2018 Recap: Diet, Depression, Manifestating, Wins & New Goals

2018 recap - itsmissizabelle.com blog - lifestyle design.png

I’m sitting in my bed trying to outline this post. Staring at my Mac. I guess I’ll just start from the beginning -- of this year that’s already ending. But let me back you up first:

In 2017, a few things worth mentioning happened. First, I started having issues with food. The struggles (and diets) started in Spring last year, and although the frustration got better, my gut only got worse. Attached to that (or not, we don’t know), I became depressed. I mean, I developed depression, not just sadness. That kind of depression that makes one want to disappear from this world and imagine how great it would be if that happened. I got mentally ill -- it feels weird to type that. To share that. Well, we also decided to move from the house we own. And we got a dog. And that’s it. Back to 2018...

Winter is tough. I’m reading Brené Brown and thinking about my wholeheartedness. I’m growing, I’m having issues, and it’s all hurting -- physically and mentally. I was going to hit my lowest point. I felt it coming. I knew I needed either a trip to a psychiatrist (and we all know what happens next), or a trip to Bahamas. So I booked myself a cruise. Because I needed to take a break from everything and everyone to think about my life. And let’s just put it out there that I also needed some warm weather, because of course I did.

Going on a 4 days cruise on my own was an interesting experience. I still need to write a post about it. But I’ll tell you this: it worked. I came back feeling better, I came back with a plan: slow the shit down. Watch myself, how I feel about things, people, the present and the future. And I made a commitment to become more self-aware. To pay attention to my thoughts, and where they’re taking me. Also, to pay attention to what the hell I’m eating.

I quit sugar, dairy, and gluten. Of course I cheat every now and then. Especially because I want to see what happens. But 97% of the month, I’m clean. Because gluten makes me feel like a strange force came and sucked my soul out of my body, and I have to go to bed. I also feel pain. With dairy is a little different, it can be worse. Sugar just gives me brain fog, and because I love my work too much, I chose to keep my brain working over having a piece of cake (or ice cream).

The first semester of 2018 I almost launched “Building Doers.” I had every single thing figured out -- the branding, the website, the perfect instagram feed, and my programs to help women become the doers they’re meant to be. I had the balls to give it all up. Fuck it. It’s my project. And although it looked perfect, it didn’t feel right. Because I rushed it? Because I tried to limit myself? Because of that, but also because I was still healing. I was still figuring my shit out.

I was still having some sort of depression crisis here and there. And anxiety. I now know what anxiety means. It can paralyse you. It can make you feel like you’re drowning, there’s no air, it’s hard to breath. And I felt useless, powerless, and I hated myself. I couldn’t make any plans anymore, I was afraid to not “feel like me” and screw things up. And just like that, I was feeding this monster inside my head. But I was also learning how to control it.

So I started an open relationship with my career to explore my possibilities. I also started community college -- which felt great until it didn’t. I dropped one of the two classes I was attending, and reminded myself that my mental health was the most important thing in 2018, not As. I can’t grow a business, a community, if my health is compromised. If I can’t function well most of the time. I made a commitment to get better, especially after the last crisis I had -- which was three months ago. You know, I used to be afraid of death, but not I’m afraid of that. I’m afraid of how I felt those almost three weeks. The word is emptiness. I felt empty. I had no fire, no love, no feelings. Nothing. I couldn’t even cry.

By then I was already working on The Lifestyle Manifesto, and that (and my dog) kept me going. The thing is… I didn’t want “to keep going,” I wanted to be that girl who, even with all the shit that happened in her life, she would still be cheerful and smiley. That believed she could do and achieve anything.

After this “weird depression crisis” I had back in September, I understood that I needed to make some changes in my life once and for all -- mentally, personally and professionally speaking. If I wanted to be successful, if I wanted to make things work, I had to make a few changes.

My big goal for 2018 was to move to the apartment I was manifesting since spring, at the building I was dreaming of for over a year. I knew this was one thing that would make my days better. In every single way -- accomplishing my goal, being in a nice neighborhood, having more freedom, and a big ass window in my living room with tons of sunlight. We did it. We moved. And it came right on time for the cold winter in DC. And right on time for my birthday -- that I didn’t celebrate.

The changes started then. Cutting some food from my diet, some negative thoughts from my mind, some people from my life. You know, if I haven’t been training myself all this time to control this monster inside my head, I’d have felt right back into depression again. But I know I’m building invisible muscles to fight it, every single day. Because these changes I’m making? They cause pain -- just like the pain you have after a big workout. My mind gets sore.

But these changes also bring enlightenment. And suddenly, even with the pain, you start feeling lighter. And full. Of yourself, in a good way. My three words for this year were “growth,” “commitment” and “healing.” Interesting how they were with me all year long, even when I forgot about them. Because this year, I grew like I haven’t before. I started healing -- from my depression, and from my past (and one is connected to the other). And I committed to myself in every single way, in a beautiful and true way. And I committed to my truth, and my freedom.

I survived 2018, I could say. And this isn’t the kind of “surviving Vs living” I talk about on social media and my ebook -- like you go with the flow. I wasn’t going with flow, I was really fighting to keep myself in the game. To keep my fire, my hopes, my dreams on -- the old and new ones.

And speaking of that, I’m starting 2019 with a few goals in mind, and projects on the making -- The Lifestyle Manifesto launches January 11th, This Is Life Guys Podcast launches in February (need to check the date), and Red Skirt Media launches April 1st. I’m not going to college this semester, and I plan to make 4 trips this year (not sure where yet!). I want to be financially independent again (so I can make those 4 trips and buy my own almond milk). I want to finally write my first real book (it has a name, a sort of outline, and I’m afraid to do it, but I’ll do it anyway). I want to exercise at least 4 times a week, and also find a great daily routine that actually works for me (still experimenting). I want to make new meaningful connections, and start real good friendships. Also, get in touch with at least 4 friends every week (I’m bad at keeping communication, and that’s a habit I’m willing to change). I want to keep my goal of reading 12 books a year (I’m a reader now! Can’t believe it!). I want to become a public speaker -- a goal that’s in my dreamlist for three years, if not my whole life! It’s time. & most important of all, I want and need to keep investing in my mental health.

So this is it. That’s my recap. & here’s to a new year, a new chapter, new beginnings. With more growth, hopeful less pain, and more healing. I’m starting 2019 relieved. You now know about my journey. And now, I can share even more. Because I do have a lot to say.

P.S.: Just want to say to my husband, Ben, how thankful I am for having him in my life. For his patience with me, my condition, my stubbornness. For being my husband, my friend, my therapist, and sometimes, the father I didn’t really have. And for getting this gorgeous apartment that I now call home. We’ve only just begun… Happy new year, babe.

P.S.2: I have the perfect goal setting exercise for you, at no cost, here.

Happy new year, dear.

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Xo,
Izabelle