These past few months have been a battle. It was a well fought battle. I was strong. I persisted. I lived. And I had God and His army appointed to me by my side.
But I lost. It was a battle that I denied too long. I wasn’t prepared mentally to win. Through the search of a way to win, I got lost.
It’s ok, though. It’s…relieving, actually. The battle is over, and a new one begins. With God still by my side.
“What was this battle?” you’re asking. One that I’ve been fighting all my life pretty much. And one that God has used in my life to make me who I am today.
The strongest army I fought was me, myself, and I. That is why I lost.
For so long my testimony in my fitness and nutrition journey has been how much happier I was. I thought I had defeated my depression once and for all. So when I started noticing symptoms coming back, I denied them. I pushed them away.
They kept coming back. As if to taunt me. So I began to become ashamed. Back to thinking that it was all in my head. I knew better not to let it back in my head, right?
I began to blame my circumstances, which, to an extent, didn’t help. I began to search for some other answers. Kept saying I needed to see a doctor. But I kept putting it on hold because I was afraid of what they’d say. I was tired of “everything came back normal; so let’s put you on this or up that dose and see you again in 6 months.”
I’m tired of the roller coaster ride with meds and doctors. Bad reactions to that med, body adjusting to this one. Doctors treating me like they weren’t taking me seriously. Like I was just another crazy patient looking for something to be wrong so I can blame something else.
So I kept fighting. I fought HARD. I refused to let the devil take me in.
But I still did let him in by believing the old lies I used to tell myself or hear people who didn’t understand say.
“Just lean on God.”
“Just be happy and smile!”
“You can get over it!”
“It’s all in your head!”
“You’re being weak!”
I put on a mask. It was a mask that even had me fooled. What kind of health coach can help others when her own depression haunts her? Or who lets her anxiety fly through the roof? Or who has to take meds or see a doctor? I mean, come on!
A couple of weeks ago, I realized I just couldn’t take the way I felt anymore. It was time to get in with a doctor. My autoimmune symptoms even were getting worse and worse. Even though I was still keeping up with my exercise routine. Even though I was still keeping up with my nutrition. It just wasn’t getting better.
I was fatigue, dizzy, emotional, my joints were aching. I even had one week where it hurt to move my left hand and fingers. My eczema was flaring up like never before.
So I made an appointment with a new doctor. I specifically went with a DO instead of an MD. I had read that they are more open to other alternatives and take more into consideration your nutrition. And this time I planned to go prepared with a list and a determination to be up front and straight with him. No beating around the bush anymore.
My appointment was last week. Happened to be the day I came down with whatever virus my kids had haha. Anyways, I had my list. And eventually I flat out told him that I needed to say something and just get it out. I told him that I’d had a hard time getting established with a doctor out here because I never felt like I was taken seriously. I told him that I was always afraid of being completely honest about what I truly felt about what is going on. And I told him, “I’m not so much looking for relief as I am answers.” I just want answers once and for all. Not a bunch of meds. Not something to blame everything on. I trust the doctors and their knowledge, but only if they trust me.
Best thing I’ve ever done. He kinda changed his air a bit. Like he thought, “ok, this one’s serious.” He took care of me. And made me able to accept what was really going on right now.
The antidepressant I was on my body had, as per the past meds, adjusted to. After 3 1/2 years on it, it was time to wean off and try something new. Again.
But he’s not fluffing off other things going on. He realizes that I do have other issues. He’s first treating my depression because it is clearly the worst issue right now. I see him again in a few weeks after weaning on to my new meds.
Here’s the truth that I realized. No, I’m not happy about the medication situation. It has been ROUGH weaning off my meds, and I still have a ways to go. But, I have still come a long way since the last time I had to deal with a deep depression.
In fact, I feel free. I have let go of my mask. I let go of my shame. In fact, I am ashamed that I was ashamed.
It doesn’t matter how healthy of a lifestyle I might have. Depression is still a real illness. And while my healthy lifestyle can and HAS helped, there is still an aspect to it for me in which I need medication. I need it to help stabilize some of the imbalance of chemicals I’ve been dealing with all my life due to it being in my genes.
Will I ever be med free? I hope to. But for now, I accept this journey. Because now I have more tools than ever to properly FIGHT the battle. There still is an aspect that I CAN control, and I will. With God’s help and the growth He’s blessed me with in my healthy journey, I will.
So, in all honesty, what kind of coach would I be if I put on a mask? If I hid my struggles? Hid my humanity? Hid the fact that I’ve been through and still can go through the same hard times as anyone else? Not a very good one, I think.
In these journeys, it is so incredibly important to know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!! Because this runs in my family, I was raised to know when to seek help. When I was 15 and sobbed uncontrollably for no particular reason, my mom took me to the doctor. That was when I was first diagnosed with a clinical depression.
So many people have not been as blessed. I have seen and heard of too many lives lost because they were ashamed to seek help. They were ashamed to open up. To reach out. They thought they were alone. I’ve been there! I’ve felt so alone so many times. But let me tell you, you’re not!! These “irrational” things you feel have been felt by many, and ARE felt by many.
While wanting to blog for so long, it’s been hard because I had so many ideas I wanted to share. Then I would get so overwhelmed that I wouldn’t type them up. But it really all comes down to one thing for me. My mental health journey. The original reason I created this blog.
I want to help others the way I have been helped in my mental journey. And I have gifts that God has blessed me with that do that very thing.
Music. Oh, music! Who doesn’t have a song that they’ve been touched by? One that said what they felt? That opened their eyes to a new light?
Writing. We all find that one blog post or that one article or that one book that just felt like a miracle. The one that speaks every single word that makes us think “That is 100% me!” or “That is SO inspiring!”
Beauty. Cosmetology. We all have a beauty service we like that makes us feel incredible and beautiful. Getting our hair done, getting a manicure or pedicure, a facial. Men, too! Come on, now. Don’t lie!
^Nutrition and fitness. There is a saying that food is the most utilized antidepressant and exercise is the most underutilized one. Truth, baby. And you really don’t know this until you have improved your nutrition and fitness to a life changing level.
All of these things have helped me in my journey with mental health. And God has made it so clear to me now why He blessed me with all of these things. They are the way He gave me to help build His Kingdom. Because true happiness and victory always lead to Him through Christ, His Son.
The last thing I would like to say is this: Please, seek help. If you have dangerous thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself, remember that you’re not alone. Reach out to someone. Anyone you feel comfortable with. There are 800 numbers for things like this, too. Never ever ignore the fact that you might have a clinical depression. Whether it’s PPD, PTSD, or just a regular depression, it is never something to take lightly. SEE PIC BELOW.
Love and blessings to you, my friends.
[Edit] I realized I wanted to go deeper into the things that I’ve felt that led me to realize my depression had gotten worse again. That way those that aren’t aware may be and those that feel alone are reminded they’re not.
My emotions have become irrational. I’ve wanted to cry about everything and nothing. It’s created irrational fear. Even fear of being around other people. A legit, real FEAR. Not just worry or being shy. But a real anxiety. I’ve felt closed off. Alone. I’ve lost interest in taking care of my house. I’ve lost interest in things I’ve usually enjoyed. I’ve wanted to just stay closed up and hidden in my house. I’ve felt like death would be welcome…
There is a real physical effect, too. That lack of desire to get out of bed? That’s not just from feeling so irrationally down. That is legit fatigue. Even after a good night’s sleep, good eating, and good exercise, still feeling like my body cannot move. Because it hurts. It is weak. Fatigue. Some days I’ve barely been able to do the dishes. Feed the kids lunch. Feed us dinner. Talk.
These are only some of the symptoms, too. Everyone goes through a different degree and amount of symptoms. So I encourage you to further educate yourself apart from what I’ve informed.
Just remember that no matter what you’re feeling or going through, you can lean on and rely on God to get you through. That is what I’ve done. He is the reason I live today <3.