I was sobbing on the couch, unable to control myself.
I had done everything to play the part, and ‘be happy’ .. but I had reached the point where it would all collapse.
My two beautiful toddlers were trying to comfort me, wondering why Mommy was so sad and crying. In that moment, I realized I had no idea why I was living.
It was 2018, and my girls were everything to me. But I was in so much mental and emotional pain, an hour earlier I had written ‘goodbye’ letters to each of them and to their father, broken hearted that I had failed them.
Ending my life seemed like the only way to make the pain and suffering stop, and I had convinced myself that they would be better off without me. I left the letters sitting on my beside table, ready to be found after I ended my pain and struggle.
I felt broken and hopeless.
I was 65 pounds overweight, had absolutely no confidence in myself, and was crippled with so much anxiety and stress I couldn’t function.
I questioned what life was about, feeling like a complete failure at being a mother, a wife and a woman.
There was a moment when I was crying, clutching onto my two little girls, that I realized to leave them without a mother would be so selfish. Even with all the pain I was in, my maternal instinct kicked in.
I decided in that moment that I had to prioritize my own well-being and take control of my life. I hated my life, but I loved my girls more.
A decade before, I had pursued a Massage Therapy degree as I always loved to help people and serve others. After I started working as a massage therapist, my career slowly got pushed to the side to make way for getting married, being a mother and having a busy life.
I ended up living in a way that wasn’t authentic to myself. It felt like something important was missing, and I lost myself along the way.
How did things get so dark?
From the outside, it all looked wonderful – I had a good man, a loving and comfortable home and 2 amazing little girls I adored. Yet inside I was dying, and nothing seemed to help fill the void in my soul. I spent every day compromising who I was and what I believed because I was terrified of rejection and judgement.
Over the years, I turned to various things to try and escape the pain, including food, drugs and alcohol. An eating disorder consumed me for more than a decade. Little did I know that all of these coping mechanisms were an unconscious response to a series of traumatic experiences and violations I had endured throughout my life.
I was miserable and began suffering from anxiety and panic attacks. That day, sitting there on the couch, I realized that all my decisions were being driven by fear.
As I became painfully aware of the habits I had formed in my life, I started seeing a therapist. I began to realize that the pain, sadness, and uncertainty I was so familiar with had developed early in my life.
Identifying and processing my trauma was the key.
My childhood was riddled with trauma, abuse and very painful experiences that were buried deep inside my soul. It became obvious that I carried so much trauma from my past that I had never worked through or healed.
Talking to a therapist was a start, but it moved very slowly.
I began to practice other therapies and modalities that would help me process and heal from those traumas, allowing me to start making decisions from love instead of fear.
Like an onion, I slowly peeled back the many layers of fear, grief and traumatic memories that bubbled up and consumed me. I found the combination of gentle movement and focused breathing exercises gave me the first basic tools to be able to face some of my greatest fears and hurts.
I started eating healthier and taking courses about nutrition. I was terrified and ashamed to join a gym, but I did – and I stuck with it. I began practicing yoga and mindful movement and found that it was so healing and empowering.
Every day, I journaled about the life I wanted to have, and what I was willing to do for it. I also focused on forming healthy relationships with people that I loved and enjoyed being around – those that truly ‘saw’ me and loved me for who I was.
Plant medicine became one of my teachers and allowed me to process and heal so much of my painful trauma. I began to feel love and compassion for myself and felt lighter and more joyful each day.
In 2019, I came to the very painful realization that I had to end my marriage. Everyone around me thought I was making the worst decision of my life, but this time I decided that I wouldn’t allow fear to get in my way. My dreams were too important, and I had built enough positive habits and routines that momentum was on my side. I had come so far, and finally had the courage to choose love instead of fear.
As they say, when one door closes .. another opens.
That’s what was happening for me. In 2020, I loved yoga so much that I decided to become certified as a yoga instructor, going on to become certified in trauma-sensitive yoga. I met the love of my life who I’m now married to and is my partner in Avesah. Yoga and movement kept me going through all the ups and downs of my difficult but empowering personal transformation, and allowed me to continue healing and growing.
Today, I can truly say that I love life and have never been happier. I feel seen and heard by the people I love, and I’ve never smiled so much in my life.
When I reflect on who I was back then, lying on that couch in agony, to who I am today, it brings tears to my eyes. It was a difficult journey for me to take on my own, but it inspired me to help others so that they can experience a transformation for themselves. I believe that so many women are on the verge of a breakthrough that can immediately change their life for the better – but they need someone to support them and guide them on the journey.
Looking back, I’m not sure what would have happened to me if I didn’t have my two baby girls to remind me what matters in life. I wanted to become the mother they would look up to and count on. I knew it would take a lot of work, and it did – but I’m proud of what I’ve been able to overcome and accomplish.
My life’s purpose now is to help other women make the courageous journey to healing, growth, and empowerment. I passionately believe we need strong, empowered women that are filled with love in this world, and that’s what I focus my work on. An empowered woman can show up better for her partner, for her children and for the world. And most importantly, for herself.
If you’re in a place where you know it’s time to make some changes and take control of your life, please reach out to me. I look forward sharing my journey, and helping you plan yours!