A year and a half ago I was really close to crashing completely.
I had been at a job for a year which made me more and more stressed and my whole situation was really bad. I had temper tantrums like a teenager and I often felt very low, nearly depressed. But I did get back from it, even if I’m not 100% well yet, I’m getting there.
The reason why I felt like I was crashing head first in to a wall about a year and a half ago didn’t really have to do with the job I had at the moment. I am sure I could’ve managed that situation had I not been out of balance beforehand.
No, my story started many years before, in a land far, far away, in a relationship that started off so good and ended in broken heart and a lost self confidence. To be honest, it all started way before that as well. I had been an insecure child and teenager and the only place I felt I belonged were with my friends in the different orchestras I was in. I played the trumpet and was ok at it. I played most days in the week during junior high and high school. I came home late, went to school early, had concerts or other obligations almost every weekend. I thought that sleeping was for old people or something one could do once dead.
Straight out of high school, I worked as a hospital orderly for half a year and then I did military service for 10 months.
When I finished my military service, I couldn’t really look at the trumpet. I felt no joy from playing and it just sat there, gathering dust. And it still is sadly.
My sister had moved to northern Norway a few years before and had a small child. Her husband said they needed workers at the fish factory in the fishing village where they lived. I was offered a job on a Monday in February, I flew up to northern Norway on Tuesday and started working on Wednesday. That was the beginning to three of the best years in my life!
I had a physical job, I got to spend time with my sister and her family (all that love from my nephew was like honey for my soul) and I enjoyed the magestic nature in the little fishing village.
After almost three years I started hearing that I’d better find work somewhere else or study or do something else with my life or I’d get stuck in that little village, marry someone and have children. And I knew it myself. It wasn’t time to settle down, it was time to explore.
Only a few months later, I moved to new Zealand. On the other side of the world, litteraly! As far away as I could go, although that wasn’t the plan to begin with. =o) I just wanted to see New Zealand and saw a great opportunity doing so while studying. I studied film and media and I also met a man. I was meant to stay in New Zealand for 3 years, I stayed for 7. Those years were both amazing and horrible. I missed my family and friends terribly, but some of them also visited me which was great, and I came home almost once a year to visit them. My partner showed me the world, he taught me everything he knew about photography and film and I really developed my skill. Unfortunately, after about 5 years together things weren’t great between us and after 6 years we decided to go our separate ways. By this time I was so lost. I didn’t really know who I was after hearing some less than flattering things from my partner which made me doubt myself immensely. I had fully developed an eating disorder where I ate as much crappy food as I could when I was alone so that I wouldn’t get any comments about the food I ate when I was with my partner. This was a behavior I had started as a young teenager but which got even worse in my late 20’s and early 30’s. Needless to say, my weight skyrocketed. I have never been a small person, but I reached and all time high.
I moved back to Sweden, totally broke, with no job, no money and no real skills to lean on. I felt horrible that first year back, even though I got a job in Stockholm for a bit, started to find my way with food (paleo) and slowly built up my self confidence again. But only 6 months back in Swden, after my ex wanting to get back together and me planning to move back to New Zealand, I found out that he’d been with someone else only weeks after I had left and that was the last straw. There is so much more to this whole story, but I share those details with my closest friends and family. Let’s just say that I felt very bad for a very long time.
I got a job in my hometown and through that job I also got an apartment. Up until then I had lived with my parents and with my brother. When I got that job I finally started to pick myself up again. I still remember New Year’s Eve 2013. I sat by myself in my apartment, I had just purchased a TV and I had a rocking chair in front of it. I sat there, watching as they count down to midnight and I cried and felt horrible. Even though I already had knowledge about paleo, I had eaten horribly all of December and had rashes in my face and felt sick. Then and there I decided that I would change my Life. I would eat better and find myself. Stop moping around about things that had been and wouldn’t be in my future, and look forward to a new chance at life.
I felt better, I ate well, I exercised and later that year I also found a wonderful man whom I am still with.
Even though I felt much better, there was still something that wasn’t good. My job. It was stressful, I had no routine with weird shifts and sometimes work 7 days in a row, one day off, work for three days, two days off, one day at work… It was crazy and it really pushed me to my limits. My poor man had to suffer through horrible temper tantrums and he told me time and time again to quit the job.
Then it happened. We were all let off and at the end of May 2015 I did my last shift and left without looking back. I was free! Almost… then came the time of having to look for jobs and always be available should the employment service call, and every month I had to send in an activity report where it should say that I had been actively searching for jobs 8 hours a day, Monday until Friday. Being unemployed doesn’t mean vacation. It means even more stress financially and stress to send in those activity reports correctly filled in and to also find a job. So I ate horrible and stressed and didn’t sleep well at all.
Fall 2015 I got to do something I had dreamed about. I took a nutritional course and became a Certified Nutritional Advisor with focus on low carb and healthy food! It was at this time I also took help from my teachers and took some tests to see how my hormone, vitamin and mineral levels looked.
Well… they were not good. My bloodsugar was elevated, I had low levels of vitamin B and D, everything pointed towards hypothyroidism and my tests for Omega 3 / Omega 6 showed that I had very low Omega 3 levels. The Omega 3/ Omega 6 ratio could explain some of my temper tantrums. The fact that low omega 3 levels can cause a person to become angry, anxious, depressed, have bad sleep or hard to get to sleep at all and have brain fog. All those things I had felt for quite some time thinking I had ADHD or some other disorder. I wasn’t surprised. I had walked around with stress in my body for so long and on top of that I’d been eating crap and since I had lived in New Zealand for 7 years I had been drinking water with flouride in it (yup…they still have that down under).
I started taking more supplements and a lot more omega 3, a fishoil of great quality.
About 2-3 months later I felt a great mood change. I was able to deal with hard situations by taking a deep breath and evaluate before taking action. Before I would’ve thrown a tantrum and scream and cry and just feel so overwhelmed! I don’t even know how my partner could stand it. =oD
Today we laugh at some of the tantrums I’ve had. It really does look ridiculous when I get started. I’m glad my man stuck with me. He really is the best there is.
How do I know that omega 3 made such a difference?
Well, about 2 months ago we ran out of fishoil and didn’t purchase more at the moment. I thought it would be ok until I got my ass in gear to purchase some. I started to feel restless, angry, sad, wanted to cry for no reason… I thought that other hormones might be out of whack. Then I remembered the omega 3! We purchased some only a couple of weeks ago and started to take large amounts of it again (three times the recommended daily dose, which I will take for 1-2 months like I did when I first started with it). I notice the effects already, but I’m not completely there just yet.
Omega 3, eating well, exercise, getting more sleep and more rest, having a much better job now which doesn’t cause more stress, living in a good relationship, having loving family and friends around me… that’s what saved me. Saved me from completely crashing.
I’m not 100% well yet. My mood is stabilizing, I’m sleeping well, eating well, but my hormones aren’t in balance yet and neither are some minerals and vitamins and I’mm not getting as much exercise as I’d like. My weight isn’t budging. It can be very taxing to see that the scale only move very little every week, but at least it’s going down and not up anymore. I’ll reach my goal weight one day. I just need to not stress about it.
More on my weight loss journey, how I deal with it, keep motivated and and other details in another post. =o)
Wishing you all a very great weekend!