Episode 2 – Chronic Anxiety, Addiction and Life Purpose
By Sidney DeCamella
July 21, 2021
I grew up in an alcoholic family and have suffered from chronic stress and anxiety my entire life. In this episode, I dig into my history with mental health, prescription pills, alcohol addiction, infertility, self-discovery and my journey to becoming a Life Coach. I firmly believe we all have a calling on our life. The hard things we go through are guide posts, leading us toward our higher selves and our higher purpose. If given the opportunity, I wouldn’t change anything about my past.

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Episode Transcript

Welcome to the My Inner Tiger podcast. I’m your host, Sidney DeCamella. I’m also a wife, mother, Master Life Coach, course creator and spiritual Sherpa. Over the past few years, I have overcome extreme anxiety, depression, addiction, infertility and chronic illness. And as a result, I’ve made it my life’s mission to teach other women like you that no matter what battle you’re up against, you have an inner tiger, a power within to create and manifest whatever your heart desires. If you are tired of being a victim and ready to be the boss of your life, you have come to the right place. Each episode I’m going to share tools, teachings and techniques I have used and taught countless other women so that together we can create a life beyond our wildest dreams. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that your inner Tiger is just waiting to be unleashed. I’m so happy you’ve tuned in. Let’s get started.

Hello, welcome to the My Inner Tiger podcast, episode number two. I am so excited to be back on the mic with you guys and ready to get started. So if you listened to episode number one, which if you haven’t, I highly encourage you to do that, I covered my most recent transformational experience. And that was all about the birth of my son, which resulted in kidney failure and a very rare blood disease. And subsequently, over the past year-plus, I’ve continued to heal my body and gotten myself off of dialysis. I’m taking everything that I’ve learned throughout my life, but particularly since going through this experience, pouring it into a business called My Inner Tiger, and sharing with other people how they can heal their body and their mind from the inside out.

So here we are in episode two. And I’m still kind of going to keep it in the telling my story mode. So yes, the story about giving birth was extremely traumatic and life changing. But there’s so much more to my story. I want to cover a little bit more of my background to just give you a general idea of what I’ve struggled with throughout my life, especially pertaining to lots of stress and anxiety and loss of identity. And how I’ve come to rediscover myself and really figure out who I am.

So let’s take it back to when I was growing up. I grew up as the oldest child in an alcoholic family. And when I say alcoholic, just my father was an alcoholic. I loved my father. He was a party animal and so much fun. He was not like a bad drunk or anything like that. He just drank a lot and partied a lot. He loved to have a really, really, really good time. And I personally took on a lot of this lifestyle from him as I got into my older years. He was just the life of the party. What I saw from that was my mother and how she had to basically carry the load of raising three children by herself. My father traveled a lot so she was very stressed out and had tons of anxiety most of the time. As the oldest child, I really soaked that up. I took on all of that. Not only did I take it on because that’s what I learned from her, but I took it on because it’s really normal for the oldest child in an alcoholic family to basically assume some sort of responsibility for everyone.

It’s just weird how that works. I kind of took it upon myself to always worry about my brother and sister and make sure they were okay; protect them. At the same time, I really felt like I needed to protect my mother. This was a lot of responsibility to take on as a kid.

I mean, I had plenty of fun growing up but just the mental and emotional stress that I took on from this lifestyle really explains how I spent most of my life traumatized with chronic anxiety.

I’d always struggled in school and when I was12 years old my Mom took me to a psychiatrist who diagnosed me with ADD, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and a little bit of depression. Later in life, I would also be diagnosed with Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) and dyslexia. I had a whole concoction of issues, if you will.

So I started taking medicine at age 12 but didn’t like it… so I stopped and picked it back up around 17/18 years old. That’s when I was prescribed Adderall, which I took for about 17 years of my life after that. I also took Klonopin; so it was like I took Adderall in the morning to pick me up and Klonopin at night to wind down. I was completely dependent on these drugs. The biggest issue with that, aside from the fact that who knows what kind of damage it did to my body, was I really lost my sense of identity. So what I believed about myself was that something was terribly wrong with me, and that I needed drugs to be a normal human.

Therefore, from a young age, I lost touch with who I was. Eventually the pills turned to drinking. So I would be on Adderall during the day and drink every night. This all started just before college and honestly did not even slow down until I was 35 or 36 years old. I would consider myself an alcoholic because I drank almost every single day for all of those years.

Now, if you’re anything like me, and you can relate to that, I know that you know what that feels like. I felt like a prisoner. I felt like a prisoner to substances, to these pills, and to the drinks. I wanted to stop all the time but had no idea how to. I tried to stop drinking multiple times, but I just needed something to bring me down. I tried over and over to do different things and see counselors and stuff like that. I even went to a couple of meetings and then was convinced at the time that I totally didn’t belong there. I just didn’t know how to do it. I was broken and I was lost. I had no idea who I was for all those years.

What I want to cover now is what got me off of all that and really transformed my life, which is big part of my story as well.

I meet my husband when I was 35. We both acknowledged at the time and were concerned about it. I knew that I wanted to stop and he supported me, which was very refreshing. Our connection was instantaneous. It was clear he was my soulmate and I knew he wasn’t going to leave me. Knowing I had his support helped in feeling like I had a really good shot at successfully rediscovering myself and figuring out who I was without all of the substances.

A big motivating factor that got me to really take this leap of getting off of everything was the fact that we found out pretty early on in our relationship I would have a really hard time getting pregnant. Which was very heartbreaking for me. Very, very heartbreaking. Early on in that journey I started seeing a holistic doctor and he was going to help me get off of all the medicines and get my body right. And so for an entire year, I spent, you know, every week, sometimes more than once a week going to see him and doing all kinds of things to get off of this medicine. And this year of my life, was the second most transformational year of my life, because it was so hard number one to realize that we were having such a hard time getting pregnant, and that we were struggling with infertility. I mean,if you’ve ever gone through infertility, and that whole experience, it is just heartbreaking and so frustrating, and the unknown is consuming, it’s very, very, very hard. And you wouldn’t know what it’s like unless you’ve been there. So it’s just one of those things that people who have been there, I feel you if you’re listening, and you’ve been through this infertility experience, you know how difficult it is, and my heart goes out to you, you’re not alone. And if you’re still in it, I promise you that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I guarantee it. If it is on your heart to be a mother, then I promise you at some point you will be and I believe that with my entire entire soul.

Back to my year of craziness. So getting off of drugs and alcohol at once is horrifying. I had no idea what this was going to be like. I ended up quitting my job. My husband was fully supporting me. And I was lethargic. The brain fog was out of this world. I was so depressed and just completely lost any sense of reason to wake up in the morning. And I spent an entire year like this just like, you know, not only feeling purposeless, but wondering who the hell I was. Because, you know, I was so used to just depending on drugs to get me up and get me down and get me up and get me back down again. And I had so much fun as a drinker. And now I wasn’t a drinker, and how the heck am I supposed to have any kind of fun? I did not know how to have fun without drinking. It was very, very, very difficult. And so I just basically went through a complete redefine of myself. About a year into it, I decided to have a phone conversation with an old coworker of mine, her name is Kelly. And this was one of the first times I actually opened up to someone and talked about how I was actually feeling with, you know, with everything. I was very sad and very depressed. I had too much pride to let anyone know. And I didn’t want people to know at the time that I used to take all of this medicine. I was so embarrassed. My biggest fear in the world was that people would find out that I wasn’t really as upbeat and full of energy as they thought I was because I was faking it all or was all fake because I was on drugs like this. This voice in my head was so big. And it was like you know, I had to wear this mask all the time. My mask said, I have problems. I have issues and I have to take these supplements to be a normal human but don’t ever let anyone know. And it was just a very secretive life and it was like being in prison. Totally like being in prison all those years.

And so here I am talking to Kelly on the phone. I told her I wake up every day and I have no reason to get out of bed. This is so sad. I’m so depressed. And she said, Well, let’s talk about stuff that you’re good at. So long story short, she and I worked together as recruiters before this. And so it was like, I really loved helping people. I really love helping people figure out where they are in the current, like currently where they are and where they want to be, and then helping bridge that gap to get them where they want to go. And she and I, at the same time kind of had this lightbulb moment, we were like, Oh, what about life coaching? Neither one of us really knew what it was. We just thought that kind of sounds like something that a life coach would do. And so, lo and behold, I got off the phone, looked up life coaching, phoned a friend who I knew had done life coaching before, and just said, Hey, did you like the school you went to? She said, Yes, I said, great. The next day I was on the phone with a recruiter for the school. And voila, the next day, I’m enrolled, that is how fast the decision was.

I want to pause here and point something out about this. When you tap in to the well of your purpose, okay? You just poke a little hole in that well… the water will just start flowing. It will just start flowing and everything just starts to fall in line, it doesn’t mean it’s always beautiful. And it can be messy. But let me tell you, when you make a commitment to go forward toward the life of your dreams, or toward something that you’re completely put on this planet to do, and know that all the voices that used to say you can’t do that, you’re too old, or you won’t make any money or that no one’s gonna listen to what you say… No one wants your help. You can’t even get your own shit together. All those voices in your head that try to keep you from actually going forward in a path of something that you really, really feel called to and led to do…

They’re all just your inner critic, it’s your Gremlin, whatever you want to call it. When you are finally able to take that step and commit to something that is in your life plan, if you will. It’s beautiful. It is so huge. So I want to ask you, where in your life, do you know that there’s something bigger, something that you’re destined to do that you’ve been running away from? And if you don’t know what your quote unquote, purpose is (it’s sort of a hefty word people tend to get triggered by it sometimes, because there’s not just one purpose we have). But there are things that we are all gifted with. We have certain gifts, certain spiritual gifts, just things that make us who we are. And, and I believe that we all have something we can tap into. So what I’m trying to say is, what is it for you, because I promise you there’s something that you were made to do doesn’t mean you have to make a lot of money at it, whatever. But whatever your part on this planet is, I highly encourage you to start looking into it and do something about it, take one step forward. And don’t listen to these inner critics inside your head saying you’re too old, or you’re too late or bla bla bla bla bla bla bla. Tap into that well, and I promise you just taking each baby step things will just start to unfold for you. It’s almost effortless, truly.

Coaching school for me cost $14,000. Normally if something was going to cost $14,000, I would have had to go to my husband and created a whole case for it. Because that’s a lot of money. And said like, this is what I really want to do. Instead I just said yes, I’m going to do this. I told my husband, I said, This is what I want to do. It’s $14,000 and we’re gonna do it. And he said, Absolutely. That sounds awesome. Let’s do it. Which really blows my mind really, really blows my mind. I mean, he’s my financial supporter, I’m not making any money. So, you know, he just went with it. And that just is proof that like, when you’re in line with the universe, it will happen for you the money will come no matter what you think no matter how much you doubt it, I promise you, you will be provided for because you get on your path. It’s like being on the Australian current East Australian current. Is that what it is like in Finding Nemo when you’re just on it? And things just start flowing. And again, it can be messy. But when you’re on it, you’re on it. And you know, okay, so there’s my little blurb on purpose. We’ll do plenty of talking about that in later podcasts. So where was I? So I sign up, I go to coaching school, and this changed everything. Like, I started to finally learn who I really am. And it was weird, because, you know, I was 38 years old at the time, and I had no idea. So, you know, everyone was coming from a different place. And I felt like, here I am 38 years old, and I have no idea who I am. I’m really discovering it and tapping back into who I was, you know, before I started taking all kinds of brain altering drugs. And of course, I was still in there the whole time. But you see what I’m saying. So here I am, I go to coaching school. And just a few months after I graduate, I finally got pregnant on our third round of invitro fertilization. And I just thought life was peachy. I had made it, I was going to be a life coach and I was going to help people. I was tapping into my purpose. And, you know, I’m fulfilling my lifelong dream to be a mother. Here I am, I’m pregnant. And then I had a little bit of a rough pregnancy in the beginning, but ended up getting pretty good. And I just felt like I had arrived. And then I go to give birth, and just everything kind of went to you know were in a handbasket. At least that’s what it felt like, however, the beautiful part of all of it is that I would go through that entire birth experience again, and the kidney failure and the dialysis. I mean, would I want to? Hell no. Hell, no, it sucks. Dialysis sucks. But I would do it all again for the major transformation because here’s what happened.

I struggled with chronic anxiety, loss of identity, depression, all of this emotional trauma, like so much emotional trauma. I mean, the stories I could get into which I will later in podcasts, about different things that I went through. I just, I can’t even believe how much the kidney failure experience just threw me into like to just healing my mind and healing my emotions. Like I said in episode 1, I have to heal, not just my body, but my mind. And I went gung ho for it. And I finally, finally learned how to officially break free from all of the crap, garbage, like clean out my brain garage from just all the built up junk that I had accumulated all throughout the years, and just find peace. Who doesn’t want peace? That’s all I wanted was to just say, I know who I am. I’m confident in who I am. And I have peace every day. Every day, I mean, that doesn’t mean I don’t have bad days. But I finally have peace. And so what I actually did and I’m excited to tell you guys about is I created an online course called Break Free from Stress and Anxiety, a Masterclass for Women. Now, it’s not officially launched yet, but I’ll be talking about that in the future. But I was so overwhelmed with excitement when I finally came to a point where I was waking up in the morning and not just getting struck with this overwhelming sense of anxiety on a regular basis. Like I felt like I had just, you know, really reached a milestone in my life. I just found freedom. And I can’t wait to share that with other people. I’m thrilled about it.

Stay tuned for that course that will be coming in the future. But again, let me just wrap this up by saying this is the story about how I sort of got to coaching school and how I ended up getting pregnant and what led me to where I am today. So I hope that gives you a more general understanding of my background and that you can relate to some of it. And I just am so excited that you have tuned in to listen to this today. I hope you took away some nuggets for yourself, and I look forward to seeing you in the next episode.

Thank you so much for tuning in to this episode of My Inner Tiger. Before you go, I have a free gift to offer you. If you’re anything like me and struggle with overwhelming feelings of stress and anxiety on a regular basis, I invite you to download my Freedom In Five Formula where you’ll discover how to change your state in less than five minutes. This is my beautiful gift to you and costs $0 so head on over to MyInnerTiger.com/freedom to download this now. Also, if you loved what you heard today, please rate and review this podcast on iTunes so I can keep the ball rolling. And finally if you’re not already, come follow me on Instagram @myinnertiger for more juicy goodness and fun inspiration. I can’t wait to connect with you there. Now my dear friend, go out into this world and create some magic. I’ll catch you in the next episode.

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