Being honest with you, this year has not been easy. It has been eye-opening, challenging, beautiful and definitely vulnerable, but not easy. I knew, going into 2020, that in order to start and run this company, in order to connect with women on the level that I want to, I could not just talk the talk. I had to do the work. I had to put myself through changes in my life to be able to relate to and better help the women that I am coaching, so that they can make positive changes in their own lives. I need to go through the difficult process that I so firmly believe in.
Amongst other things, something I have been wanting to do for a long time was to go off of my anti-depressant. For anyone that has taken any type of medication to stabilize their mental and/or emotional health, you know how hard it can be to find the right ones. To get used to the way your brain changes.
I was on my medicine for two and a half years and it helped me in ways that I needed it to. I became so used to feeling “normal” and “stable” that I almost forgot the way my brain functions without the drug. I forgot the feeling of mood swings and the physical exhaustion of depression. The two and a half years were calm if not anything else.
I wanted to stop taking the antidepressants for many reasons, but these two seemed to be the most important…
1. I couldn’t and still can not see myself on a pill that controls my emotions for the rest of my life, that is, if I am able to work through my depression on my own.
2. I believe that I was, and still am, in a place in my life where I have worked hard enough on my mental and emotional health that I am going to be okay without it.
Recently, (after consoling with my doctor and taking the necessary steps) I stopped taking my medication all together. I knew I would get sick at first. I knew the first few weeks would be shitty, to say the least. But I promised myself I would give it a month. After a month, if my mental/emotional state was something unbearable, I would go back on the medicine and continue to take it just as I had for the last few years.
The first few days consisted of no appetite, dizziness, nausea after eating anything, little to no emotions.
Annoying but manageable.
However, the first few weeks looked a little bit like this…
-sleeping every hour that I was not at work
-uncontrollable crying (the ugly kind)
-the feeling of nothing (no sadness, happiness, anger or excitement, just nothing)
-extreme frustration followed by extreme exhaustion
I hated myself again. A feeling that I have not felt in such a long time. I wanted to stop feeling that bad so desperately that I came close to caving and starting the medicine again. But I waited instead. I knew that the immediate come down from the medicine would be worse than my depression even was before I started taking anything.
So I waited.
I let myself cry, and sleep, and cry more. I let myself get angry for no reason and come home from work with nothing to say to my boyfriend. I let myself day dream about having a drink to feel something and fought with myself not to give in and smoke.
I waited it out. And it was absolutely awful. But what came after these two weeks was something I could not have imagined.
I can see myself again. I find myself laughing and smiling without forcing it. My motivation has come back. I am pushing myself to get out of bed and exercise. I am opening up to my boyfriend about the deepest parts of myself and my mental health and it actually feels safe. I am getting better at recognizing when I need a break and when I need to be listened to. I am getting better at loving myself again.
The whole purpose of getting off of this medicine was to push myself to work through my depression on my own. Yes it is hard. And yes it is something that not everyone will medically be able to do and that is okay. But for me, personally, it was about taking everything I have learned and everything that I hope to teach to others about health and applying to my own hardship.
I am not telling you all of this to convince you to go off of your medications. I am not telling you any of this so that you can make a change that looks like mine. I am writing this entry because it is personal, and uncomfortable and vulnerable to write about, and I know that at least one person is going to read it and feel like someone understands them. I want that someone to understand that maybe there is something in your life that you want to do, but you are scared and that is okay.
But if you wait until you are comfortable to do the uncomfortable, it will never get done.
I still have awful days. And I will continue to struggle with my mental health just as many of you do. But I am learning how to be okay with the struggle, and how to love myself even when I don’t want to. I am learning to incorporate small positive changes in my life to cope with my bad days and help me thrive on my great days.
One of my favorite quotes that I based this company around says;
“Change is hard at first, messy in the middle, gorgeous at the end”
- Robin Sharma
Maybe it is something that seems as simple as drinking more water and less coffee or starting to read books again. The only thing standing in the way of you and the change you want to make is the action of being vulnerable enough to do it.
Let yourself be uncomfortable and emotional and understand that in order to bring positive change into your life, you have to initiate that change.
Choosing to live a vulnerable life does not mean picking and choosing when to jump into the vulnerability and when to run from it. It does not mean doing an adventurous activity once a month or telling someone how you really feel. While both of these things are vulnerable in different ways, living a vulnerable life is so much more than choosing specific events once in a while to put yourself out there.
Being vulnerable means crying when you need to and not being embarrassed about it. It means taking opportunities that might scare the shit out of you, because they are showing up in your life for a reason. It means allowing yourself to feel things, express your opinions and struggle when necessary.
I wanted to share this part of my life with you because I was scared to death of doing so. I was terrified of what people would think of my personal life and my struggle, and that is exactly why I am posting it for you to read. There is no change or growth without vulnerability.