Forging through on a broken system
It is possible to build yourself back up, it is possible to feel again, and feel better!
In order to move forward I had to ask for help!
I was regularly visiting my doctor (but adamant about not taking any medicine), reaching out to close friends and family, listening to YouTube motivational speeches, and putting one foot in front of the other even though I didn't "feel like it."
From breaking down to breaking through I've been...
Focusing on what I can do right now
Not comparing it to what I once could do or what others can do
Celebrating the little things, instead of waiting to achieve the "big end result"
Listening to and moving from my heart not my head
Moving out of love and concern for my mind/body, not pain/punishment
Most importantly, I believe the driving force, that has ultimately given me forward momentum is the spiritual journey I have been on!
Hear me out...
In Nov 2019, my nervous system was shaken, my mind and body were broken. It felt like my every being had been stripped away; my health, my physical fitness, creativity, joy, words, hope; I felt like an empty, hollow shell with no purpose, at the end of my road.
I kept doing my best to put one foot in front of the other...
There was only a flicker of hope, a flicker of light remaining within me, but I held on, I continued to fight for purpose, to improve my broken health. While searching YouTube for motivation (I was willing to look everywhere), I found some very good speeches that moved me but nothing was creating change within me. At this point I had been crying all the time, very emotional, and it continued for over two years!!! Yes, embarrassing! Determined to fix it, I kept on searching!
It is crazy, I went from running marathon distances, crushing triathlon courses, riding single track and leading a fitness community to barely able to move, think or be! My body felt stiff, my lungs required an inhaler again, lifting my own body weight felt like an awful struggle and I felt empty.
I kept working from where I was, with what I could do, what I could handle but I was certainly stuck. I think it's in the moving that we can help ourselves. We have to move, even if we don't want to, just show up and do the thing! Having family and friends invite me and tell me where to be, or better yet, take me places helped to create movement.
I found it, what would be the answer to healing, change from within!
Pastor Steven Furtick! He speaks to people "far from God."
He speaks to people dealing with addiction, depression, anxiety, fear, worry, relationship trouble, etc., he speaks in a way that is relatable and inspiring.
Look for the signs, look for the bright spots;
people come into our lives for a "reason, a season, or a lifetime."
In 2020 I had an experience that felt like a scene from a movie... my friend was practicing her swim in the Chesapeake while I watched from the shore, when this man in his water utility truck pulled up to chat with me! My ears and eyes were open to what he had to say and I'm grateful for that encounter. I believe he was there to tell me to start looking into "God" without telling me directly.
I had been dabbling in listening to Pastor Furtick during 2020 but nothing serious. As time went on, I started attending Elevation church on Sunday's in my living room, or wherever I was on a Sunday, like in the car; squeezing his sermon in before a bike ride. Eventually, I found myself using his sermons as "therapy." I started keeping a journal and taking notes during church! I started waking up excited to hear what Pastor Furtick had to say. Attending church became a priority in my life.
I haven't missed a church service since mid 2021!
My life began to shift! There is work to be done throughout the week to reflect on the sermon from Sunday and work on building a new perspective, change doesn't happen just by showing up for a sermon!
In 2021 a beautiful woman, came into my life for a reason, I'm sure of it! She shared more about God, she read stories to me and prayed with me. She gave me a Bible! She openly spoke to me about God and shared stories of her personal triumphs and how God worked and continues to work in her life. She has been instrumental in my spiritual growth, I'm forever grateful.
Eventually, I submitted, I stopped trying to do everything in my own strength, I started to ask for help; from God. I take time in the morning before my day begins to pray, if I am feeling very anxious I pray, if I need help, direction, courage, answers, I pray.
After a two year hiatus, and a strong opposition to taking my medication, I heard a life changing sermon that helped me to make an important decision in my recovery, I decided it was a good idea to start taking my medication again! I had been taking my medication for years regularly, but it turns out the generic wasn't working for months, and eventually I broke down, but that's a story for another time.
I'd love to tell you about how I disconnected from everything and started rebuilding my life back slowly, by focusing on doing what makes my heart happy and not what my head says I need or am expected to do. I'd love to share with you about how I started exercising with the golden group, stretching, balancing and using resistance bands to begin to build my physical fitness.
In 2022, we rescued a puppy, she was 4months old and turned our lifestyle upside down but our lives are better because of her.
I've been focusing on determining the difference between actions from the heart versus actions from the head.
I've been doing my best to make moves from the heart and putting others first. I focus on building relationships and spending quality time with my family, mostly my niece and nephews.
I focused on committing to a low/moderate intensity workout 3x per week, with my team and I am proud to say I've completed an entire year of strength and conditioning without fail this year, all 12 months! I'm lifting heavier weights, body weight exercise is feeling easier, and my lungs are stronger!
I did other exercising like walking, hiking, riding my bike, but nothing consistent like the 9:15am appointment I made for myself, 3x/week!
Just the other day, I realized I am not crying all the time! My health is returning! I'm encouraged, appreciative, grateful, more patient and understanding. I'm so grateful for the people in my life that have helped me through these trying times!
This year I didn't dissociate, I was present! Very much there, in the room, enjoying my family and good company, unafraid to interact and be me!
When I reflect on 2022, I'd say the three things that stick out to me...
Didn't miss a church service and it's been life changing, it's NOT A RELIGION... it's a relationship with my maker, it's helping me to find the strong person inside.
I found the courage to Speak in Public again, and the words didn't escape me!
I haven't been crying over everything, everywhere!
Don't get me wrong, I still struggle, it's a lot of forward/backward movement, but now I know God has my back, so I continue on knowing God has a plan! I continue to attend church on Sunday, I continue to pause and pray, I look forward to more growth in 2023!