🎀Good evening girls!🎀
As I mentioned on Instagram for those of you following me there (👉@tiu_missbow), tonight I am writing a post on mental health.
This is not intended to be a “scientific” or “factual” mental health post (as I am in no way certified to know all the psychological and psychiatric truths present out there at the current moment) but rather, a true and honest depiction of my mental health journey.
I want to discuss the paths I have taken to feel good (or better) in my life.
To be completely transparent, I’m not sure about how to approach this touchy and intimate subject.
SO I think that first I will give my reasons for writing the post, and then I’ll just dive right into the thick of it to break the ice!
- I am entering a health and fitness journey and health includes 👉 mental health. So as I am tracking my physical fitness, I also want to track the mental journey that goes along with it.
- I think it is beneficial for my followers to know who I am, where I come from, and to see what I’m all about.
- Hopefully my journey can inspire others, and others will feel free to contact me so we can connect about the journeys we have been through, are going through or want to go through.
🎀Ok, but who is this girl?🎀
👉My name is Emily. I’m 28 years old, from Montreal, Canada.
👉I studied liberal arts at Marianopolis College. I have a bachelor of arts (B.A.) with a major in philosophy and a double minor in Classics as well as World Religions from McGill University, a civil law degree (LL.B.) from Sherbrooke University, and a Common law and transnational law (J.D.) graduate diploma from Sherbrooke University.
👉 I have a five year old daughter who is the center of my world.
🎀So shouldn’t you try being a lawyer or something?🎀
Maybe one day.
The reason I’m not continuing on that path right now is because of my mental health.
The truth is that I spent a very rough 4 years: living with a baby on my own, in a new city without my family, being in law school, being in a bad and violent relationship (followed by a separation and subsequent court battles) to say the least.
Without getting into details – it left me with PTSD, a severe anxiety disorder and depression.
I was lucky that there are organisations that help women in my situation in Canada, and that I had the opportunity to see a cognitive behavior therapist during and after those hard times, for two years to be exact.
This helped me find the tools to begin strengthening myself after what had happened.
However, I still had that constant, and lingering sadness and anxiety.
After my legal studies were over, I moved back to Montreal and started taking time out for myself: I was thinking “NOW I’ll be better since I’m away from all that past.”
Think: baths for the first time in months (as opposed to quick showers), daily swims, daily walks by the water in the summer, self reflection time, anything to try to make the hampster stop in my head.
But the past finds funny ways to creep up on you.
I found myself incapable of making the right decisions for myself.
Sometimes, I could spend full days in bed not being able to get up. Some days I couldn’t even eat.
I could have racing thoughts about things that never even happened, or that might happen, or that happened years ago 👉 for hours on end.
Taking care of my daughter was the only thing that kept me going. Getting better for her well-being was my only light.
It took me 3 months before I decided that I needed to go get psychiatric help for myself too.
THAT was the KEY to finding my strength again. It was the stabilisation factor needed for the development of a certain confidence and a “joie de vivre” that I had lacked over the previous months.
The secret ingredient: taking ONE step outside my dark comfort zone.
My psychiatrist prescribed: Zoloft . (An anti-depressant)
It didn’t work right away, it took around 6 weeks before I stopped reacting to triggers and started thinking.
I KNOW this is not the typical go to “natural” fitness or well-being advice.
All I’m saying is, when you (or your brain) can’t do it on your own, maybe there’s an underlying issue – and it’s okay to get help for it!
Getting help in way that fits YOUR needs is the first step to stabilising your mental health – whichever way that may be.
For me, it was medication. The medication led to better decisions, less emotional thinking and more energy to start taking care of getting myself out of what used seem like a black hole.
The anxiety isn’t completely gone. In fact I am now also taking Lyrica to try and treat it.
To help the whole process I want to commit to this #tiuplan because I really believe fitness and healthy nutrition make you FEEL better, stronger, more confident and in control.
I hope this blog post can help somebody out there, or at least help to get to know me on a more personal level than just fitness and nutrition.
Everybody needs goals, and here is mine: learning to love myself, having strength to do so, so that I can inspire others to do the same!
🎀Miss Bow 🎀