I DIDN’T SHOWER FOR WEEKS…
I remember when I couldn’t drive, when I couldn’t work, when I couldn’t sleep by myself out of fear, when I couldn’t get out of bed, and when panic attacks plagued me from waking up to going to sleep.
Anxiety and depression had taken control, consuming every aspect of my life. I neglected self-care, and for weeks, I couldn’t bring myself to shower due to overwhelming fear and panic.
I’ll never forget the day I ended up in the emergency room during a panic attack—perhaps a story familiar to you. A friend visited me in the hospital, and while leaning over for a hug, he whispered in my ear, “Kelle, when was the last time you showered?” With intense embarrassment, I looked at him and admitted, “OMG, now that you’ve mentioned it, I just realized it has been weeks.”
In that moment, I recognized the extent of my struggle. Anxiety and depression had once again taken hold, causing me to neglect my self-image and self-care.
I couldn’t wait to leave the hospital and head home for a shower. After receiving my discharge papers, once again indicating “PANIC DISORDER; ANXIETY EPISODE,” I hurried past other patient rooms through the waiting room to my car. I was on a mission to get home and shower.
Finally at home, I began undressing to prepare for my shower. As tears fell down my face while looking in the mirror, I noticed numerous black marks on both of my arms when I took off my shirt. Initially puzzled, I quickly realized it was the black dye from wearing my black shirt for weeks, penetrating my skin.
In the shower, I let the water fall on me. While scrubbing my arms and watching the black dye go down the drain, I made a crucial decision to FIGHT. I tapped into my strength instead of fear, chose to heal rather than hurt, and opted to LIVE instead of DIE. I committed to therapy instead of repeatedly going to the ER.
Upon returning to therapy, restarting my anti-depressant meds, journaling multiple times a day, reading victory stories on the Anxiety & Depression Association of America website, and altering my diet and exercise, I aimed not only to feel better but also to look better—I deserved both.
I pledged to advocate for others once I healed, and I fulfilled that promise. Now, as the Author of a journal for those healing from anxiety titled “F Anxiety, This is My Time” available on Amazon, and as the Founder and President of Green Heart University—an online school certifying individuals in mental health advocacy and coaching—I teach people to advocate for themselves and others.
Our program emphasizes the importance of advocates being educated and equipped to prioritize their mental health, influencing others to do the same. I learned that the world changes around you when you heal yourself first.
I discovered the purpose in all my pain. I fought my way here for myself and others. I take pride in my journey and extend that pride to anyone else who hasn’t given up.
To those struggling with anxiety, depression, postpartum, trauma, bipolar disorder, OCD, or anything else, believe that healing is possible, and you deserve it. You have to FIGHT.
Fighting might involve therapy, finding a support group, reading victory stories, or various other actions. Help and healing are not exclusive to me; they are for you too.
Your dreams and goals are still relevant, achievable despite any diagnosis. It’s not too late. I believe in you.
Green Love, Kellene Diana
Are you up for a challenge?
For the next 30 days, record and celebrate yourself daily during your shower or bath and daily hygiene routines. It’s a significant accomplishment worth celebrating. Take extra time to love yourself—massage lotion into your skin and speak love and life over yourself OUT LOUD.
Throughout your day, remind yourself WHO you are—a warrior who won’t let anxiety, depression, or anything else hinder you from being who you are called to be.
To learn more about Green Heart University and how to advocate for yourself and others, visit us at www.greenheartuniversity.com