For many women, depression is a reality they face everyday. It comes in many forms and can sometimes be misdiagnosed. Some can be overwhelmed with it and others are able to live with their head just above the water. From the outside looking in, it’s easy to misunderstand and look at it as someone’s inability to cope with life, but that is far from the truth. We had the opportunity to learn and be inspired by one woman’s journey who has been battling mental illness, healing & finding purpose in the world.
Tai Rothwell served six years in the Air Force right out of high school . At 24, she was unhappy with where she was in life and where she wanted to be. After leaving the Air Force she looked forward to freedom, college, & finding her desires in life with no restrictions. She was ready to experience the height of my life that everyone raved about. After 2 years of managing college and getting her new life together she was soon diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Even after getting diagnosed, Tai’s insatiable need to live her life has taken her across the globe and given her experiences many of us dream of.
MGS: What made you decide to join the Air Force?
Tai: I made the decision to join the Air Force at 18 years old mainly for foundation and direction. I found joining was an exciting alternative to the traditional college route. I would be independent and free. I could travel and meet new people and give back to my country at the same time.
MGS: Were you able to travel while being enlisted?
Tai: I was able to travel while being enlisted. I wasn’t able to travel leisurely but I was stationed in Korea and Spain.
MGS: After enrolling in college and finding out what you wanted to do after college – what was the moment that made you decided to an unfiltered life?
Tai: The moment I decided to live a unfiltered life is when I starting getting sick from being on anti depressants for my anxiety and depression. These are the things that were supposed to help me and I felt they were doing the opposite. I took a trip to a yoga retreat in the Bahamas and I felt this is it. This is where I needed to be. I felt I ultimately had control over my life and there are healthier ways to regain my health. In the process, I also felt being fulfilled and happy has to be at the top of my list in order to be fully healthy mind, body and soul.
MGS: Why did you decide to travel, instead of other alternatives ways to cope and heal from depression?
Tai: Actually, I have tried every way to cope with depression. I responded very well to the holistic approach (oils, acupuncture, Chinese herbs) and then I took the step to travel just to get away. In that experience, I realized that traveling helped tremendously with getting in touch with myself, conquering fears and exposing me to other ways of living. It was the one thing that gave me that sense of freedom. When dealing with a mental illness, at times you feel trapped. That’s when I realized traveling was a big help in my healing.
MGS: What was the first country you visited?
Tai: The first country I visited leisurely was the Bahamas.
MGS: Do you travel solo on all your trips?
Tai: I do not travel alone. I travel with my fiancé. Although I plan to travel alone when I am able to travel a lot more. I am still gathering to courage to conquer that fear.
MGS: What advice do you have for other women going through the same thing, but are unable to travel for whatever reason?
Tai: I would have to say check out holistic ways of healing. Essential Oils, yoga, meditation, acupuncture, etc. I’m not a fan of conventional medication, but for some people it works and they take it. Stay positive. Learn what you can about yourself. Travel was a piece of the puzzle in my healing journey. As far as travel, I would say go where you can go. Take a trip somewhere you haven’t been even in your state! Go out and explore. It takes you out of your confront zone and I think you are surrounded by new experiences and find new pieces to your puzzle.
You discover things you never knew or felt before. Traveling really can start with the mind. You can even travel with meditation to be honest! I say if you are physically capable, go where ever you can go. It doesn’t have to be international, although I do recommend you save wherever possible to get out of the country. To experience other cultures is one of the most eye opening things I’ve ever experienced. If you aren’t physically capable, mediation can help with that a lot and those holistic ways I have mentioned. For anyone, I say do what you can. Stay positive and never give up. For any questions I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. I love to help people take control of their lives and mental health through holistic healing.
In the last 2 years, Tai has traveled to Canada, Bahamas, Nicaragua, Mexico, Egypt, Belize, and Thailand with long stopovers in Germany and Zurich. There are 3 trips in particular that have a huge impact on her path to healing, spiritual journey and finding her sense of purpose. read more about Tai’s these 3 trips and her journey at www.thelifeoftai.com