Throat Chakra Healing and New Adventures
Growing up with intense feelings of depression and anxiety, society told me I shouldn't trust my own thoughts. After all, depression and anxiety are characterized by thinking patterns that cause dysfunction. Why wouldn't I 'over' analyze my thoughts after being told at such a young age that they were disordered? For my entire teenagehood and adult life, this made logical sense to me. I questioned myself on everything.
At times, I'd even go as far as saying,
"Is this my depression talking?"
"Maybe this is just awkward and uncomfortable because I'm anxious."
I never learned to ask my soul what my severe feelings of depression and anxiety were trying to say. I didn't understand my feelings were valid, warranted, and a normal, healthy response to certain people, places, and things. I needed outlets, and for unconfirmed reasons, those outlets showed up in the form of self-harming behaviors. Skin picking. Cutting. Binge drinking. Older boys.
Give a child (I was 11) a pill to inhibit their reuptake of serotonin, tell them major depression runs in your family, and keep adjusting the meds every time the child complains of side effects and you see what level of self-trust they develop.
You see what they come to believe about themselves, their minds, and their abilities. Watch that child turn to a teen and into a slew of additional diagnoses. Watch them become the statistic you already believed they'd be. When they return, tell them their problems are due to recurring depression or anxiety and give them a pill again. Tell them to go talk to someone.
I have spent years trying to silence the voices in my mind. I tried to quiet the inner critic by working to prove her wrong. She told me so many times that I am destined to be a failure, that I'll never escape the trailer court, that I will end up alone and unaccomplished, that I will let not only my family down, but generations of women before me who were never even "allowed" the chance to escape. That I don't even deserve the little I felt I had. I tried to erase the one who told me to do painful, harmful, hurtful things to myself. I overcame/am overcoming the one who told me not to eat, who told me to drink, who asked me to self-abandon every time I entered another person's energy field.
To make my own voices stop, I chose the path of replacing my distorted thoughts with the words of wisdom spoken by others. I actively sought out knowledge from books, the internet, mentors, peers, and everyone and anyone who would share a story with me (and mostly offering nothing of myself in return). I became a researcher of other people's spoken words and then I tried to make them my own. I tested psychotherapists with different situations to see how they thought I should think about it in order to fit some "healthy and well-adjusted" mold, rather than actually opening up about what was paining me throughout my younger years. I did whatever necessary to be accepted in the eyes of others, and this more often than not meant abandoning my voice.
I felt like a chameleon. My ex-husband called it being 'malleable' like puddy in his hands. Hold me tight enough and I will bend.
You see, without a love and appreciation and focus on the what the voices I'd been trying to silence were actually trying to say, I became suspect to fall in love with the way a man spoke about the world before I ever truly saw him. I didn't understand I was looking for answers in the personal perspectives of others who really could not put themselves in my place, ever, nor should they be asked to. This is my experience, and I need to find my own opinions, perspectives, arguments and hills to die on.
And one day, I did. One day, something so bad happened that it broke me into a million little pieces and I did not know how to put myself together again. All I had in my mind was the voices of others: my ex(es), my mom, my estranged dad, my estranged brother, my schoolmates who'd made fun of me for one reason or another. Critics; not my own voice, but the criticisms or beliefs and values of others. Lessons they learned and shared and emotions I'd copied along the way to that fateful day where I went into a courtroom bathroom and melted down the wall into a puddle of my own insecurities and greatest fears.
Everything I thought to be true about my love story was called into question.
I didn't start speaking up for myself the minute I finally unlocked the door, but it did start by pulling myself together enough to drive to a home that no longer felt like ours. Tainted. If the walls could talk...it wouldn't matter what they said. This was the starting point to reclaiming my voice and taking ownership of my life. I've been in transition to a place of owning my voice again. It's been 3 years. I actually can't believe that as I type it. 3 years since I left, almost one since I've been legally divorced.
Reclaiming Your Voice
After the rug is swept out from under you, there's only a few things left you can do (especially if you're already on a mental health medication). Since this wasn't the first time I found myself feeling lost and alone and unsure what to do next, unattached to anything yet overly attached to everything, I sought a different type of therapy: trauma-informed therapy.
"I'm coming from a separation and have moved back across the country. Living at my mom's currently, working from the spare bedroom in my hometown. I'm looking to dive into my past stuff a bit and get to the root of how this happened. I don't think it's like trauma but I think maybe you can help. If you're interested in talking more, let me know."
At the time, I didn't even understand fully what "this" was or what I was entering into. It's the first healthy commitment to myself outside of taking prescribed pills. It felt liberating, mine, and like a place for me to work out my baggage.
Six months after developing a trusting relationship with my therapist, they brought into session the word "abuse."
I had never, ever thought I was "abused."
Controlled a bit? Sure. Isolated? Absolutely. Depressed? Yes.
But abused? This was the love of my life. I'd never been happier before what happened. Right?
Now I know both of those things can be true.
I kept showing up to therapy, working through selling the house, negotiating a divorce settlement, talking about how I'd felt pressured into a lower dowry, talking about how fucked up it was that I ended up signing a dowry at the last minute before the wedding...
These are things I have never said before. To protect others. And to protect myself, too. But the things that have caused the most pain have forced my throat chakra to expand out of necessity.
I wandered my heart from trauma-informed therapy which helped me get the courage to go to a yoga studio in a pandemic and return when it reopened and to show up fully, openly, and accept healing in all forms the universe offers. I have continued therapy on days I have felt fine and I have continued on days I wanted to quit. I went to meetings, I went to online support groups, I read every book on getting through mental illness and I have interviewed experts on every topic mental-health-wise. I know I've survived what I have - anorexia, passive suicidal episodic thinking, alcohol/drug abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault, and immense loss - in order for this moment to happen, now.
The moment where I take the degrees, the certifications, and the life experiences into one space and start giving back in the ways I know how. The time where I stop silencing myself and where I start letting my throat chakra shine so fucking bright ya'll can't help but hear the call to action that's coming.
I'm truly honoured to share this journey with you. Please stay tuned for a MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT coming May 1.