If I can quote Al Gore “every day when you turn on the news, it’s like a page from the Book of Revelations.” If we aren’t sad and anxious a bit now, there might be something dampened with our sensitivity! However, I’m living proof that the old that adage is true that “the darkest hour is indeed right before the dawn,” and I’d like to share my story. A series of very challenging things happened to me a few years ago: an exceedingly painful conflict with a friend, some hormonal changes and some possible legal issue happened right before getting on a plane for a family vacation in Europe. It was like a perfect storm. It was intense, emotional, I was frightened and nothing was settled.
When I arrived in Europe I had the normal jet lag, but at that point my mind and heart were spinning about all these personal issues. I had to leave with them still being unresolved. My nervous system and and my internal circadian clock became seriously out of whack. I spent my family vacation in Europe trying to meditate and sleep, but all of the problems circled around in my mind.
When I got back to the United States, I had reverse jet lag again and the problems were still painful. That set into motion about 6 months of intense anxiety, resulting in seemingly unsolvable insomnia. It was bad, I was sleeping only a few hours a week, and had terrible nightmares and existential fears when I did. I have a funny religion that believes in hells, obstacles, curses and punishments and that definitely exacerbated this internal struggle. It was like the dark night of the soul, akin to Ebenezer Scrooge, but it went on for 6 months instead of only three nights! It took all strength in me to overcome this.
I realized later, that the root of anxiety is actually heartbreak, a person can withstand a few painful, dramatic things and recover from them quite well. However, if a number of things occur at the same time, the heart reaches an overload and can’t process so much grief and stress all at once. Your nervous system goes on overload. It could be considered the infamous nervous breakdown. I reached out to everyone to try to help: doctors, lawyers, Indian chiefs. I kid you not, I was so desperate I even has a soul retrieval done by a shaman! Medical doctors tried to put me on sleeping pills, anti-anxiety medicine, whatever could help me. I was only sleeping a few hours a week, and couldn’t function in my daily life well. I was so worried that my health, mind, heart and marriage were going to be irrevocably damaged. The biggest fear was that this would be forever, would I lose everything, even my life?
So what I did, is that I was not going to take this laying down. I did not want to go on any type of allopathic medicine. They all have side effects and do strange things to your mind. Oftentimes these toxic, addictive sleeping pills stop working after awhile. You have to take more over time, and I didn’t want to be addicted to anything ever. This was not the right path for me, but I’m not suggesting that anyone stop taking their doctor prescribed medicines, as that too, can be dangerous.
What I did is, I created a holistic approach to healing anxiety and depression and getting my body back into order. I started to eat really well, exercise, journal and breathe deeply. I sought counseling to do very very deep trauma work and tried to resolve the original issue with my friend. I sought the help of friends, professionals, and more than anything believed that I could get through this difficult time. I found a good Functional Medicine doctor who was not a proponent of any type of sleeping pills or medicine for depression. He rather, put me on a protocol of fresh foods, greens and natural supplements that you could get at the health food store, to support the nervous system. For about three months, I took a very heavy protocol of herbs and over the counter supplements like: 5HTP, Gaba, Inositol, and started to take some type of very simple herb and spice based Tibetan Medicine as well. I found an amazing book, if people are having trouble sleeping called the Effortless Sleep Method that you can buy for $5 as a Kindle book on Amazon.
This all completely conquered my insomnia through a natural way, and got me sleeping deeper than ever. I realized that my anxiety was not an enemy but it was a friend. It’s the body’s light handed warning signal saying that you’ve taken on too much. It’s intention is not to be a burden for you, but it’s to remind you that it’s time to go deeply into self-care, simplify and helps to ultimately *prevent* disease.
So now, if I ever feel that I’m taking on too much and the “winds” are getting disturbed, or I’m feeling a lot of sadness or overwhelm, I take that as a sign to go immediately into calmness, meditation, and simplify my life and then restart. If you have been battling with anxiety, depression or insomnia, I’m living proof then you can recover from these imbalances go deeper into self care, form a very deep relationship with your own energetic system and come through the other side and flourish better than ever. No matter what’s happening on the “outside,” there is a strength of real self love and balance, that we can uncover. Nothing at this point, seems to be able shake that from me now, and I’m so very grateful that I went through this. We all can shine again and completely overcome anxiety and depression, with some holistic effort.
Written by Dawn Boiani, owner Sakura Designs
Image from pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/yellow-flowers-917076/