In 2011, I began dealing with severe anxiety and depression. I used to say it hit out of nowhere, but I know it’s cumulative, so really it was a build up of combination of stress, lack of worthiness, self-love, and dealing with early motherhood. I had no idea I was harboring so much shame & guilt. I was a new mom, my daughter was only 1 year old at the time. My previous marriage was having significant struggles and would eventually end in divorce about a year and 1/2 later. I’d just left the U.S. Air Force as an Active Duty member and had no plan for what I was going to do next to provide for my family.
Over the next six years, I hit some very low lows. It eventually got to a point where I didn’t no what to do and no one around me knew what to do either. I slowly began to deepen in my spiritual practice as I worked hard to learn how to be joyful. I began reading books about shame & guilt. I started going on retreats, believing in the skills I’d always had but was too afraid to use. Learning, day by day, about the struggles of mental health & the stigmas surrounding them. I began to publicly share some of my writings & art about mental health that I’d been creating and slowly began to connect with women learning quickly that I wasn’t alone and there were a lot of women just like me. Although I’d been writing since I was 9 years old, sharing my work was something I rarely did.
I eventually sought professional help in therapy. I read books, so many books. I hired life coaches. I went on retreats specifically catered toward wellness, spirituality, mental health, & sisterhood. I really dove deep into sisterhood & connection.
I remarried, giving myself the opportunity to receive & experience partnered love again. But also, learning how to be in an equal and reciprocal relationship – something I learned I’d never experienced before.
I did all of this in addition to my self-care & wellness choices, which helped me ground, regroup, and begin to piece my life back together. I changed how I ate, began paying attention to what I put in my body. I did the best that I could to take care of myself in a way that I could in all ways.
And through all of this, I’m still learning. I still struggle, often, having a hard time getting back up. I know I’ve come so far from the girl who was so anxious & afraid she could barely leave the house. But that girl still lives in me. That part of me still needs me to show up as often as I can for myself, for my daughter, for my family.
Everyday I work to show up. To dust myself off & try again. Life can be hard. But I believe in change & choice. And the power we have in starting again & again.
After curating a blog, writing for other blogs, and self-publishing a poetry book, I find that my love for writing not only helps me heal, but helps me connect with others.
Yasmine is a writer, speaker, spiritual teacher, & entrepreneur born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. An Air Force Veteran and former Senior Member of a Federal Agency, Yasmine now focuses on writing for her blog and other blogs, such as The Huffington Post, publishing her books & poetry, running her non-profit, and sharing all that she knows at retreats & workshops. Yasmine resides in the Washington, DC area with her husband, daughter, and two dogs.