After 10 months away, I’m back with my story about how I healed from stress, burnout depression and anxiety funk:
At last, I make my return to the Land of the Blogging!
I’m so happy to be back, and I have so many exciting things to share with you.
But before I explain what I’m doing in the future, allow me to explain my extended absence.
I understand that I might come across as a bit unreliable or flakey just disappearing like that, but here’s the truth:
I spent so much time looking after other peoples’ mental health that I forgot to take care of my own.
And here’s the thing about mental health: I didn’t know that I was unravelling until I had well and truly unravelled.
Well, that’s not entirely true. I had a good number of warning signs: Increased fatigue, feeling that soul-deep bone-soreness that a person gets when they have been holding it together for far too long.
Life was busy – My husband had just completed a 4-year engineering degree which was relentless on his time and energy and, as a result, my time and energy. 2 kids: My eldest was at that time was not yet diagnosed with autism and we knew that ‘something was up’ but we weren’t entirely sure what it was.
And then we were moving. Just before Christmas….
Back to my hometown!! Yay! I was, and remain, so excited to be back in Newcastle. Here is where my soul belongs.
So I knew that I was stressed – I was forgetting things, my hair was falling out (true story – my hairline was beginning to recede), I was getting headaches and that bone-crunching soreness and tiredness that kept me pinned to the couch.
In truth, I was probably experiencing depression as well – any time I could snatch to myself, I would just dissolve into tears as a much-needed release.
And when I say “time I could snatch”, I mean: when I brought in the groceries and my kid was asleep in the car so I knew I had between 2-5 minutes to myself: Cry time. Or, in the shower: Cry time (although I had to do it quietly, so my husband and kids wouldn’t hear).
I also harboured huge feelings of failure:
How could I get such great results for my clients, but I seemed to be failing myself, my husband, my kids so terribly?
So it was in this emotional state that we packed our lives into boxes and fled Canberra for the sweet familiarity of home.
Ok so when I say “fled” – we literally made the snap decision to pull the kids out of bed and leave in the dead of night.
Let me explain:
After the moving truck had picked up our boxes and furniture, and we had cleaned the house, we locked the door and closed that chapter of our lives.
I sat out the front in the car, with the engine running, as Matt locked the door.
He got in the car, and we drove to our 2-bedroom apartment that we had rented to rest the night so we would be fresh as daisies for our trip home.
Did I mention it was the last day of school for the year?
My eldest son Owen had just finished his last day of school, and my youngest son Angus had finished his last day of daycare. They were also a little emotional and ratty.
We arrived at our 2-bedroom, 3rd-floor, no-outside-space apartment and our kids just went nuts.
They threw all the cushions onto the floor and jumped into them, jumped all over the beds, opened all the drawers in the kitchen and just pretty much had a party.
We ordered takeout for dinner (no way in the world was I going to cook after our day of packing, directing movers, cleaning, inspections, etc etc etc…)
We ate dinner… kids were still crazy.
Bathed the kids… which usually calms them down… still crazy.
There was no way they were going to go to bed in that state, they were absolutely wild by this stage.
Matt suggested that he take Owen out for a drive to look at Christmas lights.
With the kids separated, I was able to settle Angus down with some warm milk and he curled up in bed fairly quickly.
My mistake was that I texted Matt right away, telling him to bring Owen back so he could ‘get some decent rest before our big journey’.
Matt arrived back, and Owen looked pretty chill.
We put him in his pajamas and sent him to bed in the same room as his brother, with strict instructions to go straight to sleep and not wake Angus up.
Within about 2 minutes, we heard some little “celebration chortles” from Angus.
He had woken up, seen his brother, and was sublimely happy.
Too happy to sleep.
But we battled on, in the desperate hope that they would wear themselves out and eventually crash out to sleep.
10pm until about 2am was spent, not sleeping at all, as the kids took turns to wake each other up.
We tried the “divide and conquer method”, where one parent sleeps with one child and the other parent sleeps with the other.
At 3am, we knew we had lost the battle.
We were exhausted, the kids had entered some third dimension of lucidity where we knew that there was NO WAY THEY WERE GOING TO SLEEP.
So we bailed.
We grabbed our overnight bags, took the kids and left Canberra in our dust.
We left in such a hurry, that I forgot to go to the toilet before we left and I had to pee on the side of the Hume Highway at 4am.
But we beat the traffic (which is terrible on the first day of the Christmas school holidays) and arrived back in Newcastle at 9am.
Over the next weeks, we unpacked and rearranged our lives and settled back in the safety and comfort of our heart-home, back where we belong.
A perfect safe place to completely fall apart, as it turns out.
I had big ambitions of setting up my healing room and promoting Anxious Relief at a local level, but after the Christmas and New Year rush I kept putting it off and putting it off…
My husband set up my computer in my healing room and I went to check my emails and my energy just plummeted – I had to take a 2-hour nap.
Then, just being in my healing room would send my energy through the floor…
It got to the point where I couldn’t even think about Anxious Relief or anything to do with the ‘work’ of it…
I was strung-out, wrung-out, burnt-out to a crisp.
And it wasn’t a matter of making a decision to step back from the day-to-day running of my business…
There was no decision. I literally could not do it anymore. I had such an aversion to my business, the thought of it gave me nausea.
I kept working with the clients I currently had, while not actively bringing on any new clients.
Things got quiet.
My only option was to rest, and get on with the flow of life.
I found a lot of solace in routine – small things like getting my kids ready for school and cooking dinner each night.
The rhythm of routine felt very soothing.
Previously, I had found routine very constrictive. I got bored easily, and jumped my attention from one place to another.
It felt right and good to simply put one foot in front of the other on a day-to-day basis, without any grand plans sweeping in and taking over.
I still couldn’t think of Anxious Relief without my energy crashing – so I simply didn’t think about it.
I began to feel proud of myself for setting such a boundary.
Then, one day in March I was walking along, and I felt something inside me light up.
I wasn’t sure what it was, but it made me feel excited for the first time in a LONG time. That same day I sat down and wrote my ‘I’ll be back soon” blog post.
Next day, I could barely get out of bed.
I’d overdone it. I’d done the thing that I always warn clients about – I had begun to feel a bit better, and I pushed myself too far.
If I didn’t know about anxiety recovery and adrenal burnout, I would have told myself that this was a setback, and beat myself into an actual setback.
But it was ok – I knew what was going on.
I knew I needed to take more time to get truly better and aligned again, and that my Butterflies – the Butterflies who truly love me – would understand.
I wish I could say that there was one defining moment where I miraculously felt better, but there wasn’t.
It was a process of step by step and day by day, being really kind to myself and giving myself the luxury of extra time even when I felt like I didn’t need it.
It’s taken 10 months. But I’m ready.
I can honestly say that I am truly ready.
I feel like I’m back to myself again, and I feel 100% ready to jump back in and get on with fulfilling my mission to make the world a better place, helping women to heal the anxiety that’s stopping them from taking the next step into independence and freedom.
I always had what it takes. But now I’m ready.
So! Going forward, I will be offering you valuable and useful blog posts on the following topics:
(I’ll make these topics into live links when the blog posts are published:)
Feel free to contact me if you have any other suggestions or ideas on blog posts you would like to see – even if you would like to share your own burnout story with me or simply say “me too”.
I’m so excited to be back, and I’m looking forward to sharing my reiki energy healing tips and advice for healing anxiety in your life.
Love + light
PS – When I was healing from burnout, I listened to my own free grounding guided meditation a lot and it really helped to calm me.