Choose Life

Emily Jo Morgan

THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SENSITIVE THEMES REGARDING SUICIDE AND DRUG USE.

Hi! I’m Emily Jo! I am a natural anxiety relief coach! I show women who are ready to move on from suffering with general anxiety, how to turn on their self-healing so they can relieve their anxiety naturally so they can get freedom from their fear.
My anxiety journey started during my freshman year of college. I was in a really bad place after my dad had passed. I had gone back to a horrible relationship, was using drugs, and ran from every uncomfortable emotion.
It was the morning of a sociology exam and I had just started Lexapro, to help manage depression. Right before getting out of my car to go to class, I did a lot of cocaine and chugged an energy drink.
About 30 minutes into the exam, I noticed my hand trembling and thought to myself, “well that’s weird”. And then my whole hand started shaking, and then my whole body was violently trembling and I felt like I was going to pass out. I ran into the hallway and sat on the floor DUMBFOUNDED by what was happening to my body.
The physical sensation that I felt, was like when you’re leaning back in your chair and you almost fall backward. That stomach drop feeling lasted HOURS. I actually had the college health center call me an ambulance because I thought I was having a heart attack.
After that, I felt that feeling almost all day. I felt it when I would try to sleep (so I never really slept), I felt it in the morning and all of the time. I slept in my mom’s bed for months and I often felt like I was going to have a heart attack and pass out if I tried to get out of bed.
After months of medication and therapy, I decided to completely reject the pharmaceutical healing method and find alternatives. It was only by taking that path, that I was able to reclaim my life.

Please note: This is Emily's personal journey with mental health. This content is not a substitute for any advice you may have received from your doctor or health provider.

What do you love most about yourself?
I LOVE everything about myself. Of course, I have days where I feel afraid, insecure, unstable, etc. but those are just experiences, they’re not apart of me. If I had to choose one thing, I love my drive to better myself. It’s what has allowed me to really understand myself, learn from challenges, and heal my anxiety naturally.
Did you always know what you wanted to do in life?
Yes and no. I actually was a very gifted horse-back rider and was being groomed to go straight into training after high school or go to Colorado State University to join their equine program. Which is a HUUGE chunk in my end goal. I’ve always known that I wanted to help people. I’m super extroverted and service-oriented, so working with people comes naturally.
My end goal is to have a holistic alternative healing center that brings together different kinds of healing (coaching, reiki, Ayurveda, yoga, meditation, equine therapy, spirituality, astrology, etc.) and serve as a place of solace for people that need to step back from the craziness of life and come back to their center.
Were you scared to start the process?
Oh my gosh, yes. In my family, attending a 4-year university is normal and HIGHLY supported. When I dropped out of college (I failed my first year because the anxiety was so extreme, I often couldn’t leave my mom’s bed), I felt like I was a MASSIVE disappointment to my mom, my dad who had just passed, my grandma and papa, any future relationship, my future partner’s family, etc. Like SO MUCH self-inflicted shame and guilt.
I hid what I was trying to do for SO long and would shy away from talking about it when any family member asked. I was terrified to admit that I didn’t have the kinks all worked out. I was ashamed that, at 19 years old, I wasn’t able to support myself (but really, what 19 year old is??). I was ashamed that I didn’t have all of the knowledge and expertise on mental health, spirituality, etc. because that’s the path I wanted to pursue. I felt like I was a total failure. I was HEAVILY burdened by the societal norm of going to college after high school.
It took a LOT of inner work to find my voice, confidence, and really own my path. Being on the other side, I can say that it was 111% worth the challenges.
What do you do on a daily basis to grow and move forward?
I have a morning routine that I do EVERY morning. I LIVE for my morning routine. It’s part of the morning excitement that wakes me up in the morning. It’s such a joyous experience to sit down at my desk with hot tea or coffee and complete my routine. It’s important that the actions in our routine actually bring us joy.
I listen to power songs. I’m SUPERRR anal about the music I listen to. The lyrics, the energy, and the melodies HAVE to match the person I am actively working to be and become.
I write mantras with explanations every morning. They’re the same mantras but the explanations change each day depending on what I am feeling and intuitively thinking. It’s almost a stream of consciousness writing activity. I practice daily gratitude. I write everything I’m grateful for until either until I feel “done” or I’ve run out of time.
I choose a card from one of my tarot or oracle decks and journal on what it means for me and what I am being prompted to learn or do. I set up my calendar. I check what I have on my agenda that day and make sure that they’re doable tasks. I then check to see if there was anything from the previous day or week that didn’t get done and find a new place to schedule that. I read. Either for fun or for learning. Lately, it’s been both.
Besides your career, what do you want people to know about you?
(I’m a huge relationship and communication nerd.) If you have turmoil in your relationship, seek to heal yourself, not the relationship or the other person. Relationships are mirrors that show us the wounds (and the love) in ourselves. They are a source of learning about ourselves and growing, not a source of happiness. We have to love in such a way that the thing we love feels free.
Are you still learning who you are?
Always! I love the quote, “Change is the only constant”. We’re ever-changing beings. I am not the same person I was even 1 day ago. And as we grow and change, we have the opportunity to learn about this NEW version of ourselves.
Is there anyone that helps keep you motivated throughout your journey?
My mom/my angel is ALWAYS on my daily gratitude list. If I tried to write out how grateful I am for her and how much love and support she gives me, I would never stop writing. I’m serious, I’m even tearing up as I write this now. Seriously, there is nothing I could do for her to be able to repay her for how much she has done and continues to do for me.
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My husband, Tyler, is also on my list daily. I have no words for that man, the love and gratitude I have for him is beyond words, it’s honestly a physical feeling in my body. He’s supported me and encouraged me in ways I could never imagine a partner would do for me. He’s really shown me what a healthy relationship looks like and what I deserve from a partner. Tyler is my person. I want to do life with him a million times over.
My grandma “Grammy” has also been a POWERFUL motivator and role model in my life and I don’t even think she knows it. She is the epitome of a hard-working, generous, caring, driven, focused, and powerful woman. My Grammy is the woman that all women should strive to emulate.
My step-mom and step-dad, Gina-Mom and Scott-Dad, have also played a huge role in my life. They took me in when I had nowhere to go and they welcomed me into their family with open arms, and we’re not even technically related. Gina-Mom has taught me so much about life, relationships, stepping into my power as a woman, and asking for what I want. Scott-Dad has taught me about myself and what I deserve in relationships. He has demonstrated what a good man is and does and he has held me to the standard of a respectable young woman.
The list is endless, honestly, but I can already see that this is the longest answer I have. Moral of the story: HAVE GRATITUDE. HAVE SO MUCH FREAKING GRATITUDE FOR YOUR TRIBE. OVERFLOW YOUR HEART WITH GRATITUDE FOR YOUR PEOPLE.
What are you most proud of?
Choosing life.
I struggled for a long time. I wanted to give up. I felt such immense and incessant anxiety for so long and I thought the only way out, was suicide.
I chose life.
No matter how painful and scary it got, I asked for help. I checked in to a psychiatric hospital twice, I saw a therapist twice a week, I went to an intensive outpatient program for 3 hours a night for 3 nights a week, I did the research, I asked for support from family and friends, I dropped the connections that didn’t support me, and I pushed myself through some EXTREMELY anxious challenges.
I chose life at EVERY option to NOT choose life.
And here I am, working to help other women through their anxiety too.
“Greatness is on the other side of fear” was my mantra through all of the challenges and it’s held its truth thus far.
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What was one of your most defining moments in life?
I’ve had three that really defined my life.
The first time my mom was told by my therapist that I had thought about suicide, she had a full-on panic attack and basically begged me not to. She said that she couldn’t bear to lose me. This moment, and this moment alone, gave me the strength to ask for help when I wanted out of life. My mom is the only reason that I am still here today. That’s why I call her my angel.
Laying in my mom’s bed at 18, thinking that I was going to have to be on disability for the rest of my life because I couldn’t get out of bed because of anxiety. I had a vision and watched as the life I’d always wanted, disappeared. The plane flights to different countries, the wedding, my husband, starting a family, riding horses, etc. All of it went down the drain. That’s when I decided that I wasn’t going to let anxiety take over my life anymore.
The day my husband proposed to me. He wouldn’t call it “ceremonial” but that’s exactly what it was for me. He says that he wanted to make it a full-circle moment for my life, and that’s exactly what he did for me. He had people from my past and present, and he represented my future; it showed me that everything I had ever wanted in life, was right in front of me. Life wasn’t “perfect” and at the same time, I was happier than ever and had everything.
What are you most afraid of?
Not growing. If we’re not growing, we’re dying. Every day, in every relationship, in every pain, in every joy, I am constantly looking for the lesson that is being presented to me, and how I can grow.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned along the way?
We have EVERY answer and all of the healing, already inside of ourselves. If it feels like our bodies are betraying us (i.e. anxiety), it’s not. It’s actually doing what we’ve asked it to do. We can ask it to heal itself and show us the answers, and similar to its response with anxiety, it will oblige. Healing is about listening to and speaking the language of our bodies.
What message do you think every woman should hear?
You have a choice. If you had a negative experience, you never have to go through that ever again. And if you do, it’s a pattern that you’re unaware of. Life happens FOR you, not TO you and everything you experience is something that you’ve created.
ASK FOR HELP. ACCEPT THE HELP. INVEST IN HELP.
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Emily Jo Morgan

Emily Jo started with the typical pharmaceutical approach to treating major debilitating anxiety but wound up making a TOTAL 180 with her approach to healing and turning her life around. That’s when she discovered the vivacious, vibrant, and extroverted girl that was hiding under the fear all along. 

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