I remember driving home after a movie one night just week after it happened. I couldn’t believe that she was gone. I had this feeling come over me and I pulled over. I couldn’t breath and I started shaking and crying. It took me about 30 min. To get over this feeling. Luckily my husband, my boyfriend at the time was driving behind me to comfort me.
My best friend had died in a car accident. We had gotten our licenses a week apart and a week later she was driving to work, overcorrected, and hit a flat bed truck head on. I was one of the first people to find out. We turned on the 11:00 news and saw the photos of the car and there was nothing left.
I haven’t talked about this moment in my life very much. But I bring it up because looking back it was one of the first times I had suffered a panic attack not realizing it what was really happening to me at the time.
Fast forward to 2017 many years later, I had another panic attack but this time I knew what was going on. It’s a moment that you feel so out of control of your body shaking, crying, heavy breathing. You think you are dying or having a heart attack but you are fully aware of whats going on. It wasn’t until this moment I realized that I had suffered panic attacks before after my best friend died.
I have lived with depressed and anxiety for a very long time without realizing it. Events from my childhood I know have contributed to this. Being a child of divorce two times, being around people I know and love that suffered from mental trauma themselves, and life events growing up. I didn’t know how to control it so I acted like nothing was wrong with me and I held it in inside because that is what I thought you were supposed to do. Thats what everyone else around me did.
Going through certain times in my life I knew that there was something wrong mentally, but chose to hold it in and not let it bother me.
When I found out that I had a lump in my breast the day before I was supposed to graduate college, I started a pattern of OCD and every single day for 6 years I would do self checks many times a day. Most days all it was doing was making my boob hurt. But I had no control. My mind just freaked out. Leaving the house I would shut the garage door drive down the street turn back around and go check it to make sure it was closed and this would happen 5 times until I would get the point and drive to my destination.
After having Nate, my second son, it was to the point I felt nothingness. I felt nothing. Here I was supposed to enjoy having a new baby and feeling blessed for my children and all I would do is break down and cry for no reason.
I was easily offended more than I ever was in the past and I’d just broke down crying all the time. I tried to fix it on my own, but I couldn’t.
After 6 months after having Nate, I sought help which was the best decision of my life.
Gaining control of my thoughts and having an understanding of the circumstances that created my mental stress was one of life’s greatest blessings. Learning that life gives us people and circumstances that we can not control but we have control over the thoughts and feelings that we have towards those people and circumstances.
Through this uncomfortable process, I have been able to peel many layers of the onion off. I’ve had to let go of people I love, I have to do mental work every single day , and I have had to feel feelings I have never felt before and sometimes it has sucked. I am the person that has to talk about my thoughts and feelings that I always was taught that people don’t care so don’t burden people with your problems.
Being able to talk about my experiences has truly blessed me to let go and reflect that these circumstances were truly blessings in my life especial with all the platforms we have now to speak out truth and what we stand for. Through my experiences I can shine hope to others to know that there is away out and they don’t have to be alone in this.
Mental illness leads to lack of confidence in one self, that nothing ever good happens in life, sadness, pain, denial, and a sense of not being good enough for any one. You have to seek approval from others all the time. It get to the point that it is tiring.
Keeping a healthy mind is a work in progress and takes effort every day but it can be done. I have been able to do it without any prescription medication which was my main focus and goal.
I do several things everyday that keep my mental health in check.
- Personal development: I read books, listen to podcasts, follow mentors and leaders in the personal development industry. I have a personal mentor who coaches me weekly how to react to circumstances to change my thoughts and and feelings with life situations. I invest in myself because I know that I am worth it and I want to strengthen my mind with positivity.
- Exercise: I exercise or run daily. Through this trauma I have found exercising to be my way to cope with all the mental health issues I have had to overcome. This journey has given me such a new found passion for health and fitness that I love so much. I understand how our bodies are such a gift and they worth the effort to take care of.
- Self care: finding ways to take care of me each day even if it’s just a soak in the bathtub before bed or giving yourself a facial with your favorite skincare products. Find things to do through out the day that puts a smile on your face. Buy fresh cut flowers, eat your favorite fruit, watch your favorite movie. Write down gratitudes every day.
- Let go: learning to become neutral and letting go of people and circumstances in your life that don’t serve you any more. This may even require people you love and are close to but sometimes it just is necessary to say no to toxic people that effect your well being. Understand that life is for you and everything that happens is a blessing and is teaching or leading your to something more.
- Talk about it: I have learned that talking about the things in my life has truly helped me to see new light. That I wasn’t given this trial just because but I was given this blessing to inspire and be an advocate. Maybe you don’t want to talk about it on social and that’s okay! Find someone to talk to. Wether it be a therapist, mentor or coach who is experienced with helping you with life experiences . I have a wonderful coach who has helped me over the last year and I highly recommend her! I’ll share her site with you here.
May is mental health awareness and thought would be a perfect time to share more about my journey. I am huge advocate in taking care of your mind daily wether or not you have experienced trauma or not. Everyone can benefit from a mental bath everyday. Here’s to a happy healthy mind.
PS Want to know more about the tools that have helped along with my health and fitness journey? Id love to share more. If you are interested lets chat! Contact me here.