First and foremost,
thank you for visiting my blog
WHO AM I?
My name is Rachel Page.
I am an Emergency Registered Nurse by Profession but recently entered the entrepreneur world to follow my dreams of becoming a Mental Health and Wellness Coach.
I obtained my Bachelor in Nursing from the Humber-University of New Brunswick collaborative program in 2013. I am currently enrolled in the Certified Wellness Coaching Program at International Association of Wellness Professionals.
I am an Ontario based blogger, and write about mental health and wellness. I share personal stories, tips and tricks, evidenced based education, re-blogged material, resources and much more.
Health care professional can suffer from mental illnesses too, and I stand proud to announce that I am one of them.
Don’t ever be afraid to share your story!
Where do I even begin?
In my teens, I was treated as an outcast; I was bullied and made to feel small and unimportant. The kids judged me before they even took the time to get to know me. They said and did hurtful things that still sting to this day. Shouting crude comments, teasing, taunting, harassing, pointing, whispering, eye-rolling, laughing, criticizing, or they left me in silence with no one to turn to, no one to talk to. I was easily rejected because people didn’t want to associate with me. When I did make friends, they weren’t the type of friends that you wanted. They were the type to subject you to the world of drugs and alcohol.
Life became risky, and I became rebellious. I gave little avail to how I was hindering my life and future.
I didn’t care because for once, I was finally feeling something besides hopelessness, fear, and sadness.
FORTUNETALY, a light bulb went off in my brain towards the ending of high school and I made it a goal to at least obtain my High School Diploma.
It was those younger days, when I felt what actual depression felt like. It was sometimes an internal battle of wanting to stay alive and wanting to end all the suffering.
Once high school was over, I entered into a state of equilibrium and it has only been disrupted if triggered by specific incidents, such as a breakup, death, failed friendship, major life change, etc. This state of equilibrium only lasted for a few years, and then as I entered my young adult life, I suffered from constant low-grade depression, with the occasional relapse into Major Depression.
In nursing school, I suffered from debilitating panic attacks. There was nothing worse than feeling like the world was closing in on you; my hands would begin to tremble; my heart would begin to race. My heart would beat so strongly that I was certain that it was going to explode or just stop from extreme exhaustion. My breathing would quicken and my hands would begin to tingle. I would feel like I was breathing but yet no air was getting into my lungs. the lump in my throat made it difficult to swallow. I was more afraid of having another panic attack then of death itself.
Once nursing school finished, so did the panic attacks…. Go figure! Actually, I think they ended up transitioning into generalized anxiety and eventually I was diagnosed with this disorder. At the height of my anxiety driven moments, I remember feeling constantly on-edge, irritable, and constantly worrying about every thought that came into my head. I would make big deals out of minuet things, things the average person would shrug their shoulders too and forget about in the next second. Everything seemed like a BIG DEAL. And god forbid something ever had to change in my daily routine. It felt like it was the end of the world in most cases. I was fixated on an unfixable schedule. My anxiety ended up getting so bad that it prevented me from attending social gatherings, or even hanging out with friends for that matter. The very thought of having to go to a social event made me want to vomit.
My moods kept cycling between anxiety and depression, but eventually I had enough and decided to reach out for help. I had hit my absolute lowest point in depression and knew I needed help. Lying on the couch, not eating or showering for a week was a sure sign I was giving up. I needed help!
I pulled myself into my doctor’s office, she knew right away what the problem was when I opened my mouth to speak and all that would come out was a flood of tears.
I was immediately started on an antidepressant (which helped both my anxiety and depression), referred to psychiatry, and put on a medical leave of absence for work (which lasted a month and a half).
I want to share with you some tips I have learned along the way that I have used to manage my anxiety and depression.
- Educate yourself (about your disorder)
- Eat a healthy, Well Balanced Diet
- Get active, get fit
- Get enough sleep
- Natural Remedies
- Practice Mindfulness
- Pick up a hobby
- Lean on your Support Network
- Establish a Daily routine
- Indulge in Self-Help Books
- Clear your mind with Journaling
- Cognitive Behaviour therapy, self-guided
- Consider a Coach or Counsellor
- When in a crisis, seek professional help (ie. doctor or psychiatrist).
- And so much more.
Having gone through what I went through with my mental health and having to navigate the health care system by myself, was exhausting, if not frustrating, to say the least. It was a lot of trial and error to figure out what worked and what didn’t. I am not going to say it will be easy for you either, but with the help of a coach (like myself), they can direct you and go through the process with you.
You are not alone.
I can now say, without a doubt, that I am feeling my absolute best. I feel healthy, both mind and body. I feel mentally strong, and empowered by my own self-determination. I feel calm, content, and happy. I feel like I can accomplish any obstacle that comes my way. I have learned to become more aware of myself so I can recognize when “warning” signs or triggers are present. I am able to prevent a relapse from taking hold. I have discovered more about myself and what my body and mind need to stay in a state of equilibrium. I have learned to love myself whole heartedly.
And I learned all this through self-discovery.
I smile again.
And so can you!
~ Rachel Page