I’m Ayesha, thirty years old, and I have been suffering from poor mental health for as far as I can remember. Throughout my childhood, I was the epitome of what my parents call a “problem child”. No, I did not do drugs, nor got in trouble with the authorities. I wasn’t on the extreme side of recklessness, so to speak. But reckless nonetheless. I was raised by a mother who’s had her fair share of childhood traumas from her own parents but did not have the opportunity to address them. My dad, although present all the time, decided to stay behind my mom’s back and enabled her as she does all the abuse. I didn’t have the tools back then to deal with this situation. Later on, as a grown woman, I decided to embark on a healing journey to address these wounds.
Because I am of Asian descent, corporal punishment is considered a normal disciplinary action. Let’s just say my parents made a wonderful team. I can’t even count the times my parents kicked me out when I was a teenager. These “banishments” resulted to me seeking comfort from the wrong people who only took me for granted. I jumped from one toxic relationship to another, hoping to find love along the way. I met peers that pressured me into developing bad drinking habits which led to my worst decisions in life. My life had seemed to be a perpetual spiral of unfortunate events, until the day I met my now-husband and my soulmate, on August of 2017. It was then that I started taking care of my mental health. I stopped working when I got married and focused my energy to my well-being.
Psychiatrists have prescribed a few SSRI such as clonazepam and Zoloft to help with the overwhelming rush of emotions. But I know that for me to be able to live my life to the fullest, I need to do better than that. I decided to stop the antidepressants and seek for a much safer alternative. I am determined to do whatever it takes to be a better person, so I found myself booking a plane ticket to Ubud, Bali for a three-day solo retreat. My mission: to come home with a different perspective in life, and to have a game plan in taking care of my mental health.
The mindfulness meditation taught me how to ground myself and be present. It was a bit difficult to concentrate at first, especially when my brain tends to dig up old memories whenever I’m alone with my thoughts. With mindfulness meditation and proper breathwork, I was able to acknowledge those thoughts instead of resisting them. It allowed me to be at peace with my past and accept that there is nothing I can do to change them.
Aside from meditation, I also experienced an amazing sound healing bath that left me feeling recharged. An hour of Tibetan singing bowls, blankets, and the moonlight, helped me acknowledge some of my childhood traumas. The frequency of the singing bowls felt like a warm hug throughout my body. I found myself laying on the floor, my pillow soaked with tears of pure bliss and love for life.
To cap off my journey, I went ahead and got an Ayurvedic massage and Reiki healing session. I knew they would be helpful in removing specific blockages that I couldn’t let go on my own. They used aromatherapy and warm herbal essential oils in the Ayurvedic massage, helping release the muscle tensions in my body. This type of massage promotes balance between mind, body and spirit, allowing the body to heal itself.
The Reiki Healing on the other hand, focused on balancing or healing your energies. Reiki practitioners believe that energy stagnates in the body where there has been physical or emotional injury. In time, these energy blocks can cause illness. Reiki practitioners believe that improving the flow of energy around the body can enable relaxation, relieve pain, speed healing, and reduce other symptoms of illness. I would describe my Reiki session as a magical experience where I felt sensations in my body I’ve never felt before.
After my healing journey in Ubud, I came home with a desire to learn more of what I experienced. I know that my journey doesn’t stop there, I just opened the door and the best is yet to come. So I decided to read about Buddhism and how I can incorporate its practices in my own religion. I made it a commitment to continue to practice everything that I learned from Ubud to my daily life.
It is not an easy journey. It requires a lot of self-discipline, motivation, hope and faith. Today, I still meditate at least twice a week, with healing crystals and a desire to reach my highest self. With my new self-care routine and practices, I am able to find my true calling in life. I’m now a proud owner of a semi-successful food business. I’m living my life to the fullest, with my loving husband and my emotional support cat. My healing journey continues one exhale at a time.
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