What happens when we go through something so difficult that it rocks the very core of who we are? Today I have a real, raw discussion with Josiah Novak from True Transformation about my battle with insomnia, depression, and anxiety.
Regular listeners know that I just recovered from a 33-day bout of debilitating insomnia. It was the most insane thing I ever went through. It tested me mentally, emotionally, physically and I felt that I might lose everything that was important to me. For the first time in my life, I understood how awful depression and anxiety could be.
During this episode, I go through the story from beginning to end. Here are a few takeaway lessons from my experience.
Listen to your body
My insomnia began after vigorous training for SEALFIT 20X. After breaking my personal records, I didn’t feel right. Instead of listening to my body, I kept pushing myself and the adrenaline and cortisol from the intense workouts wouldn’t let my body calm down. I put myself through an unnecessary domino effect of absolute hell.
Ask for help right away
I couldn’t sleep for more than 90 minutes to 3 hours a night. I thought it would pass and go away on its own. It didn’t.
I couldn’t think right. I began to have panic attacks. If I had gotten help in the beginning, it may not had gotten to that point.
Don’t give up
My wife became a single mother during this time. I had gotten so depressed I didn’t know what to do with myself. There was tension in our relationship and I felt that if I couldn’t function, provide, or please her, what good was I as a man? At one point I thought I wouldn’t be able to hang on much longer. But eventually I broke the cycle. As desperate as I felt, there was an end to the nightmare.
The doctor isn’t always right
I tried all kinds of sleeping pills and psychiatric meds. I even swigged shots of Benadryl. One doctor told me that if my prescription didn’t work for me, there was no hope. Another doctor prescribed me four different powerful drugs to take everyday. They had awful side-effects. Against doctor’s orders, I tapered myself off and now use natural techniques to make sure I fall asleep.
You can’t ‘yes’ to everything. In the end you spread yourself too thin and can’t give your attention to those who need it most, like your kids. Think about what’s important in your life and save your energy for your priorities.
Depression and Anxiety can happen to anybody
I now have tremendous compassion for people who have depression and anxiety. It’s not something anyone wants to have. It’s not something anyone can control. It represents emotional struggle, a cycle that no one knows how to deal with. It can seem like digging an endless hole. If you’ve never experienced it, you don’t know. Men do suffer depression and anxiety, and we should be talking about it.
Referenced Episode : How to Get Rid of the Dad Bod in 2017 with Josiah Novak
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