Part 1: Journey to Mental Wellness
It began with a ton-of-bricks feeling in my chest and shortness of breath. I became dizzy and started sweating. It felt like a heart attack. I suddenly realized that I was going to die right there in the middle of European History. But I was 16 and an athlete. How could this be? As you may have guessed, I didn’t have a heart attack and what I experienced was the first of many panic attacks. As they came with more frequency, I became paralyzed with fear. I couldn’t sleep at night. I would lose my appetite and then gorge when I was hungry. This downward spiral led to clinical depression. I missed so many days of school that I nearly was not allowed to graduate. After high school, I had trouble attending community college and holding down a job. Over the years to follow, my mind physically manifest the symptoms of everything from cancer to carbon monoxide poisoning to shellfish allergies. Medication only helped so much and sometimes made me feel worse. In therapy I began retracing my steps and discovered that my mental un-wellness wasn’t as sudden as it felt. I also began recognizing the roadblocks that were in my life. Some were hereditary and life obstacles, but others were my own doing. In all, I discovered 6 significant controllable factors that contributed to my mental state. With the help of family and friends, I gradually began peeling back the layers of these bad habits. It became a daily battle to overcome the roadblocks, but well worth every effort. I no longer take medication and maintain my mental wellness with the positive habits I’ve developed over the past ten years.
14 days, 5 flights, 4 cities and I’ve just arrived in LA.. with a killer cold. My new personal-trainer roomie, Geno quickly points me toward Lassens Natural Foods for a box of Counter Attack. He also recommends the Green Smoothie recipe from The Naked Foods Cookbook by M. Floyd and J. Barry. He’s just finished a twice-per-day 14-day run of the neon green stuff and looks/feels as healthy as an Okinawan. I’ve been looking for a good detox, so now seems like as good of time as any to start. When in California..