I grew up in a difficult situation. Even at a young age, I was used to things that some people might never experience; and these events shaped my life in every way. Whether as kids or adults, we learn how to deal with our life's situations the best we can. Often, we'll develop habits or mindsets that helped us then, but now are not serving us well.
I am so grateful for surviving through my childhood, and one of the ways I learned to cope was becoming an overachieving perfectionist. I thought that if I did everything right, if I followed all the rules, I would be okay. I wanted to succeed at school. Maybe someone would be proud of me. Maybe then somebody would love me. Maybe I would have value.
I ended up being covaledictorian, graduated high school with an associates degree, and played division 1 college soccer. I graduated college with a double major and Master's degree by the time I was 22. Yet, I never felt like I was anything, or that I was doing enough. Even when people would tell me how amazing they thought I was, I really felt nothing. In fact, I often hid my accomplishments, especially from my family, because the comments made me feel so uncomfortable. I didn't feel like I had achieved enough or was proud of myself. I was just doing what I knew to survive.
So, I took on more and more.... and this didn't change when I had babies, I wanted to be the most perfect, amazing mom. And even more so that my kids didn’t have to experience anything like what I went through.
After my first baby, I experienced a lot of anxiety which I never really knew existed on the level that I felt it. I was able to overcome it with my first child, but during my second pregnancy was diagnosed with Melanoma. I had to have a lot of surgeries and have my lymph nodes removed, and waited 4 weeks to see if it had spread to my daughter. It was really an excruciating time. I did really how much that had affected me until I became pregnant with my third.
Things took a turn for the worse and became something that I had never imagined for myself. My life had been completely turned upside down with fear, anxiety OCD, panic disorder and a chronic illness that I was unaware of, which contributed to my mental wellbeing. I spent thousands of dollars and searched for help from so many doctors. I couldn't find anyone to help me get over this.
I learned that we have to advocate for ourselves. How many of us have spent thousands of dollars with doctors and specialists just to be told that everything was fine? Or have been told to just have more faith, or change your attitude?
I felt ashamed, and embarrassed I couldn't change my baby's diapers, I couldn’t leave the house for months at a time, I couldn’t cook, I really couldn’t function at all. Not to mention, my perfectionism reminded me of all the things I felt I HAD to do in order to be a good mom... and I couldn't accomplish any of those things. This was devastating. I eventually became so physically sick I couldn't walk up the stairs, or unlock the deadbolt on my door. It took a long time for doctors to figure out that I had Epstein Barr Virus, which was causing me to get mono over and over again. Many people have a form of the Epstein Barr Virus without knowing it, but it can flare up when our immune systems are down, or we are stressed.
Funny, I was a "perfect mom" for a second…..then it all came crashing down with explosions and fireworks. Because you just can't keep up with that crap!
IT took WAY too long to find the right help and the right answers. I eventually called the suicide hotline because I was so desperate, I fell such a burden, I felt my family would be better off without me. I called and hung up. And then I called again...
I eventually did find the right help, answers, and knowledge to make the changes that I needed. And now, I have my passion and my purpose to help others heal.
One of the most important things I realized was that healing is different for every person and it one size fits all. Also, usually not one thing is going to heal us, it is combined effect of all the small important things we are doing consistently.
I learned that it is so important to address all aspects of our health down to the root cause. Sometimes our mental well being cannot be healed without looking to see if our body is functioning properly. There are so many things that can get out of whack, our hormones, our adrenal glands, if we are getting enough nutrients or of our body is metabolizing those nutrients properly…. Each of our systems work in tandem, our physical well being is halted because our mental health is limiting us from taking the steps to heal physically. Sometimes it can cause a nasty cycle like what I went through.
So often, I would only focus on one area of my health at a time, without realizing that they are all connected. For me, when I started healing my chronic Epstein Barr Virus and healing my adrenal function with the right supplements, my anxiety and OCD began to change. Coping skills became easier to utilize, and I was able to heal my mental health in ways I didn't realize.
Now I help others heal the body holistically, and heal the mind using cognitive behavioral therapy to rewire the neurology of the brain. These usually need to happen together or a little bit on each side to really help us reach our optimal wellness.
But the good news it is absolutely possible, You are not broken, YOU CAN HEAL, You can feel better than you ever thought!