May is Mental Health Awareness Month!
To contribute to that, I decided to share my story that I kept to myself for many years up until recently, and how it led me to what I do now.
For 10 years ever since I was 16 years old, I experienced scopophobia, the morbid fear of being seen or stared at by others.
This social anxiety disorder started all of a sudden, and gradually got worse as time went by. One time, it reached to a point where even eating out at a restaurant, or walking past people on a sidewalk would make me go panic, and cause my heart pound so fast. At work, my desk was right in front of my boss’ desk, and we had to face each other to work. I couldn't focus on my work whenever my boss was facing me because of my phobia. It was such a nightmare (in many ways).
It consumed me and left me in constant pain and feeling hopeless without a way out, but I pretended like I was fine. I kept it to myself – hidden away from my friends and family, because I felt like I had to figure it out on my own (like I do for many things).
After the emotionally draining decade, I found out about this Self-Care Program in Japan, and it was a life saver for me; it is a program that lets anyone face their heart, helps realize solutions to their problems, and attract what they want in life. For me, it was to fix this energy-consuming phobia.
Surprisingly, it was very powerful. With the skills I got from the program, I was able to free myself from the fear. I felt stronger and at peace, and was able to start enjoying every moment in my life again.
For anyone that may be struggling with stress, anxiety, or problems right now, please know that there is always hope. It is not just hope, but there is also a way out.
Since then, I had the urge of making this program available to more people, here in the U.S., where I call home after living for more than half of my life. With tremendous support from the founders of the program, and after spending days and nights translating the materials for a few years, I started sharing the program both in Japanese and English. After a few years of teaching, I started my very first company, Open-alpha.
Solutions to inner conflicts…whether it be stress-freeing yourself, understanding yourself, finding steps to reach a goal, everything starts when we commit to facing ourselves. The answers to many questions we have in life can be found nowhere else but within our heart. We all deserve to make ourselves happy and pursue what we want in life, especially in challenging times.
Open-alpha’s Self-Care Program encourages those who are ready to make a difference in themselves for themselves.
With much love,