Everybody has a unique story
This is mine:
If you want to see the “real me” — keep on reading….
In my teens…
I ate Kraft cheese slices melted over potato salad in the microwave and white powdered donuts. I spent most of my time in the church choir and drama, knowing or caring very little about sports or athleticism especially around fueling my body or training my mind.
In my 20s….
I got married before I turned 20 and moved to New York. I spent my 20s modeling internationally full time and struggled to find a positive relationship with food. I had extremely bad eating habits to try and stay thin for the sample clothes. During this decade I also had my first baby, moved across the country, and got a divorce leading to even more bad habits including smoking and pharmaceuticals for depression.
My Journey to wellness began when I was at my lowest.
I truly had no lower to go. I was in the hospital alone after having had to call 911 because I was alone and had been throwing up all night. I was paralyzed (due to severe dehydration) on the bathroom floor, naked, and I have no idea how I had my cell phone on me to be able to call 911.
All I remember were firemen coming into my apartment at dawn.
I was so embarrassed because I was naked and had throw up all over me and I can’t imagine the smell in that tiny bathroom. They had to call in a female attendant to help me get dressed……….LOW POINT!
I was then in the hospital with an $8000 ambulance bill and no way of paying it, IV's running fluids through my body, waiting for my ex-husband and 3 year old son to come and pick me up.
There are years of my life that are a complete fog to me because of my depression.
I went through long periods with only vignettes of devastating images burned into my memory every few months or so. One in particular is of me a few years later having an anxiety attack in Miami with 2 friends of mine finding me curled up in a heap on the bedroom floor bawling hysterically and shaking so violently that I couldn’t breath. I was gasping for air and the only way my friend could convince me to calm down and take deep breaths was to buy me a new pack of cigarettes so that I would inhale and exhale and calm my heart rate down. They held my body and took me outside as I smoked and tried to quit crying. Eventually my shaking stopped and I fell into a deep sleep.
Still….it took years of baby steps even after that to come to a complete lifestyle change for me to embrace the full meaning of “wellness”.
My journey to wellness started with a lot of unwellness. It really boils down to not knowing what you don’t know. And there was A LOT I didn’t know!
I had no understanding of a connection between my mind body and spirit and did incredible amounts of damage to my body, but God kept me alive and in my 30s training for triathlon turned my life around. It took a rigorous training schedule to help me quit smoking a pack a day and after racing 14 triathlons I came in 6th fastest in the world on my bike at Worlds in China.
I felt stronger than I’ve ever felt in every area of my life when I got the phone call that my mom had cancer.
For the later part of my 30s I flew back-and-forth internationally to help take care of my mother. I continued to work night and day to get out of financial devastation from my divorce.
I could never have imagined that there was life after divorce because I was so focused on my pain. I was not in control of my circumstances, but I was in control of my actions and thankfully my ex-husband agreed (after fighting and disagreeing for years) to go to therapy together. We went to 5 different therapists over the course of 5 years and we left no stone unturned. Our last therapist said something that changed my life! She said we are not in this to get remarried or to get divorced, but rather: we are in this to become two whole people that can then make a decision from a whole place.
You couldn’t have paid me a million dollars to believe that in 5 years I would get remarried - to the man I couldn’t even dream about, and have 2 more children.
My mother died when I was 37 and while my entire body, mind and spirit was grieving the loss of her, God blessed me with one pregnancy after the other before I turn 40. Now in my 40’s, and after 2 vaginal births and 1 c-section, I am feeling stronger, more passionate to share and healthier than ever.
“You have been assigned this mountain, to show others it can be moved”
We all make mistakes and we all have messy seasons, but remember THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE.
Not always for more children, not always for restoration of a broken marriage...but for a new LIFE. One that you could never have imagined for yourself.
Take the season to grieve. Take the season to grow. Your deepest pain can turn into your greatest purpose.
If you are feeling defeated today...know that there is hope. Pain can burn you up and destroy you, or burn you up and redeem you. You can rise up from the ashes and choose to continue to grow.