Sorry babes – it’s been a minute!
I’ve been wanting to write Part 2 of My Mental Health Disorder for a while now, but work has been I N S A N E. All I want to do after grinding all day is take a yoga class & wind the EFF down. I turn on the essential oil diffuser, light some candles and before ya know it, it’s 10PM (bed time).
I received so many comments, DM’s and messages after posting Part 1 of My Mental Health Disorder saying my story was a direct reflection of theirs. That’s just amazing to me. Especially since when we are going through something so life-changing, scary and dark, we feel like we are completely alone. However, a lot of people (even close friends) are going through the SAME experience and we don’t even realize it.
Amy is a therapist that I was referred to by my friend and co-worker. At the time, I felt like I had already tried therapy. I didn’t see any improvements the first time, in fact my last experience and only experience made everything worse… why should I try it again?
I was hesitant.
However, I was running out of options and my friend absolutely adored her so I gave it another try.
Amy saved my life.
She believed in me. She was vulnerable with me. She opened up about her experiences with depression and how she totally healed herself from it. (My last therapist never had anxiety or depression…) I felt like I related to Amy.
Since she understood what I was going through, I put all my trust and faith into what she said. I absorbed everything. I did whatever she suggested.
Amy asked about my diet, supplements, activity levels, spirituality, family life, etc. She practiced EMDR on me and through that, we figured out the time of my life that brought out this debilitaing anxiety and depression. A time of my life that I had ignored for a long time, was finally surfacing.
Depression made me constantly question why we were here on this planet. What was the purpose for us being here. It made me feel like we didn’t have a purpose. Those constant thoughts scared me, but also made me interested in spirituality. Growing up, my family went to church maybe once a year… if that, so I never really understood it and didn’t really know what I believed. I had so many questions… Amy encouraged me to go to a bible study. Something like that was totally out there for me. The thought was intimidating.
I first went to a service with my stepdad to get a feel of the whole church thing. I literally was on a verge of a panic attack the entire time. There were too many people in one room, the singing gave me anxiety and I couldn’t stop thinking of how frightening it would be if I was the Pastor standing in front of all those people.
I sat through the entire service and left church feeling accomplished. I was happy and proud of myself for not letting my anxiety control me.
I always try to listen to signs… there were signs of me trying a new therapist (Amy), signs for me to seek my spirituality and now I kept seeing signs of me trying antidepressants again. Even though Trevor, my family and I were so against them, I just had a gut feeling that I needed to try them again. My first sign is when I asked Amy, if she had taken them when she was depressed and she said yes, they helped her heal and eventually she was able to wing off of them. The second sign was when I went on a river trip with Trevor’s family and family friends. Some of the Moms were telling me about their traumatic experiences with anxiety and that they used anti-depressants to heal. All of those girls had a similar story. They had horrible panic attacks, debilitating anxiety and got on medication, slowly got off of them and are panic attack/anxiety free to this day.
I made an appointment right after the river trip to see a psychiatrist for that following week.
At this point I had been living with debilitating anxiety and depression for 3 months. I felt like I gave the holistic route a HUGE shot. I hadn’t drank in 3 months, I was working out 5x a week, finding new hobbies, taking classes on the side to keep my mind busy, taking Chinese herbs, acupuncture, meditating, going to therapy and taking yoga classes here and there.
My new psychiatrist was a dream come true. She was a Christian (SIGN). She was personable and trusting. I loved her.
I was prescribed 50MG of Zoloft. (The lowest dosage)
I felt immediate relief after 3 days. I no longer felt like I was about to have a panic attack 10 times a day. I did still have anxiety and depression, but my panic went away.
Everyday I felt more and more comfortable just talking to people, going to public places and being in larger groups again.
I started going to church every Sunday with my stepdad and Trevor, which made me want to get even more involved.
I finally felt like it was time to do something absolutely out of my comfort zone and attend a bible study. I went in completely open minded and ended up meeting the most amazing people who helped me better understand my purpose.
As the weeks went on, Amy suggested I start interviewing for a job. I still had PTSD over my last job so I was still really nervous.
All of my interviews went really well. I got job offers to both places I interviewed with and had options! Interviewing was something I never thought I would be able to do again, when I was going through the worst of my depression… so things were looking up.
I found out that working helped me heal even more. For the first time in three months, I put all of my focus and attention to something other than myself, my thoughts, and my emotions. It was weird at first, but it was definitely needed.
As months went on, my anxiety and depression slowly but surely went away.
Now I live panic attack free, 7 months later. I do have anxiety, but it’s like any other person. I get a lil bit depressed only when it’s that time of the month. My medicine has helped me become me again. However, my journey to finding the root to the problem is still not over. (I have a strong feeling it’s because of my gut.) I listen to my body and nurture it more than ever and have never felt better. My lifestyle has been completely transformed.
I now attend church most Sundays with Trevor and my stepdad, I go to yoga 2-3x a week, I spend a lot of time outdoors, I get 7-8 hours of sleep, I use essential oils on the daily (especially lavender), I do face masks once a week, I limit my hours on social media, I have a planner where I jot down how I’m feeling each day and bullet point my to dos – it shows me how productive I am or not, I work at a job I love, I read a lot and I eat a paleo based diet.
This isn’t, by any means, the only way to find relief. This is the way I found my relief. Everyone is different and everyone will have a different story. Just know, you are not alone and you can/will get through this. Anyone can get through it, but you have to fight. I used to think my depression was never going to go away, but it did.
If you or a loved one is struggling, there is help. Call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-8255.