Anxiety ruled my life…but not anymore

I have been kind of quiet over here because I have been doing a lot of work on myself. Not my body but rather my mind. I’m celebrating two months sober from anxiety. Anxiety- is an incredibly powerful thing, more than I ever knew. I finally took steps to get help with it and I never imagined a life like this was possible. The life I’m having right now. Meditation & medication is the formula that works for me. It took me forever to figure this out but I am beyond excited that I finally did. This is a huge deal for me. The calming of my mind is greater than any bikini body or any size 2 or 4 I ever was. You guys, I was drowning in anxiety. It was spinning around in my head every minute of every day. I didn’t realize how bad it was until I experienced life the opposite way. I write this so that you too may ask for help if you feel the same way that I felt. I felt this way for years and it kept getting worse. I never wanted to admit that I may need an anti-depressant. I am astonished by the trickle-down effect anxiety can cause. I can see it so clearly now that I have it under control. All the times I let anxiety rule me…too many to count or recall.

That term, depressed, never felt like it fit me. Depression though is a result of anxiety and I knew I had bad anxiety. Self-diagnosed but I was sure of it. I didn’t realize there was a drug that could help my anxiety because I refused to acknowledge that I was depressed and never considered taking a drug for it. I thought I could calm my mind with healthy food and exercise and it worked sometimes but after having the baby, the shift was too great. I could not handle this on my own anymore. I needed help.  Had I known it would have worked this well I would have gotten on something sooner for sure! The stigma around mental health is that of mind over matter or just be happy and grateful for what you have and you will be fine. But it is just not the case. Something was going on chemically in my brain. Guess what? There is a pill for that and it is totally working for me. I am not ashamed. I am honest and feel great for being so.

depression

Do you have these thoughts: What’s wrong with me? What’s going to happen next? Why is this happening this way? I can’t manage. I can’t handle this. I feel overwhelmed. It’s all my fault. I can’t do anything right. Everything seems off, wrong, not quite right. These among other thoughts were on constant rotation in my brain before I had Charlotte but about 3 months after having her they went into high gear. I couldn’t escape them. I was exhausted- not from having a new baby but rather from having a battle in my own head every second of every day. My anxiety was taking over and I was crying, I was feeling defeated in every way. I just didn’t feel right. Was it postpartum? Was it hormonal and it would eventually go away? Maybe but I tried to think of how I felt prior to having her and I always came to the same conclusion. I just have never felt RIGHT.

I was foggy, moody, defeated, unmotivated, full of worry and confusion. Things would get better but they were never ok. I never felt ok. Finally, when school was ending I knew I couldn’t have a summer feeling like this. I wanted desperately to feel better. I had a particularly emotional and high stress few days which led me to call my OB and ask for help. I also talked to a few friends who have friends that take something or do themselves and that really drove me to realize that I may just be one of those people that need this. I was ready for help. I was scared. But I knew I needed it. They saw me the next day. I went into that appointment with the baby and spilled my guts to the Dr. I didn’t cry. I was just COMPLETELY HONEST with her and it was refreshing. I told her the warmer weather, the smoothies, the walks, the meditation, the positive vibes, the prayers…just wasn’t cutting it. I still feel like chaos rules my life and nothing is ever ok or ever going to be. I needed more help and I was ready to try an anti-depressant. I am so thankful that my OB was able to prescribe this for me and I didn’t have to wait months to get in with a different type of doctor. Help was literally one phone call away. I had no idea…..

It took so many guts to admit that I might be a depressed person but I had hit beyond rock bottom and it was the only choice left. You wouldn’t think that about me if you met me because this was something I battled inside. That is a huge part of this that not everyone can relate to or understand. I was good at hiding it maybe but inside it was destroying me. I refused to see myself that way because I have EVERYTHING I have ever wanted and more. My life is a cakewalk compared to others. I quit my part-time job at the end of May to try to ease the stress of everything. The sheer weight of my own thoughts racing in my head was enough to cripple me. Then throw in the baby and the rest of actual life and I was a mess. A hot, hot mess. I was scared and wanted to run away, I was not good enough, I was a bad mom. Every bad thought you can have about yourself I was having. I couldn’t take it anymore. I was ready to admit there must be something that could help me fill the worrisome feelings I was having all day every day.

depression and anxiety quotes Example depression and anxiety quotes my art journal pinterest anxiety

The Doctor put me on a very low dose of Zoloft and I was eager to see if this would work for me. I was desperate for it to work for me. I read the side effects and cried hard that night and hesitated even going through with taking it. What if this made everything worse? What if this didn’t work for me? I was doomed. I was losing it and I needed this to work and not make me feel more “crazy” or make me sick. I wanted it all. I wanted the thoughts to stop in my head and I wanted to experience and enjoy my kids, family & myself. I wanted to enjoy my life!

I took that first pill and I almost instantly felt better. I couldn’t believe it. The doom and the gloom weren’t there. I could breathe again and have clear balanced thoughts for the first time ever it felt like. I felt a huge weight lift off me. That weight was my destructive thoughts. They were gone. I had the exact same life and circumstances. Everything was the same but my mind became calm and I was able to handle things. Charlotte cried & I smiled. Max was rambunctious and asking me for a million things and I handled it. I felt safe and right. I felt more confident and self-assured. My self-esteem is at an all-time high because my anxiety is at an all-time low. I felt all of the things I had been trying to feel for so long. From a little green pill. A pill that was filling an imbalance in my brain. Adding to my brain what was missing. It was amazing! I was able to have a good time. I was present. I wasn’t worried quite frankly about anything. I sort of felt numb at first but in a good way. It felt like a much-needed break.

The first week was rough-we were on vacation and the pill was making me sick but I knew that could happen for the first week or two so I stuck it out. I wanted this to work for me. I wanted a life filled with gratitude and happiness. The fact was, I was happy. I was filled with blessings and I knew it but those feelings were getting buried by the anxiety I was experiencing every day. I then began to fear the what if I feel too numb. What if I stop caring about things and this works too much the opposite way for me. That would not be good either. I am happy to report that after just two weeks of taking it the sick feeling stopped and the numbness/robotic feeling went away. I was turning into me. The best version of me. As the weeks went on it just kept getting better and more balanced. My thoughts about myself and life are good and happy now. I handle life even though it isn’t perfect or easy. I see the joy in it and look forward to each new day. I am more motivated and active. I have even lost weight.

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I am so thankful that I was brave enough to try the Zoloft. I share this with you in hope that this can help even just one of you if you need it. I hope my honesty will encourage you to seek more help if the “natural” ways of coping with anxiety and depression are not working for you. I want this feeling for you all too. Anxiety and depression have a terrible stigma but the more open we are to talking about it the more we can normalize it.

I would love to hear from you if this something you want to talk about. Wishing you all the best life has to offer….drug or no drugs. I celebrate this drug and the fact that it is helping me. I am not ashamed and I hope you aren’t either.
Image may contain: 2 people, including Adrienne Lefcakis Carey, people smiling, child, eyeglasses and outdoorImage may contain: 1 person, smiling, closeup

Charlotte is almost 9 months old and doing great! Happy baby, happy mom, happy boy, happy husband, happy life! Happy for me is the opposite of anxiety. It used to rule me but not anymore.

xo, Adrienne

 

 

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Kettlebell and dumbbell workout-my favorite!!!

I do this routine a lot with my clients and I do it myself! Very effective and really targets your entire body!!!

3 sets of 15 Kettlebell squat swings-either rows, straight ahead or side to side

2 sets of “Lawnmowers” kettlebell lunges on each side

Plank side pushups-3 sets of 10 to 12

3 sets of 15 on each leg- kickbacks

Shoulder circuit-front, flys, rows and shrugs-3 sets of 12 of each

3 sets of 20 “mountain climbers”

Triceps circuit-extensions, kickbacks and dips on chair or bench-3 sets of 12 of each

Bicep circuit-curls, hammers, overhead curls-3 sets of 12 on each

***All circuits are done with dumbbells all 3 or 4 moves are 12 reps in a row of each then you rest. Use lighter weights because you are doing so many reps at once. Rest for 1 to 2 min between each set-no rest between each move.

Do it then let me know how great you feel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

xoxoxo-A

We will Win today!

 

What will you win today? What will you imagine and then actually go and do? So many things are under our control if we will just do them! What does it take to win, to have what you want??? It takes work , action, determination, belief, passion and mind control! Think about it on the smallest scale….then turn it around to the biggest of your dreams, the biggest goals your mind can think up, the picture of your body in your head. Think and visualize in great detail what you want to look like, feel like, do, achieve,habits you want to kick, habits you want to form, all of it. It is ALL possible!

 

Use your mind to take over your body and I promise you will achieve what you want. It is all in your mind-winning and doing are all in your mind. Once you can overcome your own mind you will overcome your body. Try a little thing today and build on that. Today I will win by not having sugar in my coffee and not let my mind say just a little. Today I will run the entire time and not let my mind tell me to stop when it gets hard. Today I will take a walk. Today I will do something nice for someone else without expecting something in return. Today I will find happiness in making others happy. There are endless “daily wins” you can achieve and I assure you when they all add up, you use your mind and all of its power, you will win and it will become contagious and addicting. You will continue to win on a daily basis because you know what its like to lose and losing isn’t what you want (unless you are losing fat-that is great!)

Your attitude runs your life-if you say you can’t then you won’t. If you say you can then you will. Expect more for yourself and the best part is you are the only one that can make a change so YOU will only have yourself to thank! Having a sense of pride is crucial to wanting to continue to win. Will your name be up in lights on the big screen for winning today? No, probably not but inside where it counts most to yourself is where you will feel like a superstar! Once you start winning you will know that you deserve to win and winning will become what you do…..Once you win you will want to repeat what made you win the first time. You will change those habits into winning ones with ease after you experience the feeling of winning. It will come natural.

Daily wins=Big life changing wins! 

Go you!

xoxoxo-A

 

No, I’m not on crack but I am on flax!

 

Ok, let’s talk depression and let’s be very honest and real about it. I have never been diagnosed with it but I am almost positive that I was for most of my 20’s if not some of my teens and 20’s. At one point in my marriage I was told to basically shape up, figure it out or get shipped out, in so many words. Well, we know how that story ended. (I got shipped) So, my point in sharing this is not to blame my ex-husband for not understanding that I most likely needed help (or at least some spinach smoothies with flaxseed) but to get others to understand that there are things you can do when you are faced with non-supportive “shape up or ship out” situations. I am pretty sure that from 2007 to 2010 I had prepartum (no I’m not sure if that is a real thing), partum (this either) and postpartum depression (ha)….it wasn’t that I was miserable…its just that I wasn’t me, I wasn’t the “happy and alive” that I am now. Now, people ask me believe it or not, “why and how are you so happy?” Seems silly right as we should all be striving to be this happy! We should be asking “why are you so miserable and what can I do to help?” Misery really does love company and I will not stand for it or be part of it. I believe in love, helping others and happiness.  I surround myself with others that believe in the same. Surrounding yourself with those that believe in you and your dreams is so important for your happiness! I can literally run people over with my happiness now and its awesome! I want you to feel that way too!

So crack or flax? Its flax……did you know that flax is a natural aid in helping to reverse depression? Read below:

“Flax fights “The Blues” It’s that tired feeling that a good night’s rest won’t shake… that listless down in the dumps feeling that you just can’t get rid of. We call it “the blues”, otherwise known as atypical depression, the most common form of depression. Preliminary research suggests that eating a diet rich in flax could slash your risk of ever feeling “down in the dumps”. Follow up studies show that just 2-3 tablespoons of flax daily can help up to 2/3rds of severely depressed women bounce back within eight weeks. Flax, says Udo Erasmus, PhD, has a mood boosting ingredient: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) that is essential for the proper function of brain cells, yet up to 85% of women aren’t getting enough of it. Early research conducted by Dr. Martha Clare Morris of Chicago’s Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center notes that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids is believed to be important for brain development. She stated that some participants in the study saw a decreased risk of Alzheimer’s from eating a diet high in Omega-3 fatty acids(Flax is the richest source of Omega 3’s in the plant kingdom). More research is needed in the area of flax and its relation to depression and brain function, however preliminary research is very promising.”

When I started adding flaxseed to my smoothies I was only doing it because I thought maybe I should be “going potty” (as my 3 yr old would say) more. Sorry if that is TMI but its true. It turns out that a little dose of flax in the am was actually setting a happy tone to each of my days, along with many other benefits! I am pretty sure I am addicted to it now because of that. How great is it to be addicted to things that make you feel great and are so good for you, like exercise and eating right! I know some of you have addictions to junk food, to alcohol, cigarettes etc……Why not try eliminating one bad habit this week and try replacing it with a good habit until all of your habits are good and you kicked the bad ones all to the curb. That is how you achieve a healthy lifestyle by forming all the right habits. Then it becomes second nature and no longer seems like a chore or a burden.

I hope this info about flax has helped some or one of you as that is my intention in sharing my stories with you.

Other supplements that I feel help keep me happy are:

  • Vitamin D
  • DHA
  • Caffeine- also a natural fat burner (Bonus!) and yes, some caffeine per day is completely fine!!!

Don’t forget to be awesome friends!!!
xoxoxo-A