I am happy now. I look into my sons beautiful hazel eyes each day and adore when he wants a “cubble”. I love. I snuggle up to my husband on the couch for a bit of serious TV watching with a wine in hand. I am content. I head to work and look forward to the day. I am challenged. I have a weekly pot of tea with the best mother and sister in the world. I feel supported. I have a circle of friends that are the most incredible bunch of people you could be lucky enough to meet. I have fun. Big picture – I am feeling great!
This has not always been my story. A few years ago I found myself in a dismal unhappy place.
I had a successful career in practice management and was being head hunted by other organisations. I was in a long term relationship of six years with a handsome goal focused guy. We were engaged to be married and had just purchased our first home to renovate. Life should have been full of promise and happiness.
When I looked in the mirror I cried, when I went to bed I cried, when I was alone I was broken. It took all my energy to pretend each day that all was normal, that I was normal. I couldn’t find anything that made me feel or see value in myself. It took a particularly low night to motivate me enough to seek help.
My first steps were to make an appointment with my GP to seek professional help. I then had to admit to my family and friends that I was suffering from depression. The hardest conversations I have ever had. My mother folded me into her arms and cried with me. Her words in my ear were "What do we have to change to make you happy?" I was ashamed to tell those closest to me how bad I felt, but in doing so it forced me to take action. Mums words kept repeating in my head.
My journey of MeManagement discovery began. My world needed to change; I needed to change. It was with this realisation that I made a plan, operation "Let’s get the serotonin started". I saw a psychologist twice a week for many months. I kept a diary and started a healthy food and exercise regime. I made a weekly spread sheet on the fridge to track my time spent doing activities that made me feel good. I took time out to spend with people who loved and cared for me. I challenged myself to find all those activities, people and things that gave me a happy hit. I cried a little less, I cried a whole lot more and I again cried less – I started to genuinely smile again.
I planned activities that were all about happy relaxed and fun time. I did everything I could think of to make myself feel good. This was the hardest journey I have ever started, but I did it. When I think back now I am so proud of how hard I worked and definitely give myself mental high fives for the effort I put in.
I have now been married for four great years and have a beautiful two year old son, Xavier. I have never returned to those days of depression, though some days require a little more work than others. I know that I have to manage my own happiness each and every day. But it’s not just for me; it's for those awesome people that are in my life.
As I listen to the woman and men in my circles now, I have noticed how many of them are unhappy or even suffering from depression. Many feeling just like I did a few years ago. I realise that my experience is not uncommon and that there are lots of people just like me. This was my motivation to create MeManagement. It is because of my own experiences, and those close to me, that I feel I can share some of the tools that I came up with. The tools I have created are simple but will hopefully help motivate others to dedicate time each day to doing things that make them feel great. I use them now, not because I am feeling low, but because they make me feel so good. MeManagement does not replace professional help, it is important to seek your GP or other professional avenues if you need too.
MeManagement for me is not just stationery and words, but more a lifestyle change. It can help you and those around you to manage your time and feelings to create a happy inspirational life.