Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Rome wasn't built in a day

I ran. Yesterday I did it. I ran.

This might sound strange considering 4 months ago I ran a marathon, but being brutally honest I can probably count on 1 hand how many times I've run since then. 

Marathon training got so intense I stopped loving running and started loathing it. I hated having to drag myself out of bed for those long, or even short runs. I was probably in the depths of depression whilst training but I was still putting on a brave face as if everything was ok. But that front got me across the finish line & that's what matters! 

I needed to fall in love with running again, I wanted to run because I chose to run, not because I had to run. This time off work at the moment has made me spend time on myself, getting myself better. My daily walks I've been doing, which most of them are around the harbour where I live which is where I used to run, they've made me want to run again. I knew I couldn't push myself I had to wait for when I was ready.

That day was yesterday I laced up my trainers, then sat in them for 40 minutes telling myself this was a bad idea, that I can't run because it's been so long, that I'm not as good as I used to be. Part of that as true - yes I'm not up to marathon standard but that's what you get for not running for 4 months, but it wasn't a bad idea - getting out there was going to help me build up to that standard again. 

So after a few tweets I got out the door, iPod on, garmin on. And I ran, slowly yes but I ran. I had to stop a few times but I knew that was inevitable, but I knew I needed to focus on my breathing as that would make running a lot easier! I've missed the running spirit and community, out on my run I forgot how satisfying and warming it is to have other runners nod and wave at you. 

It was a long and hot 2.4 miles but I did it. And I am so proud of myself. I ran because I chose to run, because I wanted to make myself a better runner, to get fitter and to help my mood. And I will slowly build myself back up to the standard I was at before. Like the saying goes....Rome wasn't built in a day. 

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Self Love #1

The thing I've struggled with since being off work is having so much time to myself. I know I need it in order to get better but I am so used to going at 100 mph and putting other people first that I don't know what to do with all this time!

I think part of my melt down was due to the fact I haven't been taking care of myself, the thing with depression is that not only do I not have the energy to take care of myself, I don't feel like I deserve to treat myself well. It's a vicious circle. One that I am working on breaking.

Today I treated myself to a hair cut. I haven't had my hair cut in about 6 months, probably from the last time I visited Gavins back in February! My split ends were horrendous and my hair was disgustingly dry.

I've been to Gavin's twice before and each time he welcomes me like an old friend, I was recommended to go there by my mum as I am incredibly fussy when it comes to having my hair cut. I'm always scared a hair dresser is going to make me bald!

Today I was just in for a trim, although it was a rather large one and to have my fringe put back in. Gavin is a small independent hair dresser in Laleston, Bridgend and I am all for supporting local businesses especially when he gives me such lovely treatment.

There is something so relaxing about having someone wash your hair, massage your head and make you want to fall asleep in the chair! I was treated to a lovely hair mask that smelt divine, and quite frankly didn't want Gavin to stop massaging my head. Whilst having my hair cut I was treated to a lovely cup of coffee, although I still don't get how you are supposed to drink a cup of coffee whilst having your hair cut?! And a good old chat like I was talking to one of my best friends.

After a good few inches off my hair it now has a lot of shape to it and I feel like a new woman! It's amazing what a hair cut can do for you.
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You can find Gavin on Facebook or Twitter. If you are looking for a friendly and reasonably priced hair dresser I would defiantly pay him a visit.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

I've still got so far to go, but I'm so far from where I started, and I'm proud of that.

"We can't change the past, but we can change how it affects us"

This is so true in many aspects of my life right now. One of them being my weight.

At the age of 18 I joined weight watchers proceeded to lose 6 stone and got 5 lbs from goal. Life took an unexpected turn and I put most of that weight back on. Something I beat myself up for every single day. 

My weight is something that is adding to my bad days, I've gotten so fat again. My clothes are tight, running hurts, sometimes even walking up hills hurts. Being in control of my weight will not only help these, it will also help my depression which will make me more motivated and give me more energy. 

Today that changes, today is day 1 on my weight loss journey. I need to learn that I don't deserve to beat myself up every day. Thankfully I didn't put the whole 6 stone back on but I'm still *alot* more than 5lbs from goal. But that's ok, I've broken it down into manageable chunks. Learning to have confidence in myself that I have done it before and I can do it again.

Today I joined Slimming World. I needed a total change of plan, and after my bad experience at weight watchers a few weeks ago and a lot of research I felt this was the best way for me. The way I am at the moment I don't have the energy or inclination to be weighing and pointing; this may sound really lazy but at the moment with my depression it all needs to be about little steps. The meeting was really friendly and everyone made me feel really welcome. Although the scales nearly made me have a heart attack I know I won't see that number again.

I've been shopping, planned my meals for the week and made a little motivation chart with the help of Jon and his promise to treat me to things when I reach certain targets. Plus who doesn't like a pretty chart?! I think secretly I'm a 5 year old.

It's a perfect time for me to start my journey as being off work means I have a lot of time to research, plan and prepare yummy meals giving me a good boost for when I go back to work and continue on plan. 

So this is day 1. And the only way from here is down (in terms of my weight) everything else is on the way up 😊

Saturday, 12 July 2014

" Rock bottom became the foundation on which I rebuilt my life"

I truly love this quote!! 7 years of misery, heartache and abuse with the wrong person, finally made me strong enough to start over!!! And God led me to my husband today!! :)

I'm not to sure where to start with this post, I just know I need to write. For the last few months, well most of this year I've been living as if everything is OK, putting on a brave face, getting on with life as normal. I've been seeing a counselor about loosing the baby since January and that is helping. But bad days have got more regular, there seem to be more bad days than good recently, not just about loosing the baby but everything. It seems like loosing the baby was the tip of the iceberg for me realising I wasn't coping and I wasn't OK. I've been on anti depressants since about March, something I haven't told many people. I hate that there is so much stigma attached to depression - just because it is a mental illness doesn't give people the right to judge. If it was a broken leg or any other physical illness there wouldn't be so much judgement and so much misunderstanding of the illness. Even myself I don't fully understand depression.

This is something I am taking time to understand, it comes from me not accepting that I have depression. That I have to learn to cope with it. Learning and coping to live with depression will always be a work in progress.

Getting up in the morning has been a struggle, the fact I have to go to work is the only reason I get up. When really I should *want* to get up not getting up because I *have* to. My friends and family have been amazing, but I haven't really told them how low I've been, how bad I feel, and how much it is affecting my life. I've learnt now that I have too be honest with them in order for them to help me. And I am so grateful for all their love and support which sometimes I don't feel I deserve. 

I put so much pressure on myself that I have to carry on, after loosing the baby, coping with how much I've changed, turning my hobby into a stressful task, putting weight back on, building a career, being the perfect girlfriend, daughter, friend. I feel like I've failed and that tears me up inside. 

This week it all became too much, and I had a mini breakdown. I hit rock bottom and it scared me. I've had bad days *really* bad days but nothing like this. I didn't brush my hair or shower for days. I know people say that this happens but I never expected it to be me. I've always been so independent and being able to deal with things. I'm the person who can give excellent advice to anyone who needs it but I can't take my own advice. I hate how most days I can't see how I can get out of this, I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. As much as people tell me there is, that there is hope, I can't always see it, a little bit of me insides holds on to that little bit of hope and some days I believe that. And soon those days will build into weeks and months.

The more I've been thinking of it, having time to myself I know I need to take time for me. That the only way from here is up. "The future is never as bad as it is know" is something someone close said to me, really struck a cord. I'm not going to let this depression beat me. I have amazing family and friends around me, a great doctor and counselor and I will get better. The first step is accepting that I can't carry on at 100 mph as I have been. I need to take one day at time. Yes there will still be bad days, but I'll learn to cope with them.

I don't want to just be another number, another person with depression. Part of writing this post is to get awareness of mental illness. That it can happen to anyone. But it doesn't have to define you, you can beat it and there is light at the end of the tunnel. 

I've found some really good information on the mind website. So if you want some more information, whether you are suffering from depression or are someone supporting someone with depression I would recommend to head over there and have a read.