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Sunday, July 12, 2015

Daily Thoughts - Depression & Anxiety

I suffered depression and anxiety, which was one of the many things that led to me weighing 350 pounds and being just mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually unhealthy. As most of us who do suffer, we don't want to admit it out of fear and embarrassment. But, when I was 29 and I had become the most depressed and finally confided in an old boss, he is the one that encouraged I see a counselor. After almost 20 years of keeping silent and living as if nothing ever happened, I was getting ready to talk to a stranger about the sexual abuse I suffered. I was scared, embarrassed, and truly in my mind thought no one understands what I'm going through. I almost backed out of my first appointment, but so happy now I didn't. Even if at the time I didn't realize it, the first time I stepped into that counselors office was the day I was taking control of my life again. All my life I basically lived life to make others happy, family, friends, coworkers, everyone but myself. I quit college after a year and a half, I didn't trust others so never allowed people to get too close to me, and over those years I allowed myself to become unhealthy every way possible.

I was almost 29 years old when I first started seeing a counselor and psychiatrist to work through the 4 years of sexual abuse from my childhood. I couldn't sleep and still continued to have signs of depression and anxiety. I met with the counselor once a week to talk and the psychiatrist once a month for medication management. He had me on Ambien to sleep and Zoloft for my anxiety and depression. After almost two years I had come a long way and decided it was time to focus on my education. I went back to college and ended up getting my associates and bachelors degree in business management. Just as I was in the last 6 months of my bachelors program, that's when I realized I was 350 pounds and decided it was time to get serious and focus on my health. That of course was when I decided to invest in a personal trainer and in March of 2011 I started my journey with Michael Watkins and Fitness Together. Now, here I am a little over four years later and I've never been stronger and healthier mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically.

I'm not saying I don't have bad days, or that I never have those horrible flashbacks, but because I've been given tools how to deal with them better I get through those situations easier. I've recently started doing the Empire program through Michael and Fitness Together and it's helped me even more. I focus on the four core areas of life, body, being, balance, and business, and in the past couple months have noticed an even bigger and better change. Just in the last couple weeks I've started to focus on a true passion of mine and that's to help others in their own health and fitness journey. I think the most important thing is that I've grown as person and I'm loving who I am for the first time in about 28 years.

One thing I've learned in being open about my depression and anxiety experience is that I'm not alone. Those of us who suffer from depression and anxiety a lot of the times feel we are alone, but in reality we are far from being alone. If you feel you are suffering, I encourage you to seek out someone who can help, and face it head on. Not only will you feel better in the end, but you are worth it! You deserve to be happy, healthy, and more importantly as Michael says, you deserve to have it all!