Transformation Tuesday

Ever since I was a young girl I always had this feeling of being different and not belonging. I never really knew what it was until I entered my 20’s. I had anxiety and depression but wasn’t comfortable talking about it as a young girl. I wasn’t even sure what was wrong with me.  I grew up in a family that didn’t really express emotions so I literally held everything in. When I was 13 my anxiety was out of control! I started ripping out my hair, which I now know is called trichotillomania. It usually starts around the age of 12-14 and is a form of OCD. I eventually ended up with a bald spot that became noticeable. My mom began to question me and I was so embarrassed I wouldn’t tell her what it was and that I had done it to myself. She eventually took me to a dermatologist, and I still wouldn’t confess to it. He diagnosed me with what he thought was a fungus and gave me a cream to put on it. I eventually learned to pull from different areas. As a young adult my mom eventually started noticing as she would see me ripping out my own hair. It’s not something I do all the time but in times of stress do. I’ve joined a group on Facebook so I can get support and realize that I am not alone. I’ve seen woman that are literally bald because of this disorder. This is something I can control but have to be cognizant of and change my thought pattern. When I notice I’m starting to pull out my hair I’ll put a hat on or find something to do with my hands. 

In August of 2017 I resigned from teaching at HPS system and was hired as a Special Education teacher in Fort Bend. It was everything I had always wanted, a brand new school in a an upscale neighborhood. Everything was great until Harvey hit! I was hired late in the summer so I missed all of the teacher trainings, and then there 4 days of school and then no school for two weeks. Going back with no training, a new position, a 14 month old son, a traveling husband  and very little support became too much for me so I decided to resign. I had literally started ripping out chunks of my own hair again. I knew my health was more important than working in an environment that was causing me so much anxiety and depression. I couldn’t sleep at night, I was vomiting from the stress and literally losing it. Panic attacks were becoming a real thing and I couldn’t do it anymore. 

I’ve spent the last year focusing on my health and addressing issues that I had let fall to the wayside. I cashed in my teacher retirement and started to focus on healing myself. Teaching was something I once loved but the stress of it all got to me. Ive learned that if I don’t fill up my own tank I have nothing to give others. I want my son to grow up with a mother that is present for him. I still have my ups and downs but I’ve learned that self care and self love are essential to being fully present every day! I'm happier than I’ve been in years and am ready to find my place in this world and make my mark. Hot yoga has helped me tremendously. It’s helped me quiet my mind and I’ve found an instructor that is very positive and tells us to tell ourselves something kind in every session. 

Just know that if you are suffering from anxiety or depression find a safe person that you can talk to. If you don’t have anyone feel free to message me and I can do what I can to help. Let’s make 2019 the best year yet! 

With much 💕,

Afton 

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