The Rock-Bottom Moment That Brought Me To Wellness
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I grew up in a suburb outside of New York City in a family that valued high achievement. As in many Indian families, I was taught that success is an external thing you pursue. An esteemed job you can brag about is like the Holy Grail for many in my culture, and I bought into that concept hard.

By age 13, I had full-on depression. Everyone else assumed I was simply sad. I soon began a love-hate relationship with medication at 14, taking anti-depressants, mood stabilizers, ADD medication, and sleep aids ... You name it, I took it.

I loved having a diagnosis; it was a label that could define me and explain the way I felt. It comforted me. It reaffirmed my victim mentality: that I had no choices and this was just who I was. Not surprisingly, things got worse. Beyond the constant adjustments of pills and playing the side-effects-balancing game, this strategy confirmed the belief that true happiness was an external thing I had to get. I felt flawed, broken, and alone.

Years, drinks, and many relationships later, I was ready to give up. But a small and frustrated voice inside me said, There has to be a better way. But what way could that be? I had already tried everything!

Unfortunately, a small, irritating voice is pretty easy to ignore. I needed a rock-bottom moment for that tiny voice to turn into a full-on scream. For me, that happened on December 31, 2010. I was raped. In my apartment. By someone I knew. The side-effect of my new medication virtually paralyzed my muscles during sleep. I couldn’t fight him off. I just woke up repeatedly and witnessed it. That was the moment when my dislike for medication turned into disdain.

For the next two weeks, I was numb. For the two weeks after that, I was drunk. That little voice came back and hit me over the head. I knew I had a choice: I could either allow him to ruin the rest of my life or I could take some responsibility and make a change.

I began boxing. It felt good to hit something. Exercise opened the door to other much-needed changes in my life. Changes that, had they been suggested before, I would have greeted with an overly-dramatic eye roll.

I had never believed in holistic anything. I always thought it was a bunch of granola-eating hippies who thought they could fix everything with herbal tea. Nevertheless, I had tried everything else. What did I have to lose? A Pilates instructor had introduced me to a health coach the year before and I finally made the decision to call her.

As a self-proclaimed know-it-all, it was a struggle to admit that maybe I’d have to venture into the world of nutmilk, super foods, and—dare I say it—kale. It was my aha moment. I decided not to be a victim anymore. At that moment, my health and happiness became MY responsibility; it wasn’t for a person, a pill, or a thing to fix. I wasn’t broken. It was the most empowering moment of my life.

Within two weeks, my life drastically changed. As I look back, hiring a coach, eating veggies, and meditating didn’t fix me. They did something much better: they allowed me to see that I was never broken at all.

Now, my vision of success is not an external thing you “pursue, ” but an internal state of alignment and bliss. Most people saw my external transformation, but the real change was internal. I no longer needed medication, things, or people to make me happy.

Now, as an Integrative Health coach myself, I can look back at the good, the bad, and the ugly. I have gratitude for the good in my life and for the struggles that brought me to where I am today. My story energizes me in a way I never dreamed it could. And it all started with a moment of surrender and the humbling admission that there had to be a better way.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

Amita is the Owner and Founder of AlignedHolistics.com, a coaching services company founded in January of 2013 to empower individuals to create a life they love from a place of self-love vs. self-discipline. As a coach, writer, and wellness expert, Amita works with individuals to break through their barriers and embrace lifestyle change from the inside-out. Her unique approach combines nutrition, physical activity, relationships, career, and personal philosophy. Amita has been featured on CBS, NBC, and the Huffington Post. She received her Master's Degree from New York University and her Health Coach Certification from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

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