‘good’. I was feeling extra shitty in the mornings. I needed help.

My low point (as I’ve written about in my previous blogs) was the moment I wished that I were dead. I didn’t want to put my kids through the hell of a mother who yelled at them all of the time. Who screamed profanity’s constantly. Who told my 3 year old that he was acting like an asshole. I was the one, being an asshole. Not him. I felt like I was a terrible mother. I had failed at being a mother. I should never have become a mother. Everyone, would be better off if I were dead.

Thankfully, I knew that this type of thinking was abnormal. I needed help. I needed to speak to someone. I called my wonderful mother-in-law to watch the kids and I took off to a walk-in mental health clinic (Woods Homes: http://www.woodshomes.ca)

Shortly, thereafter, I found another GP. We spoke about the problems that I had been facing and we decided that I needed to come off of the Pristiq and onto another antidepressant.

The journey coming off of Pristiq has been one of the worst experiences of my life. The withdraw from the drug has been intense. The short temper, irritability, RAGE has been something out of this world. Everyone and anyone is at risk being around me at this time. I’ve been going down from a 100mg dosage, to 75mg (taking a 100mg every other day) down to 50mg to 25mg (taking 50mg every other day) I go down every two weeks. The first 4-5 days are horrible. I am a monster. I have headaches, brain zaps and a feeling like I am in a dream-state and not in my own reality. I’m

Now taking 50mg every two days, and I am experiencing flu-like symptoms, crying spells. I wish I had known the side-effects and withdrawal symptoms before I had started Pristiq. I feel grateful for the few months of relief, but I am tired of feeling this way. It feels hopeless. I don’t know if I will ever feel like myself again.

My plan is to get off of the Pristiq and see where my baseline is. I want to know what my anxiety is like on a day-to-day basis. What it is like since I am no longer considered postpartum. Will I be as I was before? Racing thoughts, constant worry. Feeling completely out-of-control? I will have to keep you updated.

For now though, I am getting through this part of the journey. Thank you for being here for me and listening to my story.

Sending love and gratitude to each and every one of you out there.

Love;

Heather xo