• Courtney Phillips

My story of healing – Meilani Welbeck

Updated: Sep 13, 2019

After being molested as a child, Meilani Welback struggled with anxiety and depression throughout her life and became suicidal during different seasons. It wasn’t until her marriage started to suffer that she sought complete healing. She focuses on staying mentally healthy by cooking, working out and journaling. Now, she’s helping others heal from their own battles by building their spirits up.

Learn more about her story of healing below:

Tell me about yourself:

I am an artist. I love to design. I design for myself and for other people. I love to cook, bake specifically. The funny thing is, when you battle anxiety, you go through a series of trying to find hobbies that bring you calmness, and that’s where I really discovered my love of cooking. I also LOVE weight lifting and journaling.

My story:

Anxiety and depression may seem like a dark and scary monster that literally eats up the best parts of your life… But when you place your mental health and life in God’s hands, you see that it is a call to be healed. And it can in fact, be a beautiful thing. It took me five years to discover that just because it makes me feel uncomfortable doesn’t mean it isn’t serving me.

I wondered for a long time what was wrong with me, why I was so sad all the time and why no matter what I was doing, it always seemed like this wave of sadness seemed to crash over me. I couldn’t pinpoint reasons why I was so sad, and I couldn’t understand why I truly had no energy to do the simplest of tasks, or why I genuinely had no will to live. It made no sense, because I considered myself a genuinely happy person. I wasn’t sure about my existence anymore.

The depression developed following a battle with anxiety. But the anxiety came out of NOWHERE. I was driving one day and all of a sudden, I started having awful thoughts and fears about crashing my car and dying! These came out of nowhere. From that night on, it was a constant battle of panic attacks, mental breakdowns, blacking out, throwing up and eventually, I became suicidal.

My depression worsened as I suffered in silence around all my “healthy” friends and family. I couldn’t watch TV, as everything was a trigger. I was always starting fights with my husband and angry. I was so frustrated and confused. I couldn’t figure out why it seemed like my mind wasn’t doing what I wanted it to do. I felt completely out of control, and I wanted the voices, the negativity, the nightmares and the pain to stop. I thought in order to bring my mind peace I needed to end my life.

I planned to ram my car into an 18-wheeler truck on the freeway. Obviously, I didn’t go through with it, but unfortunately, these thoughts left another trigger. Now, every time I came near a truck on the freeway, I would have a panic attack, freeze, and do what I call, “float,” where I am mentally no longer grounded or aware of what’s around me. This led to anxiety and panic attacks every time I got behind the wheel of my car. I fought my way through each drive, but a few times I did have to exit and take side streets to return home. Life became so stressful and dark. My husband was hanging in there. I think my son tried his best to just stay away; although, if he saw me crying he would always hug me.

What happened to cause your anguish?

After speaking with my spiritual therapist I’ve realized that the anxiety came from simply refusing to express my emotions all my life. It came from remaining quiet and feeling like I never had a voice. Eventually, it built up inside of me.

I was molested in the second grade and for a long time I blamed myself, because I didn’t speak up about it. It took me years to finally tell my mother. I lost my virginity, because I didn’t speak up and tell my boyfriend that I didn’t want to do it. There were a lot of moments in my life where I remained quiet and took whatever life threw at me.

One of my triggers was that whenever I was in an argument with my husband if he spoke over me or cut me off it would trigger me instantly. My heart would race, my stomach would churn, and I would throw up, and then mentally breakdown. This happened any time I couldn’t say what I wanted to say or anytime I felt like I didn’t have a voice. I was carrying a ton of anger towards everyone who hurt me, which is why the anxiety often showed itself as anger and rage.

The depression came as a result of the pain and suffering. When you deal with voices in your head and you feel like you have no power or control, it can really make you feel sad and down. Fighting off voices and mental chaos is draining and tiring. I often felt so sleepy and defeated. I had a horrible memory, and I honestly found it extremely hard to read because my thoughts were everywhere.

What was the moment or instance that caused you to realize that you needed to seek care?

What finally pushed me into really seeking healing was the fact that my husband and I were on the road to divorce. He had enough of me using him as a punching bag as I tried to live with anxiety and depression. I sat down with both my pastor and my husband and promised that in 30 days if I couldn’t find a natural method to help me, I would get on medication. Something I NEVER had done and something I vowed to NEVER do. But I would if it meant saving our marriage.

What does your recovery look like?

I decided to give the all natural healing one last try. There's nothing wrong with taking medication, but for me, it just truly wasn't something I wanted to live with, and because I chose the long way, my healing was definitely a process. The first thing I had to truly believe and stand on was that I didn’t want to live with anxiety and depression. I didn’t want to cope with it. I wanted to LIVE completely FREE! The Bible says that we are healed by His stripes, and I decided that if THAT were true, then I was going to do everything in my power to receive that healing.

Of course, I did other things that helped to calm me, like breathing, closing my eyes, cooking, and really taking time to rest. I stopped watching horror movies or extremely realistic drama shows and just watched what things that brought me happiness. I exercised and lifted weights every day. I ate healthy. I apologized often and took complete responsibility over my actions and reactions every day.

The most important thing I did was soul work given to me by my spiritual therapist. I did my homework, I spent a lot of time with God, traveling into my past to heal the areas that gave me grief. The music I listened to was motivating and uplifting. I created the environment that I believed a healthy-minded person would have. Positive notes. Affirmations. Bright colors and lights, etc. I began to manifest health into my life in all areas from all angles.

I also LOVE serving the homeless community. My husband and I own a nonprofit and it feels really good to give back to others.

Where are you now?

I am healed from all nightmares, four-hour migraines that would come as a result from the mental breakdowns, the mental breakdowns themselves, panic attacks, triggers, throwing up, blacking out and other physical symptoms caused by the anxiety and depression.

I did have a panic attack in the movie theater last week; however, as sometimes when my heart races, as it did during a scary movie like most people, my body recognizes that as a panic attack and kind of followed suit with the usual; hands shaking and sweating, toes and fingers going cold and mentally floating. It was a little disheartening at first, but I bounced back and shook it off. It used to take me days to bounce back from those. This one was only about 30 minutes.

Because the anxiety has gotten better so has the depression. Occasionally I feel a symptom from the depression, such as lying in bed for too long or feeling hopeless, but I recognize it and do NOT let it overcome me.

I am now teaching others how to heal from anxiety and depression by building their spirit up.

One piece of advice you would give someone in a situation like yours trying to decide whether or not to seek care:

I advise everyone out there suffering to seek their healing with all their energy, time, effort and heart. Put your healing first and believe that you can, and you will be healed. You do NOT have to suffer from this. This is NOT the life that God designed for you. You were created to have full authority over your mind, not be a prisoner of it!

Mental Health Resources If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health issues, don’t suffer in silence! There are free and affordable resources to help you get through these times. Here are just few options for you below:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255): Trained crisis workers are available to talk 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your confidential, toll-free call goes to the nearest crisis center in the Lifeline national network. 

  • National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) offers peer-to-peer support groups in most locations. This in-person group experience provides the opportunity for mutual support and positive impact. You can experience compassion and reinforcement from people who relate to your experiences.

  • Some federal agencies offer resources for identifying practitioners and assistance in finding low cost health services. These include:

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