Something I Haven’t Shared Before

The blogs I have posted previously have been educational. You see, I am passionate about helping people to find their way out of the black hole and stop living their lives in fear; which is really what anxiety is. Fear of not being good enough and fear of being judged are the most common. 

It has just dawned on me though that I have not shared with you why I am pursuing the Happy Mind Formula Project. So in short, here it is.

I suffered low self esteem for the majority of my life and this led me on an emotional roller coaster ride  for many years.

 My pendulum has always swung a long way; lots of highs, followed by huge lows

  • As a younger child I used food to manage my emotions resulting in being an overweight child. I also wore glasses and became a perfect target for bullies. Being called a fat, four-eyed dog does nothing to boost your self esteem.
  • At 15 I made a decision to starve myself and exercise like a mad woman. I figured that if I was skinny then the bullying would stop. This resulted in dramatic weight loss, illness and  paranoia about what I put in my mouth. 
  • At 18 I used alcohol to control my emotions and began binge drinking. I  gained a lot of weight and became depressed. It was a very destructive loop. I hated myself and my life.
  • At 21 I got married and had 2 beautiful boys, this was my turning point. (or so I thought). I was going to be the best mother on this planet. I was determined that my boys would always feel loved and feel good about themselves.

Low self esteem I have discovered can cause you to do one of two things. It can cause you to be miserable and do nothing or it can cause you to spend your while life trying to prove to yourself and others that you are worthy. I was the latter of the two and as young mum was determined to show everyone that I was super woman. I was a great mum, I worked full time,  exercised like crazy and  had a really clean house and clean kids. No-one was going to find anything to judge me on.

My marriage didn’t last, but that’s another whole story. I found myself living in a constant state of anxiety trying to keep all the balls in the air as well as manage financially. I pushed myself to the limit trying to be everything to everyone; then one day I fell over the edge. 

I woke one morning to find one side of my head and face so swollen; I looked like “elephant woman.”

I had suffered psoriasis (a stress related skin disorder) most of my adult life and it had been in the “hot phase” for quite a few months due to ongoing stress and on this particular day had become infected.

It was all I could to get out of bed and get my son to his first day of school. I wanted to crawl under a rock and stay there. Funnily enough though, I wasn’t anxious anymore. I just felt dead inside; paralysed. Everything I did felt heavy and difficult.  

It felt like I had a heavy, dark blanket over my head and all I could see were my feet being placed one in front of the other, like a shuffle. If it wasn’t for the overwhelming love for my children I would not have made it out of the house that day.

I went to my general practitioner who was shocked at my appearance and would not let me leave his surgery until I explained what was happening in my life. The floodgates opened and I couldn’t stop. I am not sure I made any sense at all because to be honest with you, I didn’t know where to start. I didn’t really know what was wrong, but I did know that nothing was right.

He recommended anti-depressants; I was devastated. I couldn’t believe I had reached this point. I always believed I was far more resilient than this. Maybe that was half the problem, I thought I was bullet proof.

If nothing else on that day I had a moment of clarity and realised that something had to change. My two boys were so important to me and my driving force to find some balance in my life. If I didn’t start looking after myself, how on earth was I going to take care of them. I left the surgery without anti-depressants; in hindsight there were many times that I think they may have been helpful.

I took my GPs advice to seek professional help to address  my learned behavioural patterns and low self esteem. I started to say no to some people and commitments in my life to make time to look after myself. I worked really hard at just letting some things go and I started to be kind to myself.

I read numerous books, tried many therapies and therapists, changed my diet, explored movement, yoga and meditation to improve my coping mechanisms. Some things worked and some didn’t. As my journey progressed I integrated what did work into my life and slowly but surely I became stronger and had better coping skills for the many other challenges and obstacles that came my way.

I am pleased to say that eventually I did find my way out of the black hole and I guess I really don’t want the journey to be as long or difficult for others. I have always loved helping people, which I did for many years through my wellness centre and now I want to share through my book, my courses and my tele-seminars http://www.happymindformula.com/teleseminar/ 

I have discovered  many simple, practical strategies that can be so powerful when implemented and I want to share them so that you too can be happy, healthy and productive.

The Happy Mind Formula strategies when applied will enhance your mental and physical well being, greatly increasing your coping skills.  I am passionate about helping you find a zest for life again, live without fear and find your passion.

In a nutshell the Happy Mind Formula is a shortcut and action plan to ensure that your journey to mental and physical well being  is a lot smoother and shorter than mine.

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7 Responses to Something I Haven’t Shared Before

  1. Madonna says:

    Tracey,

    If that story is not in your book, I hope you add it to later editions. I understand now why you are so passionate about the book and the mission you are on.

    Thanks very much for sharing this. It takes a lot of courage to allow yourself to be so vulnerable. I applaud you for it.

    Madonna

    • tracey says:

      Thank you Madonna, no it is not in my book. I didn’t want my book to be about me, I wanted it to be about today and moving forward for others. I am starting to understand though that people like to share and connect, so maybe you are right and it will need to be included in the next edition.

      Best Wishes Tracey

  2. Thanks for being so brave and open in sharing what you have been through, Tracey! Sharing your personal story with the black hole will bring hope to others that it is possible to find a way out of it. Providing hope and encouragement for others is as powerful, if not more than so, than other strategies that can lift depression.

  3. Sue Murphy says:

    Wow Tracey. Thanks so much for sharing your story!! Its hard to believe when I look at you today. You seem like such a gorgeous, calm, confident and well adjusted woman. What an amazing journey you went on. I certainly had my own share of things to work through as a younger woman and Mum so can certainly relate to what you have shared.
    I dont know quite what it is about you but you radiate peace and graciousness. And your website is so fresh and vibrant.
    I’m so pleeased to have you here in my world.
    Sue xx

    • tracey says:

      Thank you for your kind words Sue. I still have days where I stumble and I do classify myself as a work in progress. I have learned on my journey that it is very important to continue to work on myself daily through personal development and take the time to look after my mental and physical well being each and every day. As has often been said; it does take more effort to be happy than unhappy.

      Best Wishes Tracey

  4. Donna Flockhart says:

    Hi there Tracey

    Thanks so much for sharing your story – it makes such a difference. As I’ve said previously – I sooooo relate.

    It’s an honour to have you sharing and supporting those of us in need.

    D xo

    • tracey says:

      Hi Donna, my please. So happy to have as part of the Happy Mind Formula Family. I know that by sharing and caring we can all find our way.

      Best Wishes Tracey

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