It is hard to talk about our own life and experiences because that involves so many details and emotions. I will try to simplify it for you, so I can share a little bit of my journey of “finding myself”.
Motherhood is the most beautiful, magical and sweetest thing that happened to me. Though, for such a long time I tried to avoid that it also brought me into the darkest time of my life.
It was hard to accept that the purest love that I felt for my kids could hold hands with my saddest thoughts.
Yes, that is it, I was depressed! The depression came without notice and invaded my most precious moments.
Did I want that? Of course not! But things like that just happen without notice. I had both kids with me, but I was feeling more alone than I had ever felt before, and I could not understand why. Was I grieving my old identity? Probably!
People say, “when a baby is born, a mother is born too” and that is true. You are never going to be the same, but that does not mean that your old self is dead. Unfortunately, at that point I did not realise it!
I was feeling like I would have to learn to walk again, but full of expectations that did not happen as planned!
On top of that, motherhood is the most judgemental of groups, and to be honest, I was not ready for it! I was putting too much pressure on my shoulders. I wanted to be a wonder woman, with 10,000 tasks to do, and should execute them all with perfection. Silly me!
Suddenly, I started to dig myself into a hole. The saddest part of that is that I was taking my family with me!
After days, weeks and months of trying to get better on my own, I realized I could not do it anymore. So, I looked for professional help.
My husband (my angel) supported me all the way, and added extra love and care to our family at that breakpoint. He was there, brave and strong, giving the required emotional support to our kids while I was building my confidence back.
Therapy helped me a lot! I started to understand things and track my way back to the old sunshine days. I realised that motherhood is not a beautiful advertisement of margarine on the TV, where the family enjoys a beautiful breakfast with an ocean view every single day hahaha. Motherhood comes with good and bad days, and it is ok to feel bad sometimes!
I understood that we, mothers, are the fundamental piece of the family machine. If we are not well, our family machine will stop eventually. (Let’s fix ME!!!)
I understood that my old me was not dead, my old me was only in a deep state of sleep, waiting for my new one to call! Step by step I was able to come back to “normal”.
Let me talk about where the passion for running came to me.
I was in need for some individual pleasure (time for myself / connect with me again). I tried different things on the way like dancing. I still love it, but it was not enough.
So, as I always admired runners, even though I had not done any running myself, I set a goal to finish the HBF run for a reason 4km course. It was not love of first try for sure! I felt pain everywhere, but I was so determined to do it, that I did it anyway.
Training after training, I started to connect with something amazing: my mind! Yes, and to my own surprise, for the first time in years, I saw me again! My old me connected to my new life. I was alive!!!
Finishing my first ever 4km was a real deal for my comeback! It was so emotional!
My husband was there and seeing his smile at the finish line was the cherry on top of the cake!
That day was a year ago. Since then, I have not stopped running.
Running brought me joy again.
Every run I connect to my personal world. When I am running I can meditate, pray and think about what I can change to be a better person to my family and to the world. I discovered how pleasurable is to have my own company again!
Time after time, my personal world was in need of more space, so the distance started increasing and new challenges came with that: 10km, 13km, 16km, 18km and suddenly I was standing at the start line of my first half marathon.
Months later another one. After I finished my second half marathon I felt emotionally ready to go for my first marathon.
Training for the marathon was intensive. I was tired most of the time and had a health issue on the way. Nothing that serious but I was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease, so a new lifestyle came on board!
I had a few moments of giving up, but as soon as I hit the road I managed to mentalize positive thoughts, think about where I came from and where I wanted to be. I wanted to make my family proud! I was there because of them. They stayed with me through the tough times in my life. We are an incredible team and that moved my heart to finish my training and be ready to go!
Last Sunday, I completed my first marathon and crossing the finish line with my proud kids and husband cheering me up was priceless.
It was glory for an “ordinary” mum!
My family is my everything! My personal fight for “finding myself” was for us. I could not let them down. They make my life extraordinary and we all deserve happiness!