Hello, and welcome to my blog. I thought I would start by telling you about my wellness journey, so you can understand who I am, and what I am all about.
Lately my wellness journey has been really pumped up, and as a result I feel renewed, inspired and strong in many ways. My confidence has grown, and I feel like I know myself better than ever. I know what I want, I know how to get it, and I have the motivation to keep myself going (more than I have ever felt before).
In the past 2-3 years, while embarking on this amazing university degree that I am completing, I somehow lost faith in myself, stopped loving myself and cared more than ever about being perfect and what people thought of me (the way I look, my sense of humour, my taste in clothes/music/movies, my knowledge and my abilities). I would spend hours to get dressed in the morning or to go out, and it got to a point where things that people said to me would burn me to my very core.
It was one day in February last year after my family were lovingly making fun of me that I broke down in heartbroken tears to my boyfriend and realised that something was wrong. That my reaction was not a healthy one. That I had been feeling this way for way too long. That I was not well.
I went to the doctor that week and was diagnosed with mild depression and anxiety.
I am sure that some of my friends may have noticed me progressively being more and more down on myself, more and more sensitive to things they said or things they did, or realised that I was beginning to avoid social situations at times. But I didn’t realise that I was as deeply sad as I was, until that moment.
Last year was an incredibly hard one for me. I finished less than half the uni subjects that I originally set out to do, my beautiful Aunty Mae-Mae passed away, I experienced extended bouts of insomnia, I was eating a family block of chocolate a night and I was trying to understand who I was and how much of myself and my thoughts were part of my anxiety and depression, and which parts were me.
I didn’t tell many people because I thought I would seem overdramatic and irrational (something I get accused of a lot), and I was losing trust in friendships for no good reason. I was also in denial about how deeply my conditions were affecting me. But I feel like I can talk about it now.
It’s taken a long time, and a big move from Melbourne to Brisbane to take me out of my comfort zone and confront the issues I couldn’t when I was in my bubble, to really help me heal. I am lucky to have friends, family and even lecturers who have been there for me and taught me something about myself in their own way. I am also lucky to be learning so much about wellness and the importance of looking after yourself first when you want to heal others, through my course. I have been introduced to a community of people and ideas that I never would have found without it.
I now truly understand that wellness is a journey; it is ongoing and hard and heartbreaking and fulfilling and inspiring and unique and nurturing and that no one will ever be able to motivate you the way that you can after you truly understand what it is you want and who you are.
I still have a long way to go, and many goals to achieve, but I am currently incredibly confident that I can achieve them. I’m learning to love and accept myself; learning that other people probably don’t think all the negative things I anticipate them to, and if they do, it’s unlikely it’s got anything to do with me anyway; learning that not everyone is going to like me, like my take on things, or like the things I say/wear/think, and they don’t have to; learning that most of the time I am probably going to have more love, compassion and empathy for people I haven’t known very long, than they would for me, because that is the way I have always been and it is who my degree is encouraging me to be, and that is also ok.
What I have learnt is that after you’ve come to terms with your own illness, taking care of your health is the only way to get through. For me, this meant dietary intervention, supplements, herbal remedies, meditation, yoga, trying new things, regular exercise, music, tv, finding a support network, cutting out alcohol, seeking out adventure, cuddles, tears, cutting out sugar and dairy (lactose intolerant), skin care, counselling, and soul searching.
Everyone’s wellness journey is unique, but the core ideas are the same: true wellness encompasses the mind, body and spirit, and only you can truly know and understand what wellness methods will work for you. It also has to be a high priority in your life, with true commitment. And that can be the hardest and longest part of the journey.
Where are you in your wellness journey? What inspires you and motivates you on that journey?