Header: One Woman’s Journey of Discovery to Contentment and Fulfilment
The person you meet today is 40- years old, confident (in the main), optimistic and courageous. If you’d told me at age 28 that was who I would become, I’d never have believed you.
My whole life I’ve suffered from social anxiety, depression, panic attacks, and phobias. I was terrified of everything and a real worrier – my dad used to comment on it when I was a child, how I would worry about everything and everyone. I had no confidence and would hate having to speak in class. That social phobia remained with me until my late twenties, until I was so depressed and on the verge of a breakdown that I decided I had to do something about it…
It started with a life coach who I met at age 28. I poured my heart out to her about all my fears and worries and she taught me different ways to help me to not only cope but rid myself of these issues. I wasn’t overly convinced she’d be able to help me, I felt I was beyond help! I had listened to self-hypnosis CDs to build my confidence since I was a teenager but to no avail. However, with a bit of time, and a lot of commitment and dedication, the methods she taught me started to work. They helped me to not only overcome my chronic shyness and anxiety but fear as well – in fact, I went from being terrified of heights and panicking every time I had to walk across a motorway bridge to jumping out of a plane at 15,000 feet!
Life moved on significantly and I got a new job, made new friends, and felt like I was finally finding my place in the world. I was still struggling emotionally at times, as many of us do, but now I had a greater understanding of emotions, triggers, energy work, and spirituality. My life coach introduced me to the work of Eckhart Tolle, Byron Katie, and Paul Lowe and I had developed a substantial toolkit of self-help with spiritual teachers I could call on to help me when I needed them.
Roll on a few years and I suffered once more with depression. I felt lost in the world and unsure of my future, which seemed to come out of the blue. I visited my doctor who prescribed anti-depressants and a course of therapy called Behavioural Activation. The therapy was great (another useful tool!), but I never came away from the medication. Although the pills did help at the time, I really should have only taken them for a brief time, but I stayed on them for years, never really questioning my actual ‘need’ for them.
Life moved on and I began to feel a deep need to look into the spiritual aspect of life as I didn’t feel I was really enjoying it anymore. Material ‘things’ didn’t hold as much appeal as they once had, I felt world-weary and bored. The anti-depressants were doing a great job of numbing me, although they did help stop me from worrying and over-thinking as they zonked me out! I’d easily sleep for 9 or 10 hours each night. Nothing stressed me out like it used to, but nothing excited me – I wasn’t living, I was existing. I visited mediums, had readings… and found reiki! I had a reiki healing session which I went into with an open mind, trying to not expect too much, and afterward, I felt lighter, joyful, and with a real spring in my step. I couldn’t believe a brief reiki session could make me feel so good! I had another one, and another, and decided I had to learn this wonderful method for myself.
This was in June 2019; I was working full-time as an HR Manager for a local charity and learning reiki and mediumship in my free time. What followed next was what I describe as my ‘dark night of the soul’…
To benefit from the reiki and feel the changes in my energy, I decided to come off the anti-depressants. Having been on them for 5 years this was no mean feat, and I was plunged back into depression as I attempted to wean myself off. I made it though; I’ve learned that I have a great reserve of determination when I need it!
Following this difficult transition away from the medication, our little dog Georgie passed away. This was in December 2019; she’d been severely ill with a disease she’d picked up from sandfly from when she was a street dog in Greece. I’d been giving her a potent liquid drug to help push her back into remission, which had been successful twice before, but this time she was too poorly and she passed away, taking a piece of my heart with her.
After Georgie passed, my husband had a heart attack scare. Following a rather anxious trip to the hospital, some tests and a very nervous couple of weeks awaiting the results, he thankfully got the all-clear. Then in early 2020 my stepdad, Andy, was rushed into Derriford hospital with sclerosis of the liver and other health problems. Although Andy had given up drinking 10 years previously, the damage was done so despite his best efforts to improve his health, he passed away in Torbay Hospital in June 2020. A difficult time ensued supporting my poor heartbroken mum as she struggled through her grief, which was also right in the middle of the lockdowns that Covid-19 brought.
We also suffered the financial impact of Covid as my husband, who works in sales, couldn’t earn any commission and his basic salary was reduced due to a temporary redeployment to an ‘office’ job he could do from home. The financial difficulties meant we had to sell our house and downsize, freeing up some cash to pay off our mounting debt. House moves aren’t known for being stress-free, and this one certainly wasn’t! 4.5 months after selling, we moved out to a more rural part of Devon.
2021 arrived and with the return of Spring, things started feeling better. We were in a new home, and we still had 2 other dogs, Georgie’s sisters Saffy and Sadie. Life started to return to normal with Covid getting under control and the promise of a vaccine. However, both our dogs were quite elderly and in April, Saffy passed away. Just three months later, the last of our girls Sadie, passed too. All pet owners know it’s inevitable we’ll face this loss given their relatively short life span on Earth, but it’s still gut-wrenchingly painful. Grief doesn’t only show up when it’s a shock – even when a death is expected and there’s been a long and joyful life, the sense of physical separation and loss is hardly bearable.
So how does this relate to reiki? All the difficulties I’ve experienced have pushed me even more firmly onto my spiritual path. When we’re faced with constant grief and loss, we can start to question our own mortality and the realisation comes that this life is only temporary; we’re not here very long in the grand scheme of things. I believe we come to Earth to fulfill our life path or destiny, and once you know what this is (which may come from a gut feeling or a sense of just ‘knowing’ rather than a logical thought process), you begin a quest to find and live this purpose.
There really is no turning back once you’ve awakened spiritually – material pleasures don’t bring as much joy anymore and they’re replaced with something deeper, a sense of ‘knowing that you can’t put into words. Healing is part of my life path. And reiki is a fantastic way of bringing that healing into my life.
To be pushed in the right direction I’ve had to move away from numbing practices (which for me was medication) so I can feel and sense the subtle energies that run through and around our bodies. Grief, anxiety, and depression are a sad part of life for many people, but in facing this pain I’ve become determined to help others who are experiencing the same. I love to hear from people who have suffered from these issues; I understand how the world can feel like a very lonely place when you’re suffering, but reiki brings people together to help and support each other, it really is a wonderful practice I’m blessed to be able to offer.