Rebecca Ahern: Real, Raw, Vulnerable and Strong
It’s scary to talk about undesirable aspects of yourself, things you hide away, mask and hope that no one notices. The things that make others uncomfortable when spoken about. I am choosing to be Brave. I hope you will join me in this conversation, if not now, soon. I’ve lived through darkness, hard lessons, repeated lessons and pits. By coming forward with my struggles and then eventual triumphs, I want you to get to know me. All of me. The Real True Authentic woman that I am, how I learned to embrace and love myself with faults and flaws. And how I can assist you to your highest good, loving all of you as you are. Imperfectly perfect.
My darkness started when my parents got a divorce, I was going into 6th grade. I never acknowledged my hurt or sadness, therefore never healed and dug my hole deeper each year of living with the trauma denial. I lost real friendships and gained real friendships in my chaos that I lived. I was always looking to feel loved and accepted; though I could never find it because I didn’t love myself.
In High School, I learned that drinking on the weekends made the pain go away. At one point, right before college, I thought I finally found balance. Dancing was my passion and saved my life by allowing me to safely escape, express myself and move the trauma from my body. I was able to hold discipline in dance, I was safe, I was free. The music moved me. Healing is not a linear journey and what I thought had saved me, only healed bits of me. The healing I was doing with dance was painful, I couldn’t always face the darkness.
In college it escalated. I was stressed and was burning the candle at both ends. My father’s health was continuously failing. Unbeknownst to her, my mother wasn’t emotionally available in the ways that I needed. Looking for the love I lacked inward, I drank more and dabbled in Adderall. I would not go to class and party at night. I was a mess and knew it. I didn’t know how to fix it. In a sense I liked and hated it at the same time. I didn’t eat, was self-harming, had horrible anxiety and felt like the world was always ending. I was so mixed up. I didn’t care what people thought of me and yet wanted EVERYONE to like me. I was in and out of relationships, cheating on most of the guys and longing for those that only wanted to use me. I still struggle with acceptance today in some aspect, its difficult to step away from the extrinsic approval and remember that I am the only acceptance I truly need.
I got engaged after collage. We both cheated on each other and it didn’t happen. A blessing in the disguise of utter heartache. I was renting my childhood home with my brother, not working, alone with no true friends nearby, mentally unstable, dabbling in anorexia and drinking far too much. I remember writing in a journal about the hole that I was in: I could see the dimmed light far away and needed a ladder to climb out. I didn’t know how to build the ladder, much less climb out. I thought that it had to be the darkest my life could get.
And then. My Dad died.
That was my darkest moment, I’ve never felt such like such wreckage. That was also my turning point. My wake-up call. I started going to counseling more often, reading self-help books, books about Heaven and spiritually. I was praying hard, reading the bible again and talking to my Dad and God every day. Praying the hardest I have ever prayed. I choose to antidepressants and started a job I adored. I was seeing the light.
When I met my husband, Dan. I swore I wasn’t going to date anyone till I had fully embodied my self-care. But God had plans for me. As I was getting better with taking care of myself, I knew that this relationship was different, because I was different. Dan didn’t care that I wasn’t what I thought I should be, he saw all the imperfectness of me and loved me completely.
Through this journey, it wasn’t always dark. I pursued really big dreams, laughed a lot, made amazing memories and lifelong friendships and truly enjoyed life. I wrote often, saw counselors, went to church, church mission trips and church spiritual retreats, I knew God. I just hated so much of myself and never felt enough because of my unhealed trauma. With that, the trauma cycle continued.
My first born, Xavier was my “a-ha” moment. He was my saving Grace. He made me the Spiritual and Holistic practitioner I am. I found meditation, Reiki, a holistic lifestyle, herbs, wise teachers and a gorgeous support system. I found my Real True Authentic Self. It didn’t happen overnight, but it was fast and furious. I was awakened for him and yet found myself along the way. I was no longer trying to be what I thought everyone wanted me to be. I was me. Real, raw, vulnerable and strong. I became myself because he chose me as his Mama. He was very ill from birth and it’s taken years of healing and learning and putting his puzzle pieces together to make me this woman. I’m so grateful for him and the road that he has guided.
Most recently, I suffered with postpartum depression and anxiety.
I had plans for my second child to be born at home comfortably and peacefully with my midwife. I had plans to take back the power that was taken from me with my first child. I had plans to guide and lead our birth and specifically our after birth care by recovering in my own home. I had plans for a family centered and calm experience. God had other plans. My water broke at 35 weeks and was presenting as a rapid progression. We raced to the hospital to ensure the safety of the baby. 24 hours later, sweet Pax was born. The NICU saved my baby’s life and two high dose antibiotics saved my life from an unknown infection. But with these interventions came trauma, anger, sadness and utter heart break. I’m still healing from this experience, though 2 ½ years ago, it still feels raw sometimes. I try to be aware and present in these moments, allowing the feelings to flow in like a wave gently lapping the shore. This healing is uncomfortable, sometimes unbearable and yet beautiful.
I know that I lived my darkness so that as a Healer I can connect to you on your journey. I’ve been through the pits and valleys and know what heaviness feels like to be carried for years. I know bitter pain in the depths of my soul. And I know that it doesn’t have to continue to be overwhelming, hidden or embedded into your being. I’m nowhere near perfection and have learned to make space for you to release burdens. I still struggle and have found my different triggers; I know how to help work through trauma from my personal experience, studied knowledge and acquired emotional wisdom.
Apothecary & Healing evolved from humble home remedies and Reiki that I was using for my family’s wellbeing, to a thriving holistic business. All because of deep love and a need from the community. Friends and family were requesting my goods and services, demanding to pay me and recommending me to others. Slowly, over 7 years, with pure wonder and amazement from myself, I have grown to have many wonderful and supportive clients.
My motivation to stay the path of Enlightenment are my family and all of those still wandering in darkness. To further my mission, I have partnered with three women owned businesses: Mrs. Moonstone, Ordinary Pioneer and Life; No Filter. Together we are Healing Practitioners at The Gathering Place and stand to support you, allowing a safe space to release your burdens and step forward on your journey.
I aim to be a Beacon of Light with the goal to help you find your way back. Back to who you were before you felt you had to wear a facade to feel adequate. You are already whole. Let’s remember.
Cheers to Wellness!
Rebecca Ahern is a self-proclaimed crazy, crunchy, healing hippy, who's in love with life’s journey and this amazing Earth that we all share. She is practicing Reiki Master Teacher and Intuitive Healer. Offering a variety of small batch & handcrafted products. Including Teas and Salves made from organic and local herbs & foods. Learn more about Rebecca and her healing practices here : Aherapothecary