As a counsellor, my skill set aims at supporting folks who struggle with anxiety, depression and life transitions. I bring my whole self to my practice, and so I want to share a part of my story – a real life practice of dismantling anxiety and fear.
If there is one thing the pandemic taught me it is this – Life is Uncertain.
During the pandemic, I entertained the thought of moving away from my hometown of Winnipeg to start a new life in Victoria. As I dared to dream of new beginnings, my anxiety chimed in: “You have an amazing job out of school where you see a bright future. You can`t leave. You won`t find another opportunity like this.”
After 6 months of reflection and much internal debate, I made the call: I am moving to Victoria in 2021!
As moving day approached, I started to feel my anxiety resurface. What helped me cope in the moment was writing out the reasons why this change is important and what exactly I was looking for in this new life (friends, new experiences, a lovely place to live).
When moving day came, my movers didn`t show up. I had to be out of my apartment and on the road that same day, and I was starting my new job the following week. Panic overtook me. Things didn’t go as planned, and in the following days a series of challenges ensued. What had I done? Everything had changed! My anxiety was 10/10!
Even though I wanted to run away, I knew I needed to address the anxiety head on. What helped was returning to what I have done before to cope: working on my mindset through movement. I found a yoga studio, and during classes I was able to process my emotions and accept the journey. I embraced the discomfort. I reinvested my trust into why I needed to welcome this change instead of running from it.
Once I shifted my perception to embrace fear and uncertainty, the goals I wrote down months ago started to happen: making genuine friends, finding a lovely place to live, building a new life. If I had listened solely to the voice of my anxiety, I would be back in Winnipeg instead of pursuing the adventure I truly wanted.
Every day I work with clients who are facing uncertainty, often with high levels of anxiety. And I love what I do. Working through my personal challenges with anxiety, and using all my tools, transforms my lived experience into empathy, support, and a vision of how things can get better. I am stronger, and I am more able to guide clients towards effective strategies to reach their goals.