Mind Over Marathon And What Does That Mean To Me

Those who know me a bit, know that I’m fairly sensitive and cry easy. Well, super easy, whether it’s good or a bad thing or anything in between. So when I had heard that my two great friends have been part of two piece documentary series for BBC about mental health and movement, I knew that I’m going to cry my eyes out. For some reason I thought that it’ll hit close to home, and because I’m so happy and proud of my friends being able to put something so important out there. But what I didn’t realize back then was that those two hours will also remind me of my own journey with mental health issues and how I have overcome and learned to live with them, and how movement has been a massive part of it all. And that part, that part of realizing your own journey was the hardest for me. That was and is, what that documentary meant for me. Mind Over Marathon.

Watching those documentaries made me cry even before they started, even before they had come out, the first teasers and I was ballin’. At times I wondered why, because I’ve seen loads of documentaries about mental health and they haven’t made me feel this much. A friend of mine said to me that they will hit close to home to me, in a completely different way than to him. I wasn’t sure what he meant, until I watched them.

What I understood, was that my tears were about me realizing how similar my own journey has been to those in the documentary. How they spoke about those feelings I’ve gone through and not knowing how to describe them, even to myself. How hearing those words made me feel that I’m not alone with this, something I wish all the time I can give to someone else. But with all of that, I also really, deeply, realized how I genuinely don’t give myself pretty much any credit for the journey I’ve managed to push myself and the work I’ve done with myself and my life.

It was almost heart wrenching to realize that, to see myself almost from the outside and understand how little I pat myself on the back for all I’ve done. How hard it is to take compliments and how easy it is to forget your own journey. It’s maybe one of those things that you’re just too close to see it, so it’s easy to forget and not see all the amazing work you have done. Btw, writing that is really hard, that amazing part.

If you’ve lived with mental health issues, you know how deep those thought patterns are in you and how insanely hard it is to break them and learn new ones. And how frustrating it is to fall off the wagon and try to get back on, which happens a lot, maybe for the rest of our days. How hard it is to learn to be gentle to yourself and not to feel guilty about every damn thing. And how easy it is to downsize it all, because you do feel guilty and tired of how you feel, and like it’s just easier to hide it all. Even if that makes you walk to a wall and feel really really shitty until you admit that you need help. Which is by the way, THE HARDEST THING TO DO.

For the past five years now, I’ve grown stronger with myself, made changes in my thought patterns and slowly been able to change my life for the better, loose the mainly negative outlook in life to more positive, learn how to be more confident in Me and to love myself for the first time ever. But that’s only little piece of my life. When I’ve said or say that without running I wouldn’t be here anymore, I’m not lying, I just wouldn’t and that’s the truth. No cliches.

In my life I’ve been in phases where I’ve wanted to end my life, because there was nothing in me to keep going. I still remember looking down from our balcony when I was around 18 and thinking that it would be so much easier to end that numbness and nothingness I was feeling. I am eternally grateful that my little sisters head somehow creeped in my mind at that point, because without that I doubt that I would be here either. I’m also insanely grateful to my Mom who made me search help. But back then I never thought where this journey would take me.

I’m 33 now, and I’m in a place in my life that I know that in the “official/proper way” of living your life, I’m nowhere close to any of them. I don’t have a job, which would make me independent, one thing that I work the hardest towards. You might ask why haven’t I just found a job and be happy with it, well I was on that path until this whole wrist operation chronicles started and made few U-turns in those plans. I do however have a path finally that I worked hard for and feel that is right for me. I don’t have a partner to share my life with or even wish to have kids, which I know is very wrong because doesn’t everyone want them. Honestly, I have no idea if I want them or not. We’ll see when I have someone to talk about the issue with. I have no money what so ever on my bank account to fall back on if something happens, I’m so used to struggling every month that I have no idea how it would feel to not. But what I do have, is really amazing and supporting family and friends. Who have seen the journey I’ve gone and remind me of just that. Whether I see it or not.

But that’s the thing, I don’t have a husband or a house or a kid, those things are super alien even on a idea level to me. Those are also things that someone made up that we all should have by the time of this and this, long ass time ago, which we still keep pushing towards. And when not having them, you feel guilty even if your life is good on your own standards.

That’s the thing I’ve struggled lately. I never had a crisis when I turned 30, but now I seem to make my life a living hell at times because I’m not “there” yet. And why? No idea. It’s not like someone is making comments about it all the time, well yes, thank you Grandpa for being afraid that I’ll be a spinster. But other than that, no one is putting any pressure on me for those. It’s coming from myself for a reason I don’t understand. It’s probably the same place where the “give yourself shit when you really shouldn’t / you’re supposed to be able to do anything all the time” comes from. That place that makes you feel like shit and numb and stupid and like a looser when things are actually going well and you start sabotaging your own success. And the thing is… even if I have these issues, it doesn’t mean that I’m not capable of a lot of things. Do not get those two twisted! People with mental health issues, aren’t people who aren’t amazing and capable and doing amazing things. They’ve learned to deal with their issues and work towards their goals anyway, while having shitty times and not feeling anything at times. But we have to remember that there’s too much stigma and false argumentations around this whole thing. And because of that people are incredibly terrified of asking and searching for help.

And how familiar am I to that? Sabotaging my own success, and not believing it’s because I’ve done the work… It’s basically at times my middle name. Though I have to admit that I am getting better at not doing it so much, but that’s because the past year I’ve managed to crank up my courage levels to a all time high and that shit has been extra hard. I’ve also been so incredibly smart that I’ve learned how to be selfish with people who are around me, and dropped those who aren’t good for me and chose to let few closer than before, because they’ve been there for me when I’ve needed that push. But those days come, usually when you feel like you’re on top of your game and just fly high, then that depressive mind just kicks in and makes you doubt every damn thing. Even now after I wrote that I had to take a breather as damn those days are hard and tiring, and I’ve had quite a few lately. Just when things have been going so well.

But that’s what living with mental health issues is, you live with it, you learn ways to deal with it and go on daily. I don’t honestly know why I chose to not give up as that was all I knew. I have no idea why I still don’t let myself fall that hard off the track. Because this shit is terrifying and so damn tiring. Depression doesn’t mean that you’re always sad and not capable of doing things, at times it feels like you’re completely empty and feel nothing. That numbness and emptiness are probably the hardest. Not feeling anything about anything. Not being able to do any of those things that you know would make you feel better. Not even think about running or writing, even though you know so well that they were the things that kept you alive. You have days when all you can do is try to stay alive, and to be okay with that is a hard ass work. You have days when all you have energy for is to sleep the day away. Then you have days you feel good again, that’s the cycle of it all.

But what’s been really hard lately for me is that these are the things I want to work with, what I do work with now already a bit. Combining this conversation and movement, but I forgot myself and my own feelings. I got so tired, so deeply tired that I didn’t realize anything before I hit a wall a bit. I needed the reminder of this all from that documentary and from those two incredible friends who are part of it, Chevy Rough and Charlie Dark. I needed Chevy’s honesty about his struggle to believe that mine is okay, and Charlies answers to my help me messages to realize that I’m not alone.

 

When we help others it’s unfortunately super easy to forget yourself. That happened to me, and now I’m slowly learning my way back again. I said it out loud that I’m tired and I don’t have anything in me. I admitted it to myself that I’m terrified of being in front of people as a coach even though it makes me feel the best and I feel that I’m great at it. I’m still insanely nervous before every session. I need to find my why I run to be able to run at all, as now I’ve drifted so far from the reason why I did it, that I don’t want to run on my own time at all. Which I feel is not doing me any favors. I stopped writing for really long time, because I was so afraid. I still am, both this and running. But I want to learn again those routines of being good to myself. Doing that meditation in the morning, sending that email to my therapist asking for help, going for that run for myself not anyone else, and writing about whatever and whenever I want and feel. Eating better as I’ve gone back to my old ways of feeding my body processed junk as a coping mechanism. Giving thanks every evening and being thankful for every day. I know that this all will be hard, it feels the hardest now, but I’m tired of hiding my own struggle even if I’m afraid of it or sharing it. I can’t preach about something, if I don’t do the work for myself. Though I also need to be gentle and good to myself to be able to change my ways and there’s still nothing wrong with not being okay all the time.

Slow and steady is the way to go again. That, almost annoying, twinkle of hope is still there and I guess I have to listen to just that.

PMA ❤

 

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When Passion Turns Into Doubts And Fear

wp-1476214605352.pngI feel little nervous even writing now, it feels that it’s so long since I last wrote a piece that felt something and made me fear to get it out a bit. Usually those are the ones that give the most after they are done.

I’m on the verge of recovering myself again, once again. The me I’ve been last year or the two years ago is so far from the me I am now. And the me I am now, I’m not even sure who that is, I am am very much in the search of that Me.

This year has completely thrown me on a spin of feelings that I did not expect and got very off guard because of them and how they truly made me feel. The things that were my biggest passions have dwindled into things that I feel no interest in doing and am really pushing to being interest again, as I know in the deepest place in me that they do bring me joy and support in a way that not others can.

When I started this blog, I remember how the words just flew off from my fingers and writing was really easy, not grammatically good but I got the feelings out and felt always better after. Probably because I never thought that no one is actually really reading what I wrote so there was no pressure in what I did, I just let all it out. This whole year has been a low key on this blog, I’ve felt strongly that I don’t really have anything to say worth writing about, which might have made me feel even more confused with all. As I haven’t written about them to anywhere else either. I’ve also felt this massive pressure to write anything at all, there’s so many amazing blogs around and I’ve just felt that what do I have to say that someone actually would like to read, do I really have something to say?!

It’s been the same with my running, or more like the lack of it, or with any physical activity in my life this year. No interest what so ever, which has been so tiring and weird but a relief too. Two years ago I did nothing else than run, I ran to heal myself from the pain of loosing my Grandma, from the end of a long and meaningful relationship, the changes I had in my life, from the confusion of it all. I ran to feel better, I ran from it, I ran to it, I just ran. And I’ve felt many times that I just ran out of that course in my life, I didn’t have anymore running or anything else in my life. And I felt and have still felt really guilty of that feeling, or not having any interest in doing anything, while so many know me through my running and now I am nothing, in a way, or at least I am not doing anything in that way.

This year has just flew past, it doesn’t feel real, so much has happened and still it feels like no time has gone by. That’s what’s scaring me so much, the realization of how fast time moves on without no care about if we have done anything with it, good or bad, to others or ourselves. And in this world we live in, it feels so often than if you don’t do do do and do something all the time, you are nothing at all. If you don’t have something to show for every damn thing all the time, you basically don’t even exist.

I’ve gotten so tired of that all, the last couple of months I’ve noticed how I have no tolerance for extra pressure if it’s not necessary, and I know now that I have no need to let it in my life, I have the keys to make those lines that others and also myself aren’t allowed to cross. And I do not need to feel bad about taking care of myself like that.

There’s this massive trend of being more all the time, faster, anyfucking thing, just as long as you do it a lot and show it to the world in some way in your media outlets. It gets tiring and has no effect at some point. I feel like I’ve been on both sides of that, and now I notice more often than not that I just don’t feel anything when I see someone posting a positive this or that or how much and fast they’ve been running, it’s just noise to me. And I feel in a way guilty of even letting myself be this honest about it. But I’ve felt that less is more can be so many things, we don’t have to post every aspect of our lives for them to be real, to us, who they should mean the most. The quality of our own lives doesn’t feel as high as it should, we put it out there like it does but does it to us all when we behave like that or do we just grave for the attention to validate our own being through likes?

And there’s this flipside of starting to feel bitter and jealous of it all. You’re surrounded by it all, it comes from every aspect of your life, not only social media and then it starts to feel like it’s suffocating you whole. And doing anything starts to feel like it’s useless because, why should you you’ll never get “there”.

It’s really hard to stay relevant even to yourself when you really don’t do a thing to make the situation better or different, but that’s the thing the pressure to do anything starts to be so massive that it’s easier to be bitter than try. Especially if you’ve had a history of failing as a habit or a way of life, because of those self doubts, those insecurities. What all that drifting further and further from that “Do” Me does is, it fills you with doubts on top of doubts, it pushes you further away from the you, you were before it all landed on you like a thick blanket without you realizing. Climbing back up from there is insanely hard work, especially when you clearly are not who you were but not 100% sure who you are or want to be now. There’s a certain pressure in “getting back up” once you’ve already done it before, whether it is writing or running or whatever. It almost gets harder and not easier, because of the fact that you’ve done it before and it also can make you feel extra insecure, because the biggest step in your way is YOU!

I have too many years in me of getting used to failure and not believing in any way or form that I do deserve the good in life, that it’s really easy to fall on that side of thoughts than remember that positive push you also have in you. But it is like anything else in life, if you don’t practice it enough and make it a habit you forget it and it becomes hard again.

I’ve had to find ways again now to start feeling better, it’s been a long road to recovery in many ways this year. I haven’t wanted to slow down because deep down I knew that when I do, all that I had dusted away will pop up. But I never knew how much will come and to what level I need to dig to start the healing once again. I really needed to slow down to a full stop to see how broken I was. I needed to let myself fall down to see if I still have the fight in me.

After almost a month of morning meditation, which isn’t the easiest thing but I’m really feeling the benefits, and reading actual books a lot, I’m starting to feel like I might have a idea who I am and who I want to be. And there’s nothing wrong that that is nothing who I have been, that’s only a good thing. I am not who I was, I am who I am now. And honestly I am scared shitless. I have no idea what to do, but I know I have to try, even when that is the one thing I wish I could just jump over or crawl under. To behave like I have done and be miserable when it didn’t work like it never did. I don’t know if anyone reads this blog, or if anyone wants to run in my running crew, but those are still two things that seem to make me feel better, so I choose to keep trying.

My insecurities, depression and doubts will always take over me, when I am weaker, but maybe that’s not so bad. I read in one book this thing that said around like this ” our depression often comes to our lives when we need to slow down and stop to evaluate our situation”. I had it bookmarked because it really resonated with me. Maybe depression isn’t only a bad thing, for me it has made me who I am now. Not with the easiest roads but still. So without the struggle who would I be, I have no interest knowing.

Being alone and really slowing down is one of the best things I know. It charges my batteries, and sometimes that takes a lot longer than before but it’s so necessary in this “ON” world of ours. And we don’t need to be able to do and be like everyone else, if someone hustles all the time, let them. But you don’t have to or need to, to be where you feel the best. That is something I need to tell myself quite often, but I’m only a human. And that’s okay.

And here it is, a piece that I just wrote, didn’t think just wrote and didn’t even proofread…

PMA ❤

Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

“I am not the first person you loved. You are not the first person I looked at with a mouthful of forevers. We have both known loss like the sharp edges of a knife. We have both lived with lips more scar tissue than skin. Our love came unannounced in the middle of the night. Our love came when we’d given up on asking love to come. I think that has to be the part of it’s miracle.

This is how we heal. I will kiss you like forgiveness. You will hold me like I’m hope. Our arms will bandage and we will press promises between us like flowers in a book. I will write sonnets to the salt of sweat on your skin. I will write novels to the scar of your nose. I will write a dictionary of all the words I have used trying to describe the way it feels to finally, finally found you. 

And I will not be afraid of your scars.

I know sometimes it’s still hard to let me see you in all your cracked perfection, but please know: 

whether it’s the days you burn more brilliant than the sun or the the nights you collapse into my lap your body broken into a thousands of questions, you are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. I will love you when you are a still day. I will love you when you are a hurricane.”

– Clementine von Radics, Mouthful of Forevers

A thought that crossed my mind more than once this week. It’s been a rough one and my being and mind were not where they normally are. I got caught up with all the noise around me. All those two cents.

Like I wrote on my last post, this summer has been the best, for me just because I’ve experienced so much more and done things that I wanted to do, simple things, but just haven’t before. But this also meant that for the past month, I’ve been with people almost all the time, pretty much all the time. And slowly but surely, I felt a bit off, I wasn’t the calm, rational me that I have been working towards for quite long and been enjoying.

As I once again forgot that I’m an introvert and that I need certain things, as alone time, to function, I also lost myself a bit. There are times in my life that I totally just jump into that enjoyment of others and completely forgot what I need to be able to enjoy it all. I need alone time, at times a lot of it. But now after this past month, I am all of sudden afraid of being alone. Which feels really weird. Me not wanting to be alone and rather spend time with people?! Who am I?

I’m also very sensitive person, but I’ve found ways to take on what comes while recognizing my own self, which happens to be great. I don’t need to change but I do have to be gentle to myself. This is the thing, too much other peoples company drain me and I tend to realize it way too late…

So now that I’ve had some difficulties, or more like challenges, in my life this week, I felt totally overwhelmed and like I can’t get out of that bad and sad feeling. I was just sad and cried and didn’t know what to do, other than dwell on it. That’s not who I am, that is who I was. I have worked my way out of that.

“We cannot selectively numb emotions. When we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions.” – Brené Brown

I’ve needed this week to do that and slowly understood what really is going on and what I should do about it. I need to get back to my old calming, balancing ways that I used to do daily basis to keep myself okay. These are some things that work for me:

  • I do oil pulling every morning when I wake up, with coconut oil for 20 minutes and then brush my teeth. It gives me time to start my day but it also has insane health benefits and I feel better when I do it.
  • I try to meditate, something that is really hard for me, but then again, it’s supposed to be. So I will try again.
  • Running, I’ve taken a good months pause from running which was great, but I forgot how much it calms me and clears my mind. So I’m back at it.
  • I need to be alone enough, to restore my energy and get that clear space in my head. It’s very necessary for me. Haven’t done it enough the last month and I can really feel it.
  • I say thanks every night for the day when I go to sleep, it’s my way of ending the day and calming myself ready for sleep.
  • I need to write more again, it’s my way of therapy and it actually makes me feel really good. It’s a challenge but that’s why it’s good for me.
  • This is a funny one, maybe, but I love to collect quotes and hand write them to my notebook. It just makes me feel good, that’s it. 🙂
  • I want to forgive, more forgiveness because it doesn’t only release you from hate and anger but it gives you so much peace and you don’t let the fact control you anymore.
  • I want to say at least once a day to myself that I love myself. ❤
  • And I want to let myself be that weird happy bubble that I have been and what I truly am.

So I’m going to get back to these, and I know that quite fast I will get myself back on track. Which will help me with the challenges and goals I have now in my life. The fact is that if I can’t find another job with my current one, I can’t say yes to this amazing safe haven of an apartment. And if I don’t work towards that goal that means so much to me, I won’t be able to stay in Copenhagen, which would make me really sad, because going back to Finland is not an option.

I feel like part of the anger and sadness that I was dwelling in this week was because I knew that even if I felt like giving up and that nothing makes any sense, I also knew that I can’t just give up because I don’t do that anymore. So obviously that annoyed the shit out of me, me trying to behave like I have before in a time in my life when it just doesn’t work anymore. To be fair, to myself, I am better than that.

It’s normal to get caught up in life, loose yourself at times, but I had to remember that I am not that lost that I can’t get back. I had to go low to remember how great things really are. That’s normal and at times needed. But I can’t let it drown me and make me loose my course.

PMA ❤

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