This incredible blog post is written by Tamar Lyons – an incredibly brave girl at 25 years old. If you have anxiety and/or depression, or you know someone who does – you must read this right now. It is important and profound, and important. Thank you, Tamar, for sharing your truth, in the hopes of helping others.
“I’ve been suffering in silence for the last 6 years. I’ve been battling with an anxiety disorder that consumed my life. My symptoms were not just mental and emotional. They manifested in my body and caused me severe “chronic” pain in my neck and upper back, to the point where I was physically limited. I’ve spent thousands of dollars on chiropractors, physiotherapists, massage treatments, and medication – all that helped manage the pain, but never addressed the root cause (which I later discovered was my anxiety and stress!).
I successfully ignored my emotional pain with 6 years of depression and anxiety medication, which made me feel comfortably numb most of the time while on it. Feeling numb was better than feeling the pain of my emotions that I so deeply wanted to suppress, but it also meant feeling numb to any feelings of happiness and joy. Ignoring the real problem was going great! – until real life happened. I graduated from university, got married, started a real job and my career. I did all these things while feeling completely numb – no pain, but not happiness. I knew that it was not the life I wanted to live but I was so lost and didn’t know where to turn.
Then 2020 happened, and Covid changed everything. My pain was heightened, my stress levels were through the roof and I was becoming impossible to deal with – to others and to myself. I felt deep levels of intense anger (coupled with shame) – and if I was ‘lucky’ it only manifested in debilitating neck pain. If I lost control, it showed its face in me yelling and taking it out on my husband. COVID made me realize that I couldn’t continue to live this way. My husband didn’t deserve this. I didn’t deserve this.
This year I’ve been blessed with meeting many inspiring women who have genuinely bettered every aspect of my life. Dr. Jodi is one of those people. I had signed up for a self-compassion webinar that was featuring Dr. Jodi (Thank you Vital Physiotherapy and Wellness!). After deeply resonating with everything Dr. Jodi shared, I reached out – which was the first step in my healing journey.
Within the first hour of meeting with Dr. Jodi, I felt validated, heard, and empowered to take back control of my life. We uncovered WHY I was feeling and acted out the way I was. She gave me concrete ways to address my feelings – not to mask my emotions, but to acknowledge and feel them. For the first time in my life, I was able to regain control.
It’s so surreal to think that Dr. Jodi has helped me so drastically in such a short period of time. 6 years of intense pain and frustration have been addressed and bettered in a month of sessions with Dr. Jodi. With the tools and methods she taught me, I have been able to slow myself down and stop myself from having out-of-control anxiety and panic attacks. My back pain has dissipated, and I’ve never felt better – both emotionally and physically. I haven’t been taken over with feelings of anger – only love and acceptance.
This work has gotten me closer with myself and my husband, and we genuinely love each other more. I love myself more. My marriage and relationships – both professional and personal – are thriving, and I feel more empowered than ever.
Dr. Jodi has helped me see that there is nothing wrong with me. That the feelings I felt were 25 years of false-messaging that I’ve been telling myself. She drilled in me that my self-worth is not variable. But most importantly, she helped me understand that I already have all the power within me to overcome my pain, fear, and anxiety – and that I just need to harness it by showing myself love and compassion. After years of suffering from no end in sight, I am finally free.
I know that this is only the beginning of a life-long journey, but I feel so confident with the tools that Jodi has shared with me that I know I am on the right track. The work I’m doing with Dr. Jodi has been nothing short of life-changing and I’m so thankful for all of the wisdom and knowledge she has imparted me with.
Self-compassion has been the single most life-changing investment I made this year, and I am looking forward to living my best life — which includes me accepting and loving all of myself.”
Since this post was written in Jan 2021 – Tamar is currently completely off of her anxiety medication. She is feeling amazing, and is continuing on her path of understanding her emotions, and working with instead of against them. She is thriving in all aspects of her life, health and relationship.
Please note: This is a personal story, shared to inspire hope. In no way, is this post positive or negative towards medication, or is it suggesting people should ween off, it is just stating the truth about Tamar’s status with her health.
Every single one of you deserves this.
Tamar worked with me 1:1 and then transitioned into the Rising Strong curriculum.