The truth is… I am still suffering from anxiety. (Woo Aprill… You jumped right in today. Straight to the head. No chaser.)
But yeah, I still suffer from anxiety. It surfaces at times. Honestly, I have probably struggled with anxiety (to some degree) most of my life but didn’t know what it was. In fact, my son used to tell me that he thought he had anxiety. I would get so upset with him, literally chastising him (so to speak) for speaking that over his life. I thought it was the most ridiculous thing he could say.
Looking back… I was wrong. He was right. He most definitely was experiencing anxiety. Year-round competitive sports. School. Life. Being a teenager. I honestly regret not paying attention. Not listening. He was forced to go through emotions alone because of his mom’s stubbornness. Ignorance. Sticking to cultural norms.
That, in my opinion, is one of the positives, if there are any, from COVID. Mental health moved to the forefront. Somehow, through our collective struggles, everyone became willing to listen, to learn, to acknowledge that depression is real. Many had been silent sufferers for years, but finally, we are beginning to normalize talking about mental health.
Recently the former Miss USA 2019, Chesley Crist, committed suicide. I was recently scrolling through her Instagram. It looks as though she posted a beautiful picture with a non-cryptic, normal, sweet caption the same day or days before she died. In fact, she posted nine times in January prior to her death. Each post showed her beauty, her personality, her sweet persona. All seemed so normal. Yet she was suffering. So much so that not only did she end her life, but the means that she took to do so spoke volumes. She was in pain.
Before that, it was Regina King’s son. Let alone the countless “regular” folks who have done the same since the New Year. People are suffering. In silence. And I, personally, know that feeling. I can relate to the fact that Chesley seemed excited, happy, and peaceful on January 6th, 7th, 10th, 12th, 13th, 14th, and 17th. And guess what, she probably was. Depression (or mental health issues) isn’t always a constant. There can be periods of highs and lows. You can be high for months, weeks or days and experience a trigger that can make you shift. Not always drastically, but you can feel the shift.
That’s how depression or anxiety is for me too. In fact, if I’m honest, I feel more peace, abundance, and the presence of love in my life than I ever have before. Things are not going wrong. In fact, many things are good. Really good. I have much to be grateful for. So much. Yet, some days I feel down. Heavy. Burdened. Unclear. Unsettled. I never, however, experience any extremes that make me contemplate ending my life or anything close to that. I have too much to live for, so it doesn’t even cross my mind.
But my experiences give me so much empathy and compassion for those whose sufferings run deep. I understand. I get it. I see how it can happen. That…that makes my heartache. And I know that there are so many more silent sufferers. So many people feel so heavy and burdened that they believe the thoughts in their head that convince them they have nothing to live for. That they will find peace in their death. That makes me sad. Somehow, someway they believed that their suffering had to be a secret. Was it because of family or cultural beliefs, like I tried to project on my son? Was it because they were scared? Did they not have anyone they could trust? Or maybe they didn’t know what was wrong with them?
Whatever the case, we failed them. Society. We must do a better job. We must pay closer attention. We must have uncomfortable conversations. Like this one. Do you think this is easy for me? My son won’t like me putting this out there. Dominique, my daughter, she’ll get it. But my husband, he won’t. However, the truth is, some days I am triggered. Some days I feel like I’m emotionally vulnerable. And I don’t tell anyone. I just do the work that I’ve been taught to do. I meet with a therapist regularly. I write. I cry when I need to. I pray. I do all the things.
But sometimes I’m still heavy. Today, thankfully, is not one of those days. But yesterday was. I was mentally processing a lot. I ended my workday early, took a long hot bath with bath bombs and essential oils, went to my meditation/prayer room, and sat for about 30 minutes. With the fireplace on. With my hand to my heart. Clearing my thoughts. Breathing. Connecting. And then I went to bed. And today, all is well. I am clear. Excited. Energetic.
I know my highs and lows are because of the phase of therapy that I’m in. We’re going deep right now. Really deep. Getting to the other side of this process is important to me, so I keep pushing through. But I make certain to take extra special care of myself…because I need it. Sometimes I sleep later and don’t feel guilty. I take lots of long hot baths. My energy has been low since I got sick a few weeks back, but I still try to get my workouts in daily. I pray. I read my word. I meditate. I journal. I listen to lots of podcasts that feed my spirit. And I do the best I can. Every day.
I don’t know who needs to hear this, but depression is real. People around you may be suffering. Silently. So be kind. Be present. Be compassionate. Be aware. And if you are suffering, break the silence. Find a support group. Listen to podcasts that feed your soul. Rest. Meditate. Pray. Seek help. Find a confidante.
But do not listen to the lies in your head. You are not alone. You are loved. You are needed. And you matter. If you need some direction, reach out to me. Because I get it. XOXOXO
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My mission is to help women overcome so that they can become. We possess the power to overcome anything that stands in the way of us living our best, most bold, most intentional life and becoming everything that we’ve ever desired for our lives. That comes with doing some work, but the work is where the magic happens. You have to show up, do the work and allow the magic to happen.
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Until next time, I leave you with light, love, and high vibrations! Toodles. Talk soon.