Today is Bell’s national ‘let’s talk day’. it’s all about opening up & talking about mental illnesses. I thought this would be an appropriate time to share my story :)
I don’t know how long you have known me, but I’ve known myself for quite a long time, well, I’ve known the OLD me for a long time. I’ve just recently met the NEW me, and let me tell you, I really like her! I think I may actually be in love with her (shhhh, don’t tell my husband).
but It’s been a long time (if there ever was a time), since I’ve felt this love for myself. & (duh) it feels fabulous! Whether you have known me for a long time, or if you’ve just met me (or even if you thought you knew me), take a moment to read (& share if you like), this story is about a journey….
*Surprisingly or not (just like everyone out there) I’ve dealt with a lot of sh*t in my life. I’m not trying in any way to say I’m more damaged, more special or more deserving of anything above or beyond. I’m just here to share*
I’ve had a lot of ups and a lot of downs (& by downs, I mean really really down….) At one point I thought I was BiPolar. I’ve been battling some serious depression since my teenage years, postpartum since my first son was born in 2003, anxiety because, well, it kind of goes with everything else right, & plenty more… (My family, like most, has had its share of issues too)
I quit smoking cold~turkey 3 years ago after 17 addicted years & replaced it with Running & working out. (wahoo) I’ve over~come some crazy drug addictions & messed up relationship addictions too.
I’ve gone back to school for Health & Wellness courses (they helped me feel a bit more sane & as though I was contributing to a healthy future for my family).
I’ve had 2 kids within 19 months of each other. I’ve gotten married. I’ve lost my dad & lost my last grandpa (within 13 months), moved 3 times & all of these ‘little’ life changes were within 3 years of each other.
I’ve moved 6 times in the 10 years I’ve been married (7 cities, 3 provinces and 2 different countries), I’ve sold it all and had to buy it all back. I’ve become estranged from family. I’ve lost and gained friends (and weight), I’ve been utterly lost and seen the light, I’ve cried myself to sleep & stayed awake all night staring at my kids.
I’ve been away from my best friend/husband while depressed & taking care of our 2 young boys all alone, for months on end. I’ve fought for getting my way & been close to calling it quits. I’ve gone through this & more, much more …
but so what right?
It’s true, everyone goes through sh*t in their lives. no one has a perfect life (no matter what you think). but There are a few important points to my story here…
One (& possibly the most important) is the craziness that we don’t talk about this with each other!! We carry on throughout our days & nights & take no notice of our peers, our family & friends who are hurting. maybe we are even judging them. but in the same instance, we don’t express our own pain. Not only do we not talk about it, but we hide away & are ashamed of it. If we all go thru these sorts of things, wouldn’t it make sense to share? Share our stories & help one another. In helping others we really do help ourselves. there is no need to be ashamed, no reason to feel embarrassed.
It is time to stop. To take a stand & make these ‘mental illnesses’ nothing to be ashamed of. It is time to be open & honest & helpful. we are all human. let’s join together on this. come on, it’s pretty major people!
The 2nd point of all of this is that yes I’ve gotten through iT! quite alone at times. And mostly ashamed… (When offered help, especially at the beginning I would not take it. I would cower away & try to be strong. i did this For a long time. does that sound familiar)? but That is the wrong way.
I spent years crying. many hours a day being resentful, hurt, ashamed, angry, defeated. it’s a very difficult time to go thru, & it’s also very hard for people to watch you go thru it.
being strong is asking for help. having courage is finding support. going at it alone is letting the cycle continue.
But at last i learned many things. i read books & listened to tapes. I wrote in a journal & cried some more. I took time for myself to slowly & carefully be ok with all the changes. I took my husband’s hand & followed him thru the dark times. i made a conscious effort to do only things that were good for me. no more spotless house. instead i watched funny shows. no more muti~tasking, instead i did one thing at a time with all my attention & intention. i stopped to smell the roses & i stopped to watch my kids smile & be kids.
I’ve made it thru and not only gotten through it, but am here, better than ever and ready to take my life and kick this world right side up again! Now-a-days I wake up happy (imagine that!) and at a decent time! I’m ready to greet the day, sweat and work out. I laugh with my kids and husband a LOT more, and have energy to play with them.
I am conscious of what goes in my body regarding food and supplements and I don’t get sick as often, (and when I do I can read my body telling me when it’s coming and I kick that sicknesses ass)! My moods are more upbeat (with a big help from Confianza), and my body is way more fit and toned. My face has cleared up, my sleep is super restful, and I’m actually accomplishing more and more everyday! My confidence has grown, and damn it, I’VE GROWN! There was a time that I would joke that I felt too immature to have a husband and kids. Now I feel grown up, mature and responsible, but maybe still too young! (haha, young at heart!)
I started this journey alone & scared. let’s face it, I’ve been fearful of nearly everything all my life. but i am here to tell you that this is not the way. it’s easier with help! find a way to make it easier. living with depression, ocd, anxiety, or any other mental illness is tough, don’t go it alone.please.
i started this journey, this transformation, this radical self~love &’ F~U’ Attitude with the grand hope of transforming myself into a person that my kids would be proud of, into someone that my husband and family would be proud of, but especially into someone I would be happy to see in the mirror every morning.
I think I’ve done it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not done done, I’m still working, I’m still eating to live and working out. I’m still trying my damnedest every day to be patient and calm, to smash fear in the face & grow… but boy oh boy am I happy to be here where I am.
I have met so many other people who are on the same journey. They inspire me to keep going, to not care what the masses say about food or diet, or mental illnesses. to keep getting up and working harder. I read an Amazing post that jump started me again, here is a bit of what it said….
My body is my temple. This is the only body I have and I am going to treat it the best that I know how and hope it does the same to me. I do wish to grow old AND healthy AND strong. If my life gets busy, the other “stuff” still comes second to me. I come first. My health comes first. I am proud of myself every single day after I finish my workout. I am proud of myself each and every time I choose to only consume healthy choices. I am proud of myself for bypassing the sugary, fried, cheesy, processed, fast… anything… for not even being tempted because I know that what I put into my body is its fuel and I only wish to fuel my body with premium nutrition. Now, you might be thinking that I should get off my high horse and quite tooting my own horn. But I’m not going to, because it is difficult to make these choices, to change your life, to eat differently than most people, to push yourself beyond what you think you are capable of, to have the self-discipline … it isn’t easy… and I am proud of myself (& my family) every time… every time.
this month I challenge you to take a stand for who you are. for who you want to be. for what you want to change. and for all the things & thoughts you want to let go of. there is a way. it can be done.
Links to some epic help:
me :) I’d love to share, & help. i’ve been there, i can show you a path that’s worked.
Gabby Bernsteins book ‘may cause miracles’. see her facebook page here for more info
Cheryl richardson has an amazing book called the art of extreme self care. I have in on audio, i recommend it to everyone & anyone. this is da bomb!!!!
remember there is hope. look around. we are not alone. speak up. you deserve it. we all deserve it.