Yesterday was Mental health Awareness day but in reality, every day is mental health awareness day in my life.
I’ve lived with depression and anxiety since I was young, I’m the daughter of an alcoholic, a three-time survivor and (when I look back) I’m pretty sure I gained weight in order to feel safe in the world.
I spent most of my twenties afraid to leave the house alone after dark and wondered if I would ever find a career because of the constant anxiety attacks.
I pass as straight but I’ve been discriminated against in women’s communities, and when I spoke out about women committing violence against women in an activist community I was very involved in I was silenced and shamed.
This led to many more years of working through deeper depression and heartbreak than I’d ever experienced before. There’s nothing quite like having your heart broken by another woman who you thought was an ally.
I’ve acted in ways I’m not proud of and am still untangling the ways in which I can become triggered in my body. I’m very body and somatic centred now. It will be a life-long process.
When I was 26 years old I decided that I needed to learn to be in the world in ways that took me completely out of my comfort zone. I wanted a life of expansion and courage.
At the time getting on a bus and doing the dishes were ways I did this. Later, I was able to travel to England by myself 3 times!
And I kept moving out of my comfort zone. I spent a few years meditating and writing, then I went back to school and got my Ph.D. And then I started my business. Throughout all of this depression and anxiety ebbed and flowed in my life.
Now, each day I stand on my edges.
I commit moment to moment to live in joy, peace and love because my body needs me to (the effects of years and years of a hyper-vigilant body in stress is no joke and can be life-threatening to someone who experiences severe depression).
I began #enchantyoureveryday three years ago because I needed it to find new ways of seeing the world. Now, I’m asking myself everyday #howgoodamiwillingtofeel
I share my story here because it is relatively safe for me to and it isn’t safe for everyone. You’re not alone.