My Real Life

A lot of people comment on my positive attitude and social media presence. A sweet friend told me the other day that my life looks perfect. Another friend expressed concern that my positive attitude may not always be sincere  - or may be forced sometimes.

Well, to an extent it is. You've heard fake it till you make it right? Well I've made a habit of that in my life in regards to positivity. But it's not just a smile on the outside or a bubbly attitude. It sinks deep down into my being. But that is something that has taken years of cultivation and commitment.

So what is my real life behind social media? I am the same person. I think just as positively in my home as I do in public. But there are things I don't share on social media that I go through in private. I have struggled with anxiety for a long time. I often lack of self confidence, and have been through some really trying physical and emotional things.

I think it's time to share a little bit of this because I received an e-mail from a friend of mine recently sharing about some things she has gone through - not knowing that I have gone through THE SAME thing and could talk to her about it.

About two months ago, I had crippling anxiety. I have had anxiety in the past - you know, every day worries, performance anxiety, hyped up energy from my general hyped up personality.....but this was different. I was having this influx of negative thoughts. Scary thoughts that felt as if they were coming from outside of me. I couldn't sleep, and my nervous system was shot. This continued for almost two weeks exactly. During that time, I went to the Dr. twice. I asked for some sleeping pills, hoping that getting some rest might help me cope throughout the day. While those helped a little bit, I was so on edge that not even Ambien would knock me out. Patrick had to take off work several days and literally babysit me because I was so emotionally unstable. I was 1/2  a step away from going to some sort of psych rehab. I'm not even joking, it was that bad. Throughout this time, as scared as I was, I knew there was hope. I knew that if this was happening to me, then God had a plan. I was miserable, I was scared, and I was exhausted. But I knew that it would come to an end at some point. Definitely not as soon as I wanted it to. But it would end.

For the past 3 years or so I have on and off struggled with fatigue. Whenever I would have a busy schedule that normal (healthy) people would be able to handle just fine, I would get exhausted and want to crash. I had been wondering if I had chronic fatigue, I had gotten blood work to check my thyroid, all sorts of things like that. When I would have a more relaxing schedule, I would feel fine. I started hearing about this thing called Adrenal Fatigue. Long story short, your adrenals control your hormones and cortisol levels and when your body is stressed emotionally or physically over a long period of time then adrenals become fatigued and stop regulating them properly. You can read all about it HERE.

When I went to my Dr. about my anxiety she ended up prescribing an anti-depressant. Being a singer, and health nut I really didn't want to take any RX medication long term (it would be a minimum of 6 months) unless it's a last resort. I asked if I could have my hormones tested and she said if I'm having a regular period then it probably isn't worth it. So I sought out a specialist. I chose to go to a place called the Happy Hormone Cottage that specifically works with women.  They did a urine test to see where my hormones and cortisol levels were and met with me about 3 weeks later.

During that time, I was still working through my anxiety, getting better sleep, and prioritizing rest. I was really excited to go in for my results. Turns out, my hormones were very depleted and my cortisol levels were very low - they didn't spike during the day to provide the energy I need in the afternoon! I was given some supplements specifically designed to support your adrenals and cortisol levels, as well as prescribed some bioidentical progesterone to help regulate my hormones again.

I can't tell you what a difference it has made. Not only do I have more energy during the day, I have enough energy to work out every day, and my anxiety levels have dropped to very low. I was so excited this past week that I had enough energy to workout AND go through opera tech and performances!

I know that God has a plan for my life, and maybe this was my sign from Him to really kick my anxiety once and for all. A lot of things certainly don't seem as important now. Maybe it's so I can share my experience with one of you who is going through something similar and needs support? I am always willing to talk to you!

Thinking positively, to me, is crucial. There are so many scary, negative things in this world and in my life. But I know that with God there is always hope. And if there is hope, then there is a reason to keep going.