My secret. My anxiety.

finger up to someones lips, a secret

My secret…..

As a child I had anxiety.

I had panic attacks, anxiety attacks, generalized anxiety.

They were rare at first.

They left me perplexed and afraid.

I was afraid they would happen again.

I was afraid something was wrong with me.

Something unfix-able.

I felt so shameful, “Why can’t I make it go away?”

I felt so defective.

As I grew into my teenage years anxiety was more intense and more frequent. Sprinkle in some other family stress that I didn’t respond to well plus added responsibilities all created a mental hailstorm.

Plant Spirit Medicine, Full Circle Herbals, Erin LaFaive

Somehow I managed to keep my secret. I was an expert on hiding panic attacks as I sat in a classroom. When another family member knew they had a laissez faire attitude about it even though many family members also had the same issue and took medications at one time in their lives.

Medicines scared me as much as the anxiety because I’d seen family and friends abuse pills and other substances to self-medicate. Even though anxiety was prevalent in my family I didn’t see healthy strategies being used.

erin sitting on grass with a basket in her lap, looking into the distance

My search for an answer to fix my daily anxiety attacks led me to self-help books, which led me to learn about different religions and spirituality, and complementary alternative medicine such as visualization, meditation, journaling, and herbs.

Around fifteen years old I started growing herbs. One of the first was chamomile. I didn’t feel like I knew what do with it, but growing those herbs was soothing. I discovered a few things while growing herbs in small planters on our deck and later in the garden.

🌱Flowers scents were relaxing.🌱Watching their progress was nurturing to my self-esteem.🌱Even the leaves have a pleasant aroma.🌱I felt more at ease during my time with these herbs.🌱I felt a “calling” to spend time with herbs and learn.🌱I felt a strong urge to protect them.

chamomile flowrs

My journey to unravel the mystery of anxiety taught me about biological aspects of it and led to self-discovery that helped others too. I later realized a vast amount of resources exist to help soothe anxiety before it started and within the moment of it.

Some of the herbal tools help fairly quickly and others are needed frequently and over many moons. I enjoy sharing my experience about it to ease the torment of anxiety within others.


lady in field with shawl spinning

We aren’t broken. Healing is possible.


Erin LaFaive is an herbalist and Plant Priestess living in Wisconsin. She’s the author of the Learning Herbalism Workbook and other ecourses.

Learn more about Erin on this page. 

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