I Want You To Know There Is Always Hope
I cannot believe it is May 1st and I thought today would be a great day as we begin a new month to talk about hope. I have felt hopeless many times in my life and often times it's easier said than done to trust God, to have hope, to believe anything is possible when you are knocked down over and over again but here is the thing...what is the alternative to not having hope? We stay knocked down? We stay hopeless? We stay exactly in a place that we don't want to stay at?
For years when it came to my personal journey I felt really hopeless. How did I go from a mentally and physically healthy woman who was very confident and happy to struggling horribly within, negative, heavily medicated for depression and anxiety and obese? It was never my intention to live life the way I was but here I was. The one thing I was very good at was keeping a smile on my face and pretending everything was great, even though I was struggling horribly in just about every aspect of my life. It is so exhausting to live this way. If you are there or have been there you know exactly what I mean.
Looking back this wasn't something that happened overnight it happened over years bringing me to a point in my life I never in a million years imagined myself to be at. But there I was as a young mom of three being stripped of everything as they admitted me to the hospital based on my mental health conditions. Have you ever seen a commercial advertising for depression medication and they state may cause suicidal thoughts? Scary right? Especially when you would never in a million years think you would ever think such a thing. But I was there and on multiple medications and I could not get the thoughts to stop. I had it all planned out and by the grace of God he used my children to intervene which then led me to tell my husband what I was about to do. He was in shock, everyone that knew me pretty much was. I called my doctor and the next thing you know I am in the hospital being interviewed for hours and eventually I was admitted. All the feelings in that moment. Relieved you're still alive, embarrassed as they strip you of everything, scared to be locked in a room and on a floor with unstable people, shame, frustrations, sadness and the list goes on. I want to tell you when they released me I felt so hopeful but I didn't. I left there on more medications then when I arrived. I felt numb, I didn't feel like I was in my body...I didn't feel anywhere near like myself and I remember crying to my mom saying how am I going to take care of my kids and go back to work like this? She said you will, you can. I spent many years thinking this is how my life would be forever and I began to use food and alcohol to feel something. After many years of using those two vices I found myself obese.
I remember no longer recognizing myself from within but now I didn't even recognize myself physically and I kept thinking God why aren't you helping me? I wondered if I was worthy. I wondered if my life would always be this way. I wondered if maybe this is just what I deserved. All the lies the enemy wanted me to believe and sadly I did.
I am not one to dream and if I do I rarely remember but one night I had a dream. The type of dream you sit up in bed and question whether that was real or not when you awake. In my dream I felt this warmth and bright light almost like I was very close to the sun. I couldn't see because the light was so bright and I was squinting. Then I saw a hand reaching for me and I grabbed a hold of it. I was lifted up and in that moment felt so hopeful. I woke up. Like I said I sat there feeling like that really happened and then it hit me. I had this immediate thought come into my head and I am pretty positive it was from God. He was telling me I needed to do the work with him and to stop waiting for my life to change on it's own. Which is what I had been doing for so long, waiting. Seriously waiting like something magical was going to change my life for me. I will never forget this dream and in that moment I wasn't sure how I was going to change my life but for the first time in a long time I felt completely hopeful. I knew I had to do the work but also knew God was going to help me get there.
We ended up going on a family vacation shortly after this had happened and I felt incredibly uncomfortable in my skin, had horrible headaches and remember catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror and truly thinking I do not recognize you...how did you get here? I was on the beach with my family and told my husband I needed to go back to the room. I drew the curtains closed and just sobbed on the bed. I had a complete meltdown. I didn't want our vacation to end but I was beyond ready to go home and begin to change my life. I remember thinking how and then all of the sudden I thought oh gosh seriously??? It was as if God said yep thats the path you are going to take.
Funny thing was he led me down the path once before but I had given up because of comparison, comparing my results to everyone else. That journey was hard because I had a lot of poor habits I had to change, I was out of shape, had no energy and I honestly thought there had to be an easier way than this. I knew though at that moment I had tried "easy" many times before and it never got me anywhere so I decided to give this journey I gave up on, one more shot. I went back home contacted my Accountability Coach I had worked with that previous fall and said can I please work with you again. I happened to start my day 1 on my 34th birthday.
I would love to tell you it was so stinking easy to create a healthier mind, body and soul but it wasn't. It was hard but you know what? What was the alternative? Keep living the way I had been living and feeling for the rest of my life?
I could not and would not appreciate the heck out of where I am today like I do if this journey had been easy. I have worked incredibly hard to become the healthy woman I am today and although I spent many years not being proud of who I was or who I had become or the example I set as a mom to my young three children, this journey gave me the gift of no longer feeling that way.
I share all of this with you because I know I am not alone. I know I am not the only woman walking this earth that struggled with depression, anxiety, obesity, postpartum depression and hopelessness. I share all this because my hope is if there is a woman out there feeling as hopeless as I did, she reads this and knows that there is always hope. Life can and will get better when we believe that it's possible and do the work with God.
I have said this for years but I wish that when I share my transformation pictures you could actually feel what I felt prior to starting this journey and feel what I feel today. Yes it feels so amazing to have a healthy strong body physically but gosh it feels so stinking incredible to feel healthier mentally and spiritually as well. I can't say it enough, once we learn to get the inside right the outside falls into place because it's the truth.
You will never regret working hard for something especially when it comes to changing your life. I hope you always know and believe there is always hope.