Updated: May 22, 2020
As I sit here, just finishing up my second session speaking at an AMAZING retreat with The Refresh Project (seriously, go check them out they are THE BOMB DOT COM) I can't help but reflect and get emotional over the past couple of years.
As many of you might know, I hit my rock-bottom a couple of years ago. I was diagnosed with major burnout, which led to anxiety, depression and episodes of PTSD. Yup, it was the hardest thing that I have ever went through. I remember at the time I was questioning my existence, asking myself why this was happening to me and had a hard time grasping why and how this could happen to me. To be frank, I didn't even recognize the girl looking back at me in the mirror.
There were many tears, many emotions (anger definitely one of the strongest) and so much questioning. During this time, there were nights that I cried myself to sleep and had no idea how I was going to pull myself out of the rut, out of the darkness and how I was going to get my life back or even if I would get my life back. I was by definition, a hot mess.
I decided at one point, I believe it was right after having a panic attack, after being in bed all day, barely eating, probably my lowest low, that I had to take control. I refused to keep going the way I was. I knew I had to do what I could to help myself. I had to pull myself up and I had to help myself move forward. I turned to books, attended training, sought medical advice, studied and began the journey to get my life back and it was a hard one. I had so many people doubt me and misunderstand me. Friends and family judged me. I lost important people in my life and got taken advantage of. My peeps, my friends and family didn't understand my struggles and like myself had no idea what was happening to me and didn't know how to help.
During my a-ha moment something changed . It was a moment where I promised myself under no circumstances would I quit. I told myself that no matter how difficult the road got (and boy did it ever get difficult), that I would not feel sorry for myself but instead I would use this to help others who suffered the same way I did. At that time, I had no idea what that would look like.
There were times when I was on my own, where doors were slammed in my face, where I felt like no one cared and I felt backed in a corner. But, I promised myself I would push through. I promised myself that I would work my ass off and I chose to look at that difficult time as a lesson. I shifted my perspective and reminded myself that these moments in my life did not define who I was. I was on a mission and I was relentless in my pursuit of getting my life back.
Fast forward to today, May 6th, 2018 and I am presenting at a business retreat teaching amazing entrepreneurs about mindset, self-care, stress management techniques, work/life balance and how to be the best version of themselves. At the time, I had no idea where my hard work would get me. I had no idea what my future held. But, despite all this, I worked hard, didn't quit and pushed through and boy am I proud and happy that I didn't quit, that I didn't give in to the self doubt, to the naysayers and to those who doubted me.
I stand here stronger, kinder, more passionate, wiser, more compassionate, more understanding and a better version of myself that I never would have tapped into if I didn't have these life experiences.
You see, I have learned that we have no control over the hardships that happen in our lives, but we truly have control over how we handle them. I am so glad I didn't quit, that I decided to fight, that I had faith and made the decision that I was going to take my hardships and turn them into something beautiful. As I look around the room and see all these amazing women, see the circle of people that are now in my life and the women I am able to help, guide and support, I know that my hardships have brought me one of the most beautiful gifts I could have ever received.
“Life is tough darling, but so are you!”