“I’m failing at everything. I’m not doing one thing right. I don’t know who I am anymore. I’m not good at anything. I’m broken.”
I have said these things to myself over and over more times than I would care to admit.
To say I was unhappy last fall is an understatement. I can’t describe the pain and brokenness I felt every day. Looking back, I don’t know how I survived it. How did I get out of bed in the morning and make it to the office and then halfway show up for my family? Half-way or…just half-assing everything in my life? I had too much on my plate and had made some really bad decisions. But the worst decision I made was not caring about ME, not investing in myself. Not giving a s*** about myself.
So, what did I do? Tried to cover it up each day, pushing all my pain to the very bottom of my bucket hoping I would forget about it. Hoping no one would notice, putting on a smile like everything was great because everything LOOKED great.
But it was so ugly on the inside.
I had lost every part of me. But what hurt to lose the most was being the real me, vulnerable and honest. Two things that were vital that I had preached to everyone around me but I was failing miserably at walking this talk. What was real, was that I didn’t really know who I was or what I wanted in my life.
I would wait until Andrew wasn’t around or gone for the night to have my mental and emotional breakdowns. I was scared to tell him I was so completely lost, felt alone, and empty. My people pleaser came out and I tried to shield it all from the one person who loved me the most. Keep it together for him, he doesn’t need this, I would tell myself.
I had convinced myself I was a failure because I couldn’t handle what was around me.
My business wasn’t financially at a place I THOUGHT it should be. My body was a failure because I wasn’t pregnant. I felt terrible and wasn’t proud of how I looked. My daughter still wasn’t fully potty trained after a year. Andrew and I were just off… We were not in sync but were in uncharted waters.
You could say the change happened after an intervention. My family and Andrew got in my face and said ENOUGH. It was like I had been waiting for someone to shake me. And that was all I really needed. Someone else to take care of me before I could do it.
From that moment, Andrew has spoken daily affirmations for me until I could speak them for myself. It was an extremely painful time and he loved me through it.
My healing started with this…
It started with: “I love you, Dru. I trust you, Dru. I love myself. I love myself. I love myself. I deserve to heal.
This stage of life (late 20s-40s) is beyond difficult, especially for women. You are trying to balance so much between motherhood, your changing body, and hormones, being a nurturing wife with an all-star career—not to mention we all want some sort of personal life! Let me tell you, it CAN’T be done. I would know. I read something recently that changed my life… Maybe it will help you, too?
“Instead of exhausting yourself by trying to achieve balance, learn to tilt. To willingly throw things out of balance. It’s about understanding and accepting the fact that you cannot and will not ever achieve perfect balance.”
I cannot be perfect. I cannot be an A+ mom and businesswoman at the same time. But, there are times and seasons when I will shine at both.
The first step in my healing started with what was most important…my mental state and my little family. Starting January 1st of 2019 I started sleeping more; I went to the office less and put some projects on hold so I could reflect. I wasn’t tilting for myself. It was time for me to be my A+ self. Six months ago I would have thought that scaling back would be the end of the world…it wasn’t. I recognized I had to start my healing. I was the cause of my pain, failure, and unhappiness because I wasn’t giving a s*** about myself.
I have gone through a simple 4-step healing process over the last four months. And even though it was so SIMPLE it felt like I was putting my life on pause (really I was) and neglecting everything else around me. But funny how life has again fallen into place after I took these 4 simple little steps. Taking care of yourself (and pausing) is never neglecting yourself.
REMEMBER: Nothing majorly tragic has to be happening for you to feel pain. Pain has a funny way of hiding itself while secretly hurting you. Pain can come from basic insecurities, past issues, abuse, tragedy or just coping with your present situation. Don’t doubt yourself or your emotions. I did and it took me too long to admit I was hurting.
4 Steps to Healing
- Get Mental.
Your mental health is EVERYTHING. It took me almost three months to “get my mind right.” This step was my longest but I think the most important. I blocked off time for me to think, reflect, and meditate. Start by doing a 5-minute meditation if this is all that time allows. I really enjoy the Peloton app. It’s so much more than exercising; their meditation classes are on another level. Lots more apps offer meditation, and you can easily search on the App Store. Step one is all about listening to yourself, loving yourself and taking time for yourself. Repeat… “I love myself. I love myself. I love myself. I deserve to heal.”
2. Get Help
Mentally, when you are feeling better and on the path of healing, it’s time to get professional help. I started seeing a psychiatrist that specializes in hypnosis and clearing the blocks that are in the way of you being your best self. It’s time to stop talking about what’s wrong, to take action, and get over it. But positively! We MUST work through the pain and insecurity in our lives but we CAN’T dwell. If getting professional help is not possible then start by reading Code to Joy. This book will give you the tools to clear away what’s blocking your true potential. It will allow you to pull the problems in your subconscious to the surface and will surprise you. I didn’t see what was blocking my happiness as a threat and so it was nearly impossible to identify.
3. Get Physical
Pretty obvious, but now it’s time to start moving. You need to sweat and feel your body move. And if you can do this while being outside, even better! I personally have never been a workout junky. It takes a lot for me to get to the gym so I have worked hard to figure out what exercises I enjoy rather than “just working to work out.” It’s all about my playlist and environment, ha! So, I do yoga and body strength at home a few days a week with the Peloton app, take walks with Liv when weather permits and get some sun. Then I am at the gym 1-2 times a week for light weights and sauna. Find what fits YOU! It may be barre classes or running but the most important goal is to listen to your body and what is best for you. Don’t overdo it and take your time deciding what you like and what your routine will be.
4. Eat Well
So now you are getting clear mentally and moving your body but what are you putting into it? To get the best results you need to eat well. Nope, I’m not talking about a crazy diet. You are in a state of healing so we don’t want to do too much too fast—you want to heal at a steady pace. Start by cutting out processed food and eating out. Or just change one habit! If you are already living this way add a green smoothie every day. Right now, I am focusing on getting healthy fats and a solid protein shake every day using plant-based protein powder. As you continue to heal, you can listen to your body and see what it needs. Just listen. All our bodies are different and respond differently to food. I am gluten intolerant so I have some diet restrictions already. I know that to make my day successful I need 12-16 oz. of water and I must eat healthy fats and protein in the morning. I am trying to cut back on dairy but it’s been a slow process. I love CHEESE!
So there they are. The simplest steps you can take to start healing. The hardest part is knowing you need some time and then actually taking it for yourself.
It’s been over three months since I made a choice to put me first. I’ve only had one anxiety attack since. I have clearly seen my success in life and can recognize that failure comes but I am not a failure. My mind is clear to make better decisions to benefit me and I am committed to keeping it that way.
Step two took me a little longer. After having surgery (I will talk about this at a later date) and healing those physical wounds my fitness routine is now a priority along with adding some healthy weight to my body. After taking step 1, I found I had the time to sort through the direction of my career and that made me feel better than ever. I had identified that “what I did” always defined me. Today, that’s changing.
Are you broken? Are you in pain? It’s okay to hurt. It’s okay to feel that pain. Now, it’s time to heal. Your wounds need attention and care and you will never regret taking time for YOU.
Just do you,