Fighting the Good Fight: My Battle With Anxiety

I am celebrating an anniversary today. Six months ago today, I decided to take control of my life.

On March 12, 2016, I was the heaviest I’d ever been in my life, 223 lbs. I was suffering from constant pain from sciatica, which created a daily need for some kind of painkiller, be it an over the counter med like Aleve or something stronger that could knock me out.

What I wasn’t sharing – panic attacks that used to plague me for years had returned. Driving around this little island made me feel claustrophobic; like I couldn’t run away. I chalked up most of my feelings to homesickness, but the bulk of the truth was staring at me in the mirror.

I was sick. Overweight. Over-medicated. Physically weak.

At my heaviest.

At my heaviest.

I have always been an advocate of celebrating the body you have and not tearing yourself down. Though I’m not ashamed of the weight I gained, I was worried that the weight I had put on was destroying my body. Things I used to do rather easily (like climbing stairs) would leave me out of breath. I was more tired than usual.

But what I failed to see until that day in March was, my panicky feelings were tied to my body crying for help. Though I was put on an anti anxiety medication, I still struggled with leaving our house, worried that a panic attack might happen. That’s the worst part – the “what if” I have an attack?

I couldn’t deal with it anymore. I decided to get serious.

Before I "got it." Medication only helps so far.

Before I “got it.” Medication only helps so far.

To be clear: I am not advocating that anti anxiety/antidepressants are bad. However, through my experience, using medication alone to deal with anxiety was not enough. I had to make big changes to my diet and get physically strong. I needed to push through discomfort in order to make changes. Not only from a physical standpoint, but I needed to confront issues with myself. Meditation and seeing a therapist helped to quiet my ever-racing mind.

Today, I am positive that my body does not respond well to sugars and processed foods. Whenever I have given myself a treat and eat something with more sugar, my joints hurt the next day. I feel lethargic and also more prone to insomnia. So, I will eat a much smaller amount to avoid the side effects.

As I write this, I am 28 pounds lighter. My medication has been adjusted and I’m sleeping better.

Feeling so much better!

Feeling so much better!

My message is this: Anxiety and depression are very real. It’s not just feeling anxious or blue. I “white knuckled” through a lot of the anxiety for a long time, or I would try to distract myself by throwing myself into a lot of projects so I wouldn’t have to deal with my issues.

I know that I will need to continue to work out, eat well, and monitor my stress to keep the panic attacks and depressive episodes at bay.

The Hubby has been amazing through my journey. I really don’t think I could have got on a good path to wellness without his support. I love him with all my heart!

Love of my life!

Love of my life!

If you are struggling with anxiety and/or depression, don’t be afraid to get help. You’re not weak for doing so! It means you want to live a better life, and you deserve that.

Love, laughter, and shoes-

xo, Melanie.

 

 

Advertisements

Black and White and Healing Great!

Today was my 10 day post-op appointment from my back surgery, and I was super excited to go mainly because I GOT TO WEAR SOMETHING OTHER THAN YOGA PANTS! For anyone out there who has been cooped up at home recouperating from illness or surgery, you know what I am talking about!

I still cannot wear jeans or pants with a “pinching” waistline, but hey, I am a big fan of leggings anyway, so I pulled out these tuxedo style leggings from ING. I’ve only worn them once so far, and I figure now is a good as time as any! Then I felt like working a black and white look, so I added this super cool top from INC (International Concepts). Check out the pockets!!! Both leggings and pants are from my NYC trip last August and I picked these up at Macy’s.

Cozy, comfy, and stylish for the doctor! I love these pockets!

Cozy, comfy, and stylish for the doctor! I love these pockets!

Oh, don’t let the greenery behind me fool you. It’s probably in the upper 30s today and I took my coat off:) But we STILL have no snow!

Love the tuxedo stripe!

Love the tuxedo stripe!

To add a little whimsy, I wore these adorable cat earrings I found at Claire’s Accessories in Kaiserslautern around a month ago. I love cats, and it’s hard to find “cat jewelry” without looking like a five year old!

So "purrrfect!"

So “purrrfect!”

Some of you have asked where I got my boots. They are a brand called Graceland sold at the German “Payless,” Deichmann. Here is the link if you want to buy them, or check out their other styles. Everything I’ve bought from them has been comfortable and very durable.

The good news is, I am healing well. The bad news is, I have six more weeks until I can enjoy a massage, a bath, a sauna, or do any other exercise besides walking. No twisting, bending over, or lifting anything more than 5 lbs. Patience with myself has never been a great quality of mine, so until then, I will walk and blog a bunch more!