Well, it happened. It finally broke me. Life. The strongest, fiercest force that any of us warriors will battle. I had a two month period of, what I can only describe as, my own personal descent into hell. Maybe I’m being dramatic. But, remember, life and its events are very personal. My hell could be another person’s heaven. So, to me, September and October of 2017 will forever be known as my hiatus from life.
Life happens. Life happens hard. Life happens fast. Life happens all at once. I try hard to remember that what happens to us isn’t as important as how we respond to what happens to us. So, life hit hard for a couple months. I faced challenges that I never knew I could overcome. I learned a lot in the process. I grew a lot in the process. I overcame in the process.
I won’t go into all of the details, but I will share a bit because I’m a transparent person and think it’s important, to be honest with my readers. I had a medical scare that I was not prepared to face. Is anyone ever prepared to face the possibility of a serious illness? My mother who cares for my child who has severe disabilities also incurred a serious injury. She was no longer able to support my child. Work became overwhelming. I’m driven by success and the pull by so many in my life took a huge toll on me. I entered a state of depression. I slept any chance I got. I ate the wrong food. I drank too much. I shut those I love out of my life. I stopped working on my business. I argued with those I cared about. I saw the negative side of everything. Essentially, I became someone I didn’t even know. It happened fast…lightning speed. I’ve always heard that most people are just two paychecks away from being in poverty. I think that most people are just two challenging, life changing situations away from sinking into a state of depression.
am grateful it was a short lived situation. I dug myself out of it. But, I don’t think I’m alone. I believe many people face challenges that feel too great to overcome at some point in their life. Most of us come away unscathed. Most of us move quickly to solve our problems. It’s not so easy for everyone. How do we move out from under the dark cloud? What steps can we take to move forward? I made massive changes. I took a look around me and realized I needed to make an effort to control life instead of allowing it to steamroll me. Our changes may not look the same, but hopefully my experiences will spark some change in you. One night, I hung up with my boyfriend and thought, “that was the worst conversation I’ve ever had.” I had lost myself. I was not engaged, animated or focused. I was just existing. I made a list of things I could change immediately.
- I started to read again. I have a passion for reading, but life had gotten in the way and my passion was pushed to the side. So, I picked up a romantic mystery and fell in love again with a book. I was so immersed in the story as it unfolded on every page, that it took my mind off of my own cares and concerns. I was able to get a mental break from the day to day.
- I love crafts. I love to draw. I’m a creative being. I thrive on creativity, but life had sucked all the creativity out of my soul. I went in my basement and among my plethora of materials, I saw a sketch pad and my box of artist pencils. I picked it up and drew an ostrich. That cute little ostrich set me on the road to recovery. It’s now taped to my wall as a reminder that I can step out of the dark cloud.
- I let the sun in. I opened every window in the house and just sat, soaking in the rays on a cold fall day in Wisconsin. The sunshine enveloped me and changed my mood.
- I made a short list of things that I felt that I could accomplish. I needed to feel success. I needed to know that I was valuable. Every task, honestly, felt like it’s own mountain. I didn’t want to cook or clean. But I did it. I tried and with every task completed, I checked it off my list with a bright green marker.
- I took the advice of a friend and started sharing joy. It was fake, at first. But paying people compliments and sharing positive support helped me to focus on the good in the world. It, again, took my focus off of me and my situation.
- I turned to faith. There’s a saying that goes, “If you are too tired to stand, kneel.” I am a Christian and I have failed in this. I often feel that I can handle everything without help. When this phase of life hit me, I didn’t change my thoughts. I’m a tough woman and knew I’d come out strong. But, what I had forgotten is that I don’t have to be strong. It’s okay to ask for help and my Faith dictates that I place my life in the hands of God. So, I began to read scripture and spend time in thought on the scripture.
- Finally, I began to meditate and listen to subliminal tracks while I slept. I would inundate my subconscious mind with positive affirmations.
This was my ticker of strategies to pull myself out of the funk that had taken over my persona. (I want to note, that I sunk into a moment of depression. These are the strategies that worked for me. If you suffer from ongoing depression, seek mental health. Depression is nothing to play with and can be a serious concern.) I had a stint of life slapping me around and not knowing how to go forward. I do not suffer from depression but can only imagine the challenges people face who do.
We all have slumps and bumps on the road of life. Some are short, some are longer, but regardless, no one can pull you up except yourself. Find what works for you…focus on the positive, search for real solutions and look toward the components of life that bring you peace. It’s okay to step away from life for a bit and take care of yourself. It’s okay to do what you need to do to make yourself better. The most important advice I can give is…feed your soul. Whatever gives your soul peace and lights you up, do it and do it often.
After 2 months, I’m officially declaring that….I’m back!
Thank you for your patience!
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