What a Difference a Year Makes: A Message of Hope ✨

 In Blog

Last year at this time, I was considering taking an anti-depressant for the first time ever. I had lost both beloved fur babies unexpectedly during a year-long perpetual state of PMS brought on by a bad case of bioidentical hormone treatments that highlighted the toxic state of the world during which I was diving headfirst into ‘trauma release’ therapy…AND, did I mention the global pandemic? All of this, and throw in a few more life punches for good measure, contributed to a midlife breakdown and overall sense of doom.

Last January, I suddenly stopped taking the hormone pills (without tapering as recommended) and further descended into depression. The worst of it was the two weeks of withdrawal. I felt ever more empathy for those people, including my dad, who’ve struggled with the slow seduction of suicidal ideation. No, I wasn’t ready to end it all…but I was deep in darkness and didn’t know how I was going to get through.

Cut to current time… I’m relieved to report that once my body rebalanced, so did my mind. I feel like myself again! I was surprised that something I thought would be benign (and actually beneficial) turned out to have a profoundly negative impact on the way I felt, behaved, my health, appearance, and overall outlook.

Many women feel wonderful while taking hormones. Others, not so much. Every individual’s body and biochemistry is different. So next time, no matter what wellness guru (or even doctor) starts selling me on one-size-fits-all bio-hacking baloney, I will be more discerning about any interventions affecting my body’s natural processes. Had I heeded the early signs that the hormones were causing havoc, I would’ve avoided much unnecessary stress, mentally and physically. Moving forward, I will rely more on intuition to determine what’s right for my unique needs.

More than ever, I believe it’s important to tune into our bodies and instincts for how to best maximize health. Unfortunately, the pandemic continues to perpetuate pain, paranoia, and separation within our polarized culture. Many purport to have all the answers for others, yet TRUE ‘inclusivity’ should also include a diversity of ideas. For all the current Covid chaos erupting around the world, I still feel hopeful for the future and believe in humanity’s ability to heal.

None of us know if things will get worse or if the bulk of bad times are behind us. But a great number of sages have said difficult times cultivate qualities that are indispensable to a good life. The greatest growth often occurs when we don’t even know it’s happening.  I’ve always feared getting older, yet in many ways I feel more fulfilled, happier, and hopeful than I have in AGES.

On off days, I no longer put pressure on myself to be perky. Feelings are fickle and tomorrow will be different. The darkness inevitably dissolves into dawn.

The inner housekeeping I did through therapy these past few years has not been easy. It’s actually been quite excruciating at times. But finally, I feel like I’m coming through the other side of something powerful that couldn’t have occurred without my willingness to go to some painful places.

Expecting ideals rather than reality is often what sets up suffering. Maybe being an ‘adult’ means accepting life on its terms – rather than running after unrealistic notions of how life should be, and resenting when situations or people fall short of such unobtainable standards. My relationship with my husband became much richer once I dropped the fantasy that he was supposed to be flawless and fulfill my every need…and instead started appreciating ‘the human him,’ doing the best he can with human limitations, just like me. Life on our beautiful planet is far from perfect, but there is still much to savor and celebrate.

No matter how the upcoming months unfold, we will be stronger and wiser after this painful pandemic passes. Hopefully, the holidays will give us all time to process the past couple of years and understand what purpose such an intense global event may be serving, personally and collectively.

My hope for everyone this holiday season is that you may connect with loved ones, regardless of differences and the emotional messiness that often accompanies intimate gatherings. I have a big Italian family in New Orleans and do my best to keep uninvited opinions at home when we come together to celebrate. I value important relationships over being right.

I’m continually grateful for this Essentiel community and look forward to growing together in the new year. May the holidays and 2022 bring you heartfelt happiness! (And of course, healthy happy skin).

“We need to feel that life, despite all the current divisions and conflicts, remains holy and that healing remains possible.”
-Michael Meade

Wishing you love, warmth, and wellness!


????Please share how the pandemic has helped you grow…or anything else. I love hearing from you!

Showing 13 comments
  • Rana

    We all are in a perpetual state of gloom now with the warnings of pandemic, our feeling of “being stuck” and uncertain about the future months. Different people address this feeling by handling it in various ways. As you experienced, drugs are not the answer if you want to move forward.

    Fortunately due to my background in Europe, and a fairly healthy DNA and a training by wonderful women who just “got on with it” through difficulties. My mother was extremely advanced in her thinking about healthy food and living, which I was fortunate to inherit.

    When menopause came into my life, my foremost thought was: I have had a mother, several aunts and a grandmother, wonderful elderly friends – how did they manage to live long lives without hormones? If they could do it – so could I. Yes, now and then there was some discomfort with the hormonal adjustment, but I thought the body will handle it. The less one adds to the chemistry of this wonderful machine we are, – the better. As you say – healthy attitude, good nutrition and the proper lifestyle will guide us through it.

    I can emphasize with your feelings about your losses. Do I know and have experienced some of the same – our furry companions are the world to us. Please be safe and well and consider the glass “half full”!

    • Adele Uddo

      How lucky you were Rana to be raised by strong European women with good genes who taught you about healthy food and natural healing. We should all have that kind of confidence in our bodies -love it! Really appreciate you sharing -very important. Happy New Year! x

  • Jase

    Often, when I read your writings, I am able to pause into gratitude for all the wonderful experiences I have had, the wonderful people I have known and know. Even in the hard times, being able to pause and connect with these feelings is refreshing and powerful and reminds me to be thankful for all the wonderful things in my life. Reading about your spiritual journey often reminds me to be mindful and appreciative of my own. Thank you.

    • Adele Uddo

      Jase, your message make me so happy! Thank you for expressing your gratitude. Great reminder. I’m sending it right back to YOU ????

  • Rachel Powell

    Of course you wrote this on the Winter Solstice! The light is indeed coming my friend.???? So many similarities in our personal growth over the last couple years and its no wonder I’ve been blessed to count you as my friend. Releasing the unrealistic expectations and the need to be right have been huge for me. And you are absolutely right – its all happening for a reason and we are healing. Keep the beautiful words flowing girlfriend!????

    • Adele Uddo

      Ditto Rachel! I feel so blessed to count YOU as a friend. Thank you for being there. You inspire me and I look forward to seeing what 2022 brings us both! Much love ????

  • Hannah

    Loving you so much now and always. Your open and honest words speak the truth for so many of us – each with our variant – each with with our circumstance. Most important is to know that we are all in this together. Big hugs!

    • Adele Uddo

      Amen my friend! ???? Yes, we are all in this together and are already stronger and wiser for it. Big hugs back! x

  • Ashley

    Adele, so very brave and vulnerable of you to share your honest reflection of the past year with us. Thank you for sharing! It is a reminder that at some point we all go through trials in this life and it’s not easy but humans are so strong and the body is absolutely able to heal. Patience is key. I’m happy to hear you’re feeling much better! Your story will help heal others, I’m sure. Merry Christmas!

  • Marianne Snyder

    Thank you for your beautiful thoughts and insight. I am sure many can relate. Through all of the unknown times, we can surely agree to disagree, live and let live, give it tod God and release it to the universe… understanding the true beauty of our inner selves and our human inability to possibly fix everything and everyone. Love and kindness will always see us through. Even in our darkest hours, we can still have a flicker of light to look to and not give up. We love you. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Yesr, from our family to yours????????❤️Marianne ( Chris’s cousin )

    • Adele Uddo

      Hi Marianne, so great to hear from you! Yes yes, more love and ‘live and let live’ is my motto too ???? Beautifully said. Wishing you and your family much love and a happy new year!

  • Renee Anjanette

    Again, your writing is absolutely beautiful and poignant.
    Thank you for sharing, for daring to share, and to believe what you have to say has resonance, and meaning for others.
    It means a lot to me.
    I hear you and I am so grateful for your honestly and vulnerability, authenticity and wisdom.
    Your friend and fellow traveler…Renee A.

    • Adele Uddo

      Renee, knowing you makes so happy 😉 You are the best and I’m so grateful to know you fellow traveler ????

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