My #BeReal guest today is Shone Hartery.
I’m sitting in the this cafe on this freezing cold March afternoon waiting for roadside assistance to come save the day for the second time in 2 weeks! ! Now this fact would make one shake their head but no my friends this is just the beginning of the woes in this little story.
The reason I’m even in this part of town is for a follow up appointment with a dermatologist that I was delighted I didn’t forget about because I had strategically set a reminder for myself in my phone!!
Now here’s where it gets interesting…
I got to my appointment (15 min’s late I should add) only to discover that my dermatologist is on vacation till March 17!!!!
The pretty, perfectly perky blonde receptionist assured me that I had been contacted and the appointment had been rescheduled to which I replied “Oh no, I would have put that in my calendar in my phone” it was at that moment that I flipped to March 17th and noticed that I had in fact put it in my phone AND set a reminder for my usual 2 weeks before, 2 days before, 2 hours before, 1 hour before, 15 minutes before AND on time. A bit excessive you might think… please refer to the beginning of this story if you feel that way and I assure you it is not the least bit excessive.
You see along with various neurological disorders (depression, anxiety, PMDD, complex PTSD) I also have adult ADHD. I was only diagnosed with this a couple of years back after a particularly deep dark black pit of depression which coincided with the most crippling anxiety I had ever experienced in my whole 39 years on this rotating sphere called earth!
I had been on a gamut of meds for a couple of years after what I like to refer to as “the 5 year shit show”
I won’t go into all the details of said shit show here I’ll save that for the book.
I felt like a zombie so I worked to wean myself off all of the meds except for a low dose of antidepressant and 0.5 of Lorazepam as needed.
During this process I went to a mental health day treatment program for 6 weeks and to this day still continue with private therapy. Both of these things proved to be invaluable, I learned coping skills that I truly believe should be taught in schools!!
It was in private therapy that I began to look into Adult ADHD and many things started to make sense to me. I was relieved to discover that I was neither lazy, crazy, nor stupid. I didn’t suck at life and I wasn’t destined to be a perpetual quitter.
I was put on a low dose of Concerta and something magical happened. I was no longer overwhelmed by everything, I could focus with little to no effort and I had energy to get through my day!!!
So that brings me up to roughly this time last year when I finally felt mentally stable enough to start working a bit harder on my physical health. I joined a free 5 day clean eating group, started to walk my dog everyday, which eventually led to me working out daily. I also started to put together meal plans and do meal prep for my family (seriously, I’m still in shock that I enjoy cooking!!)
I started to set realistic goals for myself. Instead of “I’m going to run a marathon before I’m 40”, I changed it to, I’m going to run my first 5km race… and I did, I ran 3 of them last summer 🙂
I’m starting to trust myself again, to allow myself to have an off day or two where I want to just stay in bed and have a Netflix marathon!! I don’t try so hard to be “Normal” cause who the heck knows what that looks like anyways!!??
I was told once that recovery doesn’t always go in a straight line, sometimes it looks like a winding road, and that’s so true. Sometimes there’s days where the valleys are deep and dark, and I can feel my depression nipping at my heels… and I get scared. It’s on those days that I am gentle with myself and tell myself that it’s OK to rest, it’s OK to feel down… it’s OK to not be OK.
I remind myself that I’ve been here before, that I have made it up out of the darkness, and if it lasts more than a few days… I call my therapist.
When my old friend anxiety pays a visit, I use mindfulness techniques to stay in the moment and ground myself. I tell myself things like “there’s nothing in this moment that I cannot handle” or when it’s really bad I’ll remind myself to focus on:
5 things I can see,
4 things I can hear
3 things I can touch or feel
2 things I can smell
1 thing I can taste
And if that doesn’t work… you guessed it, I call my therapist!!
Along with navigating through the valleys, I’ve learned to fully embrace the peaks. Those days that are perfect, where I’m productive, and on task, and I don’t yell at my kids 25 times . The days where I feel safe and comfortable in my own skin, the days where I sit with a friend and laugh right from the depths of my soul, and I love my life. Finally I’ve accepted that I may always need to be on some type or various types of medications. I know now that I didn’t cause my depression, or anxiety any more than I caused my Crohn’s disease.
All of these things make me who I am….and I’m OK with that.
Shona is an almost 40 work from home Mom of 4, and military spouse. She’s a lover of the fine arts and has dabbled in theater since grade school. She feels most alive and at home on stage where she can transform into whatever character she’s playing.
Shona is an online health and fitness coach and is passionate about helping people improve their overall health and well-being through clean eating and regular exercise.
She also uses this as a platform to speak on her struggles and triumphs with mental illness through the years in hopes that others will find hope and know they’re not alone.
You can find her on Facebook