Worry that never ceases. Overwhelm that only grows. A sense of impending doom that steals sleep and limits life. That was me. That was where my story started. But it was just that – a beginning. Today I can look back at my transformation. Today I can appreciate my journey toward confidence and resilience, a journey that began with therapy.
I have been an anxious person for as long as I can remember. My father thought it was endearing, a facet of my personality that made me who I am. I was the child who insisted people wore lifejackets near the dock for fear they’d fall in. I worried that our boat travelled too fast along the water. Surely, this can’t be safe.
But what my father did not understand was my anxiety’s persistence, the grip it had on me. It followed me like a shadow through adolescence and into my adulthood. At 13, it became debilitating, and it made sleep its primary victim. My anxiety made it near-impossible to fall asleep. I would rewatch every minute of my day, with the moments I’d said or done something wrong in sharp focus. I would experience several nocturnal awakenings each night, worried about the things I’d most certainly say or do wrong the next day. It was a vicious cycle that served no one, and over time, it escalated to the point of losing my appetite and struggling to keep food down.
I was not flourishing. I was not living. I was trapped.
Everything changed when I went to therapy. I felt that deep sense of comfort that comes from feeling heard, seen, and understood. Despite how anxious I felt, I did not have to hide. The relief was profound, and for the first time in my life, I could acknowledge and reflect on my most painful and most fulfilling experiences. As I unpacked my past, I implemented lasting life changes that have and will continue to uplift my future.
The process was challenging at times, but I am no longer held back by anxiety. I have nurtured a positive relationship with myself and accept who I am: an imperfect empath who finds meaning through connection.
My story has given me lived experience of what it’s like on the other side. I appreciate the bravery and vulnerability needed to reveal intimate thoughts, feelings, and experiences, many of which may have been kept under lock and key for years.
I genuinely love my work and find great honour in partaking in other peoples’ stories, particularly through chapters of need and personal growth. Now, with my clinical training, I gravitate naturally toward building relationships founded on trust.