I Had the Perfect Life Until My Husband Committed Suicide, and I Started Losing My Sanity… This is What Happened Next!

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One woman shares her inspiring story of overcoming depression brought on by a husband’s suicide, job loss by making small, mindful changes instead of relying on medications and self-pity.

For most of my life, I played it safe. I did well in school, I got a good job, I got married and bought a beautiful home. Everything I did followed a safe and predictable path. Until suddenly, life changed. At age 30, I lost my husband to suicide after just three years of marriage. Then I lost my job.

As a child, I was taught to take the straight and safe path in life. I didn’t go against the grain. I didn’t ruffle feathers and I didn’t take risks. And for the most part, it led to the textbook definition of success. I attended a prestigious college and later enjoyed a successful corporate marketing career, climbing the ladder at major entertainment companies.

My life fell apart seemingly overnight and the image of perfection that I was maintaining began to slip away. My job had become stressful and taxing, I didn’t feel like I belonged in my own body anymore, and no one seemed to realize the inner turmoil, feelings of disconnectedness and pain I was feeling.

I was on the verge of losing my home and my sanity. The stress that I endured was stifling and as a result, my health was the first to suffer. The long term sadness and stress manifested itself into depression, major digestive issues, chronic muscle pain, brain fog and more. For three years, I felt like I was having an out-of-body experience. I was completely lost.

I sought help from various doctors, and found myself taking numerous medications, which did not help my ailments or in overcoming depression.

I vividly remember the beautiful crisp fall morning that I woke up and shuffled into the kitchen to take my meds. As I stood there, laying out my doses for the day, I realized I was probably taking more medication than someone twice my age. In that moment, the fog cleared a bit. I realized that if I didn’t start taking care of myself, it would be a matter of time before I would face even bigger health issues.

I had to stop feeling sorry for myself and start taking control of my health and my life. It was in the darkest times that the mantra, “Little things make big things happen,” began to ring true. For me, it was paying attention to the little things that actually saved my life, salvaged my health and lead me to a new and fulfilling career. The only steps I could begin to take were small, but crucial. I began slowly and so can you:

  • Practicing daily breathing exercises and meditation. I gave myself space and quiet time every day, and it allowed me to begin to feel in control. I took a few minutes each morning and throughout the day to re-center myself, and be mindful. I worked to disengage from constant negative thoughts.
  • Eating nourishing foods. Prior to this tragic period in my life, I rarely paid attention to my nutrition and consumed processed foods often. I knew that feeding my body nourishing foods would help me physically feel better, which in turn would boost my mood. I began to decrease my intake of processed foods and to eat more fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean protein.
  • Engaging in daily movement. Although I was athletic as a child, I never worked out as an adult. During this difficult part of my life, I laid in bed or on the couch, living a stationary life. By getting up and out, even for a brisk walk, I increased my serotonin levels regularly.
  • Being present. During any difficult time, it is natural to dwell on the “what ifs” of the past or the unknowns of the future. I came to realize it was best for me to focus on the present and set myself up today for the best future outcome.

About a year into my journey of self-restoration, I stopped taking my medications. By recognizing the power within myself, and giving myself the attention, love, and care that I deserved, I was able to slowly heal my mind and body.

That initial period of overcoming depression and transforming my life was an amazing experience, and quite honestly, I am still on the path to healing everyday. I am a walking case study, an example for others of the ways that making lifestyle changes can reap amazing benefits.

My dramatic metamorphosis lead me to believe that I could help others seeking a similar path to health, and I became a Certified Holistic Health Coach. I channel my own life experiences, both positive and negative, into a profession that gives me the opportunity to empower and support others looking to make changes in their own lives. I am aware each day of the initial steps I took to take control of my life, which led me to happiness.

Today, my journey has come full circle: I continue to help others seek hope, health and happiness.

Want to read more about baby steps to changing your life for the better? Check out Jenna Wolfe’s Book Thinner in 30: Small Changes That Add Up to Big Weight Loss in Just 30 Days.

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5 thoughts on “I Had the Perfect Life Until My Husband Committed Suicide, and I Started Losing My Sanity… This is What Happened Next!

  1. Kristine Smart

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m leaving my personal story to whomever finds this and perhaps they can help me. The comments I make are not meant to be blaming or melodramatic; they are indeed 100% unadulterated truth as I lived it for a long time. I was always a nervous child that lived inside my head, uncomfortable around others my age and developed many behaviors considered O.C.D. I gave up getting exceptional grades by the 9th grade because reading and concentrating were impossible for me(ADHD). My parents and much older sister never sought medical/mental health attention and medicine until I was 26. Up until this point, I suffered my first major depressive episode-breakdown at 20 and simply existed, being taken care of by others. At ages 26 thru 29, my life took off like a magical torrent of great, positive changes. I had a fulltime job with insurance, I fell in love for the first time and was considering marriage. But a horrible thing happened and in a matter of seconds, I made a terrible error. I fell asleep just 2 miles from my parent’s house and crashed my little coupe into a huge, commercial van. Fortunately, I was the only one who got hurt; but I was hurt bad with internal bleeding and an ankle with multiple breaks. You can probably surmise what he’ll happened next. I was totally opposed to and never smoked, drank, or tried an illicit drug; however, I started being free with taking my hydrocodone. I used it not only for pain because I worked on my feet all day; I started popping them to curb my nervousness.
    After years of this abuse, I went through the Suboxone program that was told to me by the expert doctor, it would only take about 6 months. My dilemma; I’ve been on it for 6 years now and over time, the drug affected my mind and behaviors for the worse. I lost a great job after 11+ years and I had to wean myself. Too late. I’m lost, nervous, obsessive thoughts about wanting to die, I’m frozen, I can’t move most times, no will to continue, my husband and siblings have used yelling and putting me down as their means of communication. I’m 42, and simply lost, confused, and back to being a child–no skill and I’m afraid of everything. I hadn’t had a bad cold in ages; I lost weight to having no appetite and felt half-dead. This is not a pick-me-up story at any stretch. Over the years, my paroxetine was quadrupled, my clonazepam doesn’t work well on nervousness, and 8 months ago I was prescribed Adderal for the first time. I just wish I could pass away in my sleep. My father suffered with depression and smoking led to leg amputations; he mercifully passed away 3 weeks ago. I’m not certain about the afterlife; it’s all so confusing and EVERYONE has opinions on faith and religion, or none at all. I don’t believe I ever developed a personality. Like I said, and it’s pathetic and strange, I merely exist. I want to fade into the silence I was blessed with around our humble home. I just hear the sound of a train occasionally pass by a few hundred feet away up the hill and I love it. My last love.

    Reply
  2. Racial

    Here are 8 ways to control and overcome your depression through lifestyle choices:
    1. Eat Healthy
    2. Work Out Every Day
    3. Get The Right Amount of Sleep
    4. Friendships
    5. Write Down Your Goals
    6. Stop the Negative Self-Talk
    7. Meditation
    8. Travel

    Reply
  3. Irene Mui

    Hey Jennifer- Thank you for leaving a comment. I am terrible sorry for what you are going through, and I understand that pain that you are feeling. The situation does change your life forever. I hope that you can continue to heal. Everyone has their own timeline for recovery. Be gentle on yourself.

    Reply
  4. Jennifer

    Thank you for your for 16 years I’ve been drowning in a hole due to loss of husband. Although, I have remarried my life changed forever in that one moment. My life has been out of control and my anxiety and depression has consumed me. I’m going to try these suggestions.

    Reply
  5. Jennifer Haptonst

    Thank you for your for 16 years I’ve been drowning in a hole due to loss of husband. Although, I have remarried my life changed forever in that one moment. My life has been out of control and my anxiety and depression has consumed me. I’m going to try these suggestions.

    Reply
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