I had my first panic attack 26 years ago. This was to become a part of my daily life which created a cycle of debilitating depression and anxiety. My world was turned upside down. Worry, fear and sadness consumed me and I basically could not function. What followed were many years of consultations with various psychiatrists and counsellors. I tried many different medications until I was finally prescribed one that maintained my disorder and kept it partially under control. Although the medication did help me in many areas, my worry and fear continued to linger. With this in mind, 12 months ago I made the decision to cease my medication after 26 years. I discussed my decision with my GP who had his concerns about me withdrawing completely as he had treated me for the past 26 years and had seen me at my lowest when I was diagnosed with a Depressive/Anxiety Disorder. Although I completely understood his reluctance and concerns, I wanted to give it a go. My GP then guided me through the withdrawal process and had contingencies built into a plan which supported me to return to the medication if I ever felt like I was not coping. I believe the support of your GP or specialist is very important for anyone making the decision to stop medication.
Even with the support of my GP, I knew the journey I was about to undertake was not going to be smooth sailing and I of course was nervous about taking this step after 26 years of taking prescribed medication. I searched the internet looking for guidance as to how to make the medication withdrawal process easier and not too overwhelming. It was at this time I came across the Brain Wellness Spa. I was unsure what the BWS approach entailed but the the idea of having treatment without medication excited me. Trying something new was very daunting but I felt I had nothing to lose and hopefully a lot to gain. Phone contact with my facilitator before my first session eased my nerves and lessened any fears I may have had, so I set out to try and achieve my goal, and that was to withdraw from medication after being on it for 26 years.
My first session was somewhat remarkable. No invasive prodding or questions were asked and I was made to feel very welcome, safe and comfortable. As I moved through the programs I experienced many different emotions. I had good days and bad days, some so bad I felt the need to regress to my medication but found the strength to focus on the good days and the significant positive changes that I was experiencing.
My confidence and self-esteem was building, my intense fear and worry were lessening and a glimmer of hope and happiness was returning. As my sessions at the BWS progressed and the weeks passed by, a stronger, happier, more confident version of “ME’ emerged.
It would be remiss of me if I failed to mention my amazing facilitator, Kylie Butler, for her part in my journey. Kylie’s patience, guidance, care and kindness saw me through the challenging and difficult days. I could not have undertaken this journey without her amazing support. Throughout all of the times I was struggling and unsure, Kylie held the hope and constantly reassured me that there was light at the end of the tunnel. So right, she was. I am truly thankful and grateful. Her after session care and contact is something she should pride herself on as in all the years of seeing many counsellors, psychiatrists and doctors, I have never experienced care like this.
Thank you so much, Terri Bowman, for your continued work and the time you tirelessly give to creating these remarkable programs. They have made a positive impact in my life and the lives of so many people. May you continue to get more amazing at the work you establish and provide that has such a positive effect for clients like me that walk through your door.
I’ve come away from the BWS with many skills. The tools and knowledge shared will serve me so well and will be a great asset in maintaining daily challenges. I am so much more aware of the importance of self care and self worth and that I am enough, capable and worthy. The BWS made me see a better version of myself. I have come so tremendously far and am so thankful for where I am today.
The sun is shining again for me. I am finally in a joyful place where I feel safe in a world that 12 months ago terrified me. I am now medication free, leading a functional healthy life with a happier approach. It is truly the best investment I have made to my mental health.