I have had this ache to write this post for weeks. Life has been going both mind-blowingly fast, yet also exceptionally slow, and I realized it has been a long minute since I just simply said "hello".
Daily life has transitioned countless times since March when the United States began shutdowns because of the COVID-19 pandemic. As similar with a large portion of the world, my husband was unable to work and earn an income for 2.5 months and the kids were home from school and everything just CHANGED. Over the last several months my husband has been able to return to work and our family has patiently navigated online distance learning for two elementary-aged children. As for my business, I've been managing new struggles and changes. I have been BEYOND grateful to each and every one of you who have supported my family simply by shopping from THNLife Shop, visiting this website, engaging on social media platforms and telling your friends and family about my brand. This is all a serious dream come true that I never even knew was possible and, if I've learned anything, hope and love sprout from uncertainty.
Anyway, I just wanted to update you all on some things that have happened behind the scenes over the last several months and share with you a few things that my team and I are working hard at achieving. Some good, some okay and some learning opportunities. Let me tell you..
Throughout the last several months, I have worked super hard to create an organized and efficient space in my garage (which acts as my warehouse). This has had it's difficult moments, but instead of being frustrated, I used those emotions as motivation to find solutions so that I could best use the space to its maximum potential. I have also reconnected with a friend of mine whom I met in the 7th grade, and she has been MORE than a tremendous help. If you know me, you may know that I go through seasons and phases, but am always trying to do my best. My memory is very limited (especially short-term) which unfortunately sometimes makes things take longer than they should. I've since learned to remind myself to do "one thing at a time" so I can make sure I'm completing tasks, but both Jen and Brittany have been pieces of the puzzle that I know I don't deserve. These two ladies go out of their way to help me stay on track, do not put me down when I've missed something, and are always reminding me to make sure I don't put too much on my plate and to take care of myself - in all capacities.
Speaking of taking care of myself, I've been on my journey of healing my anxiety, depression and C-PTSD (and all symptoms associated with these such as OCD, irritability, anorexia-nervosa, and so much more). Honestly, it took me a really long time to admit that my eating disorder that I battled in high school had come back as I was struggling with anxiety very heavily. I always knew I didn't have much of an appetite, but soon it wasn't just smaller portions, it had eventually gotten so bad that food made me nauseous. Not good.
I became immensely embarrassed by my inability to eat and tried to "fix" it. I tried to eat, I tried to have my husband help me (on MANY occasions he would cook me food just to get me to hopefully eat a few bites at least), but nothing I did on my own worked. I tried CBD, THC, more sleep, less sleep, more water, ANYTHING to just be "normal" again.
When I went to Tennessee in October 2019 for a weekend-long event with 50 other women, I knew I would have to do my best to try and eat so no one would notice how little I was actually eating, while also dealing with an even more limited appetite due to traveling. If you have ever dealt with anxiety, this is all a recipe for ADDED anxiety, but I wanted to be at the event so bad and didn't want to let anyone down. During the event, my phone went missing for a couple of hours and NO ONE could find it. In my anxious mind, it was the only way I could be connected to my husband who was the only person who actually knew what I was going through. I ended up hiding in my room at the cabin several times to hyperventilate and manage my anxiety attacks in secret, even though I probably should have just been honest with everyone. I was embarrassed.
I remember arriving to the airport to head home and was in desperate need of silence and to just "be". As an introvert and someone who grew up spending time alone more often than not plus having my anxiety worse than I thought it was, that weekend was both INCREDIBLE as well as draining. I had the BEST weekend with the BEST people and bonded with a few in ways that still make those ladies feel like sisters. However, I was tapped out. As I was standing in line at the Starbucks in the very small terminal, I was greeted with a dear friend who was excited to spend more time with me as we were roommates during the weekend as well. I HATE that I was going through an episode because I wanted to be "there" with her, but in all honesty, I was far from well. I just needed to be home.
Two nights after I arrived home, it all came to a head. Thirty years of trauma, anxiety, depression, people pleasing, ignoring my most basic mental health needs and so much more, I lost it. Literally. I lost my mind. The reality my anxious mind had created was more than I could handle and I became completely out of touch with actual reality. I became suicidal in my thoughts, in my words I spoke to my husband, in my visions of the future and how my children would be ok without me here because of the hardships I was placing on them. When, really, I needed to stand the f*** up and admit that I needed help. Aaron said there with me while I hyperventilated and told me everything was ok, to breathe, to calm down during the two minutes I couldn't breathe that night. After I "came to", he lovingly suggested that maybe I should call my doctor in the morning - so I did.
Ever since October 2019, I have been on anti-anxiety/depression medication called Fluoxetine (generic form of Prozac). At first I was embarrassed of this "crutch". However, I can tell you from my toes that my mind finally feels NORMAL. I can rationally process anxiety-inducing scenarios, I can distinguish differences between hype my mind has created versus stuff I actually need to let bother me (because it's good to get mad at things that deserve to be mad about). I've sort of mentioned this here and there in various social media posts, but I really think I need to let you know just how life changing it was for me, and how necessary it was for me.
During my childhood and teenage years I battled various forms of abuse, neglect and trauma. I moved a lot. A lot of stuff happened to even sum it all up here (I'll write a book about it one day). Anyway, I had unknowingly allowed myself to let the anxiety and depression pile up on itself and become heavier and heavier. After I had my babies it got worse and at one point I had even gone in and broke down to the nurse about the struggles I was having but was too focused on the stigma of medication that I never picked up the medication that was prescribed to me, after sitting with me and letting me know my feelings were normal.
This isn't even the direction I wanted to take this post, but I suppose it's important for you all to know my struggles as well. Thanks to medication and supportive friends and family, I am proud to say that I have been able to gain weight and learn to eat without issue. How embarrassing is that to admit, but this is my real life. I'm finally happy, peaceful.. When the day turns heavy and dark, I am able to recognize that it is only temporary and does not define more than simply that moment. I am able to choose my reaction to any specific event or situation and I have learned to allow myself to view my "flaws" or "lacks" as simply obstacles to find solutions to. My memory sucks, but I know now how to use that to my benefit and who to lean on when I know I will be unable to do something by myself.
I want you to know that you're not alone. Life moves fast, none of us have the answers and we are all living each day in the specific reality our mind has created for that day. Some days are wonderfully inspiring. Some days are heavy and dark. Some days feel repetitive. It is important that we remember that each of us are experiencing our own unique realities based on our past experiences, our daily conversations, and even our hormones, or lack of hormones. If we are able to remember this, it is near impossible to be upset with someone or something. We will never be able to control our environment, we can only curate the details but never the plot. Never assume you can curate the plot. Ever.
In addition to what I mentioned above, there is so much more that I have needed to manage and transition and life today just looks so different than just a few months ago. I'm doing my best, but am using each day to figure myself out. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your continued support and understanding that I am simply another human chasing her dreams while also healing from traumas, raising kids, being married, owning a business and more. I'm HERE for you, I promise. Just sometimes I may be more available than others. Thank you more than I can say for always being there to support me.
I wouldn't be me without you. <3
I have so much more to say, but I feel like I should save it for another day, or post.