4 months ago to this day I jumped on a plane from Bali back to Australia, booking the flight just a few hours before. To explain to you the state I was in at that moment is almost impossible and although it seems so long ago the memory is still painful. It truly was my rock bottom, despite thinking I’d hit that back in January when I first jumped on a plane TO Bali. That I discovered was only the beginning!
To say the least I was a wreck. Plagued with anxiety to the point of being on the cusp of an anxiety attack at any given moment, a state that had become my only woken state for the past few weeks. I went about the airport check in ritual with headphones in my ears playing an Audiobook on mindfulness and breathing exercises, afraid that at any moment an attack would strike, I would have to escape out of the airport and I would be stuck in Bali alone and a mess yet again. I had to get on this flight. I had to make it home and it had to be that night. I was defeated. That airport experience and flight was one of the longest and worst experiences of my life. I didn’t feel relief that I was almost home, I didn’t feel content with making a decision to jump on that plane. After all, I was supposed to be flying the very next day to Malaysia and beginning a 1 month trip to the Middle East & Europe. I was in survival mode knowing I had to get home and that’s where the healing would begin.
If you’ve never experienced anxiety and in particular an anxiety attack (well firstly, lucky you), you’re probably thinking this all sounds a bit dramatic and that it couldn’t possibly be that bad. Yes, it is our minds that create this, but there are times where it is completely impossible to stop it. For me to describe it simply in my experience; it feels as though the world is caving in around you, there is nothing but a black darkness closing in on you, nothing is good, everything is horrible and its fucking scary, in fact its terrifying. I feel as if I am going to throw up, I shake profusely, get hot & cold sweats and truly believe that I am about to die. Later I learned the tools to not allow an attack to occur and especially to this extent, but during that time I was not equipped to deal with this.
So what happened to me to get to this point? What did Bali do to me? Well, that I could write a book about, which I one day will. What I will tell you is that the journey I went on to lead me to that point was the most painful, confronting, emotional rollercoaster I have ever been on and know I will ever go on again. But it was needed. I see that now, but telling that to my 4 month-ago-self sitting in that airport smoking lounge pumping cigarettes and doing breathing exercises I would have told the now-me to fuck right off.
I got home, in the care (and I literally mean care) of my best friend. I didn’t move from the couch for almost a week straight. I cried all day everyday, I had anxiety attacks multiple times per day, I was fed & told when to shower. I was literally a big, dark, heavy, sad mess. The pain I felt was immense, I had never imagined feeling this way was even possible. I was truly living in my own worst nightmare. I didn’t want to be awake, yet I was afraid to sleep due to what would appear in my dreams.
I wondered, how did I get here? How am I at this point? What is the lesson in this? Why did this happen to me? Have I lost my mind? Will I ever laugh again? Why am I so weak? I had been through the most emotional few months of my life where I truly faced my lifelong demons and following that I then truly experienced immense joy and euphoria. However, it was short lived and despite thinking I had come to the other side of my journey I was catapulted back into the biggest, darkest lesson of all.
In my first couple of months in Bali I learned so much about myself and especially about my relationship and how I was in relationships throughout my life. I discovered that really the only reason I was unhappy was because of this. Everything else in my life was a success; my career, my business, my friends, travel & social life. It was me in a relationship that was a total failure. I couldn’t be happy despite wanting it so badly. I couldn’t overcome insecurity & jealousy. I couldn’t be content and trusting. I couldn’t enjoy it for more than a short period of time.
I went to Bali and did some healing; reading, writing, healing sessions, tarot readings & spent a lot of time on my own. What I realised in the first few months was crucial to the journey, but as I was new to this I wasn’t completely right in my discoveries. I took the entire blame for everything and anything ever going wrong in my relationships. I decided I was the only one who needed to change and not the man/previous men I was with. It really, really hurt to admit that I was a problem and take blame for things going wrong, but I did. And I decided it was time to change. In my current relationship I promised to start new, become a new version of myself and our relationship would work.
I thought I/we had truly changed. I believed I was about to be 100% happy in this relationship and that everything I had worked for would prove to be a success. Boy, was I fucking wrong. And of course the universe, instead of letting me down lightly, fucked me over royally to the point where I would never, ever allow myself to be in this position again. If you’re going to teach me a lesson I guess it’s worth teaching me once and for all.
So my relationship crumbled.. But not in a way where its like “OK, we’re over and here’s a bit of a shit break up, but you’ll move on.” In a way where it fucking destroyed me, it totally crushed me. It was the most toxic, disgusting rollercoaster 3 week break up that left me in the state that I described above. I have never felt so lost, so alone, so hurt and betrayed in all my life. Bali started as my saving grace and became my living nightmare.
In the 4 months since being home the lessons have become apparent and I see now how everything that happened had to lead me to this point. I was so confused and lost in the first month back, I couldn’t understand why anything like this had happened to me. I felt every lesson and realisation I had was a total waste. But low & behold in time it has all become clear.
Once the immense pain started to fade I was able to take steps to rebuilding my life. I basically had nothing when I returned, apart from incredible people around me which I am so grateful for. I had nowhere to live, no real possessions and no sense of my self. But I started slowly “sorting out of my life.” One day I dragged my ass to the gym and it was in that hour that for the first time in weeks I didn’t feel one shred of anxiety. I barely had one thought cross my mind apart from what I was doing, counting reps and what I was doing next. This saved me. Every day I would go and feel so free from the over-thinking and the anxiety.
Slowly I started to smile, I started to laugh, I started to get my life back together and most importantly become more in control of my mind and my thoughts. Then I knew it was time to heal & grow. If I had have given up at this point and not pushed myself to become the best version of myself I would have gone through all of that pain and heartbreak for nothing. What an absolute waste!
I don’t believe things happen by chance, but that we are guided into every situation as its meant to be, no matter how shitty or fucked up it is at the time. So many things had happened to me up until that point that were no coincidence. I jumped on a one way ticket to Bali in January with no idea what I was doing, only to be led into the biggest journey of my life. I insisted on taking a particular book with me that was truly the beginning of this journey and catapulted me into the lessons I needed. I booked into a tarot reading session with the wrong person who turned out to be my mentor and saviour in Bali and introduced me to Al-Anon meetings. I was led to the hotel room of my ex boyfriend the night before we were supposed to fly to Malaysia, at the exact moment to find him in bed with another girl that ultimately got me on that flight home and made me close that chapter of my life.
And just like that I was guided into another situation that yet again would change my life. A few weeks after returning I was in the Spiritual Centre in Cairns when my friend picked up a book and handed it to me. I totally judge a book by its cover and this book was so old, I hated the font & the cover, I had never heard of the title or the author. But I borrowed it anyway. Whether it was because I wanted my friend to know I appreciated her thinking of me or whether something just drew me to take it, but I did.
And I truly believe this book was the last piece to my learning journey and that has really finalised the healing and becoming the best version of myself in this life. The book is called “Women who love too much” and from this I learned exactly who I was attracting into my life and why I could never be happy in a relationship; stemming from my childhood and the way I had always known love & relationships. And it totally blew my mind. Every page, every paragraph was as if she was writing about me. Every story of another woman who had the same traits was like reading about myself, I thought “this woman has hijacked my story!” I didn’t fly through this book like one normally would with something that blows their mind. I found it completely overwhelming, confronting and exhausting. I read it slowly, but I learned so much about myself, it was as if my entire life suddenly made sense.
You might be thinking, “How lame, if you are a woman who loves too much then just stop it.” Its not that simple. You might even be wondering what loving too much even means? Its so much more than the title offers and much more complex than one may think. And of course I can’t explain it to you in a blog without copy & pasting the book in here for you to read for yourself. But put simply and in my own personal case it has meant attracting emotionally unavailable men and trying (forcing) them to commit to me and make it work. I discovered I attract these men because my parents were emotionally unavailable and it would be an accomplishment if I could take that man and make him love me and commit to me like my parents couldn’t. I also sub-consciously always believed that being in love meant being in pain because that’s all I’ve ever known. I allowed toxic relationships to continue because I have never known any better. I believed that passion, lust and heartbreak meant love.
The important thing I must note here for anyone who believes this book could ultimately change their life too, is that the entire journey and months of pain I experienced before was absolutely crucial and necessary to me before picking up this book. I truly had to reach rock bottom in order to take any of this on board. I literally had to be on my knees, desperate to change before any of this would help me. And simply reading this book does not mean that I am healed. I still have 28 years of healing to do and there is no guideline or timeframe on how long this takes. But being aware and recognising the traits I learned in this book has been one of the best things that’s happened to me in my life. I recognise a toxic situation as soon as I see it and I can stop it. Maybe not right away, but I can. I see in myself when I am falling back into old patterns immediately and I work to stop this.
4 months on I am still reading the second part to this book. I am still going to the gym, I am working a new job and starting a new business, my current business is booming, I am also quitting smoking. I have moved cities and surrounded myself with incredible family and friends. I barely have any anxiety and especially not any attacks and I am never heavy with sadness. I wake up every day a little more healed, more grateful and more excited about life. Despite how horrible the journey has been for me I am forever grateful for every shitty part of it and that I am lucky enough to be able to recover now and transition into the best version of myself to go forward in this life.
And now? Time to build an empire!
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