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It's Okay to Not Be Okay

It's Mental Health Awareness Month and I fully intended to have an amazing newsletter, chock full of resources for you. But life prevailed and then I left town for a much needed vacation to take care of my own mental health.

With no Rungs of Learning blog written and a lackluster list of helpful tools or tips prepared, I unnecessarily worried that my treasured readers (*YOU*) would be disappointed if I didn't send something so I decided to tell my own story instead, in an effort to normalize mental health.

I've had A LOT going on personally (out of respect to others involved, I'll save the details for another day) and last year, my depression hit a new all time low.

I've had forms of depression and anxiety throughout my life and usually go right to a tried and true antidote when the signs start bubbling to the surface - restlessness and lack of focus, extreme worry, sleeplessness, crying, etc. I typically manage my anxiety and depression by:

  • Daily meditation

  • Journaling

  • Time with supportive and loving people

  • Running and cycling

  • Breathing exercises

  • Doing work that brings me joy

  • Trying to eat well

  • Indulging in a favorite treat

  • Spending time with Teddy the rescue terrier

  • Cutting myself some slack

  • Adjusting my goals

  • Celebrating the small things

  • Practicing gratitude daily

  • Seeing a therapist regularly

But, one day last summer, a whole weekend went by where I couldn't get out of bed and cried most of the time. And then it happened a second time. And then a third. And then I lost interest in the things I most loved to do - running with friends, spending time with my son and playing with Teddy.

At my doctor's recommendation, I decided to try a non-habit forming antidepressant. He acknowledged that, since I was doing everything else "right" (exercising, eating well and socializing), this was another option to consider.

Initially, I resisted and was skeptical. I mean, did this mean I was giving up too easy? Was this a cop out? If I tried it, would I still feel like "me"? Well, guess what? I tried it and it ended up being a GAME CHANGER.

Let me be clear - medication to solve a mental health concern is not for everyone but it worked for me. I feel like "Christine" again but without being dragged into a deep, dark hole so easily. I'm more present in my daily life. I feel a range of healthy emotions. And, I can now manage other elements of my health and life better.

The point of all this is it's okay to not feel okay.

Let's normalize mental health by talking about it.

Time with Teddy always makes me feel better

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