“Your mind has unlimited power and choice. But only if you choose to heal.”
Growing up in a traditional Asian family meant there was extreme pressure and high expectations to be a straight-A student. This came with lots of criticism in my family and, as a result, I was very insecure and nervous about my performance.
Another factor that diminished my self-esteem was the relationship I had with my parents; they did not give direct expressions of love but rather provided materialistic items. My parents stayed in their marriage to keep the family ‘together’. I can even recall them arguing late one night and eventually, one’s suicide attempt.
Looking back, the trauma from this experience meant that I grew up carrying a fear of being alone. It was a contributing factor to why I put so much pressure on myself to over-achieve. It’s also why I settled for (a temporary) narcissistic and abusive relationship.
When I was older and completing a very intense Ph.D., the stress and anxieties that came with it took my body down. I was put on antidepressants and was diagnosed with chronic anxiety, depression, and passive suicidal thoughts.
I was trying to please my clients, colleagues, and family all at once. I was trying to achieve more than was possible and I even became obsessed with shopping. I was hoarding hundreds of items each week because I thought if I looked and acted like everything was fine, everything would be fine. But it was all a hoax. I would come home drained and tired but too stressed to sleep or take care of myself properly. I could feel myself unravelling but I refused to accept it.
When I finally collapsed, I began to realize the extent of my (maladaptive) coping mechanisms. I also realized there was a lot of hidden trauma within me. I went on a trip to Indonesia and tried holistic healing. I soon began to understand the importance of having a good relationship with myself and the power of my own mindset.
I learned that you need resilience to face your demons. I had to dig deep and admit things I hadn’t wanted to in order to move forward and heal. Your mind has unlimited power and choice. Stress can be managed, anxiety can be reduced, and depression can be regulated. But only if you choose to heal.
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