Dear Former Depressed, Self-Loathing Me: You Found Meditation Just In Time Print 9 LikeDislike By Tina Paymaster As a young girl, I always felt like I didn’t belong. I struggled with low self-confidence and felt like I wasn’t lovable or good enough. On the outside my life looked great. I had two amazing sisters, parents that provided me with whatever I needed, a beautiful home and food always on the table. But on the inside, there was a never-ending battle that I didn’t know how to win.I struggled with feeling loved by my parents and as I entered my teenage years, these same insecurities followed me. I always felt like I had to work hard to maintain my friendships. I would shift my likes and dislikes, my values and desires just to be accepted and please those around me. I was never the popular girl, never felt attractive and was never asked out by boys. In fact, it got to a point where I convinced myself that if I wanted to be happy I would just have to accept that I would never be the girl that guys were interested in.When I did finally begin dating, I found myself continuously attracting emotionally unavailable men that could never give me the love and affection I so desperately wanted. I was being promised the world, but getting nothing but the words. The emotions I felt were so overwhelming at times that I’d try to stuff them down by emotionally eating, drinking and criticizing myself to no end. Even when I knew the relationships were not healthy for me, I would still try to make them work because I was so desperate to feel the loved.One heartbreak after another combined with unhealthy lifestyle habits and not being able to navigate the intense emotions I was experiencing, led me into a deep depression in my mid-20s, often having suicidal thoughts.The emotional struggles eventually led to physical symptoms as well. I began experiencing cystic acne, terrible digestive issues, fatigue, nausea and headaches. There were days I literally couldn’t get myself out of bed. I’d call in sick to work frequently, cancel on plans with friends and stop calling my family.The turning point for me came during my last relationship. I was deeply in love with a man that I thought I was going to marry. Over time, he became a part of my family and me a part of his. We would talk about getting engaged from time to time and I finally felt like I had broken the spell. Now, this relationship wasn’t all chocolates and roses, by any means. We had arguments and as time progressed, more and more of them. I found myself slowly losing all sense of who I was (yet again), what I wanted and my place in this world. My unhealthy patterns of emotionally eating and drinking came back into the picture. Even though something didn’t feel right, I ignored it and continued living out my fantasy romance.Then in November of 2012, at one of my friend’s wedding receptions, we got into another one of our heated arguments, but this time in front of everyone. I woke up the next morning, hungover, eyes swollen shut from crying and began to feel the depression seeping back in. I didn’t want to live. It all just felt too hard and hopeless.But in that moment of silence and desperation I suddenly heard this voice speak to me. It told me that I could be happy, but I had to stop looking for the answers to my problems in the people and circumstances outside of myself. If I wanted to experience the life I dreamed of, I’d have to take full responsibility for my own happiness.The next day I immediately went to Buddhist meditation classes and I continued going regularly for six months straight. It was there that I learned how my own perceptions and beliefs were the root of my suffering, but also that under all of that was the solution to it as well. I gradually but relentlessly found my way back to my true self. I gained a sense of peace, joy and confidence that I had never felt before. I gained a sense of awareness and understanding about my past and present that I never had, and along with that deep compassion and forgiveness for myself. I realized that any lack of love I felt from others was not because I wasn’t deserving of it, but because I wasn’t giving it to myself.I truly believe that spirituality is what saved me from the emotional and physical pain that I identified myself with for so long. Spirituality connected me back to my spirit. It gave me the strength to walk away from my last relationship. It enabled me naturally to sustain healthier habits that healed my digestion, my skin and my low energy. It showed me how to love myself in ways I never could before, and it gave me the strength to leave the corporate world and pursue a career as a Holistic Health Coach, EFT Practitioner and Ayurvedic Practitioner.I believe it’s through connecting to our spirit, releasing the stories and traumas from our past and practicing daily self-love through proper nourishment, movement and self-care, that we can overcome so many of our greatest roadblocks to the lives we desire. When we live in this way, we bring our mind, body and soul back into alignment the way nature intended, and as a result, we naturally begin to make choices that are in our highest good — without force, strict rules or guilt.This is the pathway to lasting health, happiness and abundance.It’s my mission to support as many people as possible in experiencing this reality, so they can release themselves from the stress, anxiety, fears and physical challenges that have been defining their lives for so long. Through nutritional, lifestyle and spiritual guidance that is customized to each individual’s needs, my clients have been able to create deep and lasting changes that leave them feeling empowered, healthy and free to experience the lives they truly deserve and desire. Want more? You might also like:Why This Health Coach Encourages Her Clients to Turn to Emotional EatingFrom One Serial Dieter to Another: How I Ended the Cycle and Lost the Weight for GoodHow My Anxiety Disorder Transformed My Relationship with FoodWant to Feel Good? Do These 4 Simple Practices Daily Note: PLEASE consult with your doctor before making any changes to your diet or medications. The material on this site is provided for educational purposes only, and is not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.