By seventh grade, the year I realized I was likely this thing I heard about called “depressed”, my Dad was on his third marriage, and my Mom was on her third.
I was being abused at each home, in all the possible ways you can be abused. I had lost more siblings and family members to divorce than most people lose in their entire lifetime.
My best friends stopped talking to me because I had, “changed.”
In the following years, the number of divorces crept up to seven. That’s seven families, siblings, Aunts, Uncles, and sets of Grandparents I all of the sudden never saw again.
This life all came to a cumulative head, or big climax if you will, a year ago. At 35 years old I finally confessed my anxiety and depression to my Mom (who is a perpetually happy person that can just go for a walk and feel better). I was under the care of a doctor, on medication, and doing just fine- but I finally felt brave enough to tell her.
She responded by calling CPS to have my children taken away. Yep. There’s no backstory, no information you’re missing. Depression and anxiety are so unknown and scary to her that she actually thought I was unfit to be a Mother. She truly believed she was doing the right thing for my children.
Being utterly perplexed, hurt, and so many other things I decided it was time to get into some counseling and to, no matter how hard, cut the toxic people out of my life. Even if they were family.
I took the ACE test and was off the freaking charts for traumatic events in my childhood. 6-10was a high score (meaning you’re pretty much destined to suffer depression) and I was a 14. Literally off the charts. I saw three different counselors for three different opinions and all of them came back with the exact same thing.
My depression, anxiety, Graves Disease, weight issues, and essentially who I was, was from severe Type A Childhood Trauma. In a nutshell- I suffered and suffer greatly all from things I had zero control over. Statistically, I was bound to have a rough life. Talk about not fair.
Here’s the thing though.
Are you ready for this?
I came out on top. I beat the odds.
I broke the cycles of abuse.
I’m a fantastic Mother to my children. I’ve been madly in love and happily married to the same man for 12 years.
After my Mother called CPS (twice too) I not only passed CPS’ investigation (enter eye roll here) but I was told that we should become foster parents (which has been a dream of mine), and my case worker would write a personal letter of recommendation. Around this exact same time, my brand new business exploded and we went from one writer to 56.
So, how did I beat the odds? By keeping in mind a few things!
I Pick My Tribe Wisely
The people you hang around will either produce good fruit or bad fruit from you. So you need to pick friends that know you in and out, love you, and that add value and love to your life. If you’re hanging around people that make you have negative thoughts or cause you to make bad choices- move on, and stat.
I Have Quit Days
When you suffer from chronic depression you will have days where getting out of bed is just too much. These days will come whether you are on meds or not, and they always come out of the blue. So guess what I do?
I quit. I let the emotions, fatique, and everything else win for that ONE DAY.
Pity party? Oh you bet.
Eat my feelings? Pfft, chips for the win!
Angry music and clean? I’m a pro.
But here is the thing- the next day, I move on. No more sad. No more pity me.
I Educate Myself
Nothing is more empowering then knowledge and information. Especially with science backing. So I read, I stay on top of the latest discoveries and always follow the evidence where it leads me. This has freed me from so much guilt and shame. I hope it does the same for you.
I Said Goodbye to Toxic People
I read this book over and over again. I learned and oh my gosh it opened up my eyes. So I cut the toxic people out, even some of my family, and life has been significantly better. I hop you read this book too, and find that you aren’t obligated to have relationships with people just because they might be family.
I Have a Plan
Everyone knows where I am mentally. 99% of the time I’m great. However, when that 1% decides to show it can be dark, and scary. So my close friends and my husband have a step by step plan in place to make sure I have the extra support and love needed to get through it unscathed. This plan has been used, and it works beautifully.
I Take the Meds
I’m not ashamed. I don’t care what people think. I cannot work out enough to make this go away, and no eating better food won’t help either. If that doesn’t make sense to you, then you need to educate yourself a bit more.
So I take all the meds, I have a team of doctors that keep tabs on me and the meds, and I’m stable. The sky is blue, and love all around.
Beating the Odds
Despite the numbers and stats up against me, I’m able to love, accept love, smile, and enjoy this thing called life. According to all the statistics, I shouldn’t be here with my beautiful children and happy marriage. I shouldn’t be a successful busines owner and I shouldn’t be able to inspire others. But here I am.
And guess what?
You can do it too.