This is the fifth and final in a series of posts, documenting my journey from depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts to my current state of wholeness and wellness today. It is written for you, the reader, who believes God is still there, yet is stumbling in the dark, wondering where the path is to light, joy and that well-nourished life.
Don’t you keep wondering what will it take to feel better and get unstuck? Visiting repair shops galore are such a time consuming, yet necessary journey to get to the life you really want.
As I reflect back on my journey, I realize I didn’t take good care of myself over a long time period. When I finally hit my wall, I gave myself permission to find the right repair shops.
After visiting the medicine repair shop, I began to explore what other repair shops I needed. The following shops are ones I found helpful:
The Life Coaching Shop
Because of my love of people, I was drawn to life coaching. I wondered 1) if it might help me and 2) if it was something I might be able to do.
When I met with the life coach, she asked me a variety of questions. I shared with her my ideas about wanting to start a center that could empower women to live better lives.
Then she zeroed in on a pivotal question,
“If you had a million dollars today, could you start that women’s center tomorrow?”
At that point, I realized I needed to zero in on my own healing. My answer to her was “no.” I wasn’t healthy enough.
From that experience, I also realized I wanted to move forward with life coach training as part of my healing.
The Mind Shop
With the question of not being healthy enough to move forward, counseling became my next repair shop. Medicine wasn’t the answer. Coaching wasn’t the answer. What about psychotherapy?
One definition of depression is anger turned inward. What had I buried all these years? In my family of origin, things that weren’t good, were not talked about.
As I explored my past with my counselor, sexual trauma outside my family surfaced. It had created PTSD that was actually stored in my body that I hadn’t realize.
With Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), a psychotherapy treatment, designed to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories, I was able to revisit my past and let go of those traumatic memories.
Exploring a variety of treatments were helpful in counseling. What might you want to explore when you visit this repair shop?
The Spiritual Shop
I continued to improve through my counseling sessions, yet realized there was more under the surface. My church family supported me during this time, of which I am so grateful. They liked me, even when I didn’t like myself.
One big side trip in my journey to a well-nourished life was a Holy Yoga retreat I attended with a friend of mine.
At that retreat, I received a gift bag with the question from scripture — Jesus’ words —
“Did you come here, wanting to be healed?”
As a matter of fact, that was exactly what I was looking for at that retreat.
All through the weekend, I felt God’s healing hand on my soul. A day of silence during the retreat helped me visualize His arms around me and I left feeling whole and beloved.
I have had other spiritual experiences since then, including my spiritual direction training and know that the spiritual side of healing, forgiveness, and letting go of mistakes is key to regaining health.
The Healthy Eating Shop
You would think this repair shop would have been first. However, I had to clear the gunk out of my heart so that I wouldn’t stuff my feelings with food.
Over the past year, I have been able to give up sugar and chocolate, mostly. I started counting calories initially and used the app of My Fitness Pal on my phone to keep track. I also found out that chocolate is a trigger for migraines.
I have lost 32 pounds over the past 13 months, mainly by eating fresh fruits and vegetables. I also got braces which has contributed I am sure!
However, I don’t have food cravings like I have had in the past. I believe that is because I have done the inside work of healing and forgiveness and don’t have to stuff feelings anymore.
What I have learned:
Everyone’s journey is different and your repair shops may be different as well. However, I believe it takes a village to get to that well-nourished life we all want to live.
1) I am healthier than I have been in 15 years because of working with all the different professionals at the repair shops and doing the work over the past five years along with the support of family and friends.
2) I was passionate and motivated to change — I turned 60 and I have four precious grandchildren to enjoy as well as my dear family… Life is going by quickly.
3) I want to leave this world better than I found it by sharing my journey in hopes that others can connect and reconnect with God in a way that brings hope, peace and healing earlier than I experienced it..
I want a well-nourished life for you. And you don’t have to walk it alone.
What about you?
What shops do you need to visit?
Which ones have you visited?
Where do you want to start today?
Who do you want to accompany you?
I had God, doctors, coaches, spiritual directors and church family, friends and family members all supporting me in this transformational journey. I did not make these changes alone.