Fall is my favorite season, yet I fear it. In 2012, the bubble I had lived in popped. I no longer had school as a safety net, I no longer knew my purpose. I began interpreting life in an unfamiliar way and it overwhelmed me with dark, deep sadness and angst. My diagnosis was mild depression triggered by anxiety. I was comfortable as a victim of my genetic predisposition. As I became my diagnosis, the stories of my past became the answers of my present. My future would be as it was. My story was my truth and it could not be unwritten. I will never forget what depression feels like. My entire body was on pins and needles from overworked nerves. Should one thing have disrupted my routine, I would immediately spiral into a manic state. In those moments all I wanted was to be out of my own skin.
My family and close friends supported me with grace and love. We thought things were getting better. In January 2013, my wonderful grandpa passed away. My heart was broken, he was my hero. He still is the kindest man in the whole world. He loved and lived with a deep sense of purpose. His passing shifted my depression into overdrive. Medications and countless conversations with a therapist did not tune me in to what I was actually feeling. I was uncomfortable with the idea that I could change. I had my limit, there was nothing more. I was a broken record; dying longer and living shorter.
One day in Spring 2013, I took my first step on my 10,000 step journey toward happiness. Still, every fall my heart becomes weary. Recognizing that the moment I fear vulnerability or being uncomfortable is the moment that I stop growing. Everything within me has the power to shift. That being said, there are days when things go to shit. Mismanaged stress triggers my anxiety and I am a ball of negativity. However, I am by no means jumping on that slippery slope toward depression ever again. By no means is my journey over.
Yoga and practicing meditation has certainly made the road less traveled on manageable. I now search for apps and self improvement teachings, to make mindfulness simple. I currently am reading Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly and enjoy listening to audiobooks instead of the noise played on the radio. Cooking has also become an activity that feels therapeutic and taps into my creativity. By eating less processed and caffeinated foods I have noticed my body looking and feeling well. Also, I have more energy, and sleep better too. Benefits from good food and mindfulness have brought about a yearning for more stress management tools. I now have gained appreciation for the power of my breath. By taking a deep breath in and out of my nose deeply, generates energy; massaging the heart and activating the parasympathetic nervous system. Try it, count eight deep nasal breaths and then begin again. Did you feel that sense of ease wash over you? Imagine if you breathed like that every day.
Living is a practice, it means loving yourself and taking time to reconnect. Yes, you do have the time. So, rebuild your relationship with yourself and seek support from loved ones, or wellness professionals. Dig deep and find connection with your body, mind, and soul. You are worth it! Take your first step on your 10,000 step journey, right now.