Laura Walton - Co-Founder MOi + ME
Meet the MOi + ME team: Our personal stories
MOi + ME has been set up by Laura Walton and Catherine Meardon, friends and ex colleagues who know first-hand how hard it can be to suffer from anxiety, as well as how important self-care and self-love is.
We understand that there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to dealing with stress and anxiety during our busy modern lives, so we are passionate about helping our customers by equipping them with a toolkit to help make daily life easier. Here we share our own stories and other helpful blogs.
I feel proud to be able to share my story.
I was one of life’s upbeat people – career driven, with great friends and family, and nothing phased me. But, in 2016, my world was turned upside down in the blink of an eye when I lost my mom suddenly. She wasn’t just my mom, she was also my best friend.
I really didn't think I could cope but I told myself “You have to cope, you can’t let her down!” So, every day, I put pressure on myself to be OK, and didn’t give myself the chance not to be – I wanted to make her proud.
Four months after mom died, I went into hospital for a routine operation and had an allergic reaction to a drug which put me into cardiac arrest. I was dead for two minutes!
I obviously made it through as I’m telling my story now. But, when I woke up, I couldn't actually believe what had happened or what all of those that loved me had been through, waiting to hear the news that I was OK just four months after a trauma that we were all still struggling to get our heads around.
To save my life, the doctors had to do CPR which caused a lot of damage to my chest, and to be sure what had caused the reaction, I had to go through allergy testing. The doctors identified the drug I was allergic to, but I was told that the severity of the attack could have been impacted by dehydration.
I got back on with life, but my subconscious brain told me to drink plenty of water to prevent anything like that happening again. And, so it began. I drank water everywhere I went. I didn't think it was a problem and it just became the norm. I carried a water bottle with me for work trips, had a bottle in my bag on girls’ nights out – the list can go on.
It wasn't hurting anyone, but I will never forget my husband’s face the day he went into my car to find something and asked why there were 100 empty water bottles on the back seat. I played it down and carried on but he had picked it up and, after time, made me see that I wouldn't go even a mile in the car without water. It was time to see a doctor and counselling started. It really helped and got me talking everything through and opening up about my fears.
Fast forward to 2019, and I had started a new job, had a dog and life was settled with my husband. I couldn't ask for more. What I didn't realise was that the damage to my chest would become my weak spot, my place for my anxiety to hide. I would hold my chest so tightly some days without realising.
I didn’t realise that I was suffering with anxiety, though. Some days travelling for work would overwhelm me, but I would do it then come home and literally be wiped out at weekends. I would see my friends and be fine but come home and the pain in my chest would be unreal.
I was the classic MOi + ME. Nobody needed to know about my anxiety as I was carrying on and everything was under control, but it didn't stay that way for long. The pain became so bad I had x-rays on my chest, electrocardiograms (ECGs) and blood tests, but everything kept coming back fine despite the pain being there for days at some points.
After numerous times of telling my husband I needed to go to A&E and him talking me round as he could see it was anxiety (as he had previously suffered too), eventually he convinced me to go to the doctor. Guess what the doctor said? “You have anxiety.”
I finally gave in and admitted that I was living life as two people, suffering with one side of myself and hiding it. Admitting this felt like the best day of my life so far but I didn’t know who to turn to.
Researching and finding CBD, using tools, finding useful tips and being open with people about my anxiety was my way out.
I still suffer today, so when I decided to set this business up, I was so excited. I still have bad panic days and there are many days when I've told myself that I can't do it. But, now I know that anxiety is causing these feelings, I can recover quicker. I hope that through MOi + ME, I can pass this on to others.
My aim is always to keep trying to create a world that feels easier for like-minded people who can relate to my story.
If I leave you with one thing, please let it be that you shouldn’t be afraid to tell your story. I promise it will help.