From Mae F., Kingston
Two and a half years ago I was struggling to stay afloat in a sea of anxiety. It was a month before my 30th birthday when it started: the consuming panic attacks, the constant fear of losing control and the frightening obsessive thoughts. I felt completely alone and was sure that no one understood what I was going through. I was desperate for any kind of relief, but at the same time I was insistent that I would not take any medications as a ‘quick fix’. I sought out to find my own natural ways of copying and conquering my anxiety. It was the events that brought forth (and the life altering experience of) my anxiety that led me to Homeopathy.
Conversely, I was no stranger to pharmaceuticals, as before my anxiety started I had been studying to be an RN. I can recall sitting in pharmacology class, learning about meds and feeling uncomfortable. I couldn’t wrap my head around it. These drugs were so potent and had so many side effects. Were there no other options for patients? The uncomfortable feelings only escalated when I was asked to administer these meds to patients in clinical scenarios. I felt like a hypocrite, as I wouldn’t even take an Advil for a headache.
I was in my 6th semester when I decided to withdraw from the program. My decision was not received well by those close to me, but at the end of the day I could not proceed with the internal conflict that I was having. I have the utmost respect for the friends I made (who are all nurses now) and the many other nurses and other health care employees that work their tails off on a daily basis, but ultimately it just was not the right career path for me.
In the following months my life started to take a negative spin. Instead of feeling liberated that I had stood up for my beliefs and quit nursing, I felt unsure and overwhelmed. People would say, “Put your own feelings aside, Mae. You’re giving up a definite career with wonderful benefits, are you crazy? You have a child to provide for!” Those comments made me feel so low, but I had to stand by my convictions.
The next year was filled with unsuccessful job searches, downsizing and lifestyle changes, and a considerable amount of self doubt, which in turn, led to anger, depression and ultimately- a break down.
As I mentioned, a few weeks into my anxiety I decided to take control and find a way to help myself. I purchased every book I could find on the subject; anything that I thought would bring me closer to understanding what was fuelling this fire. I started exercising and eating well. I would spend hours in my local health food store, sifting through vitamins and supplements. I tried aromatherapy, neurofeedback, meditation, breathing exercises, a BAUD machine, rescue remedy, mindfulness, yoga etc… The more I searched, the more frequently I would run into people who –like me- were suffering from anxiety disorders. I started to realize that I wasn’t as alone as I had originally thought.
It took many months, but eventually with everything I learned and the lifestyle changes I made, the support of my family and friends (the calmness that my little boy naturally exuded) and a lot of positive thinking, my life slowly started to regain some balance and I began to feel like my happy self again.
For the last two years, I have spent my days working for the family business where I am a production coordinator for special events. I have been employed there on a part time basis for most of my life, but was welcomed back to work full time in a ‘safe zone’ while I regained my confidence. I now have a desire to continue my studies in health care, but to shift the focus to a more natural based practice, where the mind and body are treated as a whole, and the remedies are given in small doses that do not cause adverse effects.
I aspire to be a Homeopathic Practitioner so I can gain further knowledge for myself, family, and friends, but also so that I can help others who feel like I did. People who need another option… or want to walk down a different path.
Image courtesy by Stuart Miles (freedigitalphotos.net)