I was in a really bad place in my life for quite a few years. I had some traumatic things in my family life happen all at once and I slowly fell apart. I started becoming this person I did not even recognize anymore. Gone was the carefree, happy, positive lover of life. In her place was a depressed, stressed out, negative thinking, anxiety-ridden girl.
It was a strange place to be because I was always upbeat and happy. But sometimes life throws you some stuff that you just don't know how to handle and all hell breaks loose. I was in a downward spiral and I did not know how to get out. I cried daily. My mind would not stop thinking about all the bad in my life. I did not know how to control the anxiety and it started overtaking my life
Fast forward about 9 years. Yes, seriously, I let myself stay in that place for 9 whole years. I was totally at a breaking point. My thoughts were that I truly believed that I would never be happy again. That idea terrified me. I had not experience happiness in 9 years. Sure I was happy at times, but it was superficial at best. It was short-lived and then the anxiety and depression would creep back in.
That fear of never experiencing true happiness again fueled me. I knew I did not want to live the life I had been living. I had to get that joy back. And it was hard. Depression and anxiety become your comfort zone. Its what you know and your brain is used to thinking like that I had to think of how I could get back to a good place, to find me again.
I decided to start what I called my "Journey of Change". I took baby steps daily to try to find the real Kristi that was hiding under this cloak of darkness. Each day, I made myself find something to appreciate. It could be a bunny in the yard or a beautiful flower I saw in bloom. It was small stuff, seriously. But these small, seemingly inconsequential things gave me joy, for just a moment, but pure joy. Some days, these small things were the only good part of my day. I was still in a very unhappy place but I still trudged on, making myself find one moment of joy daily.
Then, after the small joy moments became habit, I started to focus on one thing about myself that I wanted to change. I decided to start with letting go of my fear of not being perfect, of not being enough. I made myself stop fretting over everything not being just so. I was so afraid of judgment and not measuring up to other's standards that I was a mess most of the time. This kind of change does not happen overnight. In fact, this perfection thing took me a year to get a hold of and it still sometimes goes through my mind. I just know how to cage that thought now.
The whole point of all of this is that I took daily steps over a long period of time to find the me that had been hidden since I was around 20. She is back and I could not be more happy than I am now. I am not afraid to be my goofy, silly, heart on my sleeve self. This is who I am and I am really sad that I thought for so long that I wasn't good enough to be me.
This is only part of my story and I am sure I will share more at another time. This is why I wanted to inspire and empower other women to not be afraid to be themselves.And if you have lost your way, I hope I give you hope that there is a way back to you.
Take the time to care for yourself and let your inner beauty shine.