Anxiety

#LetsTalk

The first time I experienced depression was when I was a teenager.  That’s a pretty common experience, right?  A time when we’re learning what it means to be in this world.

The teenage experience is often isolating.  Confusing.

We don’t know how to talk to our parents anymore and even our friends may seem alien to us.  And so we wonder, what’s wrong with us?

Then there’s freedom.  A sense of autonomy that helped to pull me through this challenging time.  I found my voice, though still small and uncertain.

And then fast forward to 21.  I am pregnant and over the moon excited for this new little life I have the profound privilege to nurture and love.

But at the same time this experience feels tainted.  I move through illness for the majority of my pregnancy without the support I so long for.  Isolated from friends and family who don’t know how to be there for me during this extremely important time.

Let me just say that women becoming mothers for the first time need a goddamn tribe of support around them at all times!  While a new life is being created, a woman is also being formed.  She NEEDS people to f@$king show up for her!

So PLEASE, be there for her.  Sit with her.  Ask her how she’s feeling.  Bring her nourishing foods.  Don’t let her do this alone!

Honestly, the lack of support I received during this time created the majority of the trauma I experienced as an adult and resulted in severe postpartum depression.  At that time though, it felt taboo to talk about how sad and depressed you were.  So I didn’t.  And honestly, no one asked.

‘You just had  a beautiful baby.  What is there to be sad about?’

A lot.  And it’s beyond just the fearful thoughts.  Often, it is physiological.  As women who become mothers, we step into a whole new way of being in this world, and in our bodies.

I SOOOO wish someone had stood at bat for me during this time and helped me get support.  A counsellor, my doctor, anyone!  Feeling like there’s something wrong with you as a new mother is extremely difficult to manage.

Honestly, this wound is something I’m still moving through and feeling into for forgiveness.  Forgiveness of self, and for those who didn’t know how to help.

That was probably my last major experience of depression.  Likely because after that I created a distance from my emotions.  Turning away from my sensitive heart and focusing solely on getting through my children’s younger years believing that I couldn’t rely on anyone else for support.

It really wasn’t until 5 years ago when I felt a stirring begin.  A deep need for all the parts of myself to be reclaimed.

All of the structures in my life I had build to keep me safe and separate needed to be dismantled.  This was not a gentle process.  Though I imagine it could have been if I had tools and resources to help with the transition.

I left my marriage and business.  And began the essential journey from head to heart.  Learning again what it means to be sensitive and vulnerable.

It was rocky.  And so incredible!  I had realized that living in isolation and with a constant fear of abandonment was no way to live at all.  Rather, it was slow suicide.

I knew that I had a choice.  To allow depression to take over again, to move deeper into my fears and isolation, or seek help.

During that time I had incredible lifeline friends!  They were everything to me.  People I could call at any time and helped draw out my truth.

**If you are moving through depression or anxiety, I STRONGLY encourage you to reach out to a friend that you trust.  If this isn’t available, seek the support of a counsellor.  Better yet, do both!!

What I began to see (with the help of many guides and teachers), was that depression and anxiety showed up when I was separated in some way from my Self.  With a capital S - my truest Self.

When I wasn’t speaking, living or being my truth, there was turmoil.  Confusion.  A desire to retreat and distance.

Anxiety taught me this lesson greater than anything else.  For a period of time, a failure to speak openly and honestly resulted in severe panic attacks.

It’s funny.  During this time I went to my doctor to talk about how to deal with the anxiety and panic attacks.  While she was sympathetic and kind, she lacked the experience to know how to offer support.

My doctor’s best suggestion was to go on meds.  No referral to a counsellor.  No ongoing support or inquiry into the root of the issue.

I sought a counsellor on my own.  Thank goodness!!  Honestly, this more than anything else, helped me move through and process so much of what lay behind the anxiety.

And here I am today.  Happy, loved, supported, and fulfilled in so many ways.  A testament to the truth that we ALL experience struggle with mental wellness and a true believer in the importance of seeking support.

I may experience depression and anxiety again.  Who knows?  But it’s ok. I now have tools.  And I know where to find support.

PLEASE, reach out.  Please keep talking.  Don’t let your fears, sadness, grief, trauma, addiction, depression, anxiety hide in the dark.

Reach out to a friend.  AND a counsellor.  And whatever else you can get your hands on!  If the first person doesn’t get you, keep trying.  You matter.  Your presence here is SO important.


Crisis Services Canada

+18334564566

Text 45645


Alberta Mental Health Helpline

1-877-303-2642

https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/amh/amh.aspx


Online Counselling - Better Help

https://www.betterhelp.com/

My recent healing journey with psychedelics

Last week I went to Vancouver to sit with some very powerful Spirit Medicine.  In the medical world, we call it LSD- Assisted Psychotherapy.

You know, I wasn’t really sure if I’d even share this publicly, but I feel strongly that the stigma around psychedelic use and plant medicine needs to be faced with truth and honest experience.

My reasons for exploring this are long and varied, so let’s just keep it simple and say that we ALL have trauma and part of this journey of ours is finding the freedom that is our birthright.  I’m not sure what drew me to this particular medicine, and it’s quite likely that I will be exploring others in the years to come.

LSD is a synthetic psychedelic Spirit Medicine. Also known as acid.  My personal preference is for more close-to-nature medicines but this is the one I was brought to and I’m so very grateful I was.

I’m going to share a bit about the actual experience and then some of the integration, which has been the most powerful part of this journey.

To begin with, I have been working with an incredible counsellor now for almost 8 months.  I am so blessed to have this woman and her unconditional love in my life.  I so HIGHLY recommend counseling to everyone!

Imagine having regular conversations with someone who is amazing at communication, holds space for all parts of you, and helps you process parts of your experience that have felt confusing and overwhelming.  And this incredible woman is who I sat with on the medicine journey.

For the week leading up to the journey I ate extremely clean.  No sugars, dairy, processed anything, or meat.  And the day before I fasted.  This is an important component of the medicine work as it cleanses the body and mind - offering a clean slate for new physical, emotional, and spiritual experience.

On the morning of, I ate a small healthy meal, sat in Meditation with my guide and then chose a comfortable place for the journey.  I’m a big fan of comfort so it was the coziest, snuggliest bed for me with lots of access to blankets and pillows and whatever other comfort items I could find.

I took the medicine under my tongue (pure, liquid LSD - 480 ug) and we began chatting for a bit about the intention we had previously set.  About 10 minutes in I could feel it beginning to work so I laid down and put an eye mask on.

Now, this is the part that I can’t really describe as it happened.  Nor is it even necessary for me to, as this journey was all about me.  An encounter with my truest Self.

The imagery was incredible.  I felt as though I was sitting at the centre of a huge octopus and gifted the ability to travel down each of its legs to explore any aspect of self that I desired.

I moved through thousands of lifetimes.  Experienced all of the beauty and pain I could possibly imagine.  And found myself laughing at the joy and divine comedy of it all.

This lasted probably 2 hours in linear time but truly, it felt like a milennia.  During this time I wasn’t communicating at all with my guide other than to ask what time it was in her world in between each of the journeys.

In this space there were no names, only energies coming in and out of my experience.  Feminine and masculine shifted into polarities and I found myself drawn forward not by attraction but by curiosity.

Eventually, I became aware and curious about the current linear time we were in and started chatting with my guide.  Whatever came up in my visions I would share with her and she would support me as I explored it in relation to my current life experience.

It was fascinating to see how my mind would show me truth through repetition of images.  Addressing so many of the long held limiting beliefs that created suffering in my experience.

We sat together for almost 10 hours as I explored the inner landscape of my mind and spirit.  I cannot even begin to express the deep gratitude I hold for this woman.  With gentleness and love, she held the most profound space for me.

And then, after she left I had such a special solo experience.  Journaling, dancing, watching silly shows on Netflix.  The insights and connections just kept coming.  It was like a lifetime of psychotherapy packed into 1 day.

Eventually I found sleep and fell into a deep rest.  Physically, I felt like I had run a marathon.  And mentally, I felt clean and sensitive, as though my skin had been shed and the new skin was thinner than the old.

The next day and the many days after have been spent integrating.  Being very aware of what things I am noticing and offering curiosity into shifts and changes.

There is so much that has changed, and much that hasn’t.  I still have frustrations, anger and fears.  And a deep need for quiet and solitude.

What I’ve noticed the greatest shift in is trust.  To experience thousands of lifetimes is to become acutely aware of the impermanence of this moment and of the divine perfection in all things.  And in this awareness there is a trust that all is unfolding perfectly.

There is truly nothing to do.  Rather, anything and everything to be.

Life is meant to be fun and playful.  Full of curiosities.  An exploration of the human experience.  The divine unfolding.

Now, I’m only a week into this integration and I’m sure so much more will show itself to be seen.  But I can honestly say that this has been an invaluable experience.  It has greatly shifted my experience of anxiety and helped me process much past trauma.

I so highly recommend this medicine work to those who feel called to it.  And know in my bones that this is an ongoing part of my personal journey and how I will offer my service to the world.

If you’ve read to the end, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to read and be with me in this space 🙏.  It feels like such a liberation to share this experience so openly and honestly.

 

Om shanti

Om mani padme hum

Xoxo 💋

Caroline