This is by far the scariest post I’ve ever written. I am used to putting on a smile and presenting a perfect picture to the world, so admitting that it’s not true is terrifying. And to be honest, I’ve spent so much time lately focused on helping other people and giving advice on how they can find their own happiness, that it seems weird to spend an entire post talking about myself.
I do realize, however, that my story might resonate with some of you out there. My hope is that you will see that you are not alone. I’d like at least one person out there to read this all the way to the end and see that there is a happy ending. Hopefully by sharing my story I can help you find your own strength to keep fighting for your own happy ending.
Most people who know me would probably say that I’ve got it together. I graduated college with honors, I’ve had a successful career, and I’ve been lucky enough to travel the world. I even just bought my first house. And while those things are all true and I’m so grateful for them, there’s a darker side to my story.
I’ve struggled with depression for more than ten years. There have been times in my life when I felt an incredible sadness even though there was nothing “wrong” with my life. I’ve also been hyper-focused in the past on trying to be perfect, which has led me to feel like I’m not enough and never will be enough.
My depression doesn’t impact me in a way that most people would notice. I tend to hide it pretty well and can put on a smile to make it seem like everything is okay. But there have been some incredibly rough times in my life when no amount of pretending could make a difference.
One of those dark times happened last summer, in 2017. I had just finished a life coaching course and immediately started putting a lot of pressure on myself to build my business. With my perfectionist mindset, I felt like I had to do things perfectly and with absolute success. There was no room for failure. After feeling like I had tried and failed for a few months, I eventually gave up and walked away from coaching. I just didn’t feel like I was qualified to tell anyone else how to live a happy life if I was unhappy myself.
My rock bottom moment happened in late July. I felt like there was no hope for a better or brighter future. I knew in that moment that I needed to get help and had to stop trying to ‘fix myself’ on my own. I went to my doctor and talked to him about adjusting my current anti-depressants and I also signed up to start seeing a new therapist. I was desperate for things to get better and knew that I needed to make some big changes to get to a happier place.
Once I was on the right meds, the changes were almost instant. At my two week follow-up appointment with my doctor I told him that I felt like a whole new person. Even though I hated the idea that I was dependent on a pill to be happy, the changes were undeniable and I knew that I was on the right path.
There’s one particular moment that stands out to me from this time of change. I was only a few weeks into feeling better and it still felt like things could go back to being bad at any moment. I was driving in my car and listening to music, which is nothing super special. However, I realized in that moment that I was enjoying myself and for the first time in a long time I felt happy. It was such a simple moment, but it was so profound that I started to cry. I was finally getting back to my old self and it felt amazing!
It’s been less than a year since I had my rock bottom moment. I have done a lot of work during that time and I can officially say that I am the happiest I have ever been in my entire life. And I want to make it clear that even though my depression is under control, it’s not because all my problems have disappeared. In fact, I still struggle with the same things I’ve dealt with for years.
I didn’t lose the weight.
The debt didn’t disappear.
I didn’t find Mr. Right.
Nothing has changed from an outside perspective. Instead, the changes have been on the inside. My happiness is unconditional. I’m not happy based on staying a certain size or as long as a guy doesn’t break up with me. I am happy being me, exactly the way I am in this very moment. Nothing can come along and take that away. Nothing will undo my happiness because it comes from within me (as cheesy as that sounds).
What I want to do now is help as many people as possible to find their own unconditional happiness. This isn’t about fixing problems or changing who you are. It’s about finding the part of you that is happy and letting it grow until it takes over and you forget about your unhappiness.
I’m going to spend the next few weeks sharing some of the tools I’ve used to find true, unconditional happiness. My hope is that you can learn something new and try some of these tools for yourself. Hopefully they will resonate with you so you can live your happiest life.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be going through this path to HAPPY.
Accept Your Problems
Pray for Support
You Are Enough
Tune in every week to get some insights into these different tools for living an unconditionally happy life.
Also, to help add a little happiness into your day, I’ve created a brainstorm of "100 Happy Thoughts". You can find this list in my FREE resource library, simply by clicking this link and signing up for my email list. When you sign up, you will also receive a weekly email telling you about the latest blog post that has been published.
Feel free to share this post with someone who might enjoy this topic or appreciate hearing someone else's story about hitting rock bottom and bouncing back. Come back next week to start learning some helpful tools for becoming happier.
Until then, sending all the light & love your way,
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