Until about 10 years' ago, I was a high-flying business-woman with an apparently 'perfect' life and a successful career. But while everything looked A-OK to the outside world, internally I'd been fighting an ongoing battle with anxiety and depression for decades.
I threw myself into work to compensate for all the inner turmoil that was permanently roiling under the surface, and as long as I had a deadline to meet, or a challenging project to complete, I was too busy to think about anything else and life was OK.
Except, it wasn't really. I was still getting debilitating depressions that could last for days and even weeks. I was still secretly nervous and anxious about most things; I couldn't sleep properly, and had very disrupted sleep; I flipped from one minor illness to the next; I felt angry, and dissatisfied and frustrated with my life, most of the time.
In 2005, I moved country from the UK to Israel, and that's when the wheels really came off the bus. The move was incredibly stressful on a number of fronts, and all my secret demons that I'd been trying so hard to keep contained all my life, suddenly exploded out of their hiding place.
My depressions got so bad, there were whole days I couldn't get out of bed. My fears went through the roof - I was scared of everything, from developing a terminal illness, to being robbed, to going flat broke.
My anxiety hit new heights, while my life seemed to be hitting new lows.
You can hide from yourself, and your emotional issues pretty well, as long as your life is going smoothly. But I think God decided that He didn't want me to hide anymore; instead, He wanted me to face down my inner demons, to find out what was really causing them, and then to find a way through to the other side, without resorting to drugs or shrinks.
Not that I didn't try the shrinks, because of course, I did: At one point, I had three different therapists on two different continents, all trying to push me on to anti-depressants because I'd made the mistake of crying in their office.
The more I talked to them, the worse I felt. The more I talked to them, the more confused and upset I became.
After a few months of 'therapy', I got a flash of clarity that there had to be another way, a way that wasn't going to cost a fortune, and that would give me real solutions, in real time, to my very real problems.
I've spent the last decade developing that 'other way', and the Jewish Emotional Health Institute (JEMI) is the result.
There are two main things that set my approach to health and wellnees aprt from most of the other approaches to emotional and mental health that are out there:
1) My work recognises that spiritual, emotional / mental and physical health are all intertwined. Each affects, and is affected by, the other, which means that true holistic health has to take mind, body AND SOUL into account.
2) God is centre-stage, in my holistic healing paradigm.
Everything I write or talk about works for real people, and their real problems. I won't recommend a tool, technique or book unless I've tried it out extensively, and seen great results from it myself.
After 30 years of suffering from my out-of-control emotions, and another 10 years learning how to deal with them in a productive way, I started JEMI, and started writing books about God-based holistic health so I could share everything I've learned with you.
The approach I set out in my books has brought me through some very difficult issues (yes, that's a classic example of the famous British gift for understatement.)
If it helped me to get past my depressions, and to make my panic attacks, anxieties and fears a thing of the past, and to wake up most days with a smile on my face, then I firmly believe that it can help you, too.
Where to find Rivka Levy online
Where to buy in print
Causes and Cures of Depression
by Rivka Levy
CAUSES AND CURES OF DEPRESSION is the ultimate pocket guide to understanding the real reasons why you're getting depressed, and what you can do to start making your depressions a thing of the past, the drug-free way.
The How, What and Why of Talking to God
by Rivka Levy
The insider's guide to talking to God that will teach you everything you need to know to kick-start your conversation. Includes the eight ancient secrets of how to talk to God in a way that will transform your life, plus scientific proof that talking to God really works.
The Happy Workshop
by Rivka Levy
An eight week journey to finding lasting, genuine happiness - even when things aren't going your way.
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