I used to struggle with anxiety and depression as a child. No one understood, nor wanted to understand what it was like to be me. I felt I had so many expectations to meet, and constantly felt I was told that I was not smart enough or not good enough in whatever task or challenge I took on. Those voices constantly echoed in my mind.
Depression placed me in a role different from most of my peers. I grew up in a situation where I didn't get to see both my parents often. I've watched my father work 3 jobs trying to raise me and my sister, with my mother being out of the picture. I remember those times where I felt a pressure in the chest with thoughts that I was likely unwanted, and would visualize what would happen if I wasn't here.
Not before long, I withdrew from high school early on feeling unwelcomed and unheard from my classmates. For a very long time, I was full of anxiety, depression, fear, self-doubt, and low self-esteem. I did not know what I wanted either, as if I lost my voice and aspirations from childhood as I embarked into high school. I just felt lost and unsure of myself without a voice, or having a voice being heard.
I was chronically medicated with antidepressants and spent several years in isolation. I had no ill-thoughts, and really wanted to fight and get myself back on my feet. I spent several attempts in getting back into school, and had transferred to several different schools in hopes for a new start. But each attempt, though taken with a positive stride, led to a relapse in my thoughts where I just believed I was not good enough.
I even remember I was once taken to the hospital having suicidal ideations, and the counselor and psychiatrist debated whether it would be safe for me to even leave the premises.
It wasn't until I met Genevieve that things started to move for me. Of the several months I've worked with her, we exchanged dialogue, and expressed feelings and emotions. I understood that not only was I being heard, but I actually had a voice too. Genevieve works as a counselor, and the more I worked with her, the more I felt heard and comforted. I recognized something was different, as if my sense of hearing became more profound, as if I awakened from being deaf.
And when she got me started doing volunteer work as a form of therapy, not only did I feel more heard from like-minded people, but also they felt heard when they brought up their stories to me. lt felt liberating that this feeling goes both ways. I felt my voice came back, and eventually got back on my feet and really felt I'd be better off focusing and nurturing my sense of listening and curiousity towards others.
Through my times in community work, I have engaged with those less fortunate or those who are suffering from their pains. I first thought I was helpless without proper clinical training to be even doing anything for them. But I soon found out that every time I came back whether that be at the shelter home, senior residence, seniors' wellness clinics and such, that I had people come back to me. From there, I realized that I was cultivating my ability to listen, which I found was what the people were looking for - a person to listen, and understand their pains. Then it made me think, this was what I was experiencing as well.
I felt I had a purpose taking on roles that are overlooked in our community. My dependence on antidepressants reduced, and I perceived as though I had a much more healthier outlook on my own life.
I knew by digging into my altruism that I would lead to a life where I can make an impact on people. I believe that health is our wealth, and I have decided that I can make the biggest impact with my passion of giving in the healthcare sector. By listening as the practitioner, I can fully understand where one is coming from, and that shapes the path to a proper view of their current state.
That was my thought to go towards the counseling route, until I had my first acupuncture treatment that greatly helped this gag reflex that prevented me from eating. I became fascinated with how the simplest of modalities can bring about the greatest effect in people. Then I thought if I could combine my dreams of being a doctor with fostering my view of being heard as a form of healing and my new-found fascination of Acupuncture, that would make me be fully equipped with helping the community. I got back to finishing up high school, officially starting at the age of 18.
My envision planted the seed that would eventually lead me to look into the realm of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. My studies later on in Naturopathic Medicine, Holistic Nutrition, and Bowen Therapy built upon my understanding of that as our foundational pillars of health, and how by optimizing and nourishing our physical body that it has a direct effect on our mental health, and vice versa.
Going through the intense medical studies, I felt not only did I learn so much more about how our bodies function, I also felt I was getting more healthy applying them to myself. I realized my depression and anxiety has also improved through getting proper nutrition and lifestyles that help support the proper functioning of the brain and body systems.
My role as your Naturopathic Doctor is to help hear and decipher what your body is saying. I learned that our bodies have evolved to heal and adapt to challenges. If we have chronic pain or symptoms, it is our body's way of telling us that something is wrong. Rather than covering or ignoring those signs, I believe we must find what the underlying cause of disease and to address it to allow for normal functioning. You simply need to take whatever limits healing away and add some of the things that promote it. Just like how by listening to you I understand your story, we only know what is happening in our bodies if we listen to them.