PART #2: Picking Up and Moving Forward; My Very Personal Journey to Building A Business That Matters.
If you missed part #1, read it here.
My business was starting and ideas were forming. The Collective (of Us) didn’t yet exist. And Cyndie Inc. was barely a concept.
My anxiety was at it’s highest but I didn’t know that there was a real problem. I just knew that I couldn’t focus and my mind always felt clouded and thick. It had been that way for at least a year and a half but was getting progressively worse as I ran out of money and felt more and more uncertain of whom I was or what I was trying to accomplish.
I couldn’t seem to retrieve the thoughts that were coming up to create a cohesive plan. In my soul, I knew that I was capable of greatness. I knew that if I could get out from underneath whatever the hell was bothering me; I could change the world. Or at least that’s what I thought.
I’d already been in therapy for a few years (EVERYONE needs a therapist!) and I insisted to her that I was fine, just “figuring things out.” Fast-forward a few months; at the urging of my doctor, I started acupuncture for my lack of sleep and focus. While that worked temporarily, the same habits would creep back in and I finally caved and told the doctor that whatever was bothering me was becoming unbearable. I couldn’t build anything if I couldn’t sleep or think. In hindsight, I was a fucking shell of myself at that point. And NO ONE knew it.
I’m really good at being Cyndie. And even though outwardly, I was the same (except a few pounds thinner;) inside I was definitely not the clear-headed, sass mouthed and opinionated woman that I’d always been.
I suppose that’s one of the scariest things about anxiety. In my case, it was really easy for me to assume that I was fine but just being melodramatic in my mind; I’m a yogi, I’m a busy woman. I have a lot going on. I live in NYC. Everyone’s unfocused. Right? Nope. WRONG. VERY WRONG.
Shortly after finally agreeing to try a low-level anxiety medication with very close monitoring (and researching the hell out of it,) the fog started to lift.
I could think. I could breathe. I had cohesive thoughts. I knew that I would change the damn world. I didn’t know how, but I knew that I would. I was ME again, in all my sassy, smart mouthed glory. The person I remembered being but couldn’t quite connect to.
That was about two years ago.
Today, though still figuring it out, I’m doing pretty damn well, even successful on most accounts. I’m still in Brooklyn, engaged to the man I never thought I’d find, The Collective (of Us) is now in it’s fourth season and gets better each time. I facilitate workshops, still teach at Parson’s and am going on an East Coast tour at the end of the month with my BOLD Salon series (which you should join me for!)
Am I “better?” I don’t know. But I can think and form ideas and have clear and direct conversations. I can run my business like the boss that I am and get shit done. I’m a big picture thinker and not a details person. I still get scattered when it comes to details so I’ve learned to hire people who aren’t. I am shifting the lives of others. Every day. And I’m incredibly grateful for that.
Often times, I remind myself that this success is, in some part, because of my anxiety and not in spite of it.
My experience created a sense of empathy and understanding that all the training in the world couldn’t possibly teach me. I am clearly not a medical doctor nor do I claim to know what’s right for others but what I do know is this; if there weren’t the stigma attached to anxiety (CRAZY!) or the reputation for pill pushing that many doctors unfortunately have; I would’ve started seeing a medical doctor a lot sooner.
The ride isn’t over because the reality is this; there are days when I really have to just put one foot in front of the other. And there are also days that I don’t want to do anything. When that happens (though rare), I honor that. I take the time to get myself in order and not push so hard that I lose my shit.
The more I started thinking about what was happening with me, the more research I did (because who the fuck wants to be crazy alone?!) Check out this quote from a recent Inc. article;
Yeah, so there you go. I was most certainly NOT alone. Apparently NONE of us want to talk about this. And if you’ve every experienced anxiety; you too, friend, are not alone.
As for the tens of thousands of dollars of debt that I got myself into; I’ll be debt-free by Fall. I really fucking hate sending $5000 checks to my credit card but that’s exactly what I do. Often. It wasn’t easy but I was determined to create a successful sustainable business and that is exactly what I’m doing. Day-by-day, step-by-step.
My biggest fear in writing this post was this “Why would anyone hire me or want to be coached by me after I’ve shared all of this?” and the other thought of course, was this: “I’m an impostor.”
But the truth of the matter: The reason I will continue to have a thriving business is because I am not on a pedestal of “know-it-allness”, I’ve been where so many of us are, the only difference is that I stood firm in my bravery to tell about it. Today, I am fully walking my own talk of living BOLDLY. Will I alienate some and will others un-follow me? Of course. And that’s ok. It’s better than ok. It’s exactly as it should be.
P.s. I am crazy. Crazy fucking awesome. And so ARE YOU. Thank you for reading this very personal post.
I have another favor to ask; if you’ve experienced any of this: PLEASE share this post and comment below.
BE BRAVE, BE BOLD but don’t carry this alone. You ARE NOT CRAZY. (I mean, you are, a little bit, but mostly, you're pretty kick-ass.)
I want to support you coming out on the other side and if this post starts that conversation; then telling what I am most ashamed about is well worth the effort.
Sending love and if I can support you in any way, I'd love to. Thank you for your outpouring of support, non-judgement and continued badassery. xx