I know it’s been quite awhile since my last post. I needed a break, to get refocused and figure out a plan so I took a step back and really re-examined my life, my heart and re-evaluated myself in terms of my healing process.
Some of you have been following me for a long time, others have only heard bits of my story so I’ll give you a quick overview of where I’m coming from; I started this blog as a way to document my journey through a natural pregnancy and birth and continued to blog after my son was born and throughout my short marriage to his father. I gained 60lbs during pregnancy and then lost 80lbs after my son was born. Physically I was the healthiest I had ever been although I was plagued with ever increasing migraines which I had never had before. I got my eyes examined, gave up coffee, tried a plant based diet and had no idea what was causing the problem. In October 2016 I suffered a miscarriage and in December 2016 my husband left me, (unrelated to the miscarriage,). The whole experience was terrifying in the way that it happened, police were involved and I found out things about his past that he had hidden and lied to me about. It was extremely traumatic, but I won’t go into details. That whole next year was stressful and uncertain. I was a stay at home mom and the makeup company I had been working for was sued by another makeup company and shut down for the duration of the lawsuit, so I had pretty much no income, had moved my barely 2 year old son and myself into my parents house and was in so much spiritual and emotional darkness, I can’t even begin to describe that feeling. Here I was turning 25, divorced, still healing from my second miscarriage, with this little child depending on me and I had no idea how everything would work out. But it did. My parents had been planning on moving to another state but because of the divorce and me having nowhere to go, they decided to stay here. They took out a loan on their property in order to pay a contractor to build an addition onto the house so that we all had plenty of room to survive the long Alaskan winters (cabin fever is real, y’all) and we made it work.
Healing emotionally, taking care of a child, going through a divorce and trying not to feel guilty for my parents not being able to move to a warmer climate was (and sometimes still is) insanely hard. The only thing that got me through that year was my faith in Christ. I have grown so much closer to God through this hardship than I’ve ever been.
I attempted to keep up with my blog since then, blogging here or there but I had so many days where I was just emotionally drained from life that I couldn’t even think of what to write. If you know me, you know I’m usually a very chatty person and can write long messages but at that point I couldn’t. I second guessed everything I thought and said, I had “PTSD” basically from life with my ex. I had nightmares all the time, I don’t think I shared that with anyone outside of my family. Online, I tried to share all the good things and the positive aspects of healing because, that’s kind of what we do, we try to hide the not-so-great aspects of life because, at least for me, we don’t want people feeling sorry for us. I was also insanely paranoid that I would get hate messages from people in my past whenever I shared anything that I had been through so eventually I just gave up on trying to blog or even create my youtube videos. I felt like I had no direction and didn’t want to constantly relive my abusive, toxic relationships.
So I took a break. I wrote on my books some (want to read them? Check out my Wattpad), started reading books more regularly, read my Bible more, started watercolor painting, played with my son and honestly I think that’s exactly what I needed to do. It’s been a little over a year since the divorce was final and I feel like a completely new person just in that short amount of time. I know I still have healing to do, that won’t go away overnight, but my heart is light, my migraines are completely gone (because apparently it was my environment that needed to change, not my diet.) I gained 30lbs and have lost ten (and counting!), I’ve published a coloring book (36 copies sold so far!) and here is the most exciting part: I’m about to become a Realtor! I’ve been studying my heart out and I’m taking the Real Estate Salesperson exam soon. I’m so ridiculously excited for this new chapter in my life and I know this career is going to help me fulfill my goals for financial independence and eventually, financial freedom.
Anyway, with all of that said, I know I’m not the only person out there who has been undergoing a whole lot of life changes and is seeking a fresh start. We all have seasons of heartbreak, depression and healing. It’s part of life, as sad as it is, and we all have to get through it one way or another and now that I’m starting to find solid footing I wanted to take up blogging again in an attempt to share any knowledge I have on these topics and hopefully help give some hope and comfort to anyone else struggling right now.
*The advice given in this blog post is my unprofessional opinion based on my experiences. I do not have a medical degree or anything, these are just things that have helped me in my journey of healing and I hope they help others as well*
So here are some things to do to reboot your life:
Have a Plan – You need to have a plan. It doesn’t have to be a detailed plan, but you need to have a vision of what you want your life to look like in 5, 10 or even 15 years. Sometimes when we are going through a rough patch it helps to have a picture of what we want our life to look like. It may change as you heal and grow, it may stay the same, but this is a tool that will hopefully help you hang on to the hope that there will be a tomorrow, and a next day, and a next day and even more days beyond that and one day, if you’re dedicated and work for it you really will achieve your vision even if it seems impossible right this moment.
Take time for yourself – this one is going to look different for everyone. You are the only one who knows how your schedule and life work and what you need in terms of self care. Please don’t fall into the trap of not taking care of yourself, emotionally or physically. It’s an easy trap to fall into, but just doing something simple that you enjoy doing will go a long way in helping you feel human. Whether it’s lighting some candles and taking a bath while reading or just carving out 15 minutes to take a walk while listening to your favorite music. Whatever it is, it’s important to spend time on yourself. A study by Dr Almuth McDowall shows that high quality me-time improves your psychological well-being and can even make you a better employee, so that means you’d be better as a parent, business owner or person in general.
Pray – Okay, this one only works if you’re spiritual I guess, but it has tremendously impacted my life. I found myself stressing about a lot of things constantly, I couldn’t fall asleep because I was just running through a list of things I “needed” to worry about, when it finally hit me that it’s not my job to worry about these things. Worrying about it won’t fix it, but I know who can fix it. So I grabbed a journal and I wrote down prayers for the different areas in my life I was worrying about, I even wrote a page for a few individuals in my past and present that I wanted to pray over. It allowed me to reconnect with a few people and get past a bunch of hurt I had felt for a long time, because all I needed was the act of giving the situation to God, and for me, writing those prayers down for each specific thing allowed me to free myself from that worry. If I ever catch myself worrying over anything I go back to that page and read the prayer again and know that it’s being taken care of. It’s the most reassuring thing I’ve ever experienced and I hope it’s the same for anyone else who tries it.
Affirmations – This is a bit on the hippy side I guess, but don’t freak out! I’m not saying you have to get up every morning and repeat a mantra to yourself (unless you want to, then go for it!) but another thing that I did just a few months ago was create a vision board and wrote a list of affirmations. For me, these affirmations are just things about myself that I know are true or how I want to be, for instance ‘outgoing’, I used to be way more outgoing, but years of seclusion and being made to feel not good enough completely destroyed my sense of self-worth and made me reluctant to go and speak with people. I would get anxious over answering phone calls or even writing a message to someone. So I wrote ‘outgoing’ on my list, along with ‘good mother’,’child of God’ and many others.
Whenever I feel myself slipping back into a dark mood I go read through this list of who I am. It works every time, too.
Cut the negativity – One thing that I had learned when I was losing those 80lbs at the end of 2015 and into 2016 is that I needed to retrain my brain to stop talking negatively about myself. It’s sort of hand-in-hand with the affirmations, but STOP TALKING BAD ABOUT YOURSELF! You ARE beautiful in your very own way, figure out your strengths and compliment your own darn self whenever you get a chance to. I became my own coach; when I’m running and I want to give up before my goal (because, #laziness) I go all Jillian Michael’s on myself “keep pushing! you’re almost there! come on, give me five more minutes!”. I know it sounds silly, but it honestly works! you don’t have to do it out-loud either, just in your head is fine. You have to become your own cheerleader to achieve anything because you are the one who will always be there with yourself 24/7, even if you have an amazing support group. Your mind is who you are always with, so don’t let it be negative, retrain it to talk nicely to you because it’s so important for mental and spiritual health.
Stop Self-deprecating! – When you give someone a compliment, don’t say “oh your hair is so pretty, I wish mine was that long,” rephrase that with something like “oh your hair is so pretty! how did you grow it so long?” this engages the other person into a conversation so you can learn something about growing long hair without making them feel guilty for making you think about your supposed imperfections. I have to catch myself in this a lot, but one of my younger sisters is the one who started me thinking about it. She pointed out that a lot of the times when I complimented her it made her feel bad because I was putting myself down to compliment her. I didn’t even realize I was doing it, so I’ve started to pay attention and it’s starting to make a difference. If you catch yourself doing this, just try to rephrase it in a way that isn’t self-deprecating.
Choose your tribe Carefully – This one can be harder, but you have to choose who you surround yourself with carefully. If you want to change your life, you have to change your environment. Maybe that just means rearrange your room and start fresh with a more productive living environment. Sometimes it means giving up “friends” you’ve known for a long time that are only in your life because they’ve just always been in your life. Now, I’m not saying you have to cut people out of your life. I’m just saying look at where you want to be in 5, 10, even 15 years and look at who is around you. Are they where you want to be? are they seeking the same things you are for their own lives? or are they just spending their time partying it up and not bothering to think of the future? you’ve got to surround yourself with positive people who will help you achieve your goals even by just listening or being a sounding board for ideas. If a friendship isn’t mutually beneficial than, what’s the point? both people in any kind of relationship should get some benefit from the relationship otherwise it’s a waste of time. If you feel constantly drained by someone, don’t feel bad for distancing yourself because you obviously aren’t compatible and when you’re at rock bottom, trying to get back up, draining personalities is the last thing you need to be dealing with.
I’m definitely not saying to cut people out of your life who have always been there for you, I just mean the toxic ones. The ones who make fun of you for trying to better yourself, the ones who constantly put you down for being a “goody goody,” anyone who’s being negative about your journey doesn’t need to be present for it. Constructive criticism is one thing, but constant, draining, negative energy is another.
And that’s it! I hope that even one of these things will start to help you on your path to healing, if you have any questions or need anyone to talk to, drop a comment or send me a message on one of my social media sites. If nothing else, I can listen to your story and help encourage you any way that I can.
Be blessed, friends.