These past two weeks have been a difficult one. It’s true, I have learned how to manage my depression but there are times that it’s too much. In case you are new to my blog and haven’t heard my story I’ll share a little background to get you caught up. I have always been a people pleaser. I have always cared what people have thought about me and wanted to be liked by everyone. I was diagnosed with depression in my early twenties after my then fiance for four years told me that he had been cheating on me. Fastforward to my early thirties and I went through an extremely nasty divorce. There have been times when my depression consumes me so much that I have had to cut myself in order to release the built up pain. My depression has lead to a lifetime of self medicating with binge eating to fill the void, frustration and anger, all while on medication.
Two weeks ago I started to feel myself slipping. I was finding that my motivation for working out and eating healthy was non-existent. All I wanted to do was sleep, cry and seclude myself from the rest of the world. My mind is always noisy with to do lists and goals that I want to accomplish however it becomes noisy in a totally different way during these dark times. It becomes filled with self doubt, low self worth, and I find myself comparing my life to those I admire. During these dark moments, rather than focusing on how far I have come in my fitness journey, my career and my life, I focus on what I haven’t accomplished yet. I begin to let the self doubt convice me that I am unworthy of achieving certain goals. The worst part is that I shut out those that mean the most to me. My household becomes a place where my fiance and sons are walking on egg shells around me because they don’t want to set the bomb off within me. For those of you that live with depression, you know exactly what I’m talking about and I think we can all agree that isn’t a great way to live for us or our families.
So, how did I come out of this dark place? I stepped away from social media for several days. My job is heavily focused on social media and I think that is fantastic! I get to meet people of all walks of life, from all over the world. I get to help them with accountability, motivation and provide tips for them to meet their own fitness and health goals. However during this time, I had to step away so that I could stop comparing myself to other individuals in my field and their accomplishments. I needed to remember that everyone has their own story, everyone has started at a different place and just because some people have found success doesn’t mean that my path is wrong. Besides, how on earth could I inspire others when I couldn’t inspire myself? I had to fix my situation.
I then had to increase my personal development. I have always enjoyed reading books that are uplifting and allow me to work on an area of my being or life. I found motivation and inspiration in reading Awaken The Giant Within by Tony Robbins and saving quotes to my phone from Pinterest. I normally write affirmations daily however I began to say them outloud as well so that these became my new thoughts. I started each day with yoga, meditation and journaling as to what kind of day I as going to have. I would end each day with journaling on what I was grateful for and what I had accomplished throughout the day, even if it was something as small as completing my to do list.
The last piece and maybe the most difficult for me was to start working out daily and cleaning up my nutrition. This is the most difficult because when the depression consumes you, you become tired all of the time. Everything hurts from your mind, your soul, your heart and your body. I made it a point to only focus on the current day that I was living. I included working out and logging my food into My Fitness Pal on my to do list. I found this to be helpful since it became a focus point and it allowed me to scratch one more thing off of my to do list…anything that helps, right? I started out slowly by increasing my yoga and then decided to start a new weight lifting program. I decided on the lifting program for two reasons. One, I just didn’t have it in me to do cardio. I was forcing myself to get out of bed every day and I just couldn’t bring myself to jump around my living room. The weight lifting program that I am following combines moves that increase your heart rate so that I’m getting a complete workout which is exactly what I needed. Second, I needed to feel stronger. Lifting makes me feel like a badass and my self esteem needed that. I needed to physically feel that I was becoming stronger which helped my mind and soul to become stronger. I began to incorporate healthy meals again which consisted of healthy fats, protein and lots of veggies. I logged all of my meals into My Fitness Pal to stay in check. At the end of the day, I got to scratch off working out and My Fitness Pal off of my list which may seem small to some but to me, it was a HUGE accomplishment. With every item that I was able to scratch off, I found my spirits lifting and feeling like I was making a difference.
I’m sharing this with you because the next time the darkness overwhelms you, I want you to be able to come out of it. I want you to remember that you are unique and extremely important to this world. I want to help you realize your self worth and even though it may not seem like it at the time, you are meant to do great things! Implement the above steps and I guarantee the darkness will subside and you will be able to start living again.