On August 10, 2023, I had a panic attack that rattled me to my core. I called the suicide hotline and one of my best friends and let them know all the weight I had been carrying. I sat in my car pulled over on the side of the road and cried for hours. Breathlessly hoping something would change. A spark would ignite or an answer would manifest out of thin air.
I’d had these attacks before but never consistently and I usually attributed them to hangovers or feeling shitty after a night of partying.
In February my boyfriend lost his dream job unexpectedly and it was my turn to step up for the team.
You see when he got the job it was the most money he’d ever made and we were excited, to say the least. He’d gifted me with the opportunity to quit bartending and take time to dream of my future and how I would make money in a way that doesn't make me miserable.
But when he lost his job, I immediately hopped back behind the bar.
It was then that the panic attacks ramped up.
They were debilitating
I couldn't breathe (which felt wild as a person committed to breathing as a practice). Tears and trembles roared through me unexpectedly without any chance of self-regulation. I would go numb in my hands and feet, get blurred vision, and even throw up.
I was terrified.
I was so thrown off track that I couldn’t imagine things coming back together. I couldn’t believe that after all the hard work I'd put into healing and loving myself, here I was in this perpetual torment of dysregulation.
I blamed myself.
I was sure I'd done something wrong
or there was something wrong with me.
I fell into a depression pit so deep that my friends were scared for me. I couldn't smile or laugh. I thought ceaselessly about death and ending my life.
Finally, something shifted when I couldn't take it anymore. I pressed pause on my relationship, moved out, switched jobs, got a new therapist, and got off social media.
It took months for me to settle and regulate. For me to start to recognize the root of my pain. For me to acknowledge and accept what my body, mind, and soul were screaming at me-
You are OUT OF ALIGNMENT, Queen!
I was making choices, saying words, going places, and holding on to thoughts and beliefs that were completely opposed to my core values and the life that I desired.
My body, mind, and soul were panicking because I had veered so far off course from my highest purpose that it was all they could do to sound the alarm and get my attention.
So, I course-corrected.
Step one I made a vision board to get clear on my goals and because it was easier than meditating and sitting with myself in stillness.
Step two I created art for “no reason”, using dancing, painting, and coloring as a way to express my chaos… because coloring in my coloring book was easier than sitting in stillness.
Step three I danced, played, and did yoga for ME, pressing pause with all my private yoga students, knowing I wasn’t in a place to hold safe loving space for other people and realizing that I was over-committing and filling my time, because– you guessed it– it was easier than sitting with myself.
Step four, I sat the fuck down, and asked myself some questions.
Who am I being?
Who do I want to be?
What would bring me healthy loving joy RIGHT NOW?
How do I want to feel?
I started talking to myself. OUT LOUD. Telling myself, pleading with myself, to accept where I was. I had to see that and accept my truth. I had let myself down, and now it was time to show the fuck up.
In hindsight, I can see that the panic attacks I attributed to being hungover stemmed from the same place. I was out of alignment with my core values and highest purpose.
My GODDESS SELF was like, “wtf are you doing, b*tch?”
But she knew I would and could come back home to me.
She knew the kind of love and guidance I needed.
She knew my power.
She never gave up.
It's been 5 months since my last panic attack.
I’ve seen consistent positive transformation in my life since recognizing my misalignment. Since I took steps to get clear on my core values, desires, and boundaries.
I changed the way I showed up in my relationships, making it clear that I would advocate for my needs and limits no matter what. I changed the way I show up for myself, stopped bartending and serving drinks, and put my whole heart into my purpose of serving others through yoga and mindful movement.
Life is better now.
I can self-regulate, getting into a mindset that is calm and understanding, through movement and breath.
I can reflect on what feels icky, loving myself enough to sit in stillness, holding space for discomfort, and discovering what’s underneath.
I can be joyful, even when I’m in the shit, because I know that these experiences are a gift and a guide towards the life of my dreams.
In the spring of 2024 I will be launching Spring Into Self Acceptance where we will work towards getting you into alignment with your truest desires, core values, and most pleasurable joyful purpose. If you feel the call, click the link below to begin the application process.
It is my honor and privilege to walk with you on the path of self-acceptance. It is my deepest joy to witness you stepping into your highest, healthiest, happiest self. It is my truest purpose to use the stories of my struggles and share my perspective with you to hopefully catalyze you into the life of your dreams.