Here's the day we met and stayed connected since.
Mental Ghosts is honored to hear Ethan's story. Austin met Ethan at one of his badass hooligan races here in Missoula, MT. He showed up late or something and had to start the race in the back, but he over came it by pushing his way through everyone beside the 1st place guy that was really good at going slow and blocking Ethan from going fast around him.
So my name is Ethan White, I’m 32 years old. My story is one of general anxiety attacks that would later get compounded by multiple concussion injuries, what a combo lol. So, when I was 30 I bought my first new car. Somehow on that day, my reward was an anxiety attack that lasted about 3-4 days. I couldn’t believe it. That’s what I got for achieving my goal of owning a new car? I was also racing motorcycles full time at this point, and injuries were a big part of my life. However; this, this was an invisible wound sidelining my entire life over something I didn’t even do wrong. How unfair, unjust, and unnecessary mental health problems are I thought!?
To make matters worse, I started racing flat track motorcycles. This type racing had me receiving a concussion every 6 months for 2 years. Wow, concussions are like turbo chargers for anxiety and depression. That really fucking sucked!! Still does haha!! A concussion disrupts your cerebral spinal fluid and bounces your brain off of the inside of your skull. Not great for mental health, resulting in month long battles where I was sensitive to noise and light and any kind of stimulation. Anxiety and depression were with me all day, everyday, for weeks on end. Sleep was my only escape. Everytime I woke up, within a few a breathes the anxiety would return. It was a living hell I wouldn’t wish on anyone.
The breakthrough came when I took my mental health into my own hands. I stopped worrying about what I would find on google, and became determined to find out what people do to overcome this stuff. For me, I found it very interesting the link between our gut and our minds. The old saying is, “follow your gut”. The problem is; that saying was invented before processed foods, fast food, and GMO food. although the saying is true and rooted in the power of your intuition, there’s a critical problem for today’s generation. That problem is that most of us are “revved up” and “outta whack” on fake foods. Upon getting tested by a gut health specialist, I found that I had a yeast infection for who knows how many years from a lifetime of eating sandwiches and having beers on a regular basis. I had multiple bacterial overgrowths like ecoli (and many more) and parasites (likely from a trip I took 2 years before to Asia).
These problems were not something I was going to “fix” by “making better food choices”. For me, finding a product called Viome was a life saver. Viome was able to give me a ton of data about my gut health, info on what suppliments and probiotics would rebalance my system, and info on inflammatory foods and superfoods based on my personal DNA. They also create personalized probiotics and suppliments for their users, which has been amazing. It’s a hole I’m still climbing out of, but I must give credit where credit is due and I believe this has caused a significant downturn in my anxiety and depression symptoms.
On top of that, I found great help in developing a relationship with meditation and mindfulness. Meditation refers to a family of techniques that are a focused awareness, with the intent to non objectively observe oneself, while not paying attention to ruminating thoughts. This is critical, as anxiety often lunges towards your insecurities. There is science to support the powerful benefits of longterm meditation, None of which I care about. Life’s most important answers rarely come “written on the wall”. This was a step into the unknown, where people go to loose, and then find themselves again. It’s difficult to learn, but I firmly believe it has built up my mental fortitude to defend me when anxiety and depression come to prey. It’s the same reason we practice sports everyday, so that when things actually get tough, our training kicks in with the power of a second nature reaction. Take that anxiety!!!
The follow up
Honestly, I don’t really suffer from anxiety or depression that much anymore. Occasionally in the evening, It comes and goes for a few hours. But, it’s not able to grab ahold of me in the way that it used to. I ended up getting certified to teach mindfulness and meditation and started up a coaching business to help other guys on their own journey. I work with guys only because I’m a wild dude, and I’m only comfortable working with other wild dudes. So, if that sounds like you please feel free to check out www.wildcardwellness.org I have a podcast and coaching sessions available, along with other resources. Live free, be happy!