It's been around 4 and a half years since I started experiencing crippling anxiety. Looking back now, I know that I was highly functioning with anxiety for a long time, but at the time it felt like it hit me completely out of the blue. For the first few months I didn't even realise that what I was experiencing was anxiety, as I'd had no idea that mental illness could be so physical.
My symptoms were:
Increased sensitivity to light
An extreme sense of feeling overwhelmed and ungrounded
It wasn't until I wrote a list of my symptoms and potential causes to take to the Dr's where she calmly told me it was none of the things I thought it could be, and actually it seems like my body was having a serious reaction to stress. My body was in fight or flight permanently, and I was going to have to work very hard at turning that switch off. Up until this point I had thought anxiety meant you couldn't relax and you over thought everything (which it can), but my experience was so entirely physical rather than mental which I feel is not so much talked about.
I'm not exaggerating here when I say that every minute of every day was difficult for around 7 months. I had a short period of time off work, slept and cried a lot, and did an absolute shit ton of research into anything that could potentially make me feel better. My anxiety increased with the thought of anything that could detach me further from my body, so I stopped drinking alcohol and developed a slight fear of taking medication or anything that could have an effect - good or bad, so taking prescription medication wasn't an option for me.
In amongst my research I came across a lot of articles discussing how Magnesium is known as the wellbeing nutrient, and how having low magnesium levels can cause us to feel anxious but also how stress reduces our magnesium levels (you see the cycle here). Magnesium works by regulating your nervous system, minimising the stress, irritability and sleep problems assosiated with a magnesium deficiency. When you have low magnesium levels, the point at which your adrenal glands produce adrenaline and cortisol which are known as the stress hormones is also lower. This means that even tiny stresses which wouldn't usually bother you, such as a repetitive noise, can trigger a huge reaction. I went to my nearest home bargains and bought 1kg of Magnesium Chloride to go home and run a bath.
That night was the first night i'd slept straight through to the next morning since the anxiety had began. From that point on magnesium rich baths were part of my weekly routine, now I'm not saying that magnesium miraculously cured my anxiety - that definitely wasn't the case. I also embarked on a journey of Aromatherapy, Reiki, Herbalism, Sound healing, EFT, Flower Remedy's, Plant spirit medicine and talking Therapy which all contributed to me feeling like myself again - but magnesium is the thing I have always come back too.
I decided I needed to be able to have a travel option for when I was away from home, something I could reach for when my anxiety started to spike and so I could be rest assured that I would be able to sleep and wake up the next day with a sense of renewal. I started formulating a balm, with lavender and patchouli essential oils and although it had the same effect I found it wasn't lasting as long as I wanted it too. So I turned the balm into an oil which is what you see for sale in our store today.
4 and a half years on and I can confidently say that my anxiety no longer rules my life, it still appears every now and then and when it does I greet it like an old friend. With kindness and curiosity, but Magnesium is now with me where ever I go - just incase.
*Please note this is purely my experience, and is not a replacement for medical care. Please contact your health care professional for advice before taking supplements and if you are experiencing anxiety or any kind of mental health issue.