Darci has such an amazing story that I am so excited for you to listen to on the podcast today. Darci shares her honest and incredibly personal journey that kind of has all the things (drug addiction, homelessness, losing her kids, eating disorders, shame, and wraps up with a happy ending). And it might hit home for some of you. My hope is that by Darci sharing her story and sharing it vulnerably, it will allow us to get a perspective that maybe we've never considered before. So with that, let’s dive in.
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You're listening to Biceps after Babies radio episode number 135.
Hello and welcome to Biceps after Babies radio. A podcast for ladies who know that fitness is about so much more than pounds lost or PRs. It's about feeling confident in your skin and empowered in your life. I'm your host, Amber Brueseke, a registered nurse, personal trainer, wife, and mom of four. Each week, my guests and I will excite and motivate you to take action in your own personal fitness as we talk about nutrition, exercise mindset, personal development, and executing life with conscious intention. If your goal is to look, feel, and be strong and experience transformation from the inside out, you, my friend are in the right place. Thank you for tuning in, now let’s jump into today’s episode.
Amber B 0:46
Hey, Hey, Hey, welcome back to another episode of biceps after babies radio, I'm your host Amber Brueseke. And today, I'm so excited to welcome on the podcast, Darci Collings. And Darci has such an amazing story that I am so excited to, for you to listen to, if you want to hear a story that has all of the things drug addiction, homelessness, losing her kids, eating disorders, and wraps up with a happy ending, this is the story that Darci shares gonna really hit home for you. And I was especially excited to have Darci come on to the podcast because I think the topics that we cover today, you know, some of those ones that I talked about addiction, struggles with drugs, homelessness, a lot of these things are just, they're things that we don't talk about. Right? They're kind of like the hush-hush. And on the podcast, Darci talks a lot about shame. And the role that shame can play, especially if you have friends or relatives are people that you know, that are struggling with these demons. And I think the more that we can talk about these stories, we can humanize them, right? We can see that there's a human behind the homeless person, there's a human behind, the person who's sitting in the back of a cop car, there's a human behind that person who is using meth, we are going to come from a much better place to start to help these people and just be humanity recognize that there are lots of facets to heavy-handed humanity.
Amber B 1:52
And so I think by Darci sharing her story and sharing it vulnerably, sharing some of like the messy stuff that she's gone through the crap, that she's gone through the devils and the demons that she's fought over the years, it allows us to be able to get a perspective that maybe you had never considered before, right. I've never been arrested, I've never been addicted to drugs, I don't really know what that's like, but the more that I can listen to other people share what that's like the warm my eyes can be open to how I can help other people and how I can be somebody that you know, other people can rely on. So I'm really grateful that Darci came on and shared her story and that she did so vulnerably and so beautifully. And, you know, not to spoil the story but Darci is in a much better place today. And it is able to turn around these addictions and things that she has struggled with, to be in a very different place mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, than she was eight years ago. And so I'm so excited for you to listen to my interview with Darci Collings.
Amber B 3:31
I am so excited to welcome Darci Collings to the podcast, how are you doing Darci?
Doing so good. I'm so excited.
Amber B 3:39
Me too. Darci reached out to me and kind of shared a little bit of her story. And I was like, yes, like, let's get you on the podcast to be able to share the story a little bit wider, because I think we're gonna have a conversation about some hard topics today. But some really important topics and some things that sometimes aren't talked about. And I'm just so grateful that you're willing to come on the podcast and share.
Yeah, I'm so excited. Amber, I think that any opportunity that I'm given to share my story and my experience, as scary as it is because it's very scary. I jumped on the opportunity. And so I'm truly, truly grateful for this opportunity.
Amber B 4:17
That's so good. Okay, so why don't we start with just an introduction and share you know a little bit about you and who you are and what you're currently doing and a little bit about your story.
Great. Yeah. So my name is Darci. I am a woman in long-term recovery from drugs and alcohol and other self-defeating behaviors, including an eating disorder. I have been in recovery for it has been seven and a half years. I grew up in Utah, so born and raised in a very typical Utah Mormon family, one of six kids. And at about eight years old, like I remember before eight life was kind of just normal kids stuff. And at about eight years old, I started having debilitating panic attacks. And that's kind of when my life shifted quite a bit.
When I look back on these debilitating panic attacks, I started to isolate myself and have found the food to really comfort me. I remember, at about nine years old, I started hiding food. And so I would binge you know, not knowing how, or not knowing then what it was. But that's what I was doing. I would eat and I would hide food. And at about 12 years old, I had not even hit puberty yet. I was chubby. And I remember, just after school making some food, before dinner, my dad had walked in and just said, hey, what are you doing? And I simply said, Well, I'm hungry. And he said you're going to end up one of those 400-pound women on the Richard Simmons show. And I still remember being kind of really confused by that comment. And then two weeks later, had my mom bring in diet pills. So I was sitting in my room just hanging out. And she brought me in this, I think it was, I can't even remember what they were called but there was a box of diet pills and said, these will help you lose weight. So that really pushed me into a place of, well, okay, so I must be fat, like, there must be something wrong with me. I remember always just feeling just not enough. I felt like I was the odd one out from my siblings.
And as soon as I had hit puberty, I had shot up a few inches. And I started getting a lot of really positive attention. Like my body had, I always say, like, my body came into its own right after hitting puberty. And my family seemed to respond really positively to that change. And other people, I had never had really close friends growing up. And at about eighth grade, I started building this really big circle of friends. And the boys loved me. And you know, my sisters, I had always looked at them, like, I just always had looked really like up to them. They were so pretty, and they were so skinny. But so I remember thinking like, looking back, again, at a really young age, like if you were not skinny, and you weren't pretty, you didn't matter. You weren't heard. And that really was where my mindset was, gosh, up until I was in recovery from drugs and alcohol.
I had gotten into a relationship at 15. And we got married and when I was 19. I'm at 24, we decided to start to try and have a baby. And I got pregnant really fast. And my body started changing. And you know, I started getting very swollen, and automatically that put me into a place of a lot of fear and a lot of panics. I with all of the mental illness that I already had, I'll go back a little bit I was diagnosed with chronic panic and anxiety disorder. I think I was 13 when I got diagnosed. And when I had had my daughter, I remember that the nurse coming in and bringing me a blue pill. And, you know, she told me what it was, and I really wasn't in pain. And so I just told her, you know, I don't I don't think I need that because I had this big fear of taking anything that would alter my state of mind because I knew that it would throw me into a panic attack. And so I was always so afraid of medications, anything that would put me into a panic attack. And I took that pill and I remember about 15 minutes later just like thinking, Oh, I feel complete. Like this is what I've been looking for my entire life. I feel like with this, I can be and do anything. And that was a feeling that I had found quite frequently. My drug addiction was never just one thing. I went from pills to… After I had my daughter, I had pretty intense postpartum depression and so the doctor had put me on a bunch of different medications. So I remember taking my first anti-anxiety pill. And again, that's kind of that same euphoric feeling. And that same feeling of, okay, like, I'm going to be okay, I can do life. They also put me on Adderall. And then for the next gosh, two years, I was heavily addicted to pain pills. And then I was also taking antipsychotic antidepressants. I remember at one point, I was actually talking to my fiancee this morning about that, that at one point, I was taking an antipsychotic mood stabilizer with Adderall and benzo. And I would go in and I would talk to my psychiatrist, and she would say, Well, how are you feeling? I feel terrible, I feel awful, I'm depressed, I have no motivation. But during that time, I was also, like I said, very addicted to pain pills. Um, life got really, really bad really, really fast.
At one point, I was working for an apartment complex. And again, the family that I grew up in the house that I grew up in, was very sheltered, we lived in a bubble, you didn't talk about drugs, you didn't talk about sex, you didn't swear. And so I'm addicted to these pills. And at one point, I was cut off from getting the pills. And so that panic of like, Oh, I don't know how to get these pills. And I was working in an apartment complex and had access to keys and to apartments. And I remember starting to go into it and started stealing pills from these homes. And that was, I thought, like, my lowest point I could possibly hit this man that desperately needed these pain medications, I took everything he had, and he didn't press charges. I finally admitted that I was addicted to pain pills, not really still understanding what that meant. And I resigned from my position, and then he didn't press charges. At that point, I'd gone to my then-husband and just said, Okay, I'm addicted to pain pills. And we both had no idea what we needed to do, or how we would confront this.
From that moment, that put me into an eight-year cycle of heavy addiction. When I wasn't using, and I say when I wasn't using lightly because I was still on a lot of prescribed medications. And at that point, I started drinking pretty heavily. I had fallen back into my eating disorder habits and behaviors. After I had my daughter, I had found myself at the heaviest weight that I have ever been. And you know, after having babies, your body changes quite a bit. So looking in the mirror, seeing just honestly, it felt like I was wearing a fat suit. Like I didn't know who I was, or who that person was staring back in the mirror. And so I had fallen back into those behaviors and started restricting quite a bit taking diet pills, amongst the prescribed medications that I was taking, and the alcohol. And I started working out quite heavily. I say working out but what working out meant to me at that point was cardio. I would run and sweat. And this went on for like I said eight years total was how long I was in this active addiction cycle.
At one point, well, I'll just go back kind of just with how bad it had gone. My husband and I at that time had separated. And meth was introduced to me. And I still remember like I said, that first pill that I took that euphoric feeling like, Oh, I have arrived I can do life. And I remember the person that had given me the meth, she had said, just try it. This will be the best day of your life. And I tried it and it was the best feeling that I had ever felt and it was on from there. The run, the hustle, to have it. And it was a short-lived time while I was using meth, things got really bad really fast. You know, I had thought my eating disorder loved that I was using meth. I didn't have to eat. I didn't have to sleep. And within four months, I had dropped 45 pounds. I remember going in to see the doctor for a routine checkup for my medications. And she had me step on the scale and it was 98 pounds. And I'm 5'5″ and she, you know what confuses me that she didn't seem very worried or concerned about that. But I remember what I would put my clothes on, they would fall off of me, I would go. But to the opposite of that, I would also look in the mirror, and I would start pinching at my hips, and then my belly, and just feeling I was still feeling really fat.
And at that point, you know, this is I don't know if this was I don't think I shared this part of my story. It was 2010 and my daughter was five. I had, remember this day, I had a knock on my door, and it was a DCFS caseworker. And, you know, she told me that it was reported that I was using drugs. And so my daughter was taken out of my home, into the care of her dad, who's a wonderful, wonderful man. That wasn't the only time that ever happened. I had two DCFS cases against me, and I ended up losing my rights to my daughter in 2012. You would think that that would be a wake-up call, to get help and to get sober, and to change my life. And I didn't get sober until two years after that. Life got really hard, life got really bad.
I had been homeless three different times. The first time I was literally walking the streets, homeless. And the second time, I had the opportunity to kind of couch surf. And then the third time, I lived in my car for about six months. And that was probably the darkest time of my life. I remember, every day, I would think to myself, and I would pray. God, if I have to go through another day like I did today, please just let me die. And finally, in June of 2013, I remember this day specifically, there has always been, well, three different dates, three different times, I can honestly think back and remember just feeling this intense feeling of like, okay, something's going to happen today. The other two times are when DCFS showed up at my door, and this day, I remember waking up with that feeling and thinking, Okay, something bad is gonna happen today. And going throughout my day, very carefully. You see that, but I was a drug addict. And it was almost like, Okay, I've got to make it till midnight, almost that Cinderella thing. Like, if I can make it till midnight, we're gonna be okay. I made it till midnight, and I went out to go do one last thing and I got pulled over. And I had a lot of paraphernalia in my car. And I was arrested that night. And I remember sitting in the back of the cop car having just this intense feeling of peace. like, Okay, I'm gonna be okay. And then I went to jail. I was only there for about 16 hours.
And as soon as I was released from there, I didn't know what I was gonna do. I continue to run for the rest of the day and continue to use it. And I had reached out to a girlfriend of mine, we had actually had a friend that had passed away just a few weeks. Previously to that, he was the first person I'd ever known that died of a drug overdose. And I remember that I couldn't go to his funeral because I was not well, and I was sleeping in my car. And I had reached out to her and just said, Hey, this is what's going on with me. I'm now on heroin and I need help.
And there's a place here in Utah, it's called the Volunteers of America (VOA). And it's a detox facility. And they have one here that's specific to women and children. And I didn't have at this point, I didn't have insurance, I didn't have money. Unfortunately, I didn't have the support of my family, financially or, and that was just my perception. I had pushed everybody away so much. I just didn't have that support. And she got me a bed at the VOA and I went and I detox there. I was there for about six days. It's not an easy detox. It's not a medicated or a medical detox facility. So it's all cold turkey. And so it was a hard detox.
On the sixth day, I made up some story to get out so that I could go smoke cigarettes because you couldn't smoke in there. And I think that everything that happened from the point of me going to jail was all just the divine intervention. It was all very placed perfectly. I left for the VOA, and I went back to that friend's house, she let me sleep on her couch that night. And the next day, I was out, I remember specifically, just this feeling of like, my soul had been broken. I couldn't stop crying. And she was terrified for me, thinking that I was going to commit suicide. And that was, at that point, almost a welcomed thought for me. I was so tired of doing life, I was so tired of chasing and running, and using and I didn't know how to live without all of that.
And so she had taken me to an emergency room. And they admitted me, which. So I work also in the treatment field, for alcohol, or for drugs and alcohol, and for mental health, and it is unheard of that they'll admit you without insurance for as long as they admitted me, they admitted me for nine days. And at first, they put me in a pretty heavy suicide watch, and then put me into the psych unit. And there was a man that they had come to visit me he did marketing for a specific treatment center here in Utah. And he gave me this little bit of hope. He said, You know, I think that I can get you scholarships. Because, again, treatment wasn't, rehab wasn't an option for me. Rehab was for the wealthy for the stars. And so I never thought that that was going to be an option for me. And when he said this, I grasped onto that hope. And it took me about five weeks to get into that facility by me calling twice a day for five weeks. Gosh, I really want this. At one point, he wasn't answering my call and so I remember posting on Facebook, Hey, friends, this is the situation, I really want to get into this treatment center. Will you call this guy and advocate for me? And he'd called me that day, like a half an hour later, and said, I just got 30 phone calls.
That was how bad I wanted this help and so I got into treatment. And I really took advantage of that opportunity. I was learning things. And I realized now like I spent most of my life in this place of just there was no awareness of what was going on inside of my body and in my mind, and I lived this very selfish and self-centered life of it was all about the way that I looked, if I was not pretty and I was not skinny, I was nothing and I use that for like, what 20 something years. I mean, um, so when I went into this Trauma Center, they taught me things that I had no idea about. Like, they had this feelings chart in the group room. And you would check in every day with how you were feeling spiritually, mentally, physically, and emotionally. And I remember the first time they had asked me that, you know, my automatic go-to answer was always good, okay, fine. And they're like, no, you need to look at this chart, what are you feeling? And that was so confusing to me. And so I started really, really diving into how I am feeling. And I started journaling about how I felt. And it was such a cool opportunity.
When I was working with my therapist, she was actually working for a really well-known eating disorder facility here in Utah. And she had experienced an eating disorder herself and had been a client at that eating disorder facility and that was the first time that we had actually started addressing Darci, you have an eating disorder. Because again, I mean, growing up in just that very sheltered-like and very unaware place. I didn't even know what that actually meant, you know. And so we started working heavily on my eating disorder, on building a different relationship with food. She had me at one point, she had put all of my forbidden foods in this office and said, Okay, we're gonna have you go and eat lunch by yourself, which is the whole situation was very terrifying for me. Pick the foods that you want to eat, sit with them, and then journal about it and those were just different exercises that we did throughout that process.
I was in treatment for 92 days of residential treatment. So that's where you go if you live in the home. And then I did sober living in their outpatient program for another six months after that. So a lot of treatment. After I had gotten sober, I was very focused on, okay, so I just needed to rebuild relationships with my family, I needed to rebuild my relationship with my daughter, who is now eight years old. And thankfully, I was given that opportunity to rebuild that relationship with her. My ex-husband was very supportive through this process, even though I don't have and I still don't have parental rights, he's given me that opportunity to have that relationship with her knowing how important it was for her. And today, actually, I get her 50% of the time, she's 16 and she's amazing. And that's one of the beautiful promises that are given to those, like me, and so that's what I really dove into, for the next few years. My life was all about my family and my recovery.
And I had gotten this really cool job working in treatment. It started out in an outpatient treatment center. And I was doing case management. And so I was helping these clients who were like me, and really guiding them through the process of getting sober, finding resources to help them, and quickly moved up to a position of a women's treatment center as the executive director. And so my life had really just turned into I'm a mom, and this is my work. And I'd forgotten about my self-care, my physical self. And I had quickly found myself very overweight, very unhappy, stressed. My sleep was awful. And I started dating, who was now my fiance, and my business partner, and my coach. I started dating him and I remember going to the doctor and them taking my labs and my cholesterol was really, really high. And even just having my cholesterol done. When they told me I needed to have that done. I was like, No, I'm too young for that. But I was 38. So it was a good time for me to do that. So I just got really unhealthy. I had fallen back into patterns of bingeing and restricting very unhealthy relationships with food. And after I had gotten that test back, Danny is very, very into fitness and nutrition. He was coaching his own clients through what he had found in his recovery, fitness, and nutrition is really what drove him into the life that he's living today in recovery from drugs and alcohol. And he just said, okay, which is very scary for any man to come and approach his woman like this. He said, Okay, so do you want help? And I said, Yes, I need help. Somebody with an eating disorder that I have, had to go on to this very, very carefully. We couldn't trigger any of those obsessive thoughts. I didn't want to fall back into living and breathing calories and food and then finding myself back restricting and it was very scary.
And so the way that we approach this was I had to be very vulnerable with him. I had to communicate a lot. And we had started to meal plan and meal prep. We removed the scale completely. And he just did my meals for me. And I had no idea the calories that I was eating, I had no idea what I weighed. I had no idea of my measurements. And we did this for the first time. We did it for four months. And that worked for me. I was eating more food than I've ever eaten in my entire life. And that blew my mind. I remember in the beginning, he would have me eating my meals and I'm like, how am I going to make progress eating this? Like it would take me an hour to get through one meal. And I remember just feeling so physically satisfied. Honestly, I didn't. I was never hungry. And this blew my mind because I had gone through these years of having to restrict in order to lose weight and I started like that the weight just started falling off again, I didn't weigh myself, I had no idea what I weighed. And in four months, we've sat down and said, Okay, so how are you feeling getting very vulnerable? Are you ready to wait for yourself and see the progress that you've made? And I was ready. And that was my first actual deficit.
At that point, he started to teach me, okay, so this is what macros are. This is what macros are. This is what that looks like, this is what you've been eating. And I started eating it for maintenance, I started calculating my own calories. Again, this was all a very slow process. So it wasn't me doing everything at that point by myself. I still was not weighing myself. And then after about nine months, I went on a calorie deficit. And then I went back to maintenance. And we went back on another calorie deficit, very, very small. And it wasn't until about I think it was about a year in. I had hit these goals that I had had. And we decided to, for me to go on a surplus, I was ready to gain some muscle.
What was cool is that I started working out at this time. And I've never been an athletic person. I didn't play sports, in high school, in school at all. And my idea of fitness was running on the treadmill, sweating as much as you can. And so anytime that I would go into a gym, I would automatically go to the cardio section of the gym. I had a girlfriend that used to work out and I remember asking her how it felt to be strong. That's got to feel amazing. But I was always too afraid to go into where the weight section was at the gym, I had no idea what I was doing. And so when I started working out with my fiance, it was terrifying and intimidating. And once I started doing it and started lifting, and hitting PRs, being able to, I wasn't even able to lift that bar, the barbell. And it was so empowering to finally lift heavy weights, to go into a gym, and not feel insecure. And with about the next woman that's like next to me. Like I had this whole incredible shift mentally and physically.
And so after about a year, I started calculating my own calories, my own macros. I'm at a place today where I'm able to step on the scale. Usually every two weeks, just to see what my body is doing. I've been sitting in maintenance since December. Which has been really, really cool. It has been so cool. My body has done things at maintenance calories like I'm eating food every day, and eating at about 1900 calories a day, and I'm not gaining and I'm not losing and I'm seeing body composition changes. And I am sleeping amazing. And it's so cool Amber, this shift, and it feels so empowering. I'm just all I can think of the word that I put, as far as that goes is freedom. I have so much freedom. And I definitely don't do things perfectly. You know, there are some days where I wake up and I feel like I'm still wearing a fat suit. And so I have to really be very mindful on those days and very aware of my thoughts. Make sure that that I'm journaling that I am taking care of my spiritual and emotional self.
When I look at recovery and when I look at a fitness and nutrition journey, they are very parallel, you know, in sobriety, there are things that's called your dailies, there are things that I have to do daily in order to be okay and to continue sober. And so with my fitness and nutrition journey, I have implemented and combined those daily things and I think that's really why I have been able to get to this place of being able to count macros, being able to look at my calories, being able to step on a scale and not go into that obsessive place. And that's ultimately going to take me back into a very, very dark place. And so a lot of journaling, a lot of gratitudes a lot of being very aware of my negative thinking and my negative thoughts, my negative self-talk, and also a lot of communication with my fiance, who is also my coach. And there, it's just very empowering. And so that's a little, I mean, a lot of my story.
Amber B 35:22
Yeah, I mean, thank you so much for sharing that, like, what an amazing story. And whether or not somebody's listening to this has gone through something, I think hearing that perspective, because you never know, if a child or a sister or a brother or a family member, I'm sure there are people listening to this who have family members who are currently in where you were, you know, years ago. So I think my first question for you is, what do you want people to know about drug addiction? And specifically, if they're on the other side of it right there, they have a loved one who is struggling with that? I'm curious, do you think that anybody could have helped you earlier than you were helped? Or did you need to, like, hit that rock bottom yourself? And if that's the case, then what? Can somebody with a loved one who's going through this, how can they best be supportive of that person.
So sadly, I look back and there was absolutely nothing that anybody could have done. So I actually do today's work with a lot of family members, helping them get into treatment. And the one thing that we talk about a lot is to stay away from any shame. Because I swear, I promise you that your addicted family member or loved one does not want to be addicted to drugs, does not want to be lying, stealing, cheating. And so stay away from shame.
The second thing that I would say is to get yourself support, find resources for yourself and start doing your own work. Because unfortunately, the disease of addiction is a family disease, it affects everyone. Yes, you probably did not cause the addiction but you may have contributed to it. You know, family systems can get very sick, especially when somebody is addicted. Their life automatically turns into fixing the addict. And it can be very toxic and very sick. And so be the example. Start doing your own work. And so then if they can come to you, and they say I need help, you are better prepared to actually help them. And if they don't, come and ask for help, you're better prepared to accept that and to be okay. And to and not enable or further enable an addicted loved one.
Amber B 37:49
I'm going to ask you the same question as it relates to an eating disorder. And I'm curious if there's a difference in what you think a family member can do with helping with an eating disorder. I know we talked about drugs, is it the same with an eating disorder, would those be the same pieces of advice that you would give someone who has a loved one struggling with an eating disorder?
Absolutely. I think, you know, now that I have a 16-year-old daughter, I mean, with my daughter, there's a lot of times that I think about you know, never talk about your child's body in that aspect. And so with a family member and somebody supporting someone with an eating disorder, again, stay away from shame, because I promise you, they don't want to be restricting, they don't want to be hyper-focused on what their body looks like. They don't want to have this negative relationship with food because it is living in hell having to constantly worry about those things every single day.
So again, start educating yourself, find resources to help your loved one so when they come and ask and say I need some help you have a little direction because honestly getting treatment, getting help is a really difficult process. And it is something that can take a lot of time. And so make sure that you have those resources so that if they do come and ask for help you can say Okay, so here are some resources that can help you if you want to, if you want help again, stay away from shame and get the help that you need as well.
Amber B 39:26
So what I'm hearing is that it really is a matter of waiting for them to come to you and just being there right like just being there for them and being that safe place that when they're ready they will come. I think it's so interesting in your story that you shared when you got picked up by the cops that it was like this feeling of peace It was almost like okay like I've hit rock bottom now maybe I can get out of here now maybe I can get some help.
Yeah, it was cool. I didn't share this part of the story but this police officer, as he's taking me to jail, and again, I never in my wildest dreams, thought I would be sitting in the back of a cop car handcuffed, or addicted or homeless. But that's beside the point. He was so encouraging. He kept telling me, you were better than this. You deserve a better life. You've got to find your way out of this. And it was so cool that my experience with a police officer who's taking me to jail was so encouraging.
Amber B 40:33
Yeah, and I think that we can be that person for somebody else. Right?
Amber B 40:37
We can be that police officer. Have you ever found him again?
Amber B 40:43
I think he would love to hear your story.
I know, because he made such a positive impact. And he was such a part of that positive influence. It's such a dark time. And I'm so grateful for that law enforcement that are able to do that and be that for people because that's not the only time I've ever heard that of someone having that really good experience. Because all you hear is a lot of bad experiences.
Amber B 41:06
Sure, yeah. You know, you shared a lot of dark moments through your story. But I'm curious if there is one dark moment that maybe sticks out in your mind where, you know, you felt down, you felt like in despair, you felt like the world, you know, you maybe didn't want to live like it was bad enough that you were didn't even really want to live, How did you get yourself out of that? How did you get yourself out of that dark place or what was something that you used to be able to get into a place with a better headspace?
It was, it was actually that day that I reached out to my girlfriend and just said, I need help. I still vividly remember getting out of jail. And I remember driving around, it was almost like a movie moment where, like, everything outside had just stopped, it froze. And I was the only one there and it was the darkest, lonely feeling that I had ever had. And that was what continued to go through my mind was feelings of hopelessness, or just being tired, or just being done and there was no way out. And I was in that place for most of the day. And honestly, I prayed. And when I was done praying, again, my prayer had always been God, if I have to do another day like today, just let me die. And this prayer was very different. What do I need to do? And when I was finished with what I had, I would think I was scrolling through Facebook. And I had seen my girlfriend, she had posted something and automatically I reached out to her.
Amber B 43:03
So good. Through your experience, though, you know, your whole story that you're sharing. I know that you had a lot of shifts in mindset, you know, one that you kind of talked about early on was just this belief that you develop from a very young age that you get more positive attention when your body looks a certain way, right, when it's a certain size when you're pretty and starting to relate that worse to what your body looks like. That sounds like that was a belief that you know, hit you very early on. And that was pretty monumental for you. I'm curious, do you feel like you've been able to release that belief and if so, how? And are there any other beliefs that you have noticed you've shifted during your time of recovery?
Yeah. I don't think that I have completely removed that belief. I think that's going to be one of those things that I have to continuously work on. Because at some points, I fall back into that same way of thinking. And so, like I told you, unless I'm doing my dailies, and I'm very aware of my thoughts and my feelings, this guy can fall back into those same patterns pretty quick, those same things that but our beliefs that I grew up with, and in most of my adult life to had, I can quickly fall back into those mindsets. And so that is something that I have to have to be aware of, and that I have to continuously work on. Otherwise, I know that it can happen very quickly and I've seen it happen very quickly. I've got a lot of working in the field of addiction and mental health and working in the field of fitness and nutrition, I see that a lot with people that I work with past clients, people that I went to treatment with even co-workers that are in recovery, because most of the people that I work with, are in recovery.
And so I have to take care of my spiritual, mental, and physical condition every single day. That is something that I don't take lightly and that I honestly have to just be super, super aware all the time. Other mindsets and shifts that I've had, along with growing up just feeling that you have to be skinnier, pretty to be somebody, I also grew up with this other self-limiting belief that I was not smart, that I was stupid. And that goes along with just you know, your self-worth. And so I grew up with this belief that I was not smart, and that I was stupid, and I was not capable of really anything. If I wasn't skinny, and when I wasn't pretty, I was nothing right. And so and that was another belief that I have actually really worked on. And that's something that I've done with affirmations. You know, when you start telling yourself, you start believing these things that you tell yourself, so if you're going throughout the day with this negative self-talk of you are stupid, you're not enough, you are fat, you're gonna believe it, and then what you say, and what you believe, will transpire, right, you will start living that life. And so that's something in order to change my mindset and my limiting beliefs and the things that I thought about myself, I've actually really had to work very hard on daily positive affirmations. And then when I have that negative self-talk come through, doing anything, telling myself that I'm stupid because that's a big one, that I used to tell myself a lot.
You know, I am not a high school graduate. And so that was always something that I carried on throughout the life of my education was ninth-grade level, you know, at one point, since then I've, I've gone through college and so it's very different today, that was something that I was able to challenge myself with this person that dropped out of college or dropped out of high school, ninth-grade level education, was able to go to college. And I've had these careers and that was something too, I felt like an imposter. You know, at some points in my recovery. I'm an executive director of this treatment center, I have this very high-profile position here. And a lot of the time I felt like an imposter. And the only way that I got through those things was, again, just the affirmations, just telling myself all of the good things that I am. And little by slowly I start to believe those things. And today, that mindset is very different. I believe those things today about myself.
Amber B 48:20
Yeah. Last question for you, is there any fear of going back where you were? Is there any fear of like, what if I start drinking again, or I start doing drugs or the eating disorder takes over? Is there fear still, in going back? I noticed you say you're in recovery, right? It almost sounds like it's not something that's ever done. Right? You're, it's a process. But I'm curious, does that come up for you?
Yes, it absolutely does. And it's funny, you said that about me saying that I'm in recovery. I'm trying to shift my verbiage. I think that that can have a lot of power. And so I love that you just called me out on that. Because I would much rather say I am a recovered person. However, with that being said, there is always that fear. And so, like Danny and I are trying to have a baby right now. And so I think about or something that we discuss if something happens in labor or what not, what is that going to look like as far as pain medication? And so we have to do a lot of planning. My mindset is, I would rather have days of horrible physical pain than yours have the possibility of living in that hell again, and so. So again, yes, I have that fear. I have that fear very much so it's just pre-planning. It's doing everything day today doing my dailies, in order to be spiritually physically mentally, and emotionally fit because I could fall back very easily and I've seen it so many times. But again, with that word recovery, I think, thank you so much again, because I am a person who's recovered. I just have these things that I have to do every single day to make sure that I am fit and that I'm okay.
Amber B 50:17
So good. Thank you so much for coming on. Darci, will you let people know how they can connect with you?
Yes, absolutely. So you can connect with me on Instagram. It is @darci.dndhealthy. You can find me on Facebook. And then I also have a website dndfitnessandnutrition.com. Thank you so much, Amber, for having me.
Amber B 50:42
Yeah, thank you.
Amber B 50:45
I mean, Wow, what an amazing story. Right? Again, a big, huge thank you go to Darci, for coming on and sharing her story. And for those of you who have either gone through some of the stuff that Darci has talked about yourself, or maybe those of you who have family members who are struggling with an eating disorder, or family members or friends who are struggling with addiction or drugs, I'm really hopeful that Darci's perspective, gave you some things to consider. And I really loved what she had to say about how to help somebody if there's someone in your life who is struggling with addiction, or is struggling with an eating disorder, and her advice, really was to take care of yourself, remove the shame, and just be like ready to catch that person when they're ready. And I think that can be really hard when someone that you love is going through something awful and is self-destructive. But coming from somebody who's been there, right? Darci said that nobody could have helped her like, it had to come from her and she had to hit a rock bottom. But when that person in your life hits that rock bottom, are you going to be there too, you know, when they're ready, are you going to be there to help them. And so taking care of yourself, looking into resources, having those resources ready when that person approaches you and when that person is ready for the change. And I just thought that was such wise advice that we can take for those of you who are struggling and having loved ones who are in those hard, hard, hard situations of addiction, and trauma, and eating disorders, and all the things that are surrounding that.
Amber B 52:33
Hope that this was an awesome podcast for you to listen to. I really enjoyed chatting with Darci. If you did enjoy the podcast, will you take five minutes and leave a rating and review on iTunes. It really, really does help the podcast in being able to show iTunes that people are listening and people are liking and sharing the podcast. Those are always appreciated ways to show that you enjoy the content that I'm putting out. Thank you so much for being here. I'm Amber, now go out and be strong because remember my friend, you can do anything.
Hold up, sister friend. Do you love Biceps after Babies radio? If so, the best way to say thank you is to subscribe to the podcast and leave a review on iTunes. I know, every podcaster wants you to leave a review, but it's because those reviews help the podcast to reach more people. And I do truly want to know what you think. If this particular episode resonated with you, will you also please share it? Either send the link to someone who would find it valuable or take a screenshot and post it to your social media and tell your friends and family why they should listen. Make sure you tag me @biceps.after.babies so I can hear your feedback and give you a little love. And you know, if you aren't already following me on Instagram or Facebook, that's the perfect time to hit that follow button. Thank you for being here and listening to Biceps after Babies radio.