My Journey from Depression and Anxiety to Happiness and Health

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Five years ago, at the height of my health problems, I moved from my busy city life in Florida all the way across the country to a little town on the edge of the Olympic National Forest in Washington State. (Population year round 1500)  Into the woods I went…. away from my job, my friends, my boyfriend, my hobbies… my livelihood.

I had become very ill and could not work any longer. I moved in the hopes that with the help of alternative medicine and my family in Washington State; I could cure my body and become healthy again.

Two weeks into my move I awoke one day to see a family of deer hanging out in my new backyard, eating away at the plants and bushes like there wasn’t a threat in sight.  I listened and couldn’t hear a single sound at all, inside or outside.  The sky looked dark and grey.  This was Washington State after all.  As I lay in bed, I could feel how terrible my sick, exhausted and toxic body felt.  It was in that moment I realized the weight of my decision.

I had picked up my whole life and moved to the middle of nowhere, USA.  Furthermore, I was 27 and living in a community where the average age was 65.  Suddenly, there I was, without a job, without any friends, and with a whole load of health issues that I had no clue where to begin to fix.

What was I to do?  What was my purpose now? Why was I so sick?  Through the years I hadn’t treated my body nearly as bad as most of the people my age.  Why me?

I became depressed.  I became fearful, angry and stressed. I felt like a failure. My health problems got worse.  I felt misunderstood.  Alienated.  Anxious. In fact I was so anxious it took me days to get the courage to do simple tasks, like go to the grocery store.  Every hour of the day became a struggle.  I had moved into a home with a very uncomfortable situation going on.  I became more anxious at home than ever.  To add to everything, my Aunt, Uncle and Grandmother unexpectedly passed away.  My life felt like a pit and I was at the bottom of it.

I decided to take some time and do some soul-searching.  I watched, read, and listened to everything I could to lift my spirits.  I looked for signs from the universe–signs that told me I was on the right path.  I took every medical test, tried every treatment and diet, and saw every doctor I could.  I went outside to exercise, get fresh air and be around nature whenever possible.  I called my friends whom I felt closest too, as hard as it was. I sent cards to those I could not bear to call.  I joined classes for families and friends of addicts.  I joined a meditation class, and started to work on two local committees as a volunteer.  I tried my best to attempt things that scared the living —- out of me.

I would be lying if I said my life changed overnight.  It didn’t.  Although, with time things did start to change.  Step by step I became less afraid, less depressed, less fearful of my life.  My anxiety and shame began to lift.  I brought gratuity and spirituality into my life.  I looked for the “blue skies” in everything.  Slowly but surely I became a happier and happier person. My health even began to prosper!

I stumbled across the Institute for Integrative Nutrition online and decided to sign up.  I than became more excited and hopeful about my future than ever.  On the first day of class, my gut told me my life was going to change forever.

Today, I am a new person.  I am the healthier and happier version of myself.  I continually try to align with my purpose–to inspire, to motivate, to heal, to lead–and to become the best version of myself I can, in every single area of my life.

During my journey I found that one of the tragic ironies of modern-day life is that so many of us feel isolated from each other, by the very same feelings that we all have in common:  Failure. Procrastination. Stress. Anger. Hurt. Anxiety. Depression. Guilt. Shame. Unworthiness. Helplessness. Fear.

We must learn to become larger than our anxiety, fear and shame. We must learn to share with those we trust about how we are feeling. They surely have felt the way we do at sometime in their life.  WE must want to show up– to speak, to act, to learn, to dance, to discover, to dare, to invent, to express, to create, to live!!

We must also continually search for our purpose. You know, that thing in your heart of hearts that you know that you were put on this earth to do.  I  know you know what it is in your gut, your heart and your head.  Stop denying your soul what it truly is here to do.

With that I must say, “Feel the fear, and Do it Anyway!” and also, what is that thing in your heart of hearts that you know you were put here to accomplish?  

Be happy, Be healthy. be well!

Health Coach Autumn

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