My name is Andrea. I've never struggled with addictions, but have been in recovery from pretty much a whole life of mental pain and struggle...
Since I was a child, I've always had this deep sense of unhappiness, emotional instability, and the feeling like I didn't belong in this world. This was accompanied by a ton of unexplainable anger and rage. (My family still jokes to this day about when I used to bite things as a toddler - like literally latch onto tables and furniture like a pitbull. While this is quite undeniably amusing, it was one of the first hints at something being not quite right under the surface.)
As I grew older, things worsened. I couldn't wait to get out of my home town because I was just miserable and things would surely be 'better' somewhere else. But then I remember driving around my college town literally bawling my eyes out uncontrollably for no specific reason other than a deep black hole inside my chest that left me severely depressed (again unexplainable as to why). I went on to start experiencing severe panic attacks and anxiety, and even some slight paranoia at times. I was very unsettled.
Fast forward- I ended up having my son, who is my angel and literally saved me from myself, as it was the desire to be a better mom to him that sent me down the path of major internal work and reflection, and not stopping until I had answers and solutions. I knew that I could not raise him under the cloud that I was living in - going back and forth between low grade and severe states of depression, bursts of rage, complete lack of physical energy, brain fog, and the constant loop of suffering that I felt caught in for no reason that I could determine.
It turns out, after starting down a spiritual journey and doing lots of inner work, that I figured out certain foods act as MAJOR triggers for me, and were the direct cause of me sinking into those low states and living under the 'cloud' that I was. Namely most carbohydrates. Undeniably. Like a light switch. From perfectly fine and happy to severely depressed, apathetic, lethargic, rageful, even borderline suicidal. (Though I always had something inside me that knew I didn't truly want to die. But it is absolutely amazing how foods could immediately chemically shift my brain into an entirely different state of being.) This discovery literally changed (and saved) my life, and started me on my current journey.
Which leads me to today. Still on the journey for sure! I definitely do not consider myself fully 'recovered'. Because there are many layers to healing. And because I don't necessarily believe that foods are the underlying root cause of my issues. I believe they act as major triggers because my system is compromised in some way due to other underlying factors, of which I'm addressing every day. But in the meantime, removing the foods that I know dramatically and adversely affect me has allowed me to even be able to pursue healing on a deeper whole level. Or to even be able to function on a daily basis.
The photo of me with teary, red eyes reflects my mental health prior to identifying my triggers. I always had 'sad eyes. The current one from recently more epitomizes my state of mind and health these days (or more so 'in-progress!)
And now it is my mission to start a movement around mental health. During my self discovery time I 'remembered' music as my life's passion and purpose, and I have written tons of original songs that were birthed out of my deepest darkest times and pain and struggles. So I'm combining my music with my experiences/wisdom to offer on mental/physical health and wellbeing, and building up a community of folks who may be going through similar struggles and can resonate.
Because if I can help even one person to have as dramatic a shift in life quality as I have had, then that will be enough for me. (Though I hope to help a lot more!) I have a very different take on mental health and view things from a holistic all-encompassing approach, and I intend to spread a different kind of awareness to assist others in recovering from whatever it may be that they are facing. (With a little entertainment as a bonus!)