Hello friend, I’m Giselle
I’m a wife, a mom to 2 amazing boys, and I work full time at a Communications Company here in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, where we live. My hubby, Christopher, is a busy Contractor, he works long hours making sure his clients have a beautiful home. We also have an adorable Jack Russell Terrier, named Pitu (10).
Life is pretty busy with 2 young kids and working full time, so needless to say things can get pretty hectic at times and it’s while experiencing these not so calm times that I turned to mindfulness and meditation.
However, initially, meditation wasn’t the natural choice for me, I didn’t grow up around people who practised it. I didn’t know anything about meditation, until…
I had a major nervous breakdown and my husband urged me to go see our family doctor.
I was going through stressful times at work as well as with my mother. I was deeply sad, experiencing all of the symptoms of depression and anxiety. I had no energy for anything, all I wanted to do was sleep and hide inside my own house. I took a complete break from social media, I was not engaging with my friends, I was avoiding eye contact with everyone, in case they wanted to start a conversation that I was not prepared for. I didn’t leave the house unless I really needed to, I was a mess.
I lost my appetite and consequently lost a lot of weight and I couldn’t even get out of bed without crying for 20 min first. Although I was depressed, my mind was never quiet, my mind was always going 100 miles per hour. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t focus on a task, I couldn’t work at my job or at home, I couldn’t cook or clean. I was pacing back and forth and feeling so stressed! I was so worried about everything, but I couldn’t get anything done. I had panic attacks. I cried and cried some more, every day.
Not at all what I had planned for my life.
My doctor immediately took me off work (thank goodness for work benefits) and sent me to go see a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist. I needed help and I wanted to get help and get better!
I had to take my life back. Giving up was not an option.
I saw the Psychiatrist first, we talked about my symptoms and I was given medication to start my healing process. While I waited a couple of months for my Psychologist appointment, I went through a roller coaster of starting medication and having to stop them due to side effects. One made me too sleepy, the other made me eat too much, the other made me dizzy all the time.
I went through 3 or 4 types of medication until we found one that started to work. Everyone’s system is different, that’s why it took so long to find the right type that would work for me. I had weekly follow-up appointments to track my symptoms and I followed the doctor’s instructions to a T.
I wanted to get better for myself, for my kids, for my husband.
It was with this determination and dedication that I slowly started to feel better. But somehow I knew that medication alone was not going to resolve everything. I started therapy sessions with the Psychologist and quickly realized that if I wanted to make a good recovery I was going to have to embrace a new way of dealing with my emotions, thoughts and actions. It was only after this moment that things started to get better.
I was introduced to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy as well as Meditation and I slowly started to change my life for the better.
I had to complete daily exercises, meditate every day for 10 min and I was asked to start writing about my emotions, about scenarios that caused me stress, to keep a journal of my thoughts and how I was reacting to them.
Everything had to be written down, not typed in, but written with my own hands. I learned so much with the Psychologist! She was amazing and made me feel comfortable talking about everything that was causing me so much stress. CBT was an essential tool for my recovery and I started to perk up a bit after a couple of sessions. I was getting back to being myself.
I went back to work after 5 months of intense therapy, journaling, meditation to calm my mind, research and self-awareness.
I learned about depression, anxiety and how the brain works. I learned more about why I think, feel & react, the way I do. I learned to self-assess and identify my triggers.
I learned to meditate to calm my mind and although it felt strange at first, the benefits of those moments of pause to breathe and quiet my mind were incredible! I couldn’t get enough of it, I felt so good after each meditation that I couldn’t wait to do it again. I did Yoga and loved it. I reconnected with my closest friends, I talked about my feelings more often and I got better control of my emotions.
My behaviour and my attitude changed. I created new habits, they became a new routine that I continue to follow until this day. I learned that I can’t control what’s happening, but I CAN control the way I respond to what’s happening. I’m able to identify what stresses me and apply the techniques I’ve learned before things escalate.
I haven’t been depressed or overly anxious for over 3 years now and can honestly say I’m living a better life.
Last year I discovered blogging. I wanted to learn a new skill and since I love the online world, I completed a few online courses to learn how to start my own blog and I fell in love with blogging. The learning is ongoing. I decided to learn all the ins and outs of the online world and I embarked on the blogging journey with the same determination I tackled my depression & anxiety. And I’m so glad I did. I’ve discovered a creative side that I thought I didn’t have. Blogging has allowed me to express my creativity and it’s teaching me so much about myself.
I’m always looking for ways to live better, save time and money, reduce stress & anxiety and I love sharing the things I learn with other people.
This blog’s main focus is to share helpful information with YOU, my special audience! If I can help at least one person out there who is struggling, I will be so incredibly happy!
TMN is a small place online, where I share lifestyle notes, strategies to live a better life, personal stories and my view on different topics. I enjoy fashion, travel, good food, lifestyle-related articles & everything there is to learn about mindfulness and meditation to reduce stress and anxiety.
Please be reminded I am not a qualified doctor and what you will read on this site are my own opinions unless otherwise specified. I share the techniques that have worked for me for my particular situation. If you feel that you are depressed or have anxiety, please consult your family doctor. It’s the best advice I can give you if you are struggling.
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I’ll try my best to respond to you as soon as I can.