How I Used Illness To Transform My Life
I was about 16 years old when I realized that the anxiety and depression I suffered from was not necessarily ‘mine’. I remember observing those in my immediate environment and seeing how they too suffered from the same challenges (and so did the older generations in my family).
Could it be that I learned these patterns from them?
Would it be possible to ‘unlearn’ these patterns?
Would reprogramming these patterns within myself help my suffering family members to do the same? If I was not my ‘depression’ or ‘anxiety’, then who was I exactly?
I had so many questions and no one in my immediate environment could provide any answers.
This is where my healing journey began.
I could not trust my mind (it was full of anxiety) nor could I rely on those around me. There was no other choice but to rely on something much deeper, which was (and still is) the gut instinct.
I’ll never forget tapping into my gut instinct consciously for the first time. It felt like I was communicating with a deeper, wiser, and far more reliable aspect of myself.
Much like my mind, the gut never felt stressed, anxious, or fearful. In fact, it was always empowering, calm, and compassionate communication that still fuels me to this day.
I observed that the connection to my gut was strengthened the more I acted upon it.
The initial intuitive guidance my anxious, depressed and hyper-sensitive teenage self received was to seek out support and find a practice that would help me heal and restore my wellbeing.
This was precisely when I found Martial Arts. Martial arts lead me to Yoga. Yoga lead to Meditation, Meditation lead to medical Qi Gong, Qi Gong to Breathwork, Breathwork to Somatic Psychology (etc etc etc).
One form of healing work lead to another. Each one taught me valuable lessons and took me to deeper levels of my own personal practice and healing.
I learned how yes indeed I could reprogram inherited patterns through mindfulness practice.
Yes my personal growth work could benefit my family members and all those around me.
And yes I could find relief from debilitating anxiety and depression.
Looking back at my life, it is totally clear that the level of suffering I went through was truly a blessing in disguise. The suffering from my youth was my ‘catalyst’ into growth, wellbeing, healing and optimal health. Would I have walked this path if there wasn’t such a prominent reason to do so? I don’t think I would have. And this is why………
It is far too easy to stay living in the comfort zone. Looking within, doing our healing work, being vulnerable and asking for support…….these are not the easiest things to do. However, when illness is involved, we have a strong reason and motivation to commit to this path.
I’m in my mid thirties now.
I look back at my young adolescent self and I bless her for having the courage to listen to her gut and use her illness as a reason to be bold and heal herself. Because now, in her adult years, she has the wisdom and capacity to guide others to do the same.