I’ve had weeks where I didn’t get out of bed. Weeks where I avoided human beings like my life literally depended upon it. I’ve had weeks where I obsessed continuously over one stupid thing I said or mistake I made. And, I’ve had weeks where I laid on the floor in a fetal position, crying, begging someone, anyone, to put me out of my misery.
Pretty much, I’ve had years of hating myself and my life. Years of beliefs that didn’t serve me playing like a soundtrack on repeat through my mind:
“You’re not good enough. You’re not smart enough. You’re not pretty enough. You’re not kind enough. No one likes you. You’re not worthy. You’re not loveable. You’re not deserving.”
And I fell for that phony bologna hook, line and sinker! It didn’t matter how many people over the years told me otherwise, that was my reality and I found evidence everywhere I looked that supported my beliefs.
Up until a few years ago I would’ve never believed the idea that feeling the way I felt was my choice. Gosh, even entertaining the idea would make me indignant. But today, I do see it as a choice.
Don’t get me wrong; mental health struggles are real and can be all encompassing. I’m not suggesting that you or I consciously chose to develop a mental illness. However, I am suggesting that in this moment we have the choice to transform our life and recover from it.
I know what you’re thinking “lady, if I could just choose to feel better I would’ve already.” I get it. I was there. I would tell myself “I’ll do anything” to feel better. But, even though I said that multiple times, it wasn’t entirely true. What I really was saying was I would do anything, other than let go of beliefs I had about myself that I “knew for certain” were true. While I wanted my anxiety and depression to go away, there was also some convoluted level of comfort in the misery. It wasn’t until I truly was willing to let go of certain beliefs that I started to make progress.
If you would’ve told me even two years ago, that I would willingly be volunteering information about my mental health status in a blog, I would’ve laughed in your face…and then had a panic attack.
Yet, here I am.
Don’t get the wrong idea; I don’t have it all figured out. Some days I feel like my struggles were a distant memory, and other days I feel like I’m right back in the thick of them. Some days I feel like a “success story”, and other days like a fraud. Some days I radiate positivity, and other days negative thoughts consume me again.
All that means is I’m doing it right. There isn’t a defining moment of being healed. Recovery is not clear-cut with smooth edges and a marked “start” and “finish” line. It’s more like three steps forward, one step back, and occasionally tripping and falling flat on your face. But it’s choosing to always take a step forward again.
That forward step can be along countless paths, and no two people will have the same journey. For some, that path may show up as medication; others meditation. For some it may be a career change; others a relationship change. For some it may be reaching outward for help; others it may be looking inward. For most, it’s a combination of several different paths converging along the way.
Even in my darkest, most hopeless days, I had the tiniest desire to get well. And you do, too. I know this because you’re alive. You’re here reading this. You are a fighter, and there is no one worth fighting for in this world more than yourself.
Currently, my healing is supported in a variety of ways. Animals bring me joy. Exercise brings me fulfillment. Homeopathic medicine brings me stability. Guiding others on their healing journey brings me purpose. My mentors bring me inspiration, and seeing others strong on their path toward self-love brings me encouragement. So, I fill my life with as much of all this as possible.
I would’ve never surrounded myself with all of the above years ago, because joy, stability, self-love, etc. didn’t fit into my old pattern of beliefs. However, I now figure, if I can choose to believe anything I want, why not choose something that makes me feel good!?
I encourage you to find that little nugget of hope, hold on tight, and run with it. Or walk, or crawl…just move forward on the journey of embracing your authentic self. Set that bar on your desires higher than you ever thought possible, and be ready to be pleasantly surprised. Dream boldly and embrace your potential; your life is calling you!
Sending peace and healing your way,
Follow Courtney on Instagram and Facebook or check her out at NaturalHealthSolutionsRichmond.com. You can contact Courtney at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Courtney Paré is a lover of growth, kindness, animals and holistic living. Professionally, she is a naturopathic doctor specializing in the homeopathic management of anxiety disorders, OCD and depression. Her passion for mental wellness extends outside of the office, where she is a volunteer speaker and supporter with local mental health advocacy organizations. Courtney enjoys spending time with her human and fur family, watching movies, exercising, and exploring the beauty nature has to offer.
If you would like to support and be part of our mission for mental wellness, please visit our store at Outta.ca.