I was traumatized by my difficult childhood and subsequent tragic life events. Before I learned Transcendental Meditation, I had been living with decades of anxiety and a panic disorder. My stressful lifestyle brought constant panic attacks which for years left me suicidal during the night and depressed in the mornings.

I was distraught by the traditional health system—I felt that nothing could help me. I had attempted so many therapies, Arthur Janov Primal Scream, traditional Psychoanalysis for 2 years, Psychotherapy with several different therapists, Counselling and Social Work therapy. I tried several marriages to the wrong men, thinking that being a good wife and parent would solve everything.

Despite my efforts, nothing could stop the constant fears from rushing through my mind and the impulsive suicidal thoughts that terrified me. My doctor prescribed Paxil therapy for one year, but the drug left me numb and for the entire year I felt nothing, therefore I was nothing. I began to lose hope and accept that the rest of my life would include the panic attacks in the night, lightly sleeping with one eye open, waking exhausted and depressed.

One day, I met someone who recommended that I try TM. I learned TM with my instructor and it all began to make sense. My inner me felt stabilized and restful once I began to meditate regularly. I even meditated at 3 am when I felt a panic attack coming on. Instead of panicking, I welcomed the opportunity to sit quietly, with my mantra and a comfortable cotton duvet surrounding me. I was able to find the peace that had evaded me all along. It was there all along but I had never known it.

I was able to touch a place inside of me, my center, my soul, my person, a place that is safe and no one else can enter. It is that ability to be alone, to give myself the gift of healthy solitude. The reward is that I am able to silence my mind. My worries and my fears still exist but they do not stay and definitely do not overwhelm me. I felt more rested than I had felt in a long time.

TM changed my life and I know that I have to faithfully practise my TM twice daily for twenty minutes. It is my priority. It is my self-care. The fact that I could resume my daily life and go to work, take care of my family, my pets and my obligations fuels my desire to regularly practise TM and manage my stress. I need it to return to my baseline calm.

I have become a better version of myself…

The truth is I don’t think I could ever be that other person again, even if I wanted to. It is an irreversible change. It is a permanent knowledge that cannot be undone. There is no better way to describe it other than I have given myself the gift of hidden tranquility. I stop myself from thinking about what my life would have been like if I had started TM decades ago. I know I can only affect today and continue down this new path and find my way to my future, one in which I am able to surrender myself to a certain calm and serenity twice a day, twenty minutes at a time. My time for me. The stress and depression that was an elephant sitting in the room have become a chocolate elephant that I eat, one bite at a time. It is my different point of view.

My view of TM is that it is better than the sunrise and the sunset. If I have to, I lock myself in a bathroom at the office to meditate, or I just tell everyone that I am going to take twenty minutes to meditate. No one argues with that.

They all prefer the new me. So do I.

Michelle Daines
Montreal, QC