Hello to my long lost friends, I’ve missed you! I apologize for taking such a long break from blogging but there’s a reason. I took a few months off for some ultimate “me time”, and had I planned on doing this, I would have of course told you. But as we know, life can be full of unexpected things!
So…where did I go exactly? You know how when people aren’t feeling well or they think they might have a food intolerance, so they strip their diet of everything but fruits and vegetables? And then after time, they slowly start adding things back in to find out what was contributing to their ailments? Well that’s what I’ve been doing, but not with food. Let me explain:
To back track a bit, I came out of the womb a worrier. It’s in my DNA. It’s just me. Throughout my life, I’ve learned how to deal with my worry-wart self but if you’ve ever struggled with anxiety, the ultimate form of worrying, you know it can be quite a challenging ball game.
After I lost my mom to cancer 11 years ago, I developed an immense fear of loss. A fear of death to be exact. So much so that the fear began to overtake my mind and took me on what has seemed to be an everlasting roller coaster of ups and downs. As you know, I’ve seen a therapist for quite some time now, and that has been a God send, but even when I’ve gotten to a place of peace, the anxiety somehow sneaks it’s way back in a different yet similar form.
With its’ most recent return, my fears came back with a vengeance. It was the first time my anxiety was not just in my head, but overtook my whole body. It brought about intense panic attacks, one night leaving me curled up in a ball on our kitchen floor for my husband and daughter to see, neither of them knowing what to do. I didn’t know what to do. What I did know is that I couldn’t bear to feel that way again. It was time to take action.
So I made an appointment with my doctor. After explaining my situation, he calmly told me I have a chemical imbalance. This jolted me and the words, “So does this mean I’m crazy? Have I officially lost it?” fell out of my mouth. As moms, we all joke about these things, but was it really coming true? He reassured me that no, I was not in fact crazy but that I had a classic case of anxiety. He promised me that together we’d fight this and get it under control, but that talk therapy was not the only thing I needed right now. I needed medicine.
Now trust me when I say I have absolutely no judgements towards anyone who needs meds for mental stability, but it was odd to hear that I, me, Charlotte, was the one who needed it. Even so, knowing that I never again wanted to feel the way I felt that night in my kitchen, I headed straight to the pharmacy and have yet to look back.
As I adjusted to the medicine and tried to get a handle on my feelings, I heavily leaned on my family and closest friends. I also knew it was time to strip away all things extracurricular and focus on me. Not because the extracurriculars are what caused my anxiety, but I knew that I might have put too much on my plate, which was certainly not helping my situation. You see, anytime I add something to my daily repetoire, the perfectionist in me comes out and I go full speed ahead…I am not a good half-asser. While this can be a great characteristic, it can also be detrimental in that the pressure I put on myself to succeed overrides parts of my life that are more important. This is ultimately not how I want to live my life. So for starters, I set my blog, skincare business, social media, e-mail, social plans and other activities to the side and focused on what’s most important – family and health, AKA, my fruits and veggies of life.
I began by endlessly hugging and kissing my kids. I played with them on the floor, and ran around the house with them, hiding and seeking. I hugged and kissed my husband. I talked to him, I leaned on him and embraced everything we are as a couple, as parents, as a team. I stopped staying up late and took naps when the kids napped. I ate healthier and worked out more regularly. I did all of this while honestly letting go of the thoughts that typically circle around me concerning my to do list. It was a great start.
The next step was to just let myself feel. I let myself feel to understand what I really wanted at this point in my life. Did I miss my blog? Did I miss my skincare business? Did I miss social media or e-mail? What about social activities – did I miss only some of them, or all of them? Did I really feel better with more sleep, a healthier diet and more frequent physical activity? I didn’t want to rush these answers with force or outside influences. I really wanted to just let them come to me. I took as long as I felt I needed to do this, and it really was a pinnacle time in my life.
Over three months later, I feel I have my answers. Wait…let me rephrase that: I have my answers for now. I say “for now” because these answers will most definitely change again and again as time passes. As long as we live, we will be in a constant state of balance, a constant state of figuring “it” out. All we can do is take our time, self reflect, and make sure we take our daily doses to help and be true to ourselves.
One of my points in telling you all of this is to let you know if you’ve ever dealt with anxiety, that you’re not alone. And if medication has become a part of your treatment, I want to encourage you to embrace it. For some reason, there is such a stigma around taking meds for mental stability, but for me, I’ve changed that perception to being thankful that there are people smart enough and caring enough out there who created something that can help me feel better. Medicine was created for a reason, one that is certainly not for people to feel shame but rather gratitude for the tools we have at our hands to aid in our recovery.
Another purpose of this story is to show you another form of self care. It’s not always about taking the time to do the things you love in life. Sometimes it’s about picking yourself back up and doing whatever it takes to get back on top. It’s recognizing the present, evaluating it and acting in it for your own benefit.
So, that’s that. Thank you so much for sticking with me while I took a break, and thank you to those of you who told me how much you missed reading my blog while I was away. It made me happy knowing there really is a purpose to the pieces I’m putting out into the universe.
Until next time – cheers!
PS – If you decide to strip life down to YOUR fruits and veggies, kudos to you, I hope you find what you’re looking for…for now!
PS2 – Since I was gone from the internet for 1/4 of a year, I thought I’d include a few photo updates!
We celebrated 8 years of wedded bliss!
Jade turned 4! This is my Samantha doll refurbished, Jade is in doll heaven!
Fun in the snow with Daddy!
My fruits and veggies!