Between 2008-2010, Mike and I lost everything during the credit crisis. We owned our own construction company, and we had several houses, including our own, at various stages of building.
During that time, the bank that held our mortgage came after our personal house first. Our daughter was tiny, and I was seven months pregnant with our son. Mike found a house through our investor that we could redo and live in. The problem was that the woman who had lived there was a hoarder. It took us a few weeks, but we were able to get the house cleaned out, painted, and new floors installed before our son was born.
We moved in, Jensen was born a month later, and Mike left for basic training five days after Jensen was born.
Insert Army life….moving to Texas, enduring deployment, dealing with PTSD, etc and more of that later.
Leaving Texas, moving to Florida, discovering extended travel, buying a rig, visiting new states, flying to Germany, meeting new friends, celebrating holidays…on and on.
The point of this short description of the last decade is; I stopped allowing myself to think of “what if’s” with any kind of positivity.
The world was a dark, scary place that would only bring some kind of torture to my soul. Understandably, at the time, I was struggling with depression and anxiety. It started after the births of our kids, continued while we lost everything we owned, became progressively worse during Mike’s absence due to his Army career, and seemingly cemented into my DNA when we moved to Florida.
I don’t write this lightly. I did not know who I was as a person. I couldn’t stop talking negatively to myself. I gained and lost weight. I subjected myself to verbal abuse from others because in some way, I thought I deserved it.
But last January, something changed. Mike and I watched the story of this guy who lost a ton of weight after dealing with past issues of abuse from his father. There was something so raw and real about his story. I broke down and cried.
That night, I wrote all my feelings of past trauma down onto a steno pad. I began working through the issues that had stopped any creativity or positivity from entering my conscious mind.
Somehow, I stumbled upon Dr. Layne Norton who recommends dealing with emotional issues during dieting. He recommended Kori Prost’s lecture on Emotional Eating
After hearing her lecture, I started taking baby steps to change my thinking on what anxiety was grounded in reality and what was not. After having people show up at my house (2008-2010) with eviction notices and bill collectors calling my phone daily, I would shrivel up in fear every time someone would knock on our door or call my phone.
In the weeks that followed, I realized why I didn’t recognize myself anymore. As I was buried in the past, I had given up playing the piano, writing, singing, and a myriad of other things I thoroughly loved.
Slowly, over the past year, I have allowed “what if’s” to be positive. “What if” I could write a book and publish it myself? “What if” we could travel full time as a family? “What if” we could start a blog? “What if” I could strength train and become stronger? “What if”….
Granted, I still struggle with negative thinking and worry over worst case scenarios, BUT I am getting stronger mentally.
I write all of this to simply state…you can too.
If you’re dealing with depression and anxiety, I know it’s not just a “think positively” and all will be well. (I have had people tell me this over the years; it doesn’t work.) It is a deeply personal battle that may require medical attention and years of trial and error.
You are worth it. I am worth it.