About 5 years ago, I went through one of the hardest times in my life. I was about to finish nursing school. I was dating a guy that I was in a serious relationship with and thought I was going to marry. God had other plans, but this was a big part of my story and how I got to where I am today! Some things went really south with that relationship, and my life kinda just stopped. Like straight up, “whattheheckjusthappned” kinda stopped. I won’t go into details, but it was an incredibly painful and difficult situation! I was in my senior year of nursing school and my grades started slipping. I started to become hyper anxious because my world was turned upside down and I was watching my dreams of becoming a nurse slip from right out under me.
The anxiety and depression became consuming. I couldn’t breathe in the middle of lectures and would walk out. I wasn’t sleeping at night. It finally got so bad that I had to leave school for a week and head home to my parents. At that time, I spent 3 day in the hospital getting the “help” that I needed. That help actually came in the form of 3 medications. The counseling and therapy at the hospital that I was at was less than mediocre. I sometimes feel that you can know all of the theory in the world about anxiety and depression, but if you’re not in that persons shoes, you just really don’t know the direction you need to go with them.
I saw multiple counselors to help get me on my feet, but you know who was the best counselor I had? My sister!!! Lindsey was there for me every second of the way. She made me smoothies in the morning to get some meat on my bones. She rubbed my back to go to sleep. She made me get up and go run with her because I could barely get up to dress myself. It made me feel human. It gave me purpose. It gave me hope. She was the therapy that I needed!
During the time that I was at the hospital, I was placed on multiple medications for my mood and anxiety. The medications definitely got me over a big hump, but the side effects were awful! I had terrible forgetfulness. I had awful headaches if I didn’t take my medicine at the same time every night. I was always groggy. I had brain zaps like no other. And I had gained 30lbs and just felt disgusting. It was no wonder that a side effect of depression medication was……DEPRESSION! I laugh now, but at the time it was very serious and scary!
By the Grace of God, I overcame that really hard time in my life. I graduated nursing school and married an extremely handsome and wonderful man who accepts all of my crazy! ALL OF IT!! But I was still on this medication and still dealing with the side effects. It truly stole from the joy of my first year of marriage. I knew I wanted to get off it it, but I just didn’t know how! I tried to taper slowly, and just dealt with really bad rebound side effects! It was super defeating and I began to feel hopeless.
One day I was just fed up. I made a personal and educated decision to get off of my Lexapro and Birth Control. I was scared to death, but I was so determined. I didn’t like being on all of these chemicals. I just didn’t feel myself. I’m not against medicine, but I am a minimalist. I did not want to be on something if I could manage it naturally. I found it crazy that this chemical was so potent that my body could not get off it! Think about that…SO CRAZY! I researched and research for a whole week. I got a plan together and safely moved forward. I was scared but feeling hopeful.
Through the process, I learned the power of FOOD!!! I learned that a lot of inflammatory processes that take place in our body are a direct result of what we put in and on our body! I also learned how our gut health has a direct correlation on the production of serotonin (the feel good hormone) in our brain! When we take care of our gut through clean eating and probiotics, you truly can help your mental health too! I started learning all I could on the topic of clean and anti-inflammatory living! There is so much that healthcare doesn’t teach that could truly change people’s lives! Instead, we treat the symptoms of so many problems!
My eyes were opened like no other! As I started eliminating inflammatory foods and paying attention to the chemicals and TOXINS that I was using in my every day living, my body began to transform MIND, BODY, and SOUL! I was able to taper successfully and I started managing my anxiety naturally. When you start treating your body well, you being to feel “well.” You being to realize how emotional food can be and how the bad stuff can actually contribute to anxiety whether you think it or not! I never thought I was an emotional eater until I directly addressed the foods that I put in my mouth.
As I began to clean up the way I ate and lived, things started to change. I dropped 35 lbs over the course of a year. I got off every ounce of medication I was on. I don’t suffer with the side affects anymore! I was literally told I would be on these the rest of my life and that people aren’t meant to be on medication. I want to say that my situation is MY PERSONAL SITUATION. Not everyone can or should do this. However, I made a personal and educated decision to do so. I’m not saying the clean eating and living CURED my anxiety. I’m saying that it taught my a lot about my self, my negative habits, and how the products and chemicals I used on my body truly set me back! Making healthy decisions about my health helped me better manage it!
Anxiety and depression SUCKS! No one ever will under understand it if they’ve never been through it. I want anyone and every person out there who struggles with this to know that you’re not alone. Even if you are taking prescription medication for it, cleaning up the way you eat and live will only BENEFIT you!!!! It will only make you happy and healthier in the long run! I still struggle with anxiety today, but I now am no longer ruled by it or live with the awful side effects of the medications that I was on. I want to encourage everyone out there to take control of your health! Take control of your anxiety! You own your own health! Be the happiest and healthiest version of you so you in return can empathize and go take care of others in return!!!
I love you guys and thank you so much for allowing me to blog and share my story with you!!
Please feel free to reach out and ask any questions! I believe in transparency and I believe in not doing life alone! You are NEVER alone! There are a bazillion people in the world and you will always have someone to help! I hope this blog brings comfort, education, and hope!
Your Heart Is Mine,
To Download my FREE “For The Anxious Nurse” Healing Guide, click HERE!