How did a mom of 4 end up speaking internationally, writing a book and training for a Ironman 70.3??
Glad you asked...
My story begins with my husbands deteriorating Mental Health and God tearing our world apart to help us start to deal with it and stop pretending we could survive as our lives were snowballing towards darkness.
Then there is my Own Mental health. I did not really know it until I was struggling postpartumly with my first daughter, that anxiety had always been apart of my life. Like so many do, I was unconsciously Coping negatively with unhealthy things like Alcohol, pills, food b/c it was easy…. I mean where do you learn them anyways?
Unfortunately our story had to hit rock bottom before it could come back up. God had to let us get to the end of ourselves before we could truly understand complete reliance on him and trust in him to be able to come into our hopeless situation and do what the world would say is impossible.
As we began to talk about our own struggles, I learned how real the stigma still is, especially in the church.
I also learned that we are not taught healthy coping skills and the bad ones practically get handed to us disguised as ‘quick fixes’ and provide momentary relief at best.
I began sharing our story through writing; first in blogging and then got book published called ‘The Other Side of the Struggle.’ For me writing became a healthy coping skill to not only being in a support role to my husbands ups and downs with mental health but also helping me cope with my own battles.
The more raw and vulnerable I was in my writing, it began to create safety to others to share as well and I began to see how many of us are struggling or know someone struggling, and how silenced we all feel in both these roles.
Writing developed into Public Speaking and advocating for Mental Health especially in the Church, and that is where the ministry of ‘THE STRUGGLE IS REAL’ was born.
Second to writing, I Found Fitness through at first just signing up for a 5 km run and training for that.
Exercise gave me a healthy coping skill and focus, and getting that physical energy out was a game changer to my mental health.
In starting this I began taking care of myself, eating healthier, goal setting and I started to see my mental health improve drastically.
I knew I could not keep all these positive ways I was finding all to myself, and so I incorporated them all into different resources, programs and seminars for others to join me in coping in healthy and postive ways to mental health struggles or the stress and difficulty of having someone in your life struggling.
And that my friends, is Danielle Elizabeth at The Struggle Is Real.