Get The Strongie Startup Guide - my fav inner strength-building worksheets - FREE!

The Truth I Didn’t Want to Share & How I Got Through It

My Love Letter to You: The Truth I Didn't Want to Share

Writing this post just 3 years ago would have filled me with dread. Actually, it still does a little.

Today, I want to share a post with you that I wrote a few weeks ago because I haven’t been writing very much about where I’ve been lately.

That’s because I’ve been afraid to share it with you.

I speak all the time about how you shouldn’t be afraid to talk about your struggle and reach out, but I suffer from the same fears. I worry that you’ll worry, or that you’ll see that I’m not strong all the time. I write because I know, and I still live it.

After giving it some thought (and some space to heal and gain perspective on my struggle), I came back to the truth that governs Strong Inside Out: vulnerability is a necessary stepping stone to strength. I hope that showing you both dark and light sides of my story will inspire you to find the light in yours.

After working on my strength from the outside in this time, I once again feel strong, grateful and confident in my ability to live fully in spite of this heaviness. All it took to get back here was action and faith. You are completely capable of getting here, too.

The below entry was written after a straight month of traveling for the Tour, not enough sleep and a change of seasons (even in San Diego, I feel it!). A few tour stops got cancelled or just didn’t pan out and I felt like a failure.

So I decided to write you a love letter.

Let me know if any of this sounds familiar…

*****

I’m struggling. Really struggling.

It’s been a few years since I’ve felt like this. While I know in my soul I will never give up to the darkness that’s overpowering me right now, it doesn’t affect the way it is right now.

The thought of talking to someone, even over the phone, makes me feel like hiding in a corner. I find myself drained from putting on a “brave face” with the people I can’t avoid. I’m on the edge of tears every second of every day, but I hold it inside to keep people from worrying. Then, something happens to set it off, something small, and I’m either alight with rage or I’m sobbing uncontrollably.

Escape through TV shows and movies is all that I want to do. When I force myself to work, it’s on data entry and menial tasks that don’t require much thinking or feeling. Clearing the fog in my mind seems too hefty a task to try to put together a coherent post worthy of you.

Getting out of bed fills me with dread. Didn’t mean to rhyme there, but hey. Let’s lighten this up.

I knew the signs were there as they started to trickle in, one at a time, but with my travel schedule, I didn’t have the right coping mechanisms in place to handle them as they arose like I usually do. The lack of sleep, erratic schedule and failure of a couple Tour stops just added to the pot. The darkness came to a peak right after our final stop in Austin, and I haven’t had the courage to tell you until right now.

I feel like I’m failing at what I’m supposed to be, at what I’m trying to create for the world, at what I was so sure of when I left the training job I loved in LA, and the hole that it leaves is consuming me. I’m overcome by the forces that told me I couldn’t do this all along, and I’m fighting my urge to agree with them.

I’m here telling you this because I want you to know I’m not perfect. I’m not a happiness machine who’s full of energy all the time. I’m not “cured.”

Most of all, I want you to know that I’m not giving up. I won’t allow myself the familiar embrace of dwelling in the darkness. I force myself to look at all the love and light I have in my life, even if I don’t feel it. Yet.

I have my amazing, supportive, understanding soul mate for a husband. I have my friends who call and text me to make sure I’m ok. I have my health, my strength, my re-framed perspective that I’m capable of beating this.

And I have you. I have you to show that this is possible to live fully in spite of all this heaviness.

I knew when I started this site that it’s impossible to feel light and free at all times. That was never the message I hoped to send. Struggle is a necessary part of joy.

While I’ve come to a point at which I know I will pull through because I have done it before and will do it again, I refuse above all else to let you down.

And that responsibility requires honesty. It’s my belief that allowing yourself to be vulnerable in front of others is the truest form of strength.

So I’m forcing myself to be strong through transparency now, and I’m so glad you’re here by my side so that when I feel light again, we can laugh and you will know that I don’t take that simple act for granted.

Thank you, Strongie, for your love, your support and your courage in being vulnerable right here with me.

*****

Now that I’m on the other side, I can look back on my situation and recognize the power that taking action truly has.

Though I didn’t feel inspired or motivated at all, I went outside and exercised 5 days a week, knowing I would soon feel better. I finally sat down with a friend and just cried while she helped me work through the unfounded doubts in my head. I made a phone appointment with my old therapist who’s above and beyond any other one I’ve tried since I moved away from her.

I allowed myself to hope for the light to come back. I accepted that the struggle was overtaking me, and I surrendered to it so that it would move on faster. I rested, I said “no” to things that would have added extra stress, I made space to fall into introversion so I could heal.

And I did. Here I am, light again.

Even if you don’t feel the call to heal, taking action will lead you there. Sometimes you have to start from the outside in.

Trust yourself. Trust that you deserve to come out of this, and give yourself permission to do things that will lead you to the light.

Here I am, laying my heart out for you in hopes that you’ll see just how worthy yours is. You are not damaged. You are not broken. You are living, and that means embracing the dark times so you can appreciate the light.

The darkness will lie to you, but your light never will. And the message is always the same…

You are worth fighting for.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail to someone

20 responses to “The Truth I Didn’t Want to Share & How I Got Through It”

  1. April says:

    Beautiful, Amy. Thank you for sharing this with us. I just want to give you a big ole’ hug – oh wait, in 9 days, I can! :)

  2. Rad says:

    Courage is taking the armor off.

    Thanks for showing us the way homie. Stay strong.

  3. Mark says:

    Amy, please keep doing what you’re doing. I find great comfort reading about both your ups and downs, as I’m sure many do. Keep being vulnerable. Keep fighting the fight. Keep getting stronger and helping others do the same. You are having a big impact on the world. You’ve helped me. I appreciate it. We all do. Stay strong. Stay positive. All the best. Mark

  4. Camille says:

    I have felt this recently and it is so nice to hear that we are not alone in this. Thank you so much for sharing!

  5. Kobus says:

    Hi Amy,

    Thank you for sharing your story. I was diagnosed with clinical depression at the age of 20 and that is 23 years ago. I’ve resigned myself to the belief that there was something wrong with me – 23 years later and I am sometimes still overcome with the darkness. But depression is like cancer. No, it is worse than cancer. You are never healed from depression but you learn to live an extraordinary your life despite the depression.

    Most of the time we live in the light. But the darkness will use every chance it gets to try and put out the light. But darkness cannot overcome light. Even the small flickering light of a match forces the darkness to retreat.

    As I’m typing I’m gaining new insights into depression and the coping mechanisms I’m put in place without realizing it. And I also see the small gaps I unknowingly give depression and how it tries to take advantage of those gaps.

    Thank you for the good work you are doing and the hope you are giving.

    Kobus

  6. Maria says:

    Thank you so much for sharing Amy!! I am a freshman in college and am really struggling in a season of depression and anxiety with the transition. It’s nice reading that I’m not alone and even people that “have it all together” still struggle. I’m doing the 30 day motivational challenge to start moving everyday to try to help :)

  7. Anna B. says:

    Thanks for posting this. I’ve been going through a low point and really feeling that heaviness that you mentioned. I’m trying to get through this doubt and dread (by getting out of bed!) and taking action, even if these actions seem small and meaningless. This was a good post that reminded me that I’m not alone in this struggle!

    • Amy says:

      The actions are not meaningless as much as our depression tries to convince us otherwise. Keep moving forward! It worked for me and has before.

  8. Chuck Junior says:

    Oh! Common Amy!!! struggles in life is inevitable and our circumstances never define us so since your struggles don’t define you, permit me to say you are just the best! Your heaviness is pure gold in disguise, your precious tears is as beautiful as the flowers in the fields and surely the dark clouds you see now aren’t forever because it’s simply covering the blue sky behind it. You know, there is nothing as beautiful as being open to life, experiencing the good and the bad times, it’s whats makes us human. And one more thing, OF COURSE YOU ARE PERFECT!!! It’s only one who is perfect at heart-level that will open-up as you did, and tell you the striking truth, we love you for who you are! If there’s anything else am going to say, that will be a thousand thumbs-up. It is because of your light, that is why you are going through this darkness so that you will shine brighter and brighter.

  9. Krissie says:

    Thank you. I’ve been struggling with anxiety, depression and OCD for years and I’m finally to the point where I can be taken off of my medication. Your email today about the 10 ways to love yourself actually made me decide to browse through your site more thoroughly.

    Thank you

    • Amy says:

      I’m so happy to hear that today’s post helped you find your way here again, Krissie. I hope you’ll let us inspire you to keep growing stronger beyond today. <3

  10. SaraC says:

    You have no idea how much this post means to me. I really needed this. I am on the road to healing; while I can say I’m in many ways better than I was six months ago, I still have some really bad days. I have been working on my responses to certain triggers, and my mindset (especially my tendency to let someone else’s horrible behavior plummet my whole day into the toilet, or my tendency to assume my friends are just putting up with me and really wish I would just leave them alone.) But that doesn’t make everything better all the time. I’m so tired of hurting, inside and out, and I need a break.

    • Amy says:

      I’m so happy I could help you feel less alone today, Sara. It’s a process. With practice, it gets easier and easier. Now that I’m on the other side of this low, that truth is even more clear to me. I got out of it faster and with less effort than many of the times I’ve hit that low in the past, and that’s all because of the coping mechanisms I’ve been working on for years.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *