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Mental Health

My Story and the Reason Why I Do What I Do

The journey to your true, authentic self is not an easy one. it involves getting really REAL with yourself, calling yourself out on habits that are keeping you unhealthy, stuck and sad. I’ve been on this journey for several years now, and I have to say it doesn’t really get easier. You just learn how to navigate it, you learn how to accept yourself and let go of anything holding you down. 

The downs get shorter. Less deep. More manageable. Then something you thought you’d healed comes back around on a deeper level and you’re sitting there wondering “hey, didn’t I deal with this already?!

That’s the journey, beautiful soul. Growth isn’t a straight line. It’s a spiral. Every time you up-level to that next version of you, getting closer and closer to your highest self, the same issues surrounding self worth, self love and authenticity come around. But in a bigger way. Because you’re getting to the core of it. And sometimes those limiting thoughts and beliefs run deep.

But enough about where I am now. I thought I’d get a little vulnerable with you about where I started… Here’s my story.

— 2015

2015 was probably one of the darkest years of my life. It was my rock bottom. After struggling with low self worth, depression, anxiety among other issues for close to 15 years, this was the year I called myself out on my own bullshit. Easy? Fuck no. Necessary. 100%.

Nothing changes until you reach this point of being so OVER where you’re at. That you are ready to do whatever it takes, no matter how awkward, difficult or downright uncomfortable it is. This point comes sooner to some than others. It’s a point when you finally start listening to that whisper in your soul.

Telling you that there’s more to life. That there’s happiness to be created. That there’s passion to feel. That there’s life to live. 

This little voice whispered to me for years, I ignored her. 

I wasn’t ready to face myself. I wasn’t ready to take the responsibility for my situation. Because my situation was my responsibility. 

I may not have actively chosen that path, but my actions chose it. 

I didn’t care what went into my body. Crappy foods, lots of alcohol and zero exercise laid my foundation. Negative thoughts, overthinking and judging of myself and others built upon it. Not following a passion, working jobs I hated and not learning anything new was the cherry on top. 

Mind, body, soul – all being neglected and abused.

Whitney Barkman - My Story and the Reason Why I Do What I Do
— What I Believed

I’ll be 100% honest, I never went to the doctor for my depression and mental health issues. I was never diagnosed. But I knew what I dealt with. I didn’t need a doctor to confirm my suicidal thoughts meant depression. That my fear to leave the house was anxiety. 

I also felt a lot of resistance to go to a doctor for any of this. I knew even in my darkest moments that I wanted nothing to do with “traditional” mental health treatment. I didn’t want medications. I didn’t want doctor’s visits.

Though I didn’t know the word at the time, I wanted a holistic way to heal. I wanted a natural way.

I am so sincere when I say I wish I had known about health coaches or mentors at the time, because it would’ve made me feel so much less alone. 

It would have confirmed that everything I believed was possible. That what I ate, if I moved, what I thought and believed, and how I nourished my soul could actually heal depression.

Not many doctors tell you that.

But this is my journey. And being alone through this was what I needed to go through to get to where I am.

Whitney Barkman
— And Now

The reason I say that I had to experience what I did to be where I am is because I would not have gone to The Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a Health Coach had I not realized how much I needed someone like that then.

I went to school so that I could help “me” from back then. 

I have no regrets, no ill feelings, no wishes that my life had been different. Because my life, my struggles and challenges are the literal reason that I am currently building a business doing something I love and am extremely passionate about. I never would have found this had I not seen the other side.

So the point of me sharing my story is this.

You are not alone.

What you believe IS possible.

You CAN heal holistically and naturally. 

I’m here to help – reach out (connect@whitneybarkman.ca) with any questions about coaching you may have.

Love & Light
Whitney