1) Tell us a little about your backstory. What was your childhood like? When did you start having health problems?
My childhood wasn’t nurturing, I grew up in an abusive household and was very scared of my father. I learned at an early age to stuff everything emotionally and I became an expert at living life in survival mode. The problem is that nobody can survive that type of emotional trauma and not come out unscathed. When I was in elementary school I had my first panic attack and it worsened as the years went by. By high school I was ruled by anxiety and depression was waiting at my doorstep not too far down the road. In my early 20’s I became bed bound with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, depression with anxiety and rarely leaving my home, unable to work.
2) The third pillar focuses on ways to strengthen your body. Why do you suggest walking outside?
I’m really excited that the world is finally catching up to what I have known for a long time. Nature can be instrumental in our healing. When we walk step after step on Mother Earth surrounded by nature our bodies immediately adjust to our new rhythm. We connect with the trees, animals, water, rocks, and soil which helps ground us. Nature doesn’t care who you are or what you drive, nature is being it’s full and true self. Our external senses pick up on this first and we begin to feel calm and serene. Our mind drifts and relaxes, everything becomes less important. In
Japan they have a custom called “forest bathing” which is nothing more than spending time in a forest relaxing and taking it all in.
3) The last pillar discusses how to find your tribe. Why is community vital when dealing with anxiety and depression?
For those of us that suffer from depression and anxiety the first thing we do is retreat into our own world and isolate ourselves. We don’t want to bother anybody with our problems and we don’t want to be seen. This is one of the worst things we can do as it keeps us in a static state of being unwell. We aren’t meant to go through life alone, we are meant to be in community helping each other. If your readers can turn the tables it is easier to understand. How would you feel if you had a friend or family member suffering in silence and not asking you for help? It probably would make you feel sad, you would do anything to help them. Turning the tables now – why are you denying them the same opportunity to help and provide loving care to you? As humans we must find love for ourselves enough to be able to reach out and ask for help, because when we ask for help, it is given.