I came to the weekend feeling thoroughly tired (physically and mentally), which caused me to feel somewhat hopeless about the future as well.
I felt tired of surviving and felt my work was a never ending and consuming struggle with little rewards in sight.
The retreat totally changed my perspective. There was space to tap into what was causing my exhaustion, to be away from my normal stressful surroundings, and to be in a quiet place with friendly people who shared the aim of healing and the reality of womanhood.
I left feeling light and grounded. I had experienced anxiety for about a decade due to multiple traumatic experiences. I had tried many conversational therapy techniques (cognitive behavioral therapy etc.), medication (SSRI), and meditation techniques (e.g. via the Headspace app) to treat my anxiety, but I was unable to get rid of my baseline anxiety.
Perhaps I came to the retreat at the right time in my personal journey, since after doing the exercises and the ceremony, my baseline anxiety was gone. I was liberated of my survival mode, which I did not even understand to be my way of living for a decade before coming to the retreat.
At first I was amazed and also thought — oh well, I should enjoy this feeling of calmness since I don’t know when the anxiety will come back — but now after three months I am still feeling the same, light and grounded.
This was a huge breakthrough for me. I was taking SSRI medication before, but I had to stop it for the ceremony and I never continued the treatment (which I have discussed with a psychiatrist).
I feel this combination of not being medicated and the after effects of the retreat have worked wonders within me. I feel the joy of life. I feel curios about what is to come. I feel I am enough and I have survived already. I have resigned from blaming myself and treating myself badly. I feel that also outside criticism towards me affects me differently; I listen to it but I then decide what is important in it. I don’t take other people’s negativity to heart as much as I did before: I have realized it is often projecting their inner struggles.
I have found healthier boundaries in many of my relationships and I am more vocal about what I consent to emotionally.