3 Words That Changed My Life: “I Need Help!”
What is wrong with me?
Have you ever had the feeling that something is wrong with you? Where everyone else seems to have their shit together and yet no matter what you try, you don’t. Well, that was me a few years ago.
At the time I felt completely overwhelmed with life. Like in every aspect of my life I was on the edge of a cliff teetering and about to fall. A normal day went a bit like this:
Wake up riddled with anxiety and not wanting to get out of bed. Fighting back tears and feeling my husband just wanted me to get a grip (my thoughts not his).
End up shouting at the kids for not getting ready quick enough and generally making the start to their day shit as well.
Drive to work still fighting tears (& not always winning, especially on Mondays). Put on a happy face for the day to mask how I was feeling and hoping that something stressful didn’t happen which could break the illusion that I had it all together.
Try not to eat anything unhealthy (as I was trying so hard to lose weight), but then come lunchtime I needed something to make me happy and the sad salad I’d bought with me to work wasn’t going to cheer me up. So yep, more failure!
Then came the negative self talk as yet again I was unable to stick to my salad for lunch. I was pathetic, I couldn’t even stick to that for one day. I deserved to feel crap etc etc.
I was constantly in fear of making a mistake at work, even though I’d never ‘failed’ and had always had people tell me how good I was at my job.
I’d get home from work and end up sitting on the sofa scrolling through my phone mindlessly on social media looking for something to cheer me up, but ending up feeling more miserable as everything I saw was just confirmation that everyone else was happy and achieving things in life. More confirmation that I was failing.
My husband most nights ended up sorting out dinner as I wasn’t feeling great or was simply exhausted - yet more evidence I was failing.
After dinner we’d walk the dog and then I’d sit in front of the TV, whilst still looking through social media. Before going to bed with a sense of dread of having to get up and do it all again tomorrow.
I was exercising a lot during this time. Up to five times a week but not seeing any results which just served to frustrate me further. Yes, when I exercised I felt better for a while but I soon found myself back in the self destructive loop that I can now see.
My first cry for help
I got to a point when I was convinced there was something medically wrong me. It surely couldn’t be normal to be so emotional all the time, to be exercising a lot and generally eating well (with some binges here and there - which I normally ‘forgot’) and actually put on weight. To be constantly exhausted. So I went to my GP.
The GP was very understanding and decided to send me for some blood tests, which you guessed, all came back ‘normal’ (I’ve since learnt a lot about results in the ‘normal’ range and that actually there are so many answers in these results which are being overlooked). I was basically told there was nothing wrong me.
That just made me feel so much worse.
Light at the end of the tunnel
I’d been discussing everything with my Personal Trainer (slash therapist!) and she had told me about a nutritionist she thought may be able to help but that involved spending a decent amount of money and so I’d ruled that out, determined I could make changes myself. But several weeks after having seen the GP and feeling worse than ever, I decided I had to do something and bit the bullet and made an appointment to see the nutritionist - Kaytee Boyd at The Boyd Clinic.
I still remember driving to the appointment, I cried the whole way there as I was so worried. I felt this was my final chance to change things, but what if it didn’t work. I think this was why it took me so long to book an appointment. I was scared if this didn’t work, where would I go then.
I was completely honest and said, “I need help”, and I couldn’t believe it, when I started to describe how I was feeling, she got it and she even had a name for it - Adrenal Fatigue. She asked me to read through a list of symptoms and I could tick off pretty much all of them.
She explained what it was and we started talking about what to do next. More tears came but this time they were tears of relief that someone understood me, that there was a reason I was feeling like this and that I wasn’t going mad or it wasn’t just because I was getting older (yes several people told me that - helpful!).
Kaytee recommended a mindfulness course, a diet plan, supplements and several tests. I was sceptical, especially about the mindfulness course, but the very fact that she had understood pretty much straight away how I was feeling gave me confidence to trust in her.
I booked myself onto the course, ordered the supplements and started the diet plan.
The course I absolutely loved. I couldn’t believe the difference it made when I put mindfulness into practice in my daily life. It was definitely a game changer.
The diet plan was tough, it started with a detox & I nearly gave up after a few days but I persevered. At first I was getting stressed that I wasn’t losing weight when I was sticking to it so religiously but then I started to notice how good I felt in myself and decided that this was actually enough. I felt full of energy, happy, anxiety was reducing meaning I felt more emotionally stable and so actually even if I didn’t lose weight, the results I was seeing was enough.
Once I’d realised that, guess what? The weight started to fall off as I’d stopped stressing about it! I lost over 10kg over about 5-6 months. I can honestly say though, that the weight loss was an added bonus (which is saying something seeing as my weight had been my focus for many, many years!).
The changes I’d gone through inspired me to retrain as a Health & Life Coach. I could see so many people suffering like I had and I wanted to help them see there was another way. This also created more dramatic changes for me.
I now eat a balanced diet of nutritious whole foods but with no deprivation. I’ve changed my relationship with my thoughts and as a result any stress of anxiety is easily manageable. I can honestly say I can’t remember a time I was happier.
Where to now?
What I realise now, is that all that time I thought I was failing, I wasn’t. I was learning. Learning what I didn’t want my life to be like. And that drove me, and continues to drive me to keep learning more. It’s not failure if you learn and use those learnings to improve your situation.
Through my mindfulness & gratitude practice, my awareness level has gone off the chart which allowed me to implement many positive, sustainable habit changes into my life and I still continue to make positive changes to my life everyday. I’ll never be a finished article as where’s the growth (& fun!) in that?
I’m excited to keep growing and learning and helping my clients to do the same.
A happier me, means a happier family and friends. How can you give to someone when you have nothing in you? I’ve learnt that there is no shame in asking for help, in fact it’s a sign of strength. Yes, help isn’t free but I’m worth investing in and this was the best money I’d spent in my life! My only regret is that I didn’t do it years earlier.
Doctors and GP’s are great at treating acute conditions but to get the best from life we need to be investing in ourselves and our health in a preventative way. Don’t do what most do and wait for something awful to happen to prompt you to make changes.
Ask yourself these questions:
What in your life do you want to change?
What will you life look like after those changes?
How will your life change as a result?
What will open up for you as a result of those changes?
What will you do then that you can’t do now?
How will you feel?
Excited at the possibilities?
I get it can be daunting and you might not know where to start (I’ve been there remember!). But I urge you, don’t waste another moment! If the current situation with Covid-19 is teaching us anything, it’s that life is too short to put things off. Say those 3 words now and change your life!