My journey with anxiety started in childhood. I have suffered from anxiety from a very early age. I had frequent nightmares, my parent divorced, I moved to a school where I was bullied and picked on, and suffered from frequent nightmares.
I suffered from emotional abuse during my formative years, and combined with my previous anxiety issues, I developed abandonment issues, people pleasing, very negative self esteem and self confidence issues, and a need to suppress my true self to be accepted by those around me.
When I was 15, I survived Hurricane Floyd as it destroyed Eastern North Carolina with devastating flooding. There was a lot of loss, pain, and grief during this time. This is when my anxiety developed into PTSD as it left me unable to escape the memories and feelings that day gave me. There are days where I still struggle with those memories, to this day.
When I was 20, I was a victim of physical assault in a burglary gone wrong at my childhood home. Thanks to the combined efforts of my beloved pets, Monster the cat & Rocky the dog, I survived an attempted strangulation with minimum injuries. This added to my PTSD (now Complex PTSD) and gave me permanent mental disability in my life.
After suffering from anxiety, panic attacks, people pleasing, depression, isolation, and overwhelming fear of the world for over a decade after my attack, my nervous system put me in the hospital for emotional and physical exhaustion.
It was that moment, I knew my life need to change. I needed MORE in my life.
I got a better therapist, I got a better doctor, and added a service dog to my treatment plan. All which helped take the essential steps I needed to begin my own self care journey.
I learned valuable skills that helped me understand how anxiety works, how our self esteem and self confidence fluctuate with anxiety, how to work with mental health professionals to get the most from sessions faster, and how to do the work out of the doctor’s offices.
And today, I’m living a completely different life. No more panic attacks, no more hiding my true self from the world, no more doormat, and no more self loathing.
I embraced my authentic self, learned who I am and started taking positive steps to improving my mental health. As I created a lifestyle that nurtured positive mental health, I found other areas of my life improved too.
Now I am sharing how I mastered self care with you!