I had my first massive mental breakdown in October of 2017. I was a few weeks away from my 31st birthday, lying on my bedroom floor and sobbing uncontrollably. As I near my 2nd anniversary of this breakdown, I’m worse off than ever.
I’m typing this from day 5 of my doctor ordered bed rest. On Monday, I had to cave and see a doctor because of the debilitating pain I was experiencing – it became so bad that I had been delirious. It had been like that for over a week, but I was reading how the hustle was your worth so I pushed on. I was vomiting bile and slipped in and out of consciousness on the cold floor of Maslow Hotel’s public toilets. If we’re being awfully honest with each other, I don’t remember how I got home on Monday… I drove.
All over the internet, I’m served with messages of sleep when you are dead, #GirlBosses hustle while others sleep… etc.
I mean, just type in Girl Boss Quotes into your Google search bar and the first few that pop up are all about that hustle. I’d started putting my worth against how hard I worked, how hard my hustle was and how many hours I’d put in.
The hustle became my religion and because I lived at full throttle all the time, I’ve spent just under 2-years with more illnesses and ailments than I’ve ever had before. In the back of my mind, I knew that I needed to cleanse my life, I needed a drastic change but I never followed through.
I started meditation, journaling, mindfulness, but you can’t stay zen when you are constantly in motion. You can’t be calm when the cortisol levels in your body are constantly elevated. You can’t live when you aren’t allowing yourself to heal, and I have not been able to heal.
While I was meditating this morning, all I could think about was writing this post. I’ve always been honest and authentic with my audience, but I now see how censored I have been with the truth to myself. Friends, you know how they say stress is a killer? It’s true – and I’m sitting here terrified that if I don’t make a massive change soon, the next time I see my doctor will be because they’ve found cancer.
My soul knows that there is something wrong, it’s been begging me to change for so long and my body keeps shutting itself down. A few months ago, I had a panic attack in the gym that left me on the phone to LifeLine while sitting, sobbing in my car.
Paul was none the wiser. I walked in, said hello to my coach and rushed to the bathroom to cry – I can’t even tell you why I started crying. I don’t even know what triggered it, but panic attacks on a treadmill will become the title of memoir one day. That was a joke, I’m kidding – sort of.
A few weeks later, it happened again. The time-space between my mind and body shutting down is becoming less and less. Ezcema flair-ups that are so bad that I can’t speak, gallbladder infections, constant exhaustion, and mental fog and a family being sacrificed because of it.
I’ve never met a 12-year-old who is more worried about the wellbeing of his mother than my son, you can’t imagine the guilt I feel for that.
I realize that I’ve adopted all the wrong coping mechanisms to deal with stress. I spend compulsively for a rush of something. I couldn’t go a day without a glass of wine and I would binge eat unnecessarily. I blamed this all on my poor mental health, but in reality, it is my self-induced stress that is making me hate life.
I have to make changes. If I don’t make a change and make it now, I’ll be dead before my 35th birthday. I know this because my body knows this. I know that if I don’t start prioritizing myself, there will be nothing left of me soon.
It’s not going to be easy, but if I can change the way I dress each season I can sure as hell change the way I live my life.
Until next time.