I do not, nor will I ever, have this all figured out.
Being a personal development coach doesn’t mean I have life all wrapped up, figured out, and have all the answers. I don’t have all the answers. What I do have is experience. I know what it feels like to be stuck, and I have developed tools with my own therapist and coach to move through the obstacles.
Current obstacle: Medication-resistant seasonal depression.
Basically, my medication controls my depression, but sometimes, when the seasons change, my depression worsens, and I just have to stay aware and be open and honest with my husband and doctors. I have a therapy appointment tonight with Scott, who has been my counselor for 10+ years. I have been on Wellbutrin for depression for over 6 years. I was diagnosed with PTSD and MDD, by a psychiatrist, and after trying several treatments and drug combinations, it was determined I have an issue with my dopamine receptors. A lot of antidepressants are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, and those made me worse. I tried 5 different antidepressants before trying Wellbutrin, which was what lifted the cloud for me. It’s not for everyone. It took me a lot of time, and trial and error under the care of a mental health professional to find the proper treatment.
What PTSD and depression looks and feels like can be misunderstood or misinterpreted by people who aren’t familiar with them. People who know me personally know that I am a super-positive person, always able to find the good, and don’t dwell on the bad for too long. Usually, I throw a tantrum and an hour later I am fine, and I always apologize. I told Trey this morning that I was not feeling okay, mentally. We went through the checklist: meds, hot shower, meditate, exercise, drink water, authentic reach out, schedule therapy appointment, write, journal… all done. But there was still an underlying darkness, heaviness, sadness.
Here is the good news. I am surrounded by coaches, therapists, and friends both near and far. I know that alcohol and drugs are not the answer. I know that eating junk food isn’t the answer either. Those are external solutions to an internal problem that is TEMPORARY. Adding those things in only makes the depression grow teeth and claws. I used to think a couple glasses of wine would fix things for a bit. Sometimes it felt like it did, but the next day I was inevitably struck with anxiety and that shit was worse than my depression!
I got dealt a shitty hand as I also suffer from a baaaaad case of perfectionism, which makes me think I suck for feeling this way and for being unproductive. Trey is currently doing a ton of work for an event we are having in January, and I just don’t have the bandwidth to help right now. Just the thought of sitting down and rehearsing makes me cry, over apologize, say mean things about myself, and want to isolate. If a friend came to me with this, I would tell them they are enough, and to be kind to themselves. So, I will now be that friend to myself.
“Amy, you are enough. You have an amazing gift to this world and are going to help a lot of people walk though similar shit. You are a talented writer. You have ‘it’. People are drawn to your authenticity and your energy. You are loved and worthy. Look at you! Going back to school at 50! Fucking badass! And look at how you love your husband; how he adores you right back; how you care for him, listen, and treat him with love and kindness! Look at your skin, smile, and big eyes that show your kind heart through them! Look at how you seek to help others and are a devoted mommy. You are fucking awesome, strong, and badass! It’s okay to have a bad day or even a bad couple of days. You ALWAYS emerge stronger. ALWAYS. I love you.”
Okay, if you think that was cheesy, eff off. It helps. It helps tremendously to type that shit and put it out into the universe as my truth, instead of all the bullshit, mean stuff I feed myself when I am struggling. I read somewhere, “Whatever you focus on, expands.” So, focus on the good, the positive. Dig for it if you have to. Ask a trusted friend, coach, or mentor to tell you good shit about yourself and add that stuff to the list. There are people in this world who don’t tell you those things or who reinforce the ugly shit you tell yourself; those aren’t your people. If you’re still reading, please know that whatever you are walking through, emotionally, will most likely pass. It won’t kill you, but you need to talk with someone and if you don’t have someone to talk to, you have me. I am your ally.
** If you think you are experiencing symptoms of depression, please talk to your doctor or find a mental health professional in your area and make an appointment. You can’t fix it on your own and Dr. Google will send you down a shit spiral, telling you that you have all sorts of things, especially at 3 AM. I will be glad to walk with you through it, but I am not a medical professional. Mental health care is important, and so are you.
If you know anyone who needs to read this, please share. I truly believe I have walked though this stuff so I can help others. I hope this shows you you’re not alone, not damaged, and worthy of love and compassion, especially from yourself.