Back in 2016 I suffered from a very severe burn out. My body, brain and every part of me was fatigued to the point of shut down. It was an incredibly scary and difficult time. I suffered from stress induced psychosis, my body turned a bright shade of yellow, some days I couldn't make my eyes open, I couldn't speak or use a knife and fork, I was in agonising pain all day, daylight was so bright it was excruciating and any slight noise made me sick as it pulsated violently through my body. I had to be fed and bathed and cared for. I was a young primary school teacher with my career ahead of me and a passion to make a difference through my teaching and then I was an empty shell. The burn out was caused by high levels of extreme stress for a prolonged period of time.
Recovery has been a very long and slow journey that I am still ploughing through. This was an incredibly frustrating time for me but one that I look back on with an element of pride. I am a determined person and was adamant that I would gain back my life. I am making small steps each day and am incredibly proud and grateful that I have got to this point. I really try and look for silver linings and positives from this time. Burning out gave me a chance to rebuild and to put some routines, strategies and habits into my life that are giving me much stronger and more positive foundations from which to live my life.
In June 2018 I took part in a Breathe to Heal workshop with Max Strom.
This workshop was life changing. It came at a time when I was in quite a dark place. I was struggling to get through each day, the fatigue was debilitating, the anxiety was crippling and I was spiralling into depression. Breathe to Heal is a work shop run by Max Strom. It is a fusion of eastern technologies condensed into an approach that relates to the western world. The 18 hour workshop is run across three days and consists of teaching and practical exercises. The breath work and movement practises I took away from this course have been crucial to my recovery journey. They have rebooted my nervous system, given me a new way of living and have made me a happier and stronger person.
Whilst I was on this course I was invited to take part in the inner axis teacher training in Berlin. For me this was my silver lining. To be able to incorporate my skills in teaching to deliver an approach that helps tackle stress, depression and anxiety, at a time when this is desperately needed, was the path I had hoped to come across. My goal is to raise the money to complete the Inner Axis teacher training in Berlin. Following this, I am going to set up a company to deliver this approach. Initially this delivery will be focused predominantly towards teachers and schools to tackle the rising stress of the profession which is causing chronic illnesses, huge bouts of long term sickness and many teachers to leave the profession altogether. Alongside running workshops for staff, I will work with children and young people aged from 4 - 18 to develop an effective breath and bodywork tool kit to deal with the stress and pressures of the modern world.
Stress, anxiety and depression are a modern health epidemic. As a society we wait until people are at crisis point to help, and even then we have huge long waiting lists to access support. If we can be proactive in putting strategies into place that help us to combat these mental health conditions by working with the nervous system and the brain, then we will have a huge chance in helping to heal what they are predicting will be leading cause of disability by 2020.
To say a big thank you for the money raised, I am going to run free community groups for people who are waiting for access to mental health support. These groups will consist of a 30 minute inner axis practice followed by a support group. Sharing my experience with people who had been through something similar, who could relate to the things I was sharing about the way my brain was working, really validated my experience and gave me comfort and hope that things would get better!
Any help you could give me to complete this project would be awesome and if you have any ideas they are always welcome!