I’m not really sure how to write this post. I only know that I want to write it. It’s also a little scary, cause I’m about to let you into my secret world of crazy ;). Over the last year and a half I have been suffering from acute anxiety and isolating depression. If you’ve been lucky enough to never experience either of these, I can tell you that for me it came on very quickly and out of nowhere. All of a sudden small things, like brushing my teeth in the morning, seemed like such an enormous task that I could barely manage it. I couldn’t function. I couldn’t think straight or make decisions, because it felt like my brain was in a fog. I didn’t want to hang out with other people or do anything fun at all. I just wanted to stay in bed all day and cry. It was like I had a constant feeling of impending doom. If any of you know me personally, you know that is not my personality at all. I’m very outgoing, active, loud, love to have fun and laugh; I had lost my spark. But I think the worst part was that somewhere in my subconscious I knew how I was acting and knew it was wrong, but I couldn’t change it, or didn’t want to. I had known people who had been depressed before and my thoughts were, why don’t they just get over it. I realized people don’t understand mental disorders, unless they’ve had one. My husband was so patient and understanding. He wanted so badly to fix it, or help me fix it, but it wasn’t up to him. The only person who was going to pull me out of whatever it was that I had sunk into, was me. During this time I had family come to visit and learned that my family has a history of depression. My mom urged me to go see a doctor and get on some medication, but I was strongly opposed to taking meds. I didn’t want to have to depend on a medication to make me feel good. This wasn’t me!! I wasn’t like this!! But apparently, I was. After talking to a handful of family and friends that had dealt with similar issues, and realizing that my husband was about to leave to go out of the country again and I needed to start being able to function, I decided to go see a doctor. I did end up going on medication, but also started visiting my brother-in-law who is an Applied Kinesiologist and Chiropractor. Along with his magic voodoo ;), he put me on some supplements, encouraged me to be aware of my diet (meaning to stop eating so many starburst jelly beans), and also to start doing less stressful exercise, things like yoga or walking. Apparently CrossFit is not good for people with an overtaxed nervous system (kind of like giving a person who has had too much coffee, a Red Bull). The hard thing is that when you’re depressed, or when I was, I didn’t want to eat and I didn’t want to workout. It took way too much effort to make myself something to eat, when I already had to do it for my 2 kids. I did try to get on my mat, even if only for 10 minutes, every day. Those were the times when I felt the best, thus leading to my interest in becoming a teacher. Eventually, I did start to feel better. I don’t think I’d say I’m 100% back to where I was, but definitely doing a lot better. I have good days and not so good days, but so does everyone else. With the help of an awesome and hilarious therapist, I’ve come to realize that I’m a fighter. Depression and anxiety will not define me. They may have their way with me from time to time, but I will come back stronger, having learned more to help me through the next time. Which is why I decided to write this post. Sure I could have kept a private journal, but I don’t want to hide it anymore. It’s exhausting acting like everything is super awesome all the time. It’s also very lonely, because instead of having to pretend, you start pushing people farther and farther away so they don’t find out the truth. If you are struggling with depression, don’t be afraid to get help. You’re not alone. And if you can only do 3 things every day, do these: eat healthy (lean meats, fruits, veggies, good grains, and healthy fats…sounds so simple right?), do some kind of exercise if only for 20 minutes (you get a bonus if it’s outside), and read something uplifting (advice given to me from my bro-in-law). I would also say get lots of sleep, but that wasn’t a problem for me. I slept all the time. Surround yourself with family and friends that love you no matter what and will be there to help. There are a lot of people that have helped and continue to help me everyday, including these three yahoo’s/loves of my life. The good news is, it won’t always be like this. You will feel better. “You is smart. You is kind. You is important.” ” And doggone it, people like you.”
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