STESSIE’S STORY: OVERCOMING FEAR
Fear is the killer of all dreams. Fear is what cripples humanity and causes us to act like wild animals. Fear twists our minds and makes us believe we have to behave a certain way, lie, betray, cheat, or even worse, stay right where we are. Fear we will lose someone we love, fear of failure, fear we will be left behind, fear to be different, fear of change. Well I say SCREW YOU FEAR get the F out of my way. I’m putting Fear with a capital F up on the shelf for a while and diving head first into the unknown. And I challenge YOU to join me!
Change is the only thing in life you can know with 100% certainty. Everything will always change. So I have decided to make a change of my own. After much deliberation I am pleased to announce I am leaving my career and past life behind to venture out west to create my own personal legend.
This is what I call the “3 Stages of Stessie”…
As you can see Stage 1 is the old me, partying in Vegas before my untimely demise. I thought I had it all: a government related job in DC, a great salary, a brand new car, nice clothes and material items, I lived in a gorgeous home and traveled frequently to see my friends and family. I lived a life of excess. I was always on the go. I got up at 5 am every morning, commuted an hour and half into the city each way, and crashed late at night as I tried to balance work, my relationship, spending time with my family, visiting friends, and of course actually doing a few things for myself.
I knew something was missing. I slowly became more and more miserable. I was itching to go, itching to travel and live my life the way I wanted. I just wasn’t sure what that meant.
Now enter Stage 2: Stessie the Sickling. I hit rock bottom. I remember walking into my step mom’s office and sobbing in her arms. I had been sick on and off for over a year. It was constant. They should have given me a frequent buyers card at Patients First, I was there so often they knew me by name. I had battled everything from nasty sinus infections and bronchitis, to hive breakouts, to terrible gut issues, to the flu. I knew deep down that something was wrong but I couldn’t put my finger on it. I won’t bore you with all the details – more on my diagnosis and recovery later – but I will tell you it was one of the darkest times on my life. I missed an entire month of work and became completely detached from reality.
Stage 3 is the now. It’s a work in progress. I like to think of myself as a giant community experiment. Between my parents, my friends, and my doctors I have received a LOT of advice and help. Some unwanted, and some very much wanted and appreciated. I have successfully dabbled in a variety of holistic and mainstream treatments (acupuncture and essential oils are my new best friends), I have had my perception turned upside down and right-side back again, and I have some very interesting thoughts I’m excited to share with you! There are days when I feel on top of the world, and there are days when I think I’m slipping back into the dark abyss. My head spins, I can’t stand up, my breath is short and tight – and that’s when I turn to my writing.
For a while I was embarrassed to tell people what was going on – how do you explain to someone that you feel absolutely terrible and can barely put one foot in front of the other, and it’s because of stress? Part of me felt ashamed. I thought I was strong and independent. Strong independent women don’t get bed ridden because of stress and a weak immune system! Yes – they do. We all do. My body was sending me a message. In not so few words it was saying “Screw you Stessie! You are doing too much and I am DONE.”
When I finally DID start sharing my story I couldn’t believe how many people I talked to that responded with, “Oh my God I’m sorry Steph, I went through something so similar!” It hadn’t even occurred to me that other people might be battling the same stress monster disease. I was so wrapped up in my own misery it didn’t even cross my mind to see how others had dealt with this as well! (Only child syndrome)
I started to dig. I found an incredible amount of literature about depression and serious health issues. However I found very little, if none, about the average young woman battling daily life. (Unless you count every show on ABC Family, in which case, I do #whoisA)
I was tired of reading articles that made it look so simple to restart you life and find happiness. I was also tired of articles that constantly bashed women our age and stereotyped us into blonde social media obsessed airheads. My mission is to create an outlet for women to be exactly who they are without feeling like they are being stereotyped. Let’s talk about the anxiety, the stress, the funny moments, the crazy ups and downs, the vegan diet and juice cleanse that caused diarrhea … I’m talking honest and blunt: the truth about young women today.
The purpose of this blog is for other women who are struggling to know they are not alone. (Not to mention it is GREAT therapy for me.) I promise to be 100% open, honest, and vulnerable with you, and in return I ask that you read with an open heart and mind. I can’t guarantee you won’t want to slap me or roll your eyes – I have been known to be a BIT dramatic, but I promise to never lie or embellish my tales.
This blog is not about me. Ok shit that was a lie (doesn’t count) – this blog is written by me about me – but the goal of this blog is for YOU.
My goal is to start a movement. I hope to move a few other women to follow my footsteps and do the same. I want to wake up the hearts and minds of women everywhere so YOU can ask yourself these same questions and you know you aren’t doing it alone! Life does not have to be lived within the confines of what society deems is necessary – life is what YOU make it!
What is your heart really telling you? Do you want to quit your job and travel the world? Go for it. Do you want to be a professional clown and scare children for a living? GO FOR IT. Do you want to go find Hogwarts and be a wizard?! I WILL GO WITH YOU! Do you want to just not have a plan for once in your life? Do you want to travel and breathe? Breathe. Deeply and purposely, breathe. The first step on your new journey is being honest with yourself. Take a long look in the mirror at who you are and what you are doing. When you are 80 years old will you be proud of you path? If your life is cut short will you look back with regrets?
I don’t want to have regrets. I don’t want to wake up one day 40 years old living in the exact same area, same job, same routine, bored out of my mind with 4 kids and saggy skin, thinking, “why didn’t I do more when I was young? Why didn’t I just go for it?”
So I have decided to GO FOR IT. I am taking a leap of faith and believing in myself. Putting one foot in front of the other and seeing where it takes me.