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The True Story of My Childhood Anxiety + The Missing Key on Your Path to Healing

Hello my dear readers.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being here.

I can’t believe I am almost officially a year and a half into blogging! Looking back, the blog has had endless iterations of designs, logos, colors, themes, and even web platforms. The content has shape shifted and taken on numerous forms, from personal narratives to recipes, quick tips, and full blown soul-unleashings.

I used to feel some shame and inadequacy surrounding the many different faces of my content, but now I choose to interpret it as a visual reflection of the evolutions we’re all constantly undergoing. There’s no endpoint to our creativity or the discovery of our truth. There’s no finish line. We move the needle closer to our authenticity a little bit at a time, and as we go, our external worlds reveal and manifest that.

Today’s post is all about healing.

It's a reminder that we are our very own healers. It’s a loving nudge to stop searching desperately for someone to fix you and start looking at what’s been there all along: Your self. Your wise heart. Your resilient body. Your powerful mind. Your incandescent soul.

I had to be shaken back awake to my own incandescent soul a few months ago. And who better to do that shaking for me than my mom?

Back in December, she and I had a pivotal conversation. She perceived that I was turning a blind eye to my own magnificent power, and compassionately (but also just plain passionately – she is a Leo, haha) reminded me where the heck I come from.

We sat on her pink living room couches as she gently guided me to this fact: I was forgetting my past and the depths of pain that lie within it. I downplayed the fact that I underwent levels of suffering that most children simply didn’t, and they made me who I am today.*

I'll paint the picture for you.

Around the age of 5, I was diagnosed with anxiety and panic disorder.

While other members of my elementary school class were learning what sparked their creative juices and cultivating friendships, I was spending my mornings screaming on the kitchen floor, detoxing from the adult doses of anti-anxiety meds I had been irresponsibly prescribed. I was unable to pick myself up to walk into school because I was so terrified of being anywhere but home. I felt so unsafe in my body and in this world.

As a child, I described the intense discomfort that seemed to inherently reside in my body as my "mad, sad spot."

My childhood anxiety showed up in the form of raging panic attacks and mood instability. My symptoms did not respond well to traditional modalities of healing like prescription drugs and basic anxiety-relieving exercises. In some cases, they made them worse, rendering me entirely unable to function.

So, with the guidance of my mom and the incredible team of support around me, we turned to spirituality and holistic healing. We tried Reiki, homeopathy, crystals, meditation, EFT tapping, breathwork, yoga, healthy eating, aromatherapy, supplements (I took 18-20 a day as a kid), and countless other holistic therapies.

In the thick of my suffering, spiritual practices and holistic healing were not just a fun way to keep myself happy and healthy, but a legitimate necessity. A survival mechanism. A lifeline when there seemed truly to be no hope.

Around the age of 10, my healing journey reached an apex. My homeopathic medication created an intense disturbance within me as it dug down closer and closer to the roots of my dis-ease. After a months-long hurricane of panic attack after panic attack and what my mom and I would likely describe as some of the darkest moments of our lives, the calm came.

I started to heal. Really heal. This wasn't a band-aid fix. This was an exorcism. The darkness was being transcended. The “mad, sad spot” disappeared.

I was free.

Back on the pink couches, my mom reminded me of this journey we had been on together, and that it was not an experience to be overlooked. It shaped me more than anything else has.

I realized that I’ve been in such a rush to do more, accomplish this and achieve that, that I cut myself off from these powerful roots. I had forgotten how badass it is that I healed from one of the greatest challenges of my lifetime at such a tender, formative age.

It also hit me that I had been tripping over myself to get my hands on the next cure-all product or course offered by the spirituality and wellness community. I had been falling off my center whenever somebody promised a healing experience or remedy because I forgot how much I already knew.

In reality, I internalized many of those lessons years ago when I had no other option. I learned them as a second language. I wrote them into the song of my soul. They taught me how to understand myself when nothing on this earth or in this body made sense.

I'm not saying that I no longer need support on my spiritual journey. We all do. That's why we're together in this space right now. What I am saying is that it's time to stop seeking support solely from external sources.

It's time to start following the compass within.

Seeking answers externally is me playing small. It's a fear story, perpetuated by the false belief that I'm not good enough all on my own, with nothing and nobody from the outside bolstering me.

Buying into this ego narrative is a massive disservice because it stops me from shining my light to the fullest. It convinces me that my story isn't enough, and therefore isn't worth being shared.

My ego doesn't want me to remember my internal power. It tries to protect me from it because - wooooo girl - when I’m awake to it, I am a force. I am ablaze with love for vulnerably sharing my experiences, communing with others who have struggled similarly, and reminding them that healing doesn’t happen externally.

Let me say that again.

Healing doesn’t happen externally.

I firmly believe that I was put on this earth to remember that truth. To answer the call of my soul and return to the Divine wisdom within. External advice, remedies, courses, and healing modalities are wonderful supplements and support systems on the journey to healing. But ultimately, nothing and no one can catalyze healing unless you commit to it.

You must be the center of your own healing, and believe you are powerful enough to do so. (Spoiler alert - you ARE!)

I wasn’t exorcised of my panic attacks because of the magic combination of healing modalities we discovered. It was because I allowed that magic formula to fully crack me open and create space for the darkness in me to transcend once and for all. I bravely stood in the line of fire and let myself feel every ounce of that pain so that I could be cleansed. It was the remedy, yes, but it was also me. My strong, brave spirit.

Ultimate healing stems from a willingness to unguard your heart from your pain. It requires the courage to stare right into the face of your darkness and let it be heard. It stems from cultivating incredible love and compassion for yourself. It stems from the decision that you are worthy of it.

You could take every course and try every remedy from here to the ends of the earth, but shifts can only start to occur when you hold yourself in loving compassion and ask, “What do I need from me? What am I not getting from myself that’s causing me this pain?”

From that place of tender compassion for yourself and openness to your intuition, you will be led. To the right people, the right practices, the right healers, the right modalities. They may not be what you expected, because there is no one-size-fits-all for healing. Work to not blindly leap when someone offers the keys to your healing.

Empower yourself by staying open to your inner guidance system. That still, small voice inside will always reveal the way. Trust it.

You are your healer. You are your teacher. You are your spiritual guide, your coach, your mentor, your mother, your partner, your friend.

Healing is yours if you stop searching for something or someone to save you. Healing is yours if you get quiet and surrender to the voice within. Healing is yours if you bravely stand in the line of fire as your darkness comes forth to teach its lessons.

You need nothing but yourself to make that happen.

Claim it, and watch your life transform.

*(This experience is fully separate from the fact that I was and still am highly privileged. My struggles were real, but they did not involve abuse, poverty, food insecurity, or any lack of safety and support, which are suffered by many today, particularly BIPOC. I acknowledge that I am immensely blessed to be able to say that.)

Healed: An Original Poem

I’ve spent so much time

Chasing after people

Who claimed to have the answers

I completely forgot

That I have already

Found my own answers

Through suffering

Through trauma

In panic attacks on the kitchen floor

When there was no option

But to rebirth myself

A wound that ran so deep

I had no choice but to heal

So now when I witness

People offering the keys to healing

I choose consciously to remember

That I am not a sheep

Following the flock

I don’t need answers

To problems I have already learned to solve

I am always learning

From me

From god herself

From the universe

From my guides

I’ve been doing it for 20 years

So the next time I feel myself

Falling off my center

When someone offers the perfect remedy

I will softly remind myself

I am already healed.

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