Positive Mental health is an area that is very close to my heart. It’s been part of my life for as long as I can remember. Initially it was through caring for members of my family but now it is about taking action for my own mental wellbeing. That said, I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to really understand that strong mental health requires a significant personal input.
Aleney’s story this issue on EFT – Emotional Freedom Technique – made me want to revisit the practice. Tapping was something a mental health professional recommended to me about five years ago. But back then, in my overstrung headspace, my reaction was one of ‘as if – I’m too busy for something like that!’
But I’ve realised that if I’m too busy to take care of my health, I may as well simply roll over and give up.
The past few months have been a particularly stressful time for me, trying to keep all the balls in the air with a new business trying to hit a few different markers with limited resources. But what I have learned is that pushing myself beyond crazy limits does my mental health no favours. All the added stress does is bring on extreme anxiety episodes. You know, the kind where your head hurts, you can’t think straight, making decisions is impossible and, in all honesty, you just want to curl up and ignore the world.
So, when I read Aleney’s article, I knew immediately that EFT tapping was something I needed to revisit. Anxiety has been a lifelong partner, apart from when I was in my 20’s and felt I could conquer the world, having escaped my childhood trauma unscathed (well, so I thought). But it was as I entered my 30’s that anxiety hit hard.
It started with postnatal depression, that I refused to acknowledge at the time, following the birth of our son. Despite Doctor’s constant recommendations that I seek help, it took another decade for me to admit to myself I needed it.
And so began the big bounce from psych to counsellor to clinics. It felt like I was stuck in a revolving door of people promising that if I just submitted to their treatment, I would be fixed. But that wasn’t the case. In fact, my time as an outpatient of a clinic near my home on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, was one of the worst experiences of my life. Endless rounds of group talkfests, therapies, all with the intention of releasing the trauma, simply brought it to the fore and instead of ‘releasing’ it, it grew into a living breathing entity. I would carry it around for the next 10 years as a bubbling, festering illness that made me feel far worse than I did before I decided to seek treatment.
Then in early 2020 I was diagnosed with several conditions that had me finally come to my senses, and to stop playing with getting well. It was time for me to make a personal commitment to my health, both physical and mental. I decided to stop relying on the medical profession for the elements of my health they cannot ‘fix’ unless I was prepared to help myself. With that in mind, I’ve started daily practice of EFT or ‘tapping’ and so far, it has brought about some quiet and clarity. But it’s early days and there are many years of deep training in anxiety to undo. Let’s hope tapping will be the thing to teach this old dog some new tricks.
I’ll keep you posted …