Why you should never give up on yourself

Why you should never give up on yourself

or how I climbed out of a dark hole

You might be asking yourself why I wrote such a personal post. The reason is that I want to let you inside of my struggle. Maybe by sharing this I can help someone else that’s in a similar situation as I was in and let them know that there is hope at the end of the tunnel.

For a while there I was in a dark place, it’s only in moving forward and looking back that I realized how far I had fallen. I had done okay, but then I let my fears and doubts get to me. I was stuck in an endless loop in my head: what should I do? What can I do? What should I do? etc. I looked everywhere else for answers. I listened to everyone else’s advice, the only voice I feel I didn’t listen to was my own. Each day I did less and less, I was anxious and depressed.

In my depressed state, I couldn’t see a path forward. I felt as though I had to make a choice between Art and selling my jewelry. I asked for advice from a lot of people and eventually chose jewelry. I then proceeded to put a ton of pressure on myself to sell. Only I just asked for advice on how to sell and hardly took any action.

You might be asking yourself what’s changed? What has made me better now than before? A lot of tiny things. I finally hit rock bottom when I was sitting on the bus after having eaten two Big Macs at McDonald’s and I realized that nothing was going to change unless I did something different. I remembered the saying, “If you are in a hole, stop digging”. I had just turned 30 and was taking it very hard. At 30, I’m no longer a child, and I realized that I need to take control of my life because no one else will do that for me.

The next day I went Paleo. I’m not going to lie and say that it was just going Paleo that made the difference. I’ve also started:

  • Biking outside
  • A daily meditation practice
  • Journaling more frequently
  • Listening to podcasts
  • Reading
  • Making art again
  • Seeing a therapist
  • Seeing a life coach (shout out to Sunni)
  • Taking medications more regularly
  • Doing the 5-Minute Journal (most days)
  • Going out and interacting with other people

All of that combined is leading to me having a more positive outlook and moving me forward. Yeah, it is not easy, but I keep reminding myself that easy is boring. The less I did, the less I wanted to do. The inverse is true as well, the more actions I take, the more actions that I want to take.

I’m focusing less on other people’s advice and more on my own inner voice, at least, I try to. I’ve gone a long way in these last five weeks, but I also realize that it all could go away in a split second if I stop doing the work, which means everything I talked about above.

Not that everything is perfect now anyway, I am still running out of money, my MacBook air is still broken, I don’t know how I’ll be able to get to WDS this summer and I still don’t know what type of job I want. All that and more is still there, I just can handle it now, the anxiety isn’t so overwhelming that I’m paralyzed anymore. There is still so much stuff that I want to do as well, like volunteer, sell my jewelry, make my art and connect more with other people. I also want to start blogging again and start an email newsletter.

I’ve learned that the choice between being an artist and an entrepreneur is a false choice, at least for me. Being one doesn’t exclude the other. I need to do things and move my life forward. I feel better and more alive while making art, and at the same time, taking action on my jewelry business feels good. I sold my jewelry at Milwaukee day at Turner Hall Ballroom, and preparing for that show has helped me to clarify what action steps I should take next. Having definite goals feels good. Working toward something bigger than myself feels good. Anyway, I just need to keep moving forward.

Thank you for reading this absurdly long post, I appreciate you taking the time out of your day to do so. Please let me know what you think in the comments below. Should I continue to write blog posts like this? What would you like to hear more from me about? Thanks again.

16 thoughts on “Why you should never give up on yourself”

  1. This is amazing!! You really dug deep and exposed yourself here. How amazing to have so much self awareness. You truly have come a long way in 5 weeks. So motivational!!!

  2. Great job Carley!You did a fantastic job expressing your feelings! Keep up the great work on your passions and yourself! Luv,Stephanie

  3. Hi Carley, it takes a lot of courage to share personal things. I am happy that you found your way out of hole! Keep creating!!! I’d love to see your creations.

    1. thank you Vesna! It was a really hard one to publish because I shared so much personal stuff. I will definitely keep creating, if you want to keep up, please sign up for my newsletter, I’m going to start taking writing it seriously now.

  4. Hi Carley. I have used several, but not all, of the methods on your list, to help re-create balance in my life. They have also helped me to find and listen to my inner voice, which is the most important thing. Thanks for sharing your journey. I am glad that you made it out of the black hole.

  5. Congratulations Carley! Your openness is inspiring. The progress you have made since you recommitted your self to your well being and eating paleo is making a huge difference in all areas of your life. I am so excited to see the changes you are making.
    I know how depressing wheat and gluten can be and how it can steel the energy and mental ability to even make decisions and you are a whole NEW and exciting person when you stay away from wheat. The first time you came to see me I could see the “brain fog” that comes from Wheat addiction. What a difference in you! Brava! Brava! Keep up the good work.

  6. Thank you for sharing girl! This was just what I needed to read tonight.

    I have “if you’re in a hole, stop digging” written on a post it taped to my monitor and I smiled when I saw it helped you too. Out of all the self-help articles ect. online that quote also helped me to pull it together.

    I’m a 25 year old design school drop out that is trying to also create and be an entrepreneur and figure life out. I doubt the anxiety and the pressure to “do more” will ever stop for us – but it’s good to know there are people out there fighting the same battle I am. I hope to have a similar blog post soon so thank you for sharing 🙂

    We might not have all the answers but little steps forward is all we can do. Email me you ever need to creatively vent. Wish you the best!

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