I will never forget the doctor who asked me, “Has it occurred to you that your family suffers from mental illness?”
“No! No, sir, it did not, and please don’t say that again,” I wanted to respond, embarrassed and ashamed by that truth. At the time, I preferred to think that I was the one with the problem, and this psilocybin study would be the solution. Ultimately, I did not participate in the study, but I did gain a greater awareness of where my panic attacks, anxiety, and obsessive thinking were coming from.
Over the next couple of years, I took a deep dive into the formative experiences that drove much of the anxiety. I also got on the right medication and found a phenomenal therapist (it took interviewing more than six in less than six months, but I found her!). I started several anxiety-reducing practices too. All of the hard work has helped significantly. And… I still struggle.
My nervous system still gets lit up and can render me physically and mentally exhausted. Intellectually, my body’s reaction to the happenings of my life don’t always make sense… there are no lions chasing me, I have plenty of food and water, and even good friends. But, here’s what I’m learning… my body is worth listening to.
Anxiety, panic attacks, and sleeplessness, along with joy, passion, and anger are my body’s way of communicating with me. The more I am able to slow down and listen, the easier it is to choose based on its wisdom. The more I criticize myself for having a sensitized nervous system, the more anxiety I experience.
Trust, it seems, is the key to improving my mental health. Trusting myself to make good decisions, and to gain wisdom when my decisions don’t work out so well. Trusting the Universe to take what I no longer need, and to bring what’s next. Trust in my gifts, and the right timing for using each one. Trust that other people are on their own journey, learning their own lessons.
Trust. It’s a daily decision, and if I’m honest, I don’t always choose it. Sometimes, I fight hard to gain some semblance of control until I’m reminded that I can trust myself, you, and all that is right now, as it is. It’s not easy, but it is the one thing that allows peace and serenity to drown out fear. Trust.
Trust in all that has brought me here.
Trust in you, as you are.
Trust in my gifts.
Trust in my body.
Trust in a greater plan.
Trust in joy.
Trust in change.
Trust in anger.
Trust in my ability to learn, grow, and expand out of who I think I should be so that who I really am can have space to breath, dance, and even write this piece.
This year, mental health month is all about Trust. How about you?
Here’s to your greatness,
Misti Burmeister equips leaders and teams with skills and resources to empower and engage across generations. For nearly 20 years, she has facilitated communication that results in trust, increasing engagement and productivity across generations. Make sure your communication is coming across the way you intend, visit https://www.MistiBurmeister.com