My Story: How I overcame depression + anxiety by creating a spiritual practice and tuning into my intuition.
Let me take you back to last year. It was a hard time for me. I had depression and anxiety. And I was dealing with lots of pressure from myself. But I was able to overcome all of it. I created a fulfilling spiritual practice for myself, and dug deep into my intuition.
But before I get into that, let me paint the picture for you.
I had just graduated with my Master’s in Social Work. I had dreamed of doing therapy. And I spent a little over $60,000 in loans to pursue that dream. But what I couldn’t foresee was how much it would crush me to come out on the other side. I was burnt out and I knew I wouldn’t survive another couple of months in my field, despite trying to convince myself otherwise. I applied for a job in my field and they saw right though me. They knew I wouldn’t last even when I wouldn’t admit it to myself. It was difficult to get out of bed some days. While I had dealt with anxiety for some time, and depression here and there, this was the worst of the two combined.
I spent two months dragging myself around before I finally decided to get a minimum wage job. Which, let me tell you really hurts one’s self image after getting a masters. So it was at this time that I also started therapy. Now let me tell you, therapy is helpful and I totally recommend it. It gave me the support I needed to leave my minimum wage job when I began to cry on my way home from work. Therapy helped me, but I was still struggling through life. Fear was my greatest obstacle and failure was my greatest fear. I feared I was a failure as a social worker. I feared that I was failing my parents and family for the faith they had put in me. I feared I was failing as an adult because I didn’t have a job in my field like other people did. My relationships were beginning to strain under the weight, especially my relationship with my husband. He was concerned and he didn’t know how to help.
I saw other people leading beautiful lives. Fulfilled lives. I was inspired by Elizabeth Gilbert and her personal story in dealing with depression and her fears. I read Eat, Pray, Love and I felt my emotions. I then received Big Magic as a gift from my husband, and I gobbled it up. I then began to read spiritual stories from individuals such as Heather Waxman, Amanda Frances, Alex March, and more.
I turned inward, into myself and most importantly, in towards spirituality. And, finally, after 8 long months, life wasn’t so heavy. I wasn’t anxious over every little thing and trying desperately to control everything around me. And I walked into my therapy sessions with new confidence, moving the sessions from biweekly, to monthly, and I haven’t been back.
Here are a few of the steps I took moving in towards spirituality:
- I did a lot of work on my intuition. This mainly was in the form of tarot readings. Either for myself or others. I was probably doing readings 3-5x a week. Sometimes more if I did a sale.
- I was being of service. So, I was giving consistent reiki sessions to a dear client of mine, who really provided a lot of feedback. The feedback helped to boost my confidence, but also to really trust what I was seeing and stretched me to accept things like reincarnation from another plane/planet.
- Connect with my divine self. I would go into meditation with my divine self and channel messages. I began to put trust in an entity sort of outside of myself. This also came with an amount of “surrender.” Kind of like putting aside my ego, but also my fears and worries, in order to follow guidance and explore trusting that things would turn out alright. Especially when many things seemed really scary, and I was crying as I was driving home from work.
- And lots of questioning. There was some battling within myself about “how do I connect to divinity if I don’t believe energy and the divine are gender binary.” And some of it was battling “fuck, what if this doesn’t work out?” And “Do I work with a deity? And if so which ones?” but also doing so in a home that was not well receptive to my beliefs or experiences. And I am sure there were nights of questioning my beliefs. “Was I really being supported? And if not, what would that mean for my beliefs? Or even, and if so, what would that mean for my beliefs?” See the next post, Building Faith, to read more about how I was able to work through that question.
Of course there were still bumps along the way after that. I had to learn to give myself space. I couldn’t go go go all the time. I had to listen to my body and my mind. Really tune into it. Was I pushing myself too much? Was I comparing myself to someone which created certain expectations? And what did my body really need at that moment? Sometimes that meant taking a short break, other times that meant spending the day playing video games with my husband. But one of my biggest self care points was to love and accept myself. Holding that at the center of my practices helps me to move forward.
I also tried and failed to find a space where as a woman, it wasn’t emphasized that I connect to divine energy through my womb, an organ I never really had a connection with and doesn’t define my identity. That association seemed to be considered as the only way or the best way to connect with the divine. I saw how it not only hurt me, but also alienated and isolated other people as well. So I began to carve out my own practices that didn’t involve a gendered view of energy and did not emphasize sex organs or gender roles.
Developing a clear spiritual practice gave my life structure and the extra bit of meaning and fulfillment I needed. I began to journal more often. Journaling to myself, my divine self, and the Universe. I focused more on meditations and connection with my energy. I sat with my intuition. I spoke in prayers and in my mind, and even out loud at times. The therapy sessions were great, but I needed that extra bit from a spiritual practice, from listening to my intuition, and from building a relationship with my Divine Self and the Universe. I am so passionate about it! I want to share these beautiful things!
Now I work with ciswomen, trans women, trans men, agender individuals, genderfluid individuals, gender non conforming individuals, and gender queer individuals. I help them do the same as I did – create a spiritual practice that is fulfilling to them, learn to listen and hear their intuition, and build a relationship with divine energy, in whatever form that is for them.
We work work on positive mindset changes, but I also emphasize that we are all human. We have emotions. Negative thoughts will come up. Life isn’t all rainbows and positivity. But we can shift our overall mindset. Learning to have faith, increasing feelings of self worth and confidence, and creating practices to challenge the gremlins in our minds. This knowledge and experience clients gain can help them to better work through those difficult times, just as it helped me.
I love it this work! I love stepping along side each individual helping them to navigate spirituality, intuition, fulfillment, and purpose in ways that don’t make them feel isolated and alienated, and doesn’t do the same to others. I look forward to doing readings and sessions with clients. It brightens my day when I can show up and hold space for my clients. That is how I knew this is what I wanted to do. and maybe in the future this will change, and I allow space for that. But right now, this lights me up.
The purpose of our lives is to be happy.
– Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama