It's time I share my personal story with you.
As a young person, I knew what stress was, but being a child in the 80s, it wasn't a common topic around the dinner table. I always knew I was a "nervous" person, but it wasn't until I was in my mid 20's that I learned the real effects of this. At the time I had what most designers would call their dream job. I designed $50-million-dollar private jets for amazing clients and celebrities worldwide. I got to use some of the most luxurious high-end textiles and finishes, design spectacular interiors without a budget, and stock the plane with beautiful wares from design houses like Hermes and Baccarat.
I would have a day's notice to pack my bag, prepare a presentation, and fly halfway around the world. It was a whirlwind gig with high stakes, lots of demands, and the stress to go with it.
A few years into this career, I started to feel overwhelmed. The constant worry of making a mistake completely overtook me, and the "perfectionist" in me could not handle it, whether the issues were mine or simply part of the job.
I remember a warm day in August when I made a doctor's appointment because I was afraid of having a heart attack. Sitting in meetings, I thought my heart would beat out of my chest. I was stressed out but believed I had a physiological problem separate from the overwhelm. I thought surely, this feeling would pass! Again, I've been a nervous worrier all my life. I thought, "I can deal with this." My doctor checked my heart and said she believed I was struggling with Anxiety.
I began working with an excellent therapist along with my doctor. I started my yoga practice, began meditating, and altered my diet. Even with those new habits, my Anxiety got much worse before it got any better. Due to the severity of the situation, I took medication. I was still coming home so anxious at the end of the day that I would curl up on the sofa, toss a blanket over my head and cry. Did I mention that this also began during my first year of marriage? I think I kept it at bay while planning a wedding for almost two years, but it all came to a head when the wedding was over.
My husband was the most wonderful man during this time and was incredibly patient and caring. I worked on myself so hard with my doctor, therapist, and every healing modality I could. I started to feel better and believed that heading into my 30s was a "rebirth." I could start fresh with the new tools and compassion I'd gained for myself. My whole life, I'd known Anxiety and Depression, even as a small child, but I didn't realize there was a word for these feelings or how to convey them to someone. I eventually left this "dream job" and felt so shameful for a long time. I was so embarrassed that the instant my husband was offered a job in a new city, I couldn't wait to get out of town! In my mind, I just couldn't cut it, and it broke my heart.
This experience was a beautiful blessing in the end. The most important thing I learned was the importance of your space. Your home can significantly impact your mental health. My passion is to educate others and help clients improve their space to feel healthy and happy. While I had no clue what I was doing as a child, I now know why I gravitated toward specific colors, patterns, and designs. I knew what felt good but didn't know why. After extensive training, I now know how to employ Feng Shui, color psychology, biophilia, and more to design beyond aesthetics.
I'll share more of my personal story for May's Mental Health Month. I'll pass along information on what has helped me and how you can easily alter your space to enhance your well-being. All that said, please know this, if you are struggling, there is help out there! Even if you're unsure what you feel, someone can help you discover it. Find people you can talk to, support you, and encourage you as you learn, heal, and grow.