A lot of people may know me as high energy, super positive and motivating health and fitness coach, but it wasn’t always this way. For a long time, I struggled from depression.
In 2009, it really started, actually in 2008, when I had found out I was pregnant unexpectedly. I wasn’t married, and I found myself crying myself to sleep every single night. Because I was really lonely, as I got pregnant, I didn’t have a strong support group around me. I had friends before that were all single and they didn’t have kids. And once they found out I was pregnant, all of a sudden, they started dropping like flies. They stopped returning my text messages, calling me, etc. I no longer got invited to things because I was pregnant. That was such a horrible feeling and I felt so alone in the most vulnerable time of my life. So I found myself crying myself to sleep almost every night.
My now husband, worked a lot of nights and so I found myself lonely and depressed. Working the typical eight to five, I came home, I would have dinner. Then I was just crying myself to sleep. I would feel pure loneliness, I didn’t love the people I worked with, so I didn’t really have a good support system even at work. So I was kind of miserable at work, and then I was coming home to an empty house. Just felt so alone.
I dealt with things as they were, and it was what it was. I dealt with it. There came a time when I decided that, you know what? These friends weren’t really my friends, and I decided they weren’t going to have that much control over my emotions anymore and I let that go. So I pushed those emotions down and away, right?
Have you ever pushed emotions away without really dealing with them?
Which is what we do. We say, “Oh, F it, and I’m not going to worry about that.”
Lesson #1 Deal with Your Emotions
Weeks later my baby was born. I had my baby six weeks early, and there was a lot of people who were around me who were also pregnant at the same time, acquaintances, no one really close to me. But all of a sudden, I had all these ideas of mommy and me play dates, and I was going to be able to go on stroller walks with friends who also had babies. That just didn’t happen. That didn’t happen for me.
My child was severely delayed compared to all the other people that I was with hanging around, and again, I felt so lonely. I felt so in this space all on my own, I had to sort of figure things out. I did figure them out, but I did it by myself.
Lesson #2 Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
Lesson #3 Find People Who WILL Support You
In 2012, this was really my breaking point, so I got pregnant again, and I lost my job, I had a miscarriage in the same month. Actually, in the same week. What happened was my son got officially diagnosed, I went to my boss, I said, “I want to cut back my hours, I like to work here, I need the money, but I would like to just cut back my hours and spend more time with him.” And two weeks later, I had someone knocking on my cubicle saying, “You know what? We don’t need you anymore.” And that same week, I had a miscarriage.
So here I was, my only outlet of as only shred of information or shred of myself that I had before I was a mother. I put so much in my career, and that was taken away from me, too. So I really think God, He takes away our crutches so we can depend on Him. But I didn’t do that. Instead, I depended on food and alcohol, and I found myself binging on cookies on the nights when my husband worked late.
Winter of that year, so I got laid off in February, and November of that year was my real breaking point, and it’s when I went to my doctor, and I said, “Things are bad. Things are really, really bad. I’m drinking a lot, and I’m lashing out at my husband,” and I asked him to put me on antidepressants. I was on those antidepressants for about two weeks …
Yeah, and then I got pregnant with this one. I found out I was pregnant on Christmas Eve. And I decided I couldn’t be on those antidepressants and so I stopped taking them. What really, I feel like that pregnancy is what saved me because …
Because I started focusing on joy. I let that baby and that pregnancy feel my heart with so much joy that I wasn’t so focused on the past. And so depression, people who are in a depressed state usually are so focused on the past, what happened, what if. It could be a job loss, it could be stuff happening in relationships, but typically, you’re so in your own head about the past that you have a hard time moving on. So what I tell my clients who are really struggling with that, I said focus on the joy. Focus on something good in your life that you can be really happy about and just fill your heart with joy and so you’re not so focused on that past.
Lesson #4 Focus On Joy Around You
That’s exactly what I did was I was pregnant with her, and I was so focused on the bringing this life into the world, into a good world and not a depressed world. I started just eating better and taking better care of myself. But the biggest thing was what I was thinking about, and I was no longer thinking about that job loss, I was no longer thinking about being lonely or not having any friends. And I started to think about how much joy it was going to be whenever she was in my arms. That is how I healed myself from depression naturally.
Lesson #5 Forgiveness
Forgiving myself and forgiving all those people who I felt like they abandoned me. I felt like they did this or they didn’t do that, and I just started releasing it and forgiving them like, it is what it is and it’s okay because I love my life now. I started journaling about what I would like my life to look like, so I started journaling what I want my ideal day to look like, and I wrote out that I would want to wake up with my kids. I wanted kids to be my alarm clock, and that is my reality today. That actually is, so through [inaudible 00:09:58] writing out your story, wring out those letters of forgiveness. You don’t ever have to give it to that person or people that you’re having a lot of resentment or frustration with, but just getting it out and not festering those feelings.
Looking back, I realize depression is just the act of living in the past and not getting in the present. Getting really clear on what I wanted and focusing on the present and planning for the future and key parts of getting me out of depression. For more, download 10 Steps To A Vibrant Life