November 21

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Here is what “I am in a funk” looks like. I do not want to leave the house. I put on my favorite lounging clothes, grab my favorite snacks, and disconnect by watching all my favorite movies. I do not look at emails or phone messages during this funk time.

I now know that these funk times don’t usually last too long. I am usually tired and burned out. Maybe it’s because I’ve been sitting at my desk too many days in a row for too long, working on a creative project that has me worked up, or feeling emotionally sad. And that means it’s my funk time. It happens.

In the past, it would also mean I was getting my period. My PMS would show up like I was in a funk. Now that I am in menopause, I get phantom times throughout the month where I still feel like I have PMS and I get into a funk. For the men out there reading this, this might be the time during the month where it appears to you that you might be living with an indecisive, no-energy, crazy individual. This is temporary! Women’s bodies have a lot going on.

I think I was very hard on myself for way too long thinking I should have more energy and be able to do it all—work, raise kids, stay in shape, read books, keep growing and learning, plan family outings, cook, you get it. I could barely get through breakfast on some days. Some days I just wanted to stress. Other days I had so much energy I could run two marathons. It is the wacky nature of my body, and it is for me to balance it out.

I wish girls aged fourteen to eighteen years old were taught in school how to balance our hormones and all the weird unexplained ups and downs of energy that can happen. Maybe I am one of the only ones it happens to, but I doubt it very much. I wish women would share more about their struggles.

I was in an incredibly deep funk after the birth of my third child. I had what I now know was very severe postpartum depression, and I was having suicidal thoughts. I did not want to get out of bed. I did not want to see the sun shining. I just wanted to stay in bed with the new baby. This was not great since I had two toddlers who needed my attention. I had three babies back-to-back. My son, Kevin, was born in August 1993. My daughter Madeline was born in February 1995. And Bailey, my youngest daughter, was born in January 1997. As you can see, I had my hands full. I was in a huge funk and tired and depressed.

I shared once to a therapist that I felt suicidal, and I was met with judgment. I never spoke about it again, and instead I just powered through it. What saved me was my training schedule: I would hike, mountain bike, kayak, and do yoga. I began adventure racing in 1999, and it really saved me. The minute I stopped my training, the funk came back. The sadness and depression set in again. It would come and go like a freight train passing through, and I just dealt with it.

Today, because of the amount of work I have done on understanding and balancing this, I allow myself to be in my funk for awhile. I disconnect and make no major decisions during this time. I rest, regroup, journal about what I am feeling, watch funny movies, and, yes, eat my favorite chocolate! I am gentle with myself during this time when I am definitely in a funk—very gentle!

This funk will happen again, but it will not last. My funks don’t last as long as they used to because I allow the time my body needs. Now I understand that when I have to work or travel, I have to be extra careful and be aware of my time and not spread myself so thin. I have learned to say no and set boundaries during this time because I have learned that unless someone experiences these funks, they do not understand my energy swings. The only person that needs to understand is me!

Today I am not intimidated by my funks! They are my body reminding me to take time for myself.

Debsxo


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About the author

From her start as a Playboy Centerfold and Covergirl to her life as a Screen Actors’ Guild member and later, achieving the Top 5% in her industry as a member of the Million Dollar Roundtable, Deborah Driggs has had to clear many hurdles in life. While it may seem like Deborah’s success came easy to her, nothing could be further from the truth. Rather, she has had to overcome a number of challenges in life to get to where she is today. What is true - and a part of her character - is her willingness to take risks, maintain a positive attitude, and never take ‘No’ for an answer.

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