Where to even begin? The last 4+ months have been living hell for me and I sort of don’t want to go down memory lane explaining how awful it’s been. But here we go- a quick recap of this shit so I can get into the positive stuff! 

Anxiety is not just being anxious about something. Everyone experiences anxiety almost daily- if it weren’t present, we’d have no reason to hussle getting to work on time, or to go to the gym, or take care of our families. Anxiety fuels us to do things. It can sometimes come at times that are not needed though and out of nowhere.  In fact, my life was going utterly perfect when this hit me. Ultimately through my 2 therapists (one in-person and one through TalkSpace which is an amazing service) and my pyschiatrist, we have concluded 2 things- I have bipolar depression (so was not expecting this) and the ‘mania’ I experience is crippling anxiety in a very high state, and that the culmination of everything that happened to me the last 3 years family-wise, personal life-wise and job-wise that I tried to bury and not deal with exploded out of me. Basically out of nowhere, but could have been triggered through the high levels of anxiety I had during the flights to and from Mexico and all the stress from teaching so many spin classes daily. When I heard the diagnosis, I cried so hard. I felt completely hopeless and terrified. I have been blessed with a very caring pyschiatrist who doesn’t care what it takes to get you feeling better, he will do it and help you. He saw me at the bottom of my depression a little over 2 years ago, helped me get to the amazing place I was in last year, and was very shocked when I took a nosedive in November. It took us over 4 months to get to this diagnosis, and we did it together. I discontinued the medicine I used for 2+ years and started a new one 2 weeks ago and there’s been a big difference. I won’t lie and say things are anywhere near awesome and that I am scared every day of things going south again, but somehow I dug myself out of the hole I’ve been trapped in and started living again. I gave up teaching Spin in early February and it was heart breaking to say the least. I’m not sure how I kept teaching during the highest states of my anxiety- pure will power I guess. It was making me feel worse so I finally had to stop. As my best friend Brenda reminded me 1000 times, teaching Spin will always be there- for now, it’s time to take care of myself and just keep working my full-time job where my bosses were nothing but supportive and helpful through this. It’s been 4 months of pure hell and terror and I would never have made it through if it weren’t for my wonderful John. Every single night he has let me do whatever I needed to survive- usually just crying myself to sleep- but he pushed me to go running a few times, helped me make food when I could barely get out of bed, texted me hourly to make sure I knew how much he loves me, and his undying support and letting me know that I would indeed get through this and he would be by my side. I have no way to ever repay him, but he is truly the best person in my life. 
So, I only really have to catch you up on the last 2 weeks of my life where I have actually been LIVING again! One of the best things I’ve done for myself was sign up for a 10 week challenge through the most amazing cycling studio in NY- CYC Fitness. I have been basically doing nothing since mid-February exercise-wise so it was time to get back in it. Brenda is obsessed with CYC and I tried a class out last July 4th and it kicked my ass even while I was in great shape! It’s just SO much fun for 45 minutes and includes 4-5 songs where the resistance is up almost all the way and you use 1-2 lb sandbags for a few arm routines. Sounds easy, right? Wrong. Like I said, even last year when I was in great shape the arm portion killed me. I am not stupid enough to think 2 lb weights will tone my arms up since I have fat to lose on them since I was basically sedentary for a few months, but let’s just say I am REAL sore after class in the triceps! The challenge includes 40 classes (4 classes/week) that you complete by May 31st, and the package also included a bottle of VitaFusion gummy vitamins, and 10 blowouts courtesy of Glam and Go which is a blowout station INSIDE the locker room. How freaking genius right? I took my 4 classes last Wednesday morning, Thursday night, Friday morning and Sunday morning with Brenda for my birthday!
IMG_8148 (1)IMG_8152IMG_8190
Blow out #1! LOVED it!
I am super excited for week 2 of the CYC 10-week challenge and to also be teaching for the first time in almost 2 months this week! I’ll continue my birthday post tomorrow and hopefully actually write a few times a week now!
I’ve missed you guys so much. Who out there is still reading?! 🙂

34 thoughts on “”

  1. I can’t even tell you how excited I am you’re back! I got the notification in my email and immediately had to read (stalker status, I know). I am sorry about the hard months/years you’ve been having but I hope things start to turn around for you! Looking forward to read more soon!

  2. I am still reading!! 🙂 got the email and had to go to your post right away!! You sound SO much happier!! You have gone through way so much and deserve to be happy and just live and enjoy life! Can’t wait to catch up soon!! <333

  3. Welcome back Jen! So happy to hear you’re doing better and I hope it continues that way. I so look forward to reading your posts 😊😊 Your blog was always a source of inspiration for me and I’m glad to have you back 🙂 #teamjen #stillreading

  4. LOVE YOU!!!!! So extremely proud of you for writing about this. You are going to have such a good rest of the year and I am coming to visit whenever you give me a day. Love yaaaa babes ❤

  5. Glad to hear that is things are getting better for you. I always look forward to your posts. You inspired me to look for something that makes me feel happy and complete. I started practicing yoga in one of my classes I realized that one day I would like to teach it. I have found that I feel focused and centered after each class. I will continue to send positive energy out your way so that you may continue on this new path in life. Take Care of yourself! 🙂



    Date: Mon, 30 Mar 2015 22:03:49 +0000 To: lupepena@live.com

    1. OMG this makes me so happy!! I am so excited for you that you found what you want to do 🙂 🙂

  6. Love your blog!! I was so excited to see the new post 😊. So sorry to hear about all the troubles you’ve experienced, hope you have lots of happy days ahead!!

  7. I am so glad you posted. I was just thinking last week that I miss reading your posts and I was wondering how you were doing. One day at a time, that’s all we can do, right? Sounds like you are feeling better, it’s good to hear. Take care.

  8. I am so happy that you decided to share with us again. Your journey has been a personal inspiration to me and has helped me to lose 70 pounds over the last year. I am so glad that you posted today!

  9. I am ALWAYS here for you! I love you sooooo much and I am so glad you found the much needed heip to get back on your feet! Keep writing you are AWESOME! XX00 Aunt Judy!

  10. Still reading and so happy to hear from you!! Very proud of you for hanging in there when it was beyond hard to make it to better days. Happy belated birthday. 🙂

  11. aw I missed you!! Happy belated birthday!! Glad to hear you are doing a lot better, and now knowing exactly what is going on will only help! CYC sounds awesome! I’ll defo have to try it next time im in NYC and then get some pancakes from Clinton St Baking with you after! 🙂

  12. I am sill here and actually missed reading your posts. I am glad you are back. I will keep you in my prayers. Thank you for all you do 🙂

  13. I’ve wondered about you. You are a very brave lady. Stay the course and you will do well you’ve had tough battles before and won. This is no different.

  14. Still here in Oz. Having that blasted anxiety myself, I knew you would resurface at some stage!! Just kept checkin in and whadda you know?? The best easter present for me, your post!!!!!! Stay safe and know you are much loved and admired. xxx Barb

  15. I haven’t been visiting blog world since … August-ish, so I had no idea you were gone … But so so happy my return coincides with yours. Life is a dynamic, ever changing journey… Some phases are blissful, others downright depressing. Peace and love you as you find your center again. Here’s to digging deep and shining bright. Here’s to being here, exactly as you are.

    1. You are so awesome. This is such a sweet comment and made my day! ❤ ❤ Glad you are back too!

      1. Thanks ! So glad it resonated with you. 🙂 I actually ended my blog in August as part of my healing and recovery process. I still feel such a yearning to write & connect with and encourage others but I don’t exactly know how or where ? A new blog ? Some other concept / idea I haven’t yet thought of ?? Hmm. Ideas & feedback welcomed, for sure !

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