The anxiety that came with a vestibular condition could (and often did) bring me to my knees.
Crumbling on my bedroom floor because it just felt so heavy.
Panic attacks in the bathroom at work and then coming out with a smile on my face like everything was fine.
Learning to power through when my system felt like it was on fire.
Uncovering how I could calm my mind + body and fight back.
Vestibular disorders are intertwined with anxiety and distinguishing the condition from the panic is a fruitless task. But, the anxiety was crippling. Or was that just the vestibular condition? My point is that it's all mixed together and that's an important piece to remember, because it felt like a cop-out when a doctor tried to simply say that I was just dealing with anxiety. I've connected with many other vestibular warriors who have been told that it's just anxiety too.
But anxiety is a symptom, and an all-consuming one at that.
The first year with vestibular neuritis was as if my body was in a constant state of alarm. I once had a chiropractor (that I highly respect) tell me that my body was in a state of trauma. Those words were comforting because in that moment that is exactly how it felt.
My body was distressed and the heartache that came with that only heightened the panic.
There were a number of things that I started incorporating into my wellness routine to get on top of the anxiety and it all helped so much. Was it an immediate fix? No. It took dedication and developing a wellness routine that would become the foundation of my healing.
If you feel that the anxiety is taking control of your wellbeing, I hear you. I had to look it in the eye. I even sat with it in meditation which felt like I had just stepped out into a hail storm with no warning. But once I felt it, I knew what I was working with. I was determined to take back my control, and that's exactly what I did.
There were many instances of what felt like ten steps forward and then five steps back. Forward is forward regardless of the pace though.
I used essential oils every day to support my wellness. I used them proactively and in the moment with symptoms. There are many oils that I use (and I share lots on Instagram), so please know that I'm only discussing a few favorites below.
Lavender is one of my favorites. Rolling it on my temples when I felt a spike, inhaling it from my hands to intake some calm, and applying it to my feet bottoms (diluted) before bed to support overall health.
I longed to feel grounded. I quite literally visualized what it would feel like to feel grounded in my body. I listened to a chiropractor who told me to stand in the grass and imagine a grounded state. I daydreamed about it. Dreamy, right?
Onto the next:
The Balance blend spoke to me on an emotional level. Its properties are everything I was seeking. I started my day be rolling it on my feet bottoms and dabbing it on my wrists and taking in its goodness. I started to build an association with it and it became my oh so lovely grounded friend.
When anxiety was streaming, I knew I needed to uplift my mental state. It's so easy to get caught in its force, so it took work to shift my state. I used Wild Orange in my home to set the stage.
For me, fear was anxiety's buddy. And that's a big weight to lift. Because remember anxiety was just one factor of the vestibular condition. So I truly needed to balance my energy and create the calm + happy environment outside that I longed for inside. I'd diffuse Wild Orange (or Balance, Lavender or another oil) to shift the energy in my home and elicit that beautiful emotional response.
I'd sit with the diffuser pumping, letting my system rage, Balance on my feet bottoms, and Lavender behind my ears... that's a whole lot of fight. And amongst the storm, I'd find my happy calm.
That's why I love oils. They're empowering and a strong player in my support system.
Oils are certainly not the whole story.
Foam rolling, move + meditate sessions (up to 5x/week in some periods), magnesium drinks, supplements, water, healing foods, connecting with others, and eventually running the trails which opened my soul and released so much tension...
I think it starts with making small shifts that are impactful and filled with hope.
Create the calm that you crave.
I started sharing about oils because they were making a difference in my world and a light in my dark. I'm here to support you along your path, too.