Episode 8 – My Journey to Mental Health

In this podcast I get super vulnerable and share with you my own personal journey to mental health.  I hope you’ll listen and then come leave me some feedback!

Show Notes:

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Show Summary:

So I wanted to talk to you today about my journey to mental health and how I found Life Coaching.

Transparency. Not wanting to just show the good. Vulnerability creating connection. No shame. 

I’ve probably always had some issues, but it really began soon after I first got married the first time.

Married life wasn’t what I expected.  He wasn’t what I expected.  He changed A LOT after we got married and I pretty much struggled from the beginning.

By the time we had been married for 5 years and had two kids, I started fasting, praying, and going to the temple about divorcing him.  My answer then and for the next 7-1/2 years, was “Now is not the time, you have more work to do” and while I was determined to be faithful and follow the direction of the spirit, it definitely affected my mental health.

A few years later, I felt very strongly that I was supposed to have another child.  I really didn’t want to, considering the state of my marriage, and I also had very difficult pregnancies, but again, tried to be faithful and follow the promptings I was given.

When I went off the birth control something changed in me and I began to experience pretty severe anxiety and depression.  I went to see my OB/GYN and he put me on some medication, but it really didn’t help.

I remember not wanting to go to church because my anxiety was so bad.  I still went, but I had to sit on the end of the pew and couldn’t have anyone (including my children touch me).  Going into a crowded room for Sunday School was not going to happen, so I usually spent the next 2 hours in the Mother’s Lounge listening to Conference talks on my iPod.  

I finally got pregnant after months of trying and then miscarried.  So we decided to take the kids to DisneyWorld while we could, before we started trying again.  We rode in Business Class in the airplane to Florida and I had this big nice seat with my own personal TV and felt like I wanted to crawl out of my skin.  I couldn’t relax.  My anxiety was too high.  I don’t even remember much of that trip because I was miserable the entire time.

When we got home, I got pregnant again and after a pretty rough pregnancy, I had my son Luke in early 2008.  That is when the depression got really bad.  I was sleeping 9 hours a day in addition to night time.  My anxiety was still horrible.  When the baby was about 9 months old, a friend came to me and told me she thought I needed to get some help.  So I went to a Psychiatrist and started on some different medications.

It took a while to find the right combinations and dosages to at least keep me stable.  We’d try something and it would work for a while and then it would stop.  In early 2010 things got so bad that I nearly committed suicide.  So with some more tweaking of medication and starting to see a therapist things finally began to improve.  

I was finally pretty stable and getting strong enough that after receiving a different answer when I prayed about divorce, I was finally ready to move forward in the Summer of 2011.

When I met Kevin just a short time after my divorce was final, I was still pretty broken but things were definitely improving.  And once we married and I experienced true unconditional love from him, I was able to get off all of my medications and I really began to heal and look for ways to improve my mental health and the way I thought about myself.  

When a friend of mine introduced me to me Life Coaching, it felt like the answer I had been looking for all along.  My mantra for many many years had been “I can’t change him, I can only change how I react” but I didn’t really understand HOW to do that.  I was just muscling my way through.  Using as much willpower as I could.  And while things were improving, I still had some underlying thoughts that were hurting me and made me show up less that my best self in the world.  But through learning about how powerful my own thoughts were, and how I choose what to think, which in turn makes me feel certain things, I gained back all my power.  I can choose to think good thoughts, to have peace, and create the life that is full of joy and everything I want it to be.  It was everything I was looking for!

And I knew I wanted to help others have that too.  That is why I became a Life Coach.  I want to help others realize the power they have to be happy despite their circumstances.  That they have the power create the kind of life they want for themselves.  

I recently asked my husband what changes he has seen in me since I found Life Coaching for myself.  After some thought he told me that I am more patient.  That I don’t get irritated as easy.  That I don’t have as many emotional breakdowns LOL!  And that I just seem genuinely happy.  And he’s right.  I am.  And I want that for you too.

I want you to understand that the absence of mental illness doesn’t mean mental health.  And while I do believe that Life coaching can help anyone, I also believe that medication and traditional therapy also have their place.   Life Coaching is a great way to up-level what you are doing already.  And can really make the difference going from good to GREAT!

I recently read a talk in the Ensign and I wanted to share a quote from it with you that really described how I feel about the changes in my life.

(Being Honest with Myself–and with God

By Faith Sutherlin Blackhurst, June 2018 Ensign)

My experience taught me that “if [my] weaknesses and shortcomings remain obscured in the shadows, then the redeeming power of the Savior cannot heal them and make them strengths.”

However, if I am brave enough to be vulnerable and admit my weaknesses in humility, God can help me turn them into strengths through His grace (see Ether 12:27; 1 Peter 5:5).

After all, honestly acknowledging our weaknesses–or seeing ourselves as we truly are–is the first step on the path to positive change. As I continue to be honest and seek guidance from the Spirit, my Heavenly Father will help me know what needs to change in my life. And as I rely on Jesus Christ, His Atonement, and His refining power, I will see improvement in myself.

Although it was unpleasant to admit my mistakes in that moment of chastisement, I know that when I choose to be humble and honest with myself and with God, I am happier and more accepting of myself. I know that despite my flaws, I am of divine worth to my Heavenly Father–but He still wants me to improve. Through the power of His Son, Jesus Christ, and sincere repentance, I can become so much better than I ever dreamed I could be. “

Let me help you be the best version of yourself.  Let me help you create a GREAT life for yourself.  Sign up for a mini-session on my website and let’s get started! I can’t wait to meet you!

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