How I learned to overcome depression and become a winner again

To overcome depression, I had to lose it all.

In 2014 I lost my job, house, and car all within a matter of weeks.  At the time, I had been living and working in the Maryland/DC area for 8 years.  I occupied space at a science & tech company for 4 of those years and ran my nutrition & wellness company on the side for about 3. On July 7th, 2014, things shifted quite a bit. I received notice that I would be laid off from my job due to a reduction in funding on the contract.

As this was all going down, I thought to myself “no biggie”.

To me, it really was no big deal considering that I really wanted to focus more on growing my nutrition and wellness company anyway.  I had a plan. I would use the savings I had at the time, the funds I got from my severance, and my last few paychecks to live off of and use my (now) extra time to work on my business.

That was my exact intention, until my homeowner told me that she wouldn’t be renewing the lease. I got this news not even 2 weeks after my lay-off and 1.5 months before the lease was up. I was stunned! I hadn’t fully processed that I was losing my job and now my home? 

In an effort to make peace with all that was happening and to calm my nerves, I decided to go to my favorite yoga studio one quiet afternoon.  That day, I remember being about 1 minute into the class when I got a strong urge to look for my keys.  I would usually leave my keys near the corner of the room.  I thought to myself, “why would this time be any different?” I ignored the voice and began to move into my light stretching.  Before I could even bend to touch my toes, the hunch returned, but this time much stronger. I heard, “TURN ROUND AND LOOK FOR YOUR KEYS”.  I frantically threw my neck toward the corner of the room and what do you know…my keys are not there! I didn’t completely panic because I figured I probably put them in my bag. So, I ignore the hunch and silence “where the hell are my keys voice” long enough to make it through the whole class.

Immediately after class I search the studio in hopes that my keys would appear. I look in the bathrooms, garbage cans, lost & found, my gym bag, and even in my sneakers.  2 hours later – no keys!

I think to myself, “what else can really go wrong in my life right now!?

overcome depression - woman thinking

That evening, I get a ride home from a friend. I call the dealership when I get in and tell them that I lost my car keys. They tell me that I would have to get a new computer for my car, since I had no spare key and the key that I lost was the master key. Turns out Toyota keys are programmed to the computer of the car.

Let’s just say, the computer & new set of keys were worth more than my 260,000-mile, 2000 Solara.

I declined the offer to replace my car computer and sat at home in complete shock & disbelief.  It seemed as if everything was falling apart.

That weekend I contemplated my entire life. I considered what I would do next or even “now”? Was I to stay in DC or would I leave? Was I to get a new car or get the computer? Move forward with my business, or not?  Look for another job or not? 

Trying to makes sense of all the change that was taking place left me completely exhausted.  I literally had no more fight in me. 

So, I decided, “I’m going home“.

I decided to go back home to Pittsburgh, PA, which I had left in 2001 when I went away for college.

I thought, “maybe now is a good time to return.”  Plus, I really missed my family.

Moving back into the house after being on my own for 10+ years might seem like a good decision, yet, for me it just wasn’t.

While I was at home, I really tried to focus on continuing to build my nutrition & wellness company and had also hit the ground in search of a “job”.

Unfortunately, the wellness scene in Pittsburgh was still pretty scarce and so was my ability to get clients. The getting a job thing didn’t really go as planned either.  Considering the fact that I hold two degrees and a certification, I thought “I should be able to land something.” However, after many attempts and even making it to 2nd and 3rd round interviews, my efforts returned void.

And that’s when it hit? The depression…

I was highly, educated, highly capable, but dead broke, practically homeless, hungry most days, and single with no real plan of how I was going to pull myself out of this “mess”.

I counted and recounted my steps – I’m sure more times than any normal person would – trying to figure out where I went wrong and how the F I got “here”.

If you ask me, I did most things “right”.  I went to college, went to grad school, worked hard, obeyed laws, and treated people well.

And with no apparent answer to my questioning, I came to know depression and anxiety as if we were best friends.

If I really sit and think about all that I’ve been through I can still feel the pain from the lack of support, lack of clarity, and lack of movement that took place during this time. 

But, as you may imagine, I got tired of crying. I got tired of questioning and was tired of my reality.  So, in – what seemed like a blink of an eye…

I made a BOLD decision to move, again. To overcome depression and become a winner again.

overcome depression - woman smiling

This time it was to Atlanta with a friend.  Well an ex-boyfriend to be exact.

I know – What was I thinking? Was I crazy? Was I losing it?  That’s kind of how I felt…crazy, super super crazy.  Truth is, half of me was scared and somewhat desperate for change and the other half of me was hopeful, faithful and ready to take action.  So I decided to go with the latter half.

I took a leap, and moved to Atlanta and yes with my ex.

I could go on but I’ll just say, once I moved the rest was history…

As I got on the other side of what was one of the biggest transitions of my life – at least up to this point – I learned something valuable about myself.

I learned how losing it all made me more of a winner.  Losing it all made me:

More Bold.

When I decided to make the second move to Atlanta, I knew people might think I was losing it or not agree with my decision. I decided not to tell many people and I didn’t ask for permission.  Though I planned for the move for two months, I actually told my mother and father maybe I week before I was leaving. I wasn’t sure if they would support my decision or not, but I really couldn’t worry about it at that time. I needed to make a decision that I felt was BEST for me and I did.

More Brave.

When I first decided to move to Atlanta, I was scared to death. I thought, “what if this is the wrong move?” I felt like I was all over the place, but I knew I needed a change. Now that I am on the other side of that which once seemed the scariest thing in the world, I feel unstoppable.

More Confident.

When I moved to Atlanta, I decided to leave my health coaching company behind. It wasn’t an easy decision at all.  There were many nights that I cried and prayed for God to guide me back to what was once my “dream.” He didn’t and I now see why. Going back would’ve been easy and comfortable. My past was what was familiar to me.  To let that go and step into something new required a whole new level of confidence. However, after two years, I am confidently stepping into the “new” and launching my new project and business – Rock Your Reality blog.  My confidence in my abilities and myself has increased tremendously and I am ready to embrace all that life has to offer.

I now realize that I had to experience loss to be able to be to stand firm in where I am headed today.  What a difference 2 years and a shift in perspective makes!