My name is Nadia Miller. I am a mental health advocate, public speaker, course facilitator at the Greater Manchester Mental Health Trust’s Recovery Academy, and currently half way through my Mindfulness Teacher Training with Breathworks.
Talk at BIG
On Tuesday 26 February 2019 I will be delivering a talk to Bury Involvement Group. Here I will be talking to a recovery group sharing my experience of my own mental health struggles, therapies that have helped me get to recovery and most importantly, how mindfulness has not only enabled me to keep growing but healing too.
How mindfulness has helped me
It was after 20 years of suffering, having thoughts & feelings of suicide and self-destructive behaviour that I learned to manage my mental health conditions. (Depression & traits of emotional unstable personality disorder).
I had received different psychological interventions along the way, but in the end learning to be more compassionate towards myself helped me get to recovery.
I have been in recovery for 4 years now and due to some difficulty that arose for me over a year ago, I had a strong urge to help myself with this. I knew that I didn’t need more therapy due to the tools I had already been given in the past but there was a need to understand my pain more.
Severe tremors in the hands and my head came out of nowhere; it was like I lost control of my body. I noticed the trigger and where it would happen but I didn’t see where this stemmed from for my body to react as it did.
In the midst of going through this violent storm, I was using my own compassionate tools to respond to myself with kindness and was eager to deepen my practice more.
As I was going through this process, I noticed a Breathworks poster providing details of how you can train to be a teacher with them. I was very drawn towards this as it was learning to be compassionate towards myself and changing perspective in life that helped me get to recovery. It is now my passion and purpose to give back the gift of this in any way I can. Shortly after seeing this poster, I contacted Breathworks and was informed of some pre-requisites before starting the formal training, one of them being attending an 8 week Mindfulness for Stress course.
A few months later, I attended this course and I found it really interesting and insightful. It really cemented everything I had learned through the therapies I had in the past, in particular, Compassion Focused Therapy.
This course helped me to turn towards my pain more so, it was a like a tap opening slowly, starting to release some pain that had been built up.
Before I started the next step of the teacher training (Introductory Training) I needed to complete meditation diaries, reflecting on how I found them, what came up for me, sensations, thoughts, how I dealt with them etc. It was here, in this in-depth experience of exploration and really turning towards did I notice a different relationship to this pain I had been holding.
It was especially more apparent initially with the compassionate acceptance and working with charged thoughts meditation. Here, I would always feel a lot of pain behind my eyes, my heart aching. As I understood the impact of resisting and not turning towards my primary pain, from the theory taught on the Mindfulness for Stress course, this made me want to sit with how I was feeling.
Tears would flow and with that, there was this strong sense of relief. It was a realisation that I had been trying to be strong for so long but now my body can breathe as I acknowledged the difficult time I had been going through.
A few months later, after really sitting with these practices, I was able to see clearly why my hands and head would tremor/shake the way they do sometimes. I made a connection of a traumatic event I went through in the past and I noticed my body thinking that this is happening again. What a relief it was to know what I was now working with.
This realisation helped me really soften towards myself, be my own best friend/parent more so and with that, the tremors/shakes diminished.
Mindfulness has helped me see that we are always on this journey of unfolding and becoming which can be painfully beautiful. It was very useful for me and most likely key that I had in-depth therapy beforehand which made it safe for me to explore my pain in mindfulness practice.
Having this personal experience, seeing first-hand how the Mindfulness for Stress course can truly help has made me excited about becoming teacher and the need to share this with others.
This practice has truly helped me be the captain of my own ship, being able to sail through stormy waters and into the calm ocean.
I hope by sharing my experience at BIG that it helps to inspire others, creates better understanding of this practice to bring about support and positivity for anyone in recovery.
Painfully beautiful by Nadia Miller
How the seasons change,
A reminder that things will never be the same again.
One moment being tossed and turned from all that we know,
far from reach, horizon out of sight.
The next, being brought back to shore,
Calm waves washing over our being,
bringing love, kindness,
Soothing our bruises, broken hearts,
A violent awakening,
Breaking our hearts open over and over again,
Eventually letting the light in,
healing pain, hurt that we have held onto for so long.
The seasons bring us choice, another chance,
to become, to breathe, to live again.
Eyes start to open,
Our wounds start to heal,
We grow taller,
How painfully beautiful.