I don’t often get too personal on this blog, which is something I’m actively working on. Most of the content on here is travel related, which makes sense considering this blog was originally meant to merely document my personal travels. But over the last 10 years, life changed…dramatically. I started to travel less frequently, but more meaningfully. I adopted a dog. I ended a five-year long relationship, started another one, and topped it all off with having a baby! Then I moved to a small town to plant my Canadian roots a little deeper. But through all of those changes, there’s one thing that’s been constant most of my life and that is my anxiety. I’ve used a number of tools over the years to keep it at bay, my newest method being a subscription box to a company called Anxiety Gone. But first, a little background on my anxiety.
Everything I’ve experienced, accomplished or endeavored to accomplish, since I was about 16 years old, has been done through my anxiety lens. It’s like a persistent little Gremlin that seemed impossible to shake off. When I was an adolescent, it caused me to under-perform in school. I was also terrified of being in and around large groups of people. It made me want to vomit with panic, and because I was so acutely aware of my fear, I felt even more anxious that someone would find out. Fear begets more fear, and anxiety begets more anxiety. As I moved through the stages of adolecence into adulthood, my anxiety began to turn me into someone I almost didn’t recognize in the mirror. I worried and panicked over events I couldn’t control, I slipped in and out of depressive states and I felt paralyzed by what my mind was telling me. You’re no good. You can’t do it. Don’t reach for anything, because you’ll fail anyway. My anxiety was akin to being dragged through a trial, and my own screwed up mind acting as judge, jury and executioner.
I started to soul search. I figured if my brain was powerful enough to convince me of something that flat out wasn’t true, I had the same capacity to change the dialogue. I started reflecting. Meditating. I began travelling not to consume a destination, but rather, to let it consume me, and to be grateful for my freedom to travel. I Started reading books. Lot’s of them. Books like “Mind Over Mood” by Dennis Greenberger, and my favourite, “Hardcore Self Help: F**k Anxiety” by Robert Duff. I talked to a professional, and without medicine, I found a way to take hold of the reins, make some significant changes in my life, and I’m happy to report, I haven’t had a panic attack in over 5 years.
So why would I need a subscription box to tackle my anxiety?
Because motherhood was a game changer.
Worrying as a single person, with few responsibilities other than to yourself (or maybe a partner) is one thing. Throw in a tiny, helpless human that relies solely on you being able to keep your shit together 99.9%, you’ve just launched yourself into the anxiety cosmos. A separate universe, brimming with anxiety-ridden black holes, emotional debris and feelings of permanent weightlessness because you feel like you have so little control.
In the months leading up to my son being born, my anxiety was palpable. I worried, about being worried, about being worried about being worried. It was like like being stuck on a twisted merry-go-round. I was dizzy with worry, felt my chest tighten when I thought of things that could go wrong, and started to ask myself if I would ever be good enough for my little bundle when he finally arrived Earthside. And then I found Anxiety-Gone.
Anxiety Gone is a Canadian based company whose sole purpose is to help those suffering with Anxiety by providing tools and products to not only help you manage your anxiety, but thrive in spite of it.
Company Founder Chantal McCulligh, is a long time anxiety sufferer herself. Her website, Anxiety-Gone.com is chock full of well researched articles on anxiety, inspiration, and messages of support and encouragement and really just started as a platform to educate about mental illness of all varieties. But Chantal took her passion further by partnering up with healthcare professionals, practitioners, authors and boutique brands to provide tool kits, products, aromatherapy products, essential oils and more.
I’m now four boxes in to my Anxiety Gone Subscription Box and there are so many reasons it’s become a permanent fixture in my life. First, the literature that’s been provided in the form of books, worksheets and magazines has been invaluable not only in helping me to understand my own anxiety better, but its trickled down into all aspects of my life. I’m starting to remove perceived obstacles in my travel business and converse with clients better. I’m finding new and fun ways to manage my anxiety. And most importantly, it’s helped me become a more mindful, relaxed and productive mom.
I’m of course a little biased because as a Canadian, I love supporting other Canadian businesses. But more so when it’s a Canadian company that chooses to partner with Canadian based bespoke entrepreneurs rather than approach larger corporations more interested in brand recognition than helping those thrive with mental illness. The products in the box are both high quality (have you SEEN the cost of essential oils these days!) and innovative. And unlike other boxes, if you find something in the Anxiety Gone Store that you like, you can ask to have it added to your box for no additional shipping, so you’re truly getting a custom box. From the perspective of a small business owner like myself, I feel like I’m part of something bigger. I have the opportunity to improve my mental health and support one of my personal passions, small business; It’s a win-win.
From one anxiety sufferer to another, if you’re looking for an alternative and affordable way (only CAD$49.99 per season plus shipping and tax) to manage, and more importantly, understand your anxiety, I can’t recommend this box enough. This isn’t like other subscription boxes. It’s personal. Thoughtfully curated and put together with love, compassion and empathy by a team of anxiety warriors. And when you sit down to open it, you instantly feel like you’re part of a unique community who understands you, who embraces you wherever you are within your anxiety journey, a community who is there to hold to hold you up when you succeed and catch you if you fall.
“Anxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.” ~Arthur Somers Roche