Most people view the new year as a new beginning and rightfully so. January 1 marks the beginning of the calendar year: 365 new chances to make a change or reach a goal.
That was my outlook, too. Until it didn’t happen.
Yes, 2019 came. But it came in with a storm. See, the last 2 months of 2018 I had been battling demons that I thought were gone, depression and anxiety. I tried so hard to smile and muscle through November and December. But the fact is, no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t embrace the joyous holidays.
My moods were all over the place and I just didn’t feel holly or jolly. I still put on for my family like I do every year, though: I made an epic Thanksgiving spread, we decked the halls, and I tried my darndest to have the perfect Christmas day.
I expended so much energy trying to seem happy and doing, what I thought, would make me feel happy that I was left exhausted and overwhelmed at the thought of creating content for The Bourbon Cactus blog and social accounts. I truly love writing and connecting with y’all but I started to feel that what I was putting out was forced and ungenuine – something I have NEVER wanted to do.
I made the decision to step back for a bit.
Step back from family updates.
Step back from creating and sharing new recipes.
Step back from writing and sharing about my fitness journey.
And step back from pretty much anything blog related.
See, even when I wanted so badly to sit down and write or go to the kitchen and create something amazing….I just couldn’t. Each time I thought I was ready, I began filling up with anxiety. Even planning – my happy place – gave made me anxious.
“It’s too late in the game to start back now.”
“What I would say doesn’t matter to anyone.”
“No one probably misses my work anyway.”
Y’all….this is just a small taste of what my brain would tell me. I was filled constantly with negative self-talk. And it wasn’t all business related. Most of my unhealthy feelings of self-doubt were very personal.
“I’m a bad mom.”
“I don’t know how to parent this situation.”
“I’m just making things worse.”
“They would be better off if I wasn’t their mom.”
“I’m not making the holidays special enough.”
Now, I know we all have times when we second guess if we are doing the right thing for our kids and being the best parent we possibly can for them. But these negative thoughts were constantly clouding my head, Every. Single. Day.
And when it came to my marriage, I felt like a less than deserving spouse. I just “knew” I was failing Mr. O. No matter what he said, how much he encouraged me….my mind told me otherwise.
This continued on, like I said, for all of November and December. But I was determined that my fresh start was January 1, 2019. I was going to jump back on the blog scene and life….and just crush it.
But really, my depression only worsened after the new year and hit an all-time high when our family decided to bring home a new puppy.
Was my depression onset because I didn’t know how to handle the realization that this was the first holiday season without any family around? Possibly.
Were all my feelings exacerbated by the challenges Mr. O and I were having with Little Bear and Doodlebug? Maybe.
Or, was I finally to the point that I just couldn’t hide anymore and I just broke? I’m not sure.
I do know, however, that I did finally realize all of the craziness I had been feeling was not my fault. I couldn’t help that I was breaking down in tears at every little hiccup in my life.
I finally realized these feelings….these feelings were depression.
The moment I realized what was happening, a weight lifted off my shoulders, but at the same time, I felt ashamed. I was so certain that I had overcome and beaten these demons so long ago.
After some self-reflection, though, I came to the realization that depression is nothing to be ashamed of. It happens and it’s nothing that has to define me. And at that moment, I decided I was going to help myself.
I have since booked an appointment to see a therapist on a regular basis. I started taking some supplements to help combat the anxiety and hopefully help level out the chemical imbalances that are going on. And I am being more mindful of the days and times when I KNOW I need a break and I’m allowing myself to take that break – whatever that may mean at the moment.
Now, I say all this to let you know, “Hey! I’m still here!”
But I also say this to be completely transparent with you all. I want The Bourbon Cactus to be a place where you, and I, can come to share, talk, and discuss life in a positive way. Life isn’t always pretty and perfect….but it’s a journey. And we all have our own stories but we can still learn from each other and support each other along the way.
I am committed to building a positive community around whole health.
In fact, that’s my word for the year – community.
So let’s create a community together to focus a little more on our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
Are you still wondering what you can expect to see and hear from The Bourbon Cactus in 2019?
Here’s a projection:
- Cleaner recipes
- Living a gluten-free lifestyle
- More focus on healthier products for you and your family
- More inspiration on caring for your whole self
- And how to plan it out for your version of success
I am excited to finally get this new year started and I hope y’all are too. Let’s rally our community and learn and grow together!