What do you do when your life is about to fall apart? It is so easy to get overwhelmed, feel suffocated and so low when things start to go wrong. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like there will ever be a light at the end of the tunnel. We have all been in a situation where all we feel is despair. Whether it be an unbearable loss, heartbreaking news about a loved one, or a huge and unexpected change. When it hits us, it hits us hard.
Sometimes we don’t even see it coming. There could have been a series of events in your life that you pushed to the back of your mind, thought you had dealt with, thought you had made peace with. But all of a sudden you have become a different person, you are withdrawn, you don’t want to get out of bed, you can’t see the joy in your life, you are constantly angry but you have no idea why.
There was a point in my life where I didn’t even recognise myself and it absolutely terrified me. People say that they have a moment where they see themselves through the eyes of another person, like an out of body experience, and that is exactly what happened. I looked in the mirror one day and saw myself, who I had become and I didn’t recognise the person looking back at me. There was so much sadness, so much anger and it broke my heart.
But what do you do about it? I could feel myself, completely lost, just sinking further. It’s like there is an anchor on your foot and you can’t get it off.
I don’t claim to know everything about overcoming depression, I don’t know how to fix all the problems and I am still working through a lot of stuff. But my life has changed dramatically. I took some steps to bring me back up, to find myself again (as you know) and to get through the hardest time of my life so far. Part of me feels so incredibly selfish for feeling this way and I think that is part of the problem. So many of my friends had the worst year imaginable last year, they have gotten through heartbreaking times with the most incredible grace, strength and sincerity that I have ever seen and I know that my problems, on the face of it, can’t compare. But there lies the problem. It isn’t about comparing loss, about comparing feelings. It has been about understanding why I am feeling this way and owning those feelings, dealing with the cause and moving on from them.
I have never been very good at talking about feelings, I can talk about a lot of things openly and honestly, but real, true feelings…not so much.
But that’s what I did. I spoke to someone, I did some research, made some calls and went to see a professional. And it changed my life, literally. It’s amazing how different it is talking to a professional and talking to family or friends. (Not that family and friends aren’t amazing, but there are just some things you can’t or don’t want to talk to them about and things that they just don’t understand) I genuinely can’t recommend enough speaking to a therapist, counsellor, psychologist…anything like that. It’s hard, there were night’s where I came home and just cried and cried, it is exhausting and painful but incredible and eye-opening.
I made some huge changes, I cut my working hours down to 9-3 and started working from home, giving me the opportunity to spend more time with my kids, to be at home more, to spend a bit more time alone (which, if you have kids, will understand how important it is to get some alone time) and taken some time to focus on what is important to me, what makes me happy, what makes me tick.
People say that money can’t buy you happiness, I always thought it was just people with money that said that. I mean, it is important, it is one of the things that make a life easier, but is it happiness? I don’t think so. My money situation hasn’t changed much, but my mindset has. I am taking the time to appreciate what I have, my children, my husband, my home, my life, myself. And it’s pretty bloody great.
I have conquered some demons, I have slayed some dragons and I’m still fighting the fight. But it’s not a war anymore. For the first time in longer than I can remember, I am falling in love with myself again, with my life.
Marilyn Monroe once said ‘Sometimes things fall apart so better things can fall into place’ and she was right. I fell apart, so completely, but my life is better for it. So if you are feeling in any way like I did, do something about it, take baby steps, talk to someone, write down your feelings, do something that makes you happy and I promise, it will get better.