5 Things I Learned from my Mental Breakdown




Captured by K&Y Photography


Sorry I was gone,

I was busy losing my mind.




I’ve been itching to get back on the blog for awhile, but I needed to let the dust settle from the recent storm that took over my life. I wanted to be open about what I was going through, but what I needed more then anything was to just unplug for awhile.


I know I don't need to explain myself. That's not what this is about. It’s about sharing my experience because maybe it will make someone else feel a little less alien, as they navigate their own personal shit storm.


This isn't for people who don't get it, it's for the ones who do.


Here's what happened



I unknowingly stepped onto a possessed roller coaster ride.


Well, kind of.

I know this roller coaster well, it's pretty much the theme of my life.

The inspired and creative highs, the dark and foggy lows, the sharp twists and sucker punching turns, the gnawing sensation in my belly, the hanging upside down screaming... Yup, that one.


What I'm trying to say is, my depression and anxiety flared up to unmanageable proportions.

And frankly I didn't have any time for it. I was fresh out of yoga teacher training, I was #wokeAF. I was just going to ignore the nagging internal chaos, and manifest all my dreams...


Oh, hello again dark forces...






Lets just say, things haven't gone according to plan.





Not that I ever had a plan but if I had, this was not what it would’ve looked like.


I knew 2018 would be the year of transformation, and that it was.

I imagined it would look like emerging from a cocoon, the stars aligning, and my soul being set free.

I never imagined that it would look like screaming internally at the top of my lungs and wanting to peel my skin off.


I imagined coming home from yoga teacher training and jumping right into teaching classes.

I imagined getting back on the blog and cranking out inspiring content.

I imagined being confident; physically and mentally strong.


I never imagined a thick mental fog preventing me from thinking clearly or logically.

I never imagined my thoughts being so scattered that I couldn't accomplish the smallest daily tasks, let alone venture into a new career.

I never imagined I would fall into a deep depression, losing my voice and my desire to live.


____________________


Wasn't the yoga in charge of fixing this?

____________________



I suddenly felt 90 years old. My joints hurt, my head hurt, and I kept finding myself holding my breath. I was consuming caffeine and sugar like it was my job, when I knew they would only make me feel worse. My ego had taken full control. I could not stop pushing myself to do things, ALL the things, even though everything in me was screaming that I needed time to regroup and rebuild.


Every facet of my life was in question. Nothing felt stable. None of the pieces fit.

I was in a perpetual state of fight of flight. I was living life on depleted reserves.

My cup was straight up empty.


This all began long before I realized it. The signs were there, shooting off flare guns, but I ignored them.


I was holding myself to the most unrealistic standards. My goals felt overwhelming, my dreams felt laughable, and I was impatient and annoyed with my emotions for getting in my way.


I fell off the good vibes wagon and I was left feeling like a lost and lonely fraud.

It was dark.

No light switch in sight.






Lessons Learned in the Dark

So here I am now.

The fog has cleared a little.

I'm wandering on a dark path with a dimly lit candle.

And it's windy.

But at least I have the candle.


Sometimes we can’t explain what's going on. These 5 lessons are not solutions. I don’t have solutions. They're more like guideposts, from one wanderer to another.




1. You Can't Rush Your Healing



We want to get our shit together. We want to “fix ourselves” and we want it overnight. We want to have what we perceive everyone else to have. The simple and annoying truth is, things take time. We get so fixated on fighting it and making the feelings go away instead of sitting with the discomfort, and finding out what it's trying to tell us.


Obviously we want to rush ourselves out of the discomfort, but that's where the growing happens. Life doesn't happen according to our time schedule. Trying to force something to happen is a recipe for disaster i.e., mental breakdown. Slow down, because guess what? NO ONE has their shit together anyways.




2. We Are Not Chained to our Choices



Change is hard enough without having to feel guilty about, or trapped by our decisions.

You are allowed to say: "actually, I changed my mind, turn this truck around."


Just because you made a plan or started out in one direction, doesn't mean you can’t decide later that that's not working for you anymore. It sounds simple but sometimes, it's really not. I’m not saying break all of your commitments and sabotage your dreams, I’m just saying we have to stop getting so attached to our plans. Life is constantly changing and evolving, and so must we.




3. Self Care is More Than Bubble Baths



Self care is knowing and honoring your needs. It’s making yourself a priority. It’s telling your inner critic to shut the hell up and sit down. It’s learning to embrace who we are, mess and all. It’s loving yourself the way your dog loves you. It’s setting boundaries and saying NO to shit you hate. It's having patience with yourself. It's knowing when you need to ask for help, and asking for it. And then, it's a bubble bath, and a pat on the back.ū




4. Follow Your Intuition



Most of the time, we know in our gut what we need, but our mind monkey will distract and confuse us. When your feeling stuck, or unsure of yourself, what is everyone's advice? "Go with your gut instinct." The trouble is, anxiety is felt in the gut also, so we have to learn how to decipher between the two.


Intuition: Clear and to the point, with a light, relaxed energy.

Anxiety: Inconsistent and demanding, with a heavy, fearful energy.


This is a skill that takes practice to develop. The more you look for and tap into that feeling, the stronger and more noticeable it becomes.



5. Don’t Lose Yourself Trying to Find Yourself



This is a big one. Sometimes we dig so deep that we get in our own way. It looks like a competition against yourself. Who you are, has been here all along. We don't need to change ourselves or keep striving to be someone better all the time. Trying to constantly improve ourselves isn’t necessarily a good thing. Embrace who you are currently, and work from there, rather than waiting until you are the better version of yourself to move forward.





Captured by K&Y Photography

I had to make a choice. I had to choose what mattered more than anything else. My sanity. Without it, nothing is really possible.


I couldn't just keep spinning my wheels and running on borrowed energy, I had to face it, I'm depleted. Doing so takes patience and vulnerability that runs deep in unknowing and surrender. It's a breakdown. This is what it looks like. So I made a choice, and I chose me.


The roadblocks carry meaning. Don't compromise your spirit chasing after something not meant for you. Let go, or be dragged.



Keep breathing.

xo




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