Note: This post began as a comment on a blog I follow. Things got a little our of hand and I've made it about me. Sorry, sorry.
in all seriousness, Rachael from loveyourselfgreen.com
has written a piece
about how she cured her anxiety and depression as a result of trying to
overcome a serious illness. Read it
bet you’ll learn something new about depression and people who have it.
I loved your post about how you cured your anxiety and depression
without trying. Don’t sell yourself short- you were trying, you were trying
your ass off to get healthy. In order to have a healthy mind, so must be your body. I know a bit about mental heath from experience.
You touched on a point which is incredibly relevant and
lesser known about depression- depressed people can appear to be happy! I read this astounding fact recently and wrote about it here
. Believe it- depressed
people are often the most social, outgoing people you will meet at times (especially
when they are taking drugs or alcohol to numb the pain.) What outsiders don’t
witness are the days when we can't get out of bed to fake it till we make it.
I relate to you on several levels. Looking back at my childhood- I appeared to
be a happy-go-lucky kid and I think I was for a time...until the teenage years. My parents
fought a lot. A LOT. It scared me so I clung to my friends. I didn't
want to be at home.
As a young teen things got out of control. I started experimenting with drugs and
alcohol, I got bullied in school for liking a popular, older boy, my mother and
I fought like cats and dogs occasionally violently. I thought about suicide. If you met me, especially at a party, you
would never know this. I had friends diagnosed with depression, on medication, who told me I would never understand (because clearly I coped with it very differently). I felt like an outsider. I loved when you mentioned in your blog post:
“I legitimately thought
I was happy! Everyone around me saw me as a happy and positive person and
according to what my inner denial tells me, (apparently) whatever other people
think of you is actually the truth!” -Rachael Abel
In my 20’s I dealt with it by drinking and taking pain
killers. Otherwise life was productive. I graduated college, went to grad school, held down two jobs,
rented an apartment and bought a car. I
had tons of friends and went out almost every night (red flag).
I escaped to Europe for a job and came back home again for a guy. The relationship ended because I threatened suicide and he didn't want to deal with it (turns out I could not hide my depression from absolutely everyone). So then I went on antidepressants myself.
The drugs made me feel like a zombie and it sucked. I drank a lot of cheap wine, watched a lot of bad TV and could barely stay awake long enough to work. I ended up quitting job as a matchmaker because I couldn't emotionally connect any longer.
I knew something needed to change.
I did what any sensible (cowardly) person would and changed my environment by moving to Australia. I had a lot of conversations with the ocean, wrote a bit and listened to a lot of Oprah.
Somehow I landed in a stable relationship that I didn't screw up, started hanging out with people who didn't binge drink and took a long, look at myself so I could start to figure out what the hell I was going to do with my life. Still I couldn't seem to figure it out. So...
I got engaged. I got married and I got pregnant. I was surprisingly happy (distracted) and had a reason to care for
my body like never before. My hormones
were stable and I felt strong. After my
daughter was born- depression came crashing back into my life and brought its
friend anxiety along.
With support from my husband and friends I started the hard
work of getting better, for real this time. Numbing was no longer an
option. Now I laugh about the time I broke down and how my usual bottle of wine had been replaced by a bubble bath. I can no longer self-sabotage because I’m responsible for a small human and the family I've created.
I dug in again and did the work. Therapy. Assignments. Exercise. Eating healthily. Determined to lose the baby weight
and gain more self-esteem. I ordered local organic produce and cooked nutrient-dense meals. I saw my homeopath. I cut back on booze. I wrote about it all. None of these
things are a quick fix, and not one single thing will do the job on it’s own. I had to find the right combination in order
to heal myself from the inside out.
Somehow now, 16 months into my parenting journey- I’ve never
felt happier. Honestly. I now have appropriate reactions to anxious situations and normal situations. This shows me how much progress I have made.
When you feel okay it's easy to let one area slip. If you do- get right back on-top of it. Something seemingly insignificant can be such a big deal. Thank you Ms Abel, for making that connection between mind, body and gut. Check out loveyourselfgreen.com
for more healthy inspiration.
Rachael you are brave- you have a fan in me.
Labels: Eat, healing, health, Post Natal Depression