Hi there

So I’m not sure how to jump into this post, but here goes. As some of you know, 2013 has been a really challenging year for me. However, in true Whoorl fashion, I always expected to write about my struggles after the fact. You know, the way I like to do it. Solutions to problems! Positive outlooks! Well, it’s taking a lot longer than I expected.

On the bright side, I made it 38 years before dealing with a 1-2-3 punch of insomnia, anxiety and resulting depression. Flip side? Man, things have been bleak around here. I’m certainly not feeling like myself and composing blog posts about concealer is not on my to-do list. In fact, I have no to-do lists. (See? I told you I’m not myself.)

I am so thankful to have a loving, supportive family and healthcare professionals that are my advocates and helping me through these unchartered waters. Although some days feel incredibly hopeless, I know brighter days are in my future. (They have to be, right?)

One of my very favorite quotes by Coach John Wooden seems to be apropos at the moment.

“When you improve a little each day, eventually big things occur…not tomorrow, not the next day, but eventually a big gain is made. Don’t look for the big, quick improvement. Seek the small improvement one day at a time. That’s the only way it happens–and when it happens it lasts.”

Perhaps you are going through something too. If so, please know that you are not alone, and that I am sending love and light your way. Big time.

  • Emily

    September 27, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    Thank you for posting this! So often we feel that we have to hide the icky parts of our lives, which just ends in even more isolation. Let’s push to make these topics less taboo! Sending prayers and good vibes to you and yours.

  • San

    September 27, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    2013 continues to be a rollercoaster for me too. I hope there are brighter things on the horizon soon for you and for me (and everybody else who’s struggling!). xo

  • Margot

    September 27, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    Hi Sarah,

    Last November was my stuck between a rock and a hard place month in which my steadily worsening anxiety, depression (that I was in denial about), and insomnia came to a head.

    Having been an anxiety sufferer my whole life, I had structured things in such a way that I thought I was coping. Working part time, not over-scheduling myself or our three boys, spending evenings with my husband. Avoiding crowds, germs, trying to be prepared for every eventuality. I thought to myself, I am a happy person. I am optimistic, I always look for the silver lining, I don’t take on more than I can handle.

    On the flip side of that, I favoured yelling (it’s fun, I like to yell, not at my family but just in general to get my point across), swearing like a sailor (again, fun, swearing is my forte!), and trying to be perfect all the time. “Jesus F-ing Christ, who spilled this tiny drop of water on the deck??” (Ummm irrational much?) I was also a professional worrier. Got something to do in 7 years? I’ll worry about it, obsess about it, non-stop, along with any and all day-to-day worries!

    I had a constant heaviness behind my eyes, my joints ached, I never felt rested, I would be awake for hours in the night. I couldn’t relax, my mind was going all the time. I went to the doctor because I figured that I was dying, that he would take one look at me and tell me I had some fatal diagnosis. Instead, he took one look at me, and I burst into tears on the exam table. He suggested diet changes, more exercise, less stress. I said that I had been doing all those things, and still here I was nearly vibrating with anxiety.

    He prescribed Escitalopram for me. I didn’t want to take it as I am not one to pop pills. I was judging myself as a failure, berating my brain for failing to override itself and just get over “this”. I realized I was perpetuating the stigma about mental health that I work hard to break people of in my work as a nurse.

    I cried the entire drive home from the doctor, mostly tears of relief at having had the courage to ask for help, some tears of wondering if others in my life would judge me as a failure. I told myself what I tell my clients, which is your brain is an organ in your body like your kidneys, pancreas, etc. One wouldn’t hesitate to seek care and follow recommended treatment for something like diabetes. Mental health/wellness is no different. Sometimes no matter what we do, our brain chemistry is out of whack, and thankfully there are treatments out there that can make a big difference.

    I took two days to think about taking the escitalopram. I decided that I had nothing to lose, so I started taking it. I noticed a difference the next morning, which is very fast, but the buzzing in my brain had stopped. I stopped yelling and swearing within a week, and within 6 weeks felt the most like my true self that I have felt in 15 years. I stopped worrying, like I literally couldn’t get that part of my brain to make a worry. I had some side effects initially, dry mouth, nausea, feeling “high”. Those subsided within a few days. The sexual side effects last about 7 weeks, in which I lost my ability to have an orgasm. As Elaine from Seinfeld would say: “The sex was like a big budget picture that goes nowhere!”. I was most upset about this, as my high sex drive, and enjoyment of sex with my husband is extremely important to me. Fortunately, everything is back into good working order again!

    I am now almost a year into my relief from anxiety, and depression. I am so thankful that I decided to take medication, and that it has worked for me. My relationship with my husband and my boys is the best it has ever been.

    I am sorry that you are having a rough go this year. I am sending tonnes of positive energy to you as you work through this. You are so brave to put yourself out there, and share some of your struggles. You are not alone.

    Sending a hug!

  • Brianna

    September 27, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    That is a great quote! I am praying for you- and you also, are not alone.

  • lisa

    September 27, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    sending you PEACE, LOVE and LIGHT…..you will get there. ONE day at a time, sometimes one hour….thank you for posting this and being candid and open. :)

  • Kandi

    September 27, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    I don’t often comment here, but I wanted to let you know you’re in my prayers. I hope you get everything figured out and can overcome this.

  • Raluca | WhatWouldGwynethDo

    September 27, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    Feeling your pain in so many ways. 2013 is for the dogs. Take a deep breathe, decompress and look forward to 2014. It has to be better for all of us. xx to you.

  • Wockyjabber

    September 27, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    I was 37 when this hit me. I spent 3 lovely years in therapy and discovered the joys of medication. Lexapro is your friend. Good luck on your journey. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and I promise that it isn’t a train.

  • Rachel

    September 27, 2013 at 3:52 pm


    So sorry you’re going through this. It sounds horrendous.

    You have to research magnesium deficiency. All three of those symptoms are related to magnesium deficiency. Lots and lots of people are not getting enough magnesium. Plus, stress, caffeine and sugar make you use up your magnesium supply. Then if you don’t get enough in your diet, spiral downward.

    Here is one article that speaks to all three symptoms too. From pubmed.gov http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16542786

    Also, I saw (maybe on facebook) you mentioning that your hormones are messed up. (Search magnesium deficiency and hormones.)

    There is tons of info about it and it’s incredibly easy to fix. And low risk compared to prescriptions.

    Some will say they tried it and it didn’t work. But you have to use a type of magnesium that is absorbed in the body and enough! When I was at my worst I was taking 1000 mg a day. And tolerating it fine. (start slow) You will know if you’ve had enough if you get loose stools. Now? I can only take 4-500 mg a day. It is seriously amazing. And magnesium is needed by every cell in the body. I could obviously go on and on but I’ll let you get your google on.

  • Amy

    September 27, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    This has been the hardest year for me too! Be gone 2013! I am right there w ya. I have an amazing therapist if you want a referral:)

  • Rebekah

    September 27, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear you are dealing with this. You are not alone. I went through a bout of depression a couple of years ago, and am having a mini re-occurance at the moment.

    It can really affect your self esteem, because after a while of not having energy to do, well, anything, you start to feel like a pretty crappy person. Keep loving yourself. You are the same cool person you’ve always been, and someday, you will feel like yourself again.

  • Leta

    September 27, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Similar things going on here. Always the strong one and i have no idea how to be the one who accepts help. Swnding good vibes to cali. Xoxo

  • Ninotchka

    September 27, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    Many hugs to you, sweet Sarah! I know all too well that 1-2-3 punch you speak of and way, way more. Sending you so many well wishes. Hang in there! xo

  • Pamela

    September 27, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    That’s awful Sarah, I’m sorry. I hope you work with everything you’ve got to be the best advocate for yourself. When it’s hard, imagine it’s one of your kids who have this and make yourself do the next thing. There is HOPE. Don’t worry a bit about your blog; we will be here.

  • Sarah

    September 27, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    *sending good vibes and blog fan love your way*