My psychiatrist diagnosed me with PTSD four years ago.
That diagnoses included Generalized Anxiety Disorder and mild Depressive Disorder. Up until that time in my life, I thought my life experiences and how I handled them were normal.
It took a nervous breakdown at school one day to make me acknowledge that something was terribly wrong. While everyone around me seemed to be juggling life responsibilities with moderate amounts of stress, I was flunking out of half of my classes, binge eating trail mix while cramming for exams, numbing out to Netflix, drinking almost every night, crying in chem lab class, and passing gallstones while at work. To say I was in agony would be an understatement.
Since that diagnosis, I’ve been better, but I still have many moments where the anxiety and PTSD make living a healthy lifestyle challenging. I don’t have panic attacks, and my PTSD is very mild, but it still plays a huge role in my responses to stressful life situations.
Around the time my dog died last October, I began to witness a shift in my moods and behavior. I was gradually becoming more and more neurotic. My anxiety was on high-alert for the next five months. While I did eat fairly well most days and exercised semi-regularly (thanks to my emotional intelligence practice), my eye twitched non-stop, my energy was drained many days, and I was quickly frustrated by the amount of work I felt like I unfairly had to put into particular projects.
My lack of self-care, not dealing with my past childhood trauma, and not being patient with myself resulted in days where I didn’t want to get out of bed, not showering, pushing everyone away with my busy-ness, and just wanting to go for the longest hike ever and be alone for hours to avoid life responsibilities.
So how has this all affected my health, life, and business?
1) I canceled Christmas for myself in 2016 so that I could work around the clock to get ready for a big launch of my program in January 2017. Sacrifices sometimes have to be made, but this was one I wish I hadn’t made. Spending Christmas alone isn’t fun– no matter how stone-cold badass you think you are.
2) I had to take a break from working on Discovery Dyet as a co-creator. I spent so much mental and emotional energy trying to make this course an excellent experience for our course members (while marketing it to the right people) that I felt overworked, underpaid, and eventually uninspired. The break ultimately led to a mutual decision to part ways. As I write this, it’s still undecided what will happen with this course, and it’s potential to change lives.
3) While the effects to my health were minimal this time (compared to the binge eating and gallstone problems of the past), I still suffered from adrenal fatigue symptoms of low energy and constant eye twitch. It made wanting to exercise laughable and getting work done exhausting. I had to focus on the smallest of small steps I could take to get some sort of exercise done. Which is a blow to the ego when my husband used to call me “Go Girl” and “Marathon Woman.” He’s watched my energy decay, and it has affected him as well.
So what am I doing about this?
I’m asking for forgiveness from my husband, my clients, my friends, and my Discovery Dyet business partner. I’ve shut myself off from many people because it felt too heavy to deal with many days. And the ones I didn’t shut out, I tried to control… so that I felt better.
I’m also working on myself, A LOT. I’m managing my internal chaos. I’ve been practicing emotional intelligence activities more, self-compassion rituals, walking meditations, etc. You name it I’ve tried it or I’m working on it.
I know what you’re thinking…
I’m sharing this tidbit of my life without a firm conclusion or solution. I’m still in the thick of it. I wanted to show you that people like you and me can have success in weight loss and still need to work on other things (internal, relationship, spiritual, self-worth) that affect our health and happiness.
Behind every flashy success story is another story — the one that most people will not tell you. I want to keep telling you the ugly parts of my journey because you don’t need to have your shit together to go out and share your message. You do need to be yourself, own where you are at, and find solutions to move forward.
You owe it to yourself.
Originally published at www.theinspiredtransformation.com on April 27, 2017.
Originally published at medium.com