Freedom Retreat – Anxiety & PTSD

What in the world is a ‘Freedom Retreat?!

Ironically, I pulled these cards for the blog about 2 months ago.  I think these cards may have been foreshadowing my necessary retreat in order to reestablish my independence and determination, to reignite my spark and passion.  I sat and stared at the screen for hours (over several days) and absolutely nothing came to me as to what I would write about them.  Days turned into weeks and I got a bit derailed…

I would love to say that I’ve been slacking but that honestly just wouldn’t be the case.  Between trying to make some money to pay the bills and feeling like the darkness would finally overwhelm me, the blog post ended up on the back burner.  It’s so difficult when you’re in the midst of that dark, swirling vortex of negative thoughts, emotions and patterns, to uplift yourself.

Daily Test of Strength & Commitment

Every day is a new test of strength and commitment to myself while I experience all the affects of anxiety and PTSD.  Some days are much worse than others, but mostly I’m very happy to survive a day with minimal anxiety and tension.  I’m plagued almost daily by massive migraines and sleepless nights, fearing that the moment I close my eyes, I will again have to bare witness to another possible way for me to be murdered or attacked brutally.

It almost begins to feel like your brain has started to work against you.  The less sleep you have, the more you are susceptible to anxiety and strange visuals, but the more you try to sleep, the more your brain fights it.

You begin to take any opportunity to keep your brain busy that you can…mindless entertainment, endless Facebook scrolling and video watching…even just sitting in the dark listening to loud and obnoxious music until day begins to break.

Anything that will keep those thoughts away from you…anything to get relief from it for a few hours.

Panic Attack!!!

Just a few days ago, I experienced one of the worst panic attacks I’ve had in a very long time.  The kind that keep you from breathing…piling on extra panic because you begin to fear you’ll suffocate.  I was literally curled up on the floor of my room, in the dark…unable to even sob because that would require oxygen, which I was quickly running out of.  Every cell in my body was reacting in fear of the worst (death).  Everyone tells you to focus on your breathing when you begin to have a panic attack…I feel like this is advice from someone who has never really experienced one.

For me, breathing is the worst possible thing for my brain be focused on during an attack…I become so focused on how little my lungs are filling with air, that I am worse off than I was in the first place. I tried to focus on little things in my room…a crystal sitting on the edge of my desk, the fish swimming around in my tank, the ceiling fan…anything that isn’t my breath or my anxiety.  That said, it’s really hard when you’re in the midst of feeling like the entire world is crumbling around you to focus on anything except the debris and fear.

I am truly thankful for the people in my life who try so very hard to understand what I’m going through and do their very best to help and support me but I know in my heart that this is a hurdle that only I can carry myself over, once and for all.

People often handout their bits of advice of how you should handle your anxiety…I honestly believe they’re trying their best to help with the understanding that they have…but I feel that every single person’s anxiety is specific to them.  There isn’t one true way to handle anxiety, PTSD or a panic attack – the reason for a person even having these disorders differs from case to case, so their reactions and triggers are totally unique to them.  There is a bit of a stigma around “PTSD”, that only combat veterans are susceptible to the disorder, but I – and many other men and women – are a testament to how vast and expansive the disorder can really be.

A person could develop PTSD from extended exposure to high levels of stress within an office job – maybe a boss that is constantly flying off the handle – there are those who are rape victims, people who have witnessed any sort of violence, and the list goes on.  Anyone who’s psyche has been pushed to a point of terror for their life (for whatever reason) is susceptible to developing this disorder – it’s all about how a person’s brain and body react to whatever situation they are in.

Healing Mental Trauma Spiritually

I myself do not believe in medicating to “fix” my disorder (but that’s just my personal choice)…I truly wish to heal the root of the problem, not mask it or put myself into a fog, just pretending it’s not an issue anymore.  I will say, however, that this approach has by far been the most difficult path I’ve ever taken in my life.  Every day I wonder if it would just be easier to go to a doctor and get some pills to numb it.  The problem is, I fear using pills to numb myself from a disorder that is literally already numbing me.  How numb can a person become before they are considered to be a walking, talking, breathing zombie?

I want to heal the emotional trauma, not just the physical.  That’s where my interest in the metaphysical and universal energies has come in to play.  Since the day I began researching and learning, connecting with my soul, my emotions, my body, and with source, my anxieties have been greatly lessened.  The number of panic attacks I have now compared to 5 years ago have been more than cut in half.

The key I’ve found is that when you begin to deal with your emotional baggage, heal your old wounds and open your heart…little by little…the anxiety begins to flake away.  The more you love and honor yourself (and your feelings), the less you will feel angry, anxious and fearful.  Now I work to find the patience to stay on this path, to remain steadfast in my healing journey, knowing that the 100% fix isn’t going to happen overnight, or even in the next 3 years.

What was the Point of This Blog Post?!

The main point was to make a blog post but to do so from a place of truth and vulnerability.  A way to explain why it’s been so long but also with the hope that someone reading this could be helped in knowing that they aren’t alone with their own anxiety or PTSD.

I would urge anyone who feels like they are struggling alone to reach out to someone (friend/family) and express yourself.

Be brave, be vulnerable and be willing to do the hard work to heal yourself.

And if you feel like there is no one you can reach out to…PLEASE contact me!  I don’t want anyone in this world to feel like they are suffering alone.  It’s hard enough having gone through whatever trauma you’ve gone through, but in the aftermath, to feel like you are isolated and alone…It breaks my heart more than anyone could ever know.

For those out there that know someone who is suffering with anxiety or PTSD…know that sometimes the best thing you can do is lend your ear…listen to their problems, fears and worries.  Know that just because this person seems to refuse every invitation you extend to them, they still love you wholeheartedly, it only means that they can’t handle being around others because it causes far too much stress and anxiety for them.

Keep trying…keep loving…keep supporting…


Thank you for reading and understanding my message today.

Much love and light to you all…….and more blog posts going forward!!!

❤ Emily Shultz ❤

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