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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Tired Of Struggling. In Life. Honestly

IMG_0752-0I’m so damn tired of struggling. In life. With those basic adult things that others seem to have all down. Struggling with everyday issues, like money, like where to live as a 32 year old, what to do for living to be able to be independent, like not feeling as lost with this all as I in all honesty do.

It’s close to 5 years or maybe even more since I had my own place to call home. A place that I paid the rent for and had like I want my home to look like. I didn’t have much there but it was mine and it was my safe haven where I could just be.

It’s almost 10 years since I had normal adult person bank credits, as in not having lost them, as in not having a big ass debt, and now being in a situation that I feel at times that I don’t have a future. Because I messed up as a very young and confused person, with severe mental health issues at the time. And I was medicating that feeling with buying and trying to be someone I’m not, because I was so afraid to really open myself and admit that I need help.

It’s a long long time since I had a regular day job, where I get a proper paycheck once a month, and with that being able to live a normal life, without the day to day struggle that I am in now.

My depression is definitely one big reason for being in my situation now. The fact that I lived in a time when having the certain outlook of yourself was so important played a part too. Me growing up when Finland had a huge economic depression, and not having maybe what others had, has something to do with it too.

And when I had my first real job, I just used my money like there was no tomorrow, because all of sudden I had some and it was mine. To make one thing very clear, I never felt that I was missing something growing up, I could not been more loved. But something in that time has left it’s marks in my age peers. I talked about this with my oldest friend just last week and we deeply agreed. Either you grew up to be super cheap and saved all your money, or you went to my direction.

The thing is that I’m not the only one with this situation, there’s too many of us in Finland, which is really sad. Things were different back then, too easy to get easy money and get trapped in it all. We are, I am, paying the price with my life. Pretty literally.

And when you try, you change your thinking and how you see the world, and go mentally forward. Ask for help, get help, open the whole bunch of embarrassing issues and go through them. Try to find a solution, find one but feel so tired at the same time, because you feel that you are just drowning and never being able to live a normal life again.

Now, almost 10 years later, my life is better in many ways that I couldn’t even dream back then. Myself, me, I am good. I have my ups and downs, my depression tries to creep up on me, but I have tools to live with it and I have the right kind of people around me. I’ve grown so much as myself that I still find it hard to see for myself. I don’t see my worth, there are moments but I need the reminder all too often from my friends. Material things just don’t mean what they did before, my belongings fit in my 120L Patagonia duffel bag still, except for all my books. I am happiest when I have really little. BUT. I am in a situation where I live at my parents place, not because I want to or enjoy it, but because I don’t have any other option, unless I find an apartment from the city, with council housing with the longest lines, where I live. I am 32, and I live at my parents. I feel the pressure to find my own place, for my own peace, for the peace of our whole family as this is not the way it’s supposed to be. I am insanely blessed to have this kind of family, because without them I have no idea what would’ve happened. I don’t know if I can ever really express how grateful I am for this and all before this. And it is very embarrassing to be the one that your closest friends pay lunches for because they know your situation, but at the same time know much it means to you to be able to pay for it yourself.

I am so tired of struggling. I am so tired of trying and working hard and trying and working hard and failing again and again. That might be more in me, the failing part of it, but it’s very real feeling in me. My trust in my own future is hanging on very thin thread at times. I made a simple mistake when I was young, mistake that snowballed so fast that it took over me, and now at my age I am paying such a huge price that it’s snowballing over my current life and trying to suck the last faith and hope out of me. I am struggling at days to have any kind of interest in trying, I’ve noticed how my depression has creeped it’s ugly self back and trying to get me to slowly give up. I know better but when you feel like the biggest loser example of how NOT to do things, it’s really fucking hard to not give up.

I have a feeling that some people think that I have somehow loads of money and because of that am able to do certain things. Nope. I don’t. I struggle every damn day to be able to eat lunch, because if I do, I know that I won’t probably have money for the whole month. I’ve been interning for quite many years, with really small amount of money in the hopes of it all getting better with getting that job after the interning period ends. Things don’t always go as you or your workplace hopes.

The choices I make with my money, are very thought out, I buy quality clothes and shoes so that they last long, my running gear is very very used and I am so blessed to have been given some gear from my friends all over the world, without them my running life would be a lot harder. I might prioritize my money to being able to travel to a place where I’ve never been to see those people I love the most, who I don’t see as much I would want and need to. But that all means that I will be so broke that I need to think half way through the month if it all makes sense. It does when I see my friends and am able to hug them and feel like a whole person, even for a weekend.

I still don’t have a clue where I would feel like home. I am still searching for my home place, country, spot, whatever. It’s not in Finland, but this is the place I need to be now, whether I want or not, and I need to do my all to make it good while I am here.

And now that I am waiting to get my wrist operated and knowing that after that I’ll be out of the working game for few months, doesn’t make me feel any better, it makes me proper terrified, to the broken bones and back. Try to feel hopeful for your future with all of this…

The thing is that I know how blessed and privileged I am, and that keeps me very damn grounded. I have a life that is so good, I have too much to complain at all. But fuck I’m tired of this.

The saddest thing is that this almost seems to be like the new norm these days, there’s too many in too many different places who struggle, in one way or another, young people who are trying to see their future and trust in it while the world and it’s situation makes it nearly impossible. We’re being divided more and more to those who live and those who struggle with the simplest things in life. And we all just want to be happy, do something we enjoy most of time, be loved and love back, just the simplest things in life, nothing crazy.

I am so happy that my mental health is in a place where it is now, if I was in such a bad place as I was in my early twenties, I don’t think I would be here anymore with all of this. I am so happy to have my family and my friends in my life. I am so happy that I know myself the way I do. I am so happy to be able to grow older and be more and more confident in my choices and life and how I live and love it. I am so lucky, but I am also so fucking tired of struggling. I don’t need to have anything grandioso, I wish to have a little place to call my own home, to have a job that ables me to provide for myself, I still don’t want to have that much more than that one Patagonia bag.

The struggle makes you tired and sad. I am tired of that. But the deepest feeling is still hope and faith in better in me. So if you wonder why I am able to smile and laugh so much, it’s because I truly have gone and am going through something that makes me appreciate the simplest things in a way that I never thought possible.

ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE. LOVE. FAITH. HOPE. PMA ❤

Ageing. Am I Worthy? Why Is Time Just Flying Past Me?

img_4451I think I’m finally in some kind of age crisis. I turned 32 last Wednesday and couple of months before that and every day after has been just roller coaster of feels. Looking myself completely different than before, feeling like I need to rush to live through all the things “I’m supposed to” and trying to remind myself that I am okay and “still” have time.

There was this funny moment last week, maybe couple of days before my birthday, I was in a elevator and was looking at myself in the mirror and thinking that damn I look older than I thought. And then I came home later and looked at myself again in the mirror and smiled and thought that “you look really nice and beautiful”. This all in the time span of few hours. That kind of sums up how I have been feeling lately with this all, ageing and time flying past me.

It’s a funny feeling when you look at your hands and see that the skin on them isn’t that youthful as it was just a little while ago. Where did the time go?

While at the same time I could not care less anymore what others think about my looks or what and how I do and live my life, I really, really struggle with not letting certain things, opinions and vibes from others going in, so deep that they can ruin my whole day.

How do I learn how to not let others get to me on that level? I’m 32 and struggling with something so simple. There’s this huge controversy with this all. Why not care but care so much at the same time? That’s definitely my main goal in life, to one day not let all of it get to me like that.

But I have these moments of almost looking others like I’m completely standing still in my life and them doing and living and flying past me, and I can only watch them like a movie. Feeling like I’m not doing the right things. Feeling like I’m not “normal” 32 years old. Like I’m supposed to have that relationship and at least one child by now. But at the same time I feel that there’s so many people around me who are in a similar situation as me, feeling as lost and empowered at the same time. Not sure if that is a relief or if it brings even more confusion.

The evening of last Tuesday I turned my phone off, like actually off, deep down wishing and hoping that when I open it in the morning of my Wednesday birthday it will be filled with Happy Birthday wishes and love. And that is me being completely honest about how I really, truly, wished to happen.

And then when I woke up in the morning… there was one message, from a person I hadn’t had any communication for many many years. That made me feel super sad and alone and a bit embarrassed how bummed I was. I told about that all to my little Sister, and she looked at me really funny and slapped me gently on my fore head for that all. Which obviously kicked some sense in me, but at the same time I realised how basic human feeling that was, not wanting to feel alone and unloved on your birthday. In a way, I didn’t have anyone who “had” to remember my birthday outside my family. Of course I wished that my closest friends remembers it but they don’t have to, and for some reason I knew that they love me even if they don’t remember.

And few hours later, my phone was just buzzing with wishes. With words and photos in them that made me full on tear up and feel like the biggest idiot. So my feelings went from one to completely another end of the spectrum in one day. In the end I actually had the best birthdays I’ve ever had. I felt so loved and grateful in the end of it all. But it definitely made me think about this all. Because in the end it’s only one day. And I needed all of those reminders that I am good enough and lovable and that so many people really really care about me.

Why do we always feel that we’re not enough or worthy? Why is it so easy to think that about ourselves? Why all of sudden we feel old when we really still have loads of life ahead of us? Is it that we think that we’re done already? Why the doubt?

“She wants somebody to love
To hold her
She wants somebody to love
In the right way
She wants somebody to love
To hold her
She wants somebody to love
In the right way
She wants somebody to love
To kiss her
She wants somebody to love”

Zayn – She

Lately I’ve gotten very public reminders of my worth. From people who genuinely know my darkest parts, those that make you feel that you’re not worthy about yourself. I’ve always been good at helping others see and remind them of their worth but then I stumble this hard at times with seeing it myself. A forever struggle.

Maybe it’s part this year and the last year and what happened. Maybe the fact that I had to pick my pieces and really look myself in the mirror and admit that I didn’t do anything wrong and at the same time admit what I need to change to be okay and not let those hurtful things happen again. There are moments in our lives when we just stand in front of something bigger than ourselves and feel so damn small that getting past that feels too big of a task. I’ve been in that lately. The fact that my health issues and the wait for the operation on my wrist just flipped the whole year upside down. Me turning that obstacle to a challenge that I want to see more good than bad in. Me realising how much I love and yearn to be alone and at the same time miss and yearn being loved by that one special. It’s a weird combination of feelings. I realise that I am ready and that I’m not there yet. Maybe this is a good place to be, because honestly I don’t think we can ever really be ready.

I hope that I can find a balance in this all. I want to embrace this journey that is ageing and my life. Being okay with what it brings. Not feeling like I am not worthy no matter what has happened in my past. I have so much love to give and to receive. I want to learn and be in peace with patience. I want to take my life with no rush but jump bravely when it feels like that, like I’ve done before. I want to see myself how others see me, at least at times. Because even I know that I am enough and lovable and amazing!

PMA ❤

29 Days Of Gratitude – Day 29 The Late Edition

12803124_10153971209752726_7527504342632920985_nWOW!

How time flies and makes you feel like you’ve done nothing even when you know that you’ve done crazy much…

That’s how my last week and last day of my challenge definitely was. So much, too much to be honest.

The things I’ve noticed even more when going gets rough and you feel so small in front of it all, is that with the right people in your life, you’re going to be able to push it through. It took me many many years to realise who are the right people to let close and I’m now reaping the benefits of my mistakes and teachings of those mistakes. Life is about learning, day in day out, and this matter with people isn’t any different.

I love how the ones I have the closest know exactly what I’ve gone through and in their own way can reflect it all. The fact that you’re able to be long without talking and then when you do, it feels like no time has passed. That is the best, and those people are worth keeping close.

What I’ve learned this past month is that life has a way of almost testing you until you admit what is right and what wrong, it will steer you to your right path with the right people to do what you’re supposed to do. And it’s up to you if you’re going to listen and learn or keep going and fight and fight against it all. The uncertainty of it all is actually a gift to be embraced. We only have this moment, not before or next, just now. And that is definitely something I am learning to believe and let be, to make myself appreciate truly this moment.

I can plan something in my future and I can have goals and work towards them, I can have dreams and wishes, but I just have to be patient with whatever it is and see how life goes on.

The things that are important to me now are so different and also so the same as I had before this past month. But the thing I wanted to gain from it was to be more positive and be able to let go of the negativity I held so close to me. I’ve noticed a difference in myself and I’ve also surprised myself with my openness and bravery, and how insanely relentless and strong I am. Something I seem to forget so often.

One thing that I’m 50% struggling and 50% embracing, is the fact that the past is past and I can’t let it define who I am now, because I am so far from who I was back them. My mistakes from my past are with me in certain things still in my everyday life, but I am not the same and that makes the difference. I am working and have been working hard to be better than I was before, and I know and want to believe that I’ve succeeded in that. And will keep working till my last day here. We are a work in progress forever. And I think that’s the best part, we can never be ready or done. We have to trust in what we are at that moment and see what happens.

Whenever I’ve felt the most exhausted and felt lost and like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel, I’ve managed to in the end got out and be better and stronger than before. And I’ve realised that damn, that was the exact thing I needed to do and go through to be where I am now. So thank you February for almost kicking my ass, I expect you showing me something amazing in my near future ;).

LOVE. PATIENCE. GRATITUDE. EMBRACE YOUR STRUGGLES AND TRUST YOUR JOURNEY. PMA ❤

 

I Like Wrinkles, I Like The Stains Of Age…

It’s a simple quote from one amazingly talented lady, Isabel Marant, but what she said in this video below sunk deep in me and just made something burst and glow of YES!

“I like wrinkles, I like the stains of age – imperfection has a lot of charm. It has its own language and I think it speaks much more than something that is completely perfect. It’s never perfect so you search for perfection but you never really totally reach it.”

-Isabel Marant

Growing older is scary at times. You realize how fast time moves on, and how little you’re able to do with it. You understand that you need to get cracking if you want to accomplish those dreams and wishes and goals. You look at your body and you see those signs. You look at it with a new found respect, new found appreciation. You look at that part with cellulite but still look at the whole with love. You know what your body has gone through and wish that the future wouldn’t be that hard on it, but know that it can take it no matter what. I love the notion that my life will show on my body. Those millions of tears and especially all those smiles and belly laughs will be on my face with love marks. You remember some touch from years and you smile because of how it still can make you feel. You also remember a sensation of pain from some other time, and you almost shiver just from the thought of it. All of it is on you. It’s part of you.

But the gratitude, of how much my body has endured. All that yo yo of a life that it has taken from me. It’s still there, broken somewhere, but still there. I can feel that I’m not “there” anymore, but I’m still very much here and stronger with some well deserved jiggly bits.

What ageing does is give you a love through it all, you love the skin you’re in because it’s the only skin you got. There’s no reason to fight it because the marks will always be there, it will remember all the fights. But what it does when you love it and devour the beauty of it, that is amazing. It let’s you be you with all you are. It plays along with your recklessness but still let’s you play. But you have to respect it too. Because it’s always, always, smarter than you, and it will out play you in a heart beat. No fools in that corner.

Day by day, I love myself more. I love the body I’m in. I love how loyal it has been. And how much smarter and cleverer it is and always will be. Thank you for taking all that I’ve put you through. Thank you. ❤

Getting There : Isabel Marant video