Sometimes life is way, way, waaaaaaaaay too much. Especially for us sensitive, caring world-saving types. We give everything we’ve got, we brace ourselves for what’s thrown at us, we fall over hard, brush off the dirt, give a liiiiiittle bit more, and then we crumble.
I know that pattern very, very well. It’s a winding trail down a steep slope that leads to Rock Bottom.
Last year, for me, was rock bottom. You might remember this story from my post about giving too much .
One of my very best friends had been going through psychosis, hearing voices, being attacked in her bed by horrible creatures, and terrified nearly every moment of the day. For six months I stayed with her, in the mild-ghetto in Cleveland, being followed home more than once, while creepy haunted-seeming-shit was going on in the house.
While that was going on, my main focus was writing, coaching, and vegan and environmental activism. So, every day, I bombarded myself with information about the catastrophes and cruelty, and apathy of the world, trying desperately to get people to stand up for what’s right, and eventually feeling more and more hopeless as the problems piled up in front of me, and I watched as nothing I could do made a difference in helping my friend.
And the cherry on top was when a man I’d been in love with, and pining for, for three years chose to be with another girl, and shattered my heart.
Something broke inside of me. I was only one girl. I couldn’t handle that much awful at once. So, I had a slow and gradual breakdown. I got really messed up.
It started as needing alone time. I couldn’t handle having roommates. I suddenly had no barrier to their energy, and was overly concerned with their expectations of me, what they needed or wanted, and their emotional reaction to not getting it. I started to avoid them.
I moved in with a new roommate… the problem continued. And the intensity increased dramatically. Week by week I’d come out of my room less and less. I became anxious to the point of being terrified to face my roommate if I hadn’t been cleaning the house, and hardly ate because I didn’t want to run into her in the kitchen.
As time went on, my feelings of anxiety began to consume me, and I started to feel increasingly helpless and trapped. Weeks turned to months, and my emotions grew large enough to pin me to my bed. From where I was, I saw no hope of things improving, and was increasingly losing my will to live, afraid to leave my room, feeling like I looked like a crazy person for being locked up in there, not eating until everyone was asleep, and then sleeping all day to avoid them, laying awake all night streaming Netflix and YouTube to keep my mind from its usual cycle of panic and demise.
I kind of was a crazy person, though. My hormones had gone severely out of whack, and just like I couldn’t help my friend, due to her chemical imbalance, my body could not respond to logic and get out of that horrendous downward spiral.
I started seeing a naturopathic doctor, who tried to help me with my hormones (which totally backfired, but that’s another story), I became very close with someone who was also suffering from severe depression, who really understood and supported me, so after a few months of feeling understood, I eventually moved out of the house I’d been locked in my room in for an entire winter, and things started looking up.
Within a few weeks of moving, I had gotten a job working to save the bees. It got me outside every day, walking in the summer weather, talking every day with other people really passionate about saving the planet. We were trained to speak confidently and pleasantly accept rejection, going door to door looking for people who supported our cause.
I was having fun again, and after a few months here in Colorado, I’d gotten a full time job, and somehow have more of a sense of control in my life than I have ever had before.
It’s kind of crazy that I went through that, looking back from being so stable and productive now. (Life is weird.)
Yesterday I had my 90 day review at my full time office job and got a dollar raise, and I’ve been writing and focusing on self-improvement and coaching during my evenings and weekends, excitedly creating my future one step at a time.
A year ago, I had barely begun to sink into the damage’s depths, and now here I am, part way up a gorgeous green hill. It’s always an insanely intense journey, but there’s a reason I felt called to share this story with you. I wanted to tell you that the main thing that helped me, that really got me through, was talking to someone who really understood what I was going through.
If you’re in the darkness, please know that you’re not alone. Some of the most happy and successful people have wallowed and trudged through the pit of despair, and can really relate to your struggle.
What I really want you to know, is that even when you’ve completely given up… you can still come out better than you’ve ever been.
Your life has a purpose the moment you give it one. No matter how much you’ve fallen apart. And if you need support, I’m always, always here for you, Goddess to Goddess.
All my love, honestly,
Aquarian Goddess Jen