Metamorphosis: A Guest Post by Sheree Wagener

June 24th, 2011

For the past year I have been on a huge transformation journey, one that started to gather pressure six years ago then snowballing till I had no idea how lost I was, and then I cracked.

I have had a life that is not that traumatic at all, so for some it was hard to see why I was having a breakdown, what did I have to complain about. But inside, unknowingly, I was stockpiling pain, friendship breakups, social rejection, multiple miscarriages, failed businesses, just pain after pain, I became a frantic person, I did everything at lightening speed because I could, slow people who got in my way just irritated me, the birth of my daughter should have been the relaxing fulfilling dream I had wanted, but it just made me more anxious and upset, I had what we thought was PND but I wasn't depressed, I just couldn't feel anything for my daughter, nothing at all, nothing negative or positive, I felt I was suffocating so threw myself into work and more responsibility and anything I could volunteer for, people would tell me to slow down but I thought I was fine, why was everyone so upset that I could do so much. Then the cracks began to show, little bits of panic here and there, memory loss, the commitments I had craved began to weigh on me instead and those 'to do' lists filled me with terror. Then my undoing, our close friends had their 3 month old daughter die and I was so upset I felt I was going to lose it, but I managed to keep it together, that night after her funeral I felt terrible, I slept but in the morning I cracked and my breakdown began. No longer was I able to push anything down, it was all on its way out. This is where the terror phase began, which many people refer to as the 'Dark Night'. I thought I had clicked over to crazy, every emotion I had ever pushed down was coming thru me as the original emotion I had trapped, this was a week of non stop crying, painful painful stuff, no sleep, terror raged thru me with the feeling that my insides were being devoured or burned, I was having seizures every time I ate, my body was emptying of everything. Now this is where the doctors tell me I'm depressed and being just a little dramatic! We were so angry with them that we rebelled against main stream medicine and went all natural, Reiki to relax, Acupuncture to drain meridians so blocked up, TAT therapy for removing years of trauma. This was the most gruelling time, but it needed to be done, I couldn't go back, I had to go forward, all my healers kept saying that it was wonderful and that I was going to be so different, I still did not get it, I had no idea I was so bad, I didn't want to be different. I had to cut every tie I had, cancel all my responsibilities and check out of my social life, It was time to hibernate and work on myself. My family were amazing and looked after my daughter, my partners support is beyond words, he would let me talk and talk for hours never once complaining about his wreck of a future wife. I also found thru homoeopathy that I was full of chemicals, copper, aluminium, mercury, pesticides, we had to completely change our houses food stocks to organic only other wise my body would have seizures. I was told the whole process of this metamorphose lasts about 2 years, I don't have two years I would think, but now I understand that it takes this time to knock you permanently out of your old life patterns, if it wasn't for this, I don't think I would have ever changed, I just couldn't see things any different.

So who have I morphed into?

I prefer to have no lists, I say no a lot, and feel no guilt, just a peacefulness a few hours later when I realize I really didn't want to do that, and people treat me no differently for saying no, I always thought, the more I say yes to people the more they would love me. But I have learnt to love myself, I know my relationship with my daughter is now as it should be, all signs of PND are gone. I am light as a feather, healthy, no longer have any stomach problems, I am still extremely sensitive to anything processed or un organic, but figure that this is the healthiest Ive ever been and why would I return to toxic food even if I could. I can laugh and joke more and just cruise thru life and live, the desperation of achieving has gone, I do things because I want to now. I have morphed into the butterfly of my dreams, it has been such hard work and I am only 1 year thru my change but I am 90% there for sure and in love with my life again.

My advice to others is watch yourself living, if I read thru a lot of my work before this happened, I was writing the word overwhelmed nearly daily, you leave a lot of clues, stockpiling dramas and trauma doesn't work, it will wait for you, learn to process and release things. I would find myself gardening thinking of conversations from years before, and I would get angry and vent while I worked, replaying imaginative conversations over and over.

Learn compassion for others, and accept them as you would want others to accept yourself, there is no good outcome from judgement and assumptions are not facts.

Read good books, like Stephanie Dowrick and Eckhart Tolle, they concentrate on 'you' becoming the solution because we are the only things we can change. And do change, change is a wonderful thing that we all need, we are evolving beings so doing a yearly change or even better monthly with the moon could prevent something like a huge breakdown from happening.

Learn about what fear is, an excellent book is 'The tibetan art of serenity', I have learnt that if the suggestion of something instantly scares me, then I have to do it, the more you give in to fear, the more it feels like a real issue. On the other side of fear is serenity and you can only reach this by moving thru fear, you cannot go around it, believe me, I have tried everything! I was the panic attack queen.

Learn to meditate or at least be still and listen, at least once a day. Listen to what? Just listen to yourself being, being human, being alive, being you. If I find my day is too busy and by night I'm too tired I use those moments when I wake in the night to go outside, listen to the silence and just have gratitude for everything good in my life. What if there is nothing good?? There is always something good.

Learning to grow thru art has been huge, I kept 3 diaries thru my transformation, a medical diary to record how I was progressing mentally, a doodle diary where I drew how I felt, most of the time in cartoon form, other times as mandalas of healing, and a spiritual diary of all the amazing lessons I had learnt along the way. I can read any of these now to see how far I have come. The proof of my progress is so inspiring to me on bad days. Some days words just aren't enough, and this is where our art comes in, so much more can be said with our emotional creativity, feeling our way thru instead of having to condense back into words.

Metamorphosis is a blessing we call to ourselves, the harder the change the more meaningful it will be when we emerge from our dark night of reclaiming our true selves. That is why we are here, to experience life and all the wonderful gifts this world has to offer and to come home to ourselves. We all have inner knowledge about who our true selves are, this is why we have to look inside for the answers, and use our everyday creativity to get there.

Life is not a struggle, life is not a challenge, life is just an experience, that is all that is asked of you, so relax and go enjoy the experience of creating something..create your life.


Sheree Wagener is a 33 year old mother/artist who lives the country life in New Zealand. After coming through a breakdown drug free she uses her time inspiring others to push through and not push away this opportunity for change her journey and life work can be followed on her blog,

16 Responses

You are so brave and honest and beautiful Sheree. An inspiration to everyone…xxx

Joined just now…up for the challenge…refer my blog :)

Congratulations on taking control of your inner peace and your life!

Love the art on this page – esp the Ravens at the top – amazing piece! Best wishes for your journey!

Thank you. I really needed to read this today.

Sheree, congratulations on your journey so far. You are certainly one who never fully became a victim but is a survivor that is learning to thrive. Best wishes as you continue your journey.

Thank you so much for this post. It couldn’t have come at a better time for me. Having read several posts recently talking about such inner changes, I take it as a confirmation of what I have to do.

Your artwork is beautiful.

Have a wonderful day!

I have the great fortune of knowing Sheree….not in person in the traditional sense, but she is one that though we have never met, I still know “in person”….

I am sure that if we were ever to meet up one day and see eachother face to face, she would be the exact brave, honest, creative and peaceful soul I already call Friend!

She is such an inspiration to me…and so many more.
And I’m so proud of her and the choices she makes. She makes me aspire to a life filled with more gratitude and a relationship with my own self that is more accepting and loving…

Thank you, Leah, for featuring her story here…
….and, thank you, Sheree….for the wonderful woman you are :)

Hello! I just signed up! I love the art on your post today. Beautiful work:)

Beautiful honesty in the post. And the art is STUNNING!!!!!!!

Thankyou to everyone for their comments on my journey story. I feel its important that we all talk about our darkness in an honest and open way, it sheds some light, we realise we are sooo not alone and we can help each other to move thru pain to better stages in our live.
Thankyou so much to Leah for wanting this story to be heard, I love the way this website brings us all together, to experience learn and heal.
Keep smiling thru your journeys and if you cant, dont fret, just think of it as saving up those smiles for days further down the road.
Meatmorphosis isnt a race, or about goal keeping…..its about permanent change.


This came to me when I needed it. Thank you, and keep enjoying life.

I just signed up for creative every day. It is just what I need to keep me on task. Love your blog.

Powerful…I resonate with your story completely…thank you for sharing.

Also, I had a dream a while back about Raven:
When I saw your image in this post, I knew I had met a kindred spirit.

wonderfully honest and beautiful post. May your inner peace grow and your happiness shine on and help light the way. lovely artwork too!

Thank you for sharing your experience with such honesty. Your story is full of inspiration. Wishing you more peace & joy in your second year of recovery and beyond.
Kat :-)

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