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Samstag, 9. Juni 2018

Let's talk.

It is no fun to check celebrity news these days. Kate Spade was bad enough, but Anthony Bourdain kind of really shocked me. Never in a million years would I've thought that he was struggling from some kind of mental health issues.

Which proves, that mental illness is something you can hide pretty good. It is not about the looks, it is about the inner demons. And that makes it so hard to really grasp what depression, anxiety or PTSD is really about when you are not affected yourself. Mentally healthy people will never understand the agony we are/were going through. And that is a great thing, because I really do not want anybody to experiene what I did.

At the same time, it is what facilitates the stigma. I was lucky to suffer from a postpartum disorder, because it is not as stigmatized. Everybody heard of the baby blues, right. (Although I was dealing with something very different). It is the stigma, that makes people suffer in silence. It is the stigma, that makes sick people even more sick. Mental illness is bad enough, but suicide?? That's a taboo with limitless dimensions.

Suicide. There. I said it. It was something I thought about for 1,5 years. Every single day. On some days, it was all I thought about from dawn til dusk. My mental pain was so overwhelming, that it seemed the only way out. Did I think about my family? Hell, yes, I did. I was convinced they were better without me around. I was a burden. I couldn't lace my kid's shoes, so what was I worth? I wasn't able to take care of the simplest of things, like shopping for groceries, nappy changes or night time duty. I was hardly able to dress myself, so what kind of mother was I? A bad one. Worthless.

NO! I was a sick mother. That's about it. I was so, so sick that it affected my every fibre of being. At first, people were fine with it. Everybody thought that it will go away with a hospital stay. But after 1,5 years and endless hospital stays later, people lost patience. (So did I.) All I had to do was pull myself together (pissing my pants laughing here). Work more on getting healthy (Again, laughing uncontrollably). Be happy, because I had that cute baby (hahahahaha).

That's not how it works, folks. Mental healing takes time. Weeks, months, even years. Stop telling people to pull themselves together. Stop treating mentally ill like they are some kind of freaks. Stop telling them suicide is selfish, because it is far away from that.

Reach out to someone who is suffering. Listen. Again and again and again. Yes, even for years. Support them and help with  everyday chores, insurance issues and keeping life organized. Don't push them to do things they are not comfortable with. Life will be fine again. It will. I promise.

Love, Sanna


Mittwoch, 6. Juni 2018

A month later...

Wow, only a month later and all these projects are done! Our garden is so beautiful by now, with all the new decorations and plants and DH did an awesome job.




We also have a new roof and connstruction workers are gone for days now, so we can enjoy our days outside and sunbath in bikinis and nobody's really watching. Yeah for that!

We are still experiencing summer in spring and we all enjoy it so very much. We actually went to the pool today and I watched Linus in disbelief do some swimming. He is going to swimming class for some time now, but it is without parents, so I had no idea he can actually move arms and legs together. Awesome! I am hoping for his "Seepferdchen" (Sea horse diploma) during the summer. It's like a little swimming exam to proof that kids can really swim and are allowed in deep water on their own, for example. It would mean no more driving to swimming class and waiting for an hour outside the pool. Ah, that sounds great, doesn't it?


As it is already June, we do have five weeks left until summer break. Five weeks!! That's only 20 days of work before we are heading into summer full force. Before summer camp and vacation and endless days in the backyard and at the pool. Before ice creams and the smell of sunscreen and going on bike rides. I cannot wait for all this to happen.

Summer, I am cheering for you! Have a great day! Love, Sanna

Sonntag, 22. April 2018

Summer in April

I have been awfully quiet this last month and I have no real reason why that happened. Also, I never know how to spell quiet/quite?! I could google it, but where is the fun in that?

Life has been great around here, and I wanna give you a short update on what happened.

As the weather was just wonderful (summer in April), we did some serious spring cleaning in the backyard and enjoyed the first BBQs and nights on the porch. As it is still April, it got chilly pretty early, but we just changed into jeans and jumpers and had another drink. It is so good to see all the neighbours after this long and cold winter and to catch up and chat over the fence (although we don't have a fence). I also planted the first flowers and they are blooming in vivid colours and look just lovely.



The kids are running wild and free and staying up a bit longer on the weekends to play soccer in the backyard with their friends or jump on the trampoline like there's no tomorrow.

We have a bigger project planned for the garden as we need a new garden house and DH is building me some plant table and the big BBQ has to be removed. It will take some weeks and I feel like it's a big deal we cannot handle, but DH is super cool and a hard worker, so I am sure it will turn out great. My job will be the catering of the workers, which I am pretty good at so there is that.

In addition to that, we are getting a new roof on the house with work starting on Wednesday. The carpenter already told us, it will be VERY loud. I guess, that means no naps for me in the near future. We'll see how that goes and how grumpy I will be after some days. (Pretty grumpy, I guess.)

Apart from all that DIY and bigger building projects, we are happy and fine. My knee still hurts, which I hurt at ballett some weeks ago, but the doc told me to keep on dancing and that's what I will do.

I will keep you updated on all that's going on. Have a great week! Love, Sanna

Donnerstag, 22. März 2018

How Milow saved my life

Five years ago, I was so so sick. I had a huge mental health problem, which made me feel...nothing. Yes, you got that right. I didn't feel. I was alive, but so very dead inside. I remembered my love for my husband and kids and I remembered how I used to be a person, who used to feel very deep, but it was all gone.

All, but a tiny little spark was still there. It was so small, you would've needed a microspoce to spy it, but something tiny little lovely was still inside me. And only one thing was able to make me feel. To give my hunted soul a bit of peace and to make me feel like a human for a millisecond.

It was the music of Belgium singer Milow. I have no idea why it was him and his music, that got into my desperate soul, but it did.

At 7.30am the nurse would come in for the wake up call and I got up to face another day of hurt and pain. And then I got my iPod running and as soon as Milow's voice filled the room, I felt a little less bad. It didn't make me feel great, but it helped to not give up. To head into the shower and start another day of therapy and meetings with the shrink.

Days went by, then weeks and months. Every single day, it was music that kept me sane. These spare moments of actually feeling something through melodies and lyrics kept me going. They made me realize that I am not 100% dead inside.

I started with one song. This one. The lyrics spoke to me (can you guess?) and then, after some weeks, I managed to listen to another song. And then one more. It was magic.

2,5 years ago, I finally felt good enough to go to an actual concert. Like being in a crowd with some thousand people. No anxiety, no pain. Just me and Milow (and DH) and his fabulous music. It was VERY hot that day, but that didn't keep me from dancing and singing and just feeling like my old self. And at some point, I might have shed a tear or two. Because life was just good and I was healthy and seeing that wonderful singer perform those songs were just too much.


DH later told me, that he enjoyed that night so much and he couldn't stop watching me sing and dance along. How my eyes sparkled and how happy I was.

It was the night of my life.

Thank you, Milow. From the bottom of my heart.

Love, Sanna

Dienstag, 6. März 2018

And so can you!

My life these past five years have been the most challenging and hurting years of my life. And then they turned out to lead to the most beautiful and bright years of my life. I gave birth to my wonderful baby boy, only to get caught in the depth of post-partum depression. I breathed, ate and lived depression. Every single minute of the freaking long day. It never let me live freely and enjoy the simple things. It made me feel raw and ripped my heart and soul out of my body. It was by far the worst thing I have ever experienced. I lived this life for about 1,5 years, before a nurse (and I will be forever grateful for that!) told me to get my head out of my ass and work on myself and on getting better. Her words were painful and so very true. It sounds easy, but it really is not. You cannot just decide to get better and then magic happens. You cannot influence mental illness by pure willpower. But you can change your attitude. What really changed for me was the way I looked at that illness. I decided to fight back with all that I have. I wanted to show doctors and nurses, who had given up on me, that I can do it. And then recovery started. I will be honest, my way back to life was hard and it took everything I had. Tears, sweat and lots of cursing. It took years, to be honest. But it was so worth it.

When I finally felt like my former self mentally, I realized that my body had suffered serious damage. I ate a lot during depression, which is common (as also is non-eating). I was on three different meds, which make your weight go through the roof. I spend years on the couch, sleeping, crying, existing. I had no energy to care for my body as I was too focused on mental health. It dawned to me that I had to start taking better care of my body about  year ago. The first step to a healthier way of life was subscribing with Weight Watchers. Once I had decided to change, it worked. Some months and lots of lbs. later, I went to my first sports class after giving birth, depression and everything after that. I nearly died (nah, not really!). This class didn't work for me, so I tried something different a few weeks later. A friend told me how much she loved her adult ballett class and I gave it a try. It felt great to be back on the dance floor and it really was what I needed. I am still going to ballett class. After about ten months of WW, I felt like I needed a new input and changed the weight loss program. WW works great, but I always ate the same stuff. Zero Points food. Chicken, salad, fruit. Nah, I needed a different point of view. And I feel like the new programme I am using really helps to make better choices concerning food. I am eating stuff, I never touched before. I am having smoothie bowls for breakfast, for God's sake!

So, here I am. Mentally healthy. 55lbs lighter. Happier than ever before.

People keep on telling me how inspiring all this is, which makes me a bit embarassed. All I did was to find a way for me to live a happy and satisfying life. And that only happens when you are one thing: HEALTHY!

Without health, life is worth shit. So take a moment to thank your body and soul. Remember how far your feet did carry you today and how much of work your hands did. Did you take a second today to feed your body with good food? Some vitamins and enough water? Did you rest and do something special to feed your soul? Read a book, listen to music, take a nap? Did you make sure to make your muscles work and stretch?

It is so easy to focus on the good. Very often I do not ask my kids how their day was. Instead I ask

What was the best thing, that happened to you today?

I think it's a lot more healthy to look at life that way. And yes, I still have along way to go. Today I ate fast food. It was a challenging day with a sick kid and sick husband and errands to run and work to do. Still, I take a second to massage my hands with hand oil as they are really broken from the cold. Although I was in a hurry, I took the time to prepare a salad for lunch and sit down to eat with my family. And as today was packed with duties, I will finish writing this and then go to bed early, because my body needs rest. 

Be good to yourself. It really is simple as that. You are worth it.

Love, Sanna


Samstag, 24. Februar 2018

It's a privilege

My Facebook feed is full of people discussing gun laws. I can only shake my head in disbelief. About the hate on both sides. About the fact, that it has to be discussed at all.

For my German self, it is totally crazy to cling to weapons when there are children killed like what? Every week?? I cannot believe how often school shootings take place in the US (and the US only!) and how people are not willing to change a single thing. To me, it is simple. No weapons. No shootings. Right?

And then I am just happy that we live in a country, in which my children can got to school to learn and not to be shot. I am so grateful for a country, where we can live in peace. We do have a warm place to sleep, food and education. We do have a strong economy. A good social network and good health services. We have good schools and universities and great childcare.

We have the opportunity to raise our kids without violence and guns. Without war. It really is a privilege and we should be grateful for that every day. I am. Now go hug your kids.

Love, Sanna


Freitag, 16. Februar 2018

About mothers

About twelve years ago, I became a mother and it changed me forever. I had no idea about how deep love can be and how unconditional it is. I was not prepared for the worries and the anxiety to do it right and I was by no means prepared for the hen fight between mothers.

Honestly, ladies? Why do we have to compete who is doing it right (what does that mean anyway??)? Why do we have to tell each other how to handle this or that situation and why isn't every way of mothering just as good as it is?

I am not talking abuse here, just to get that right. I am talking about different ways of mothering/parenting and how they all have the right to just be. At work, I meet mothers from all over the world and we do not only talk grammar, we also discuss different cultures and also talk about private things. I see big differences in raising children.

In some cultures, children are brought up by a whole community. Mothers, grandmothers, neighbours, aunts and cousins. In others, they are taught certain standards from the very beginning, such as religion (No, not only muslim. I do have a mormon mum in my class as well. And a Hindu.). In some cultures children are being taken care of at daycares from a very young age, in other cultures they do not even get a basic education. Some kids are taught to hunt and fight, just because it is what is necessary for daily life. Others are tought to swim at the age of three, because they help fishing from an early age. Others can't swim at all. I am super proud that Little L can ride a bike, which is considered standard achievement over here. Some kids will never own a bike their whole life.


But one thing, all kids have in common. They are loved to pieces by their moms. All we want is for our children to be happy and - most importantly - save. That's why some mothers I know packed up all their life in a bag and travelled months (sometimes years) to bring their kids to a peaceful place. That's why I pick up BigL from town when it's dark early around this time of year. That's why we put our loved little ones in life vests when we go to the pool in summer and why we use sunscreen.

Because we LOVE our children. It's what we all have in common and as long as our children are safe and happy, we are doing everything right. YOU are doing it right. Good job, momma!

Love and hugs, Sanna

Montag, 5. Februar 2018

Get movin'

I started my weight loss journey about a year ago, in the end of February. It worked like a charm within the first half year. Then, I decided to do some workout and through a friend found this awesome ballett school. Since then I am doing ballett class once a week. It was awesome to go to a ballett class, overweight and all. But I had so much fun and it's such a good workout, so I stuck to it.


These last months, I have been a bit of lazy concerning food and movement, so I did a re-start of my diet after my birthday. I am back into the program and so far it works well. Having lost the first 50lbs without real sports, I now am trying a new routine. Going to a Pilates class on Mondays, ballett on Thursdays. The other days, I try to use the stairs instead of the lift (I work on the 6th floor), use the sunny weather for walks to the playground with Little L or stroll around town. Just be more active in my daily life. The fact, that spring is around the corner is helpful, too. I am looking forward to garden work, sunny walks and just being more outside.

I will keep you updated if all this boost my weight loss or is just fun. Have a great week!

Love, Sanna

Mittwoch, 31. Januar 2018

So, I actually turned the big FOUR ZERO on Sunday and...nothing happened. ;o)

I still feel like mid-twenty (bahahaha) and my kids still think I am super old. The party was awesome. Not.

I woke up, because Big L had caught a stomach bug and was throwing up. So we cancelled the whole party thing and spent the day on the couch watching movies. Mom and dad showed up nevertheless and we had pink cake and coffee. I had planned a night out with my favorite girls, which was great as it was an opportunity to finally celebrate my special day. We had bubbly and ate great food and had a good chat. It was lovely.

And then life went on. Laundry has to be done, meals have to be cooked and the Bachelor still is on the telly on Wednesday nights.

Speaking of which, I really have to get going, because I have to catch up with the night of roses. Oh, and the best thing about watching the Bachelor is reading the Twitter live tweets. It's hilarious.

Love, Sanna




Mittwoch, 24. Januar 2018

Four Zero

I am freaking out a bit. I am turning 40 this week. Incredible Four Zero. Fuck. Or...make that a double fuck. Fuck, fuck.

Never before did I worry about my age. But the Four really bugs me. I don't want that, ya know. I wanna be thirty (not twenty!) for the rest of my life. I wanna look and feel young and I really hate all that grey hair I regularly pull from my skull. Forty sounds so grown up. Like you should have control over the stuff your adult life consists of. Like taxes or insurances. Building a house and planting a tree. I have done neither of that. Well, we obviously do taxes and insurances, but I pretty much suck at organizing the papers. That's the ugly truth.

I am (nearly) forty and I love the colour pink and all things glitter. I enjoy YA romance and wear pink Converse. I still listen to YA audio books when driving to work and I think that Lego Friends play sets are so freaking cool.

Is this how forty is supposed to be? I feel like I am not grown up at all. Although I sometimes sound like my mom when arguing with my kids. ;o)

Please tell me that my best time is yet to come. I need some heads up here to not completely loose my shit these next days. BUT to make it a bit fun, I am planning my own very pink birthday party. Pink cupcakes, glitter balloons and all. Yeah, I am so grown up.


Mittwoch, 17. Januar 2018

The idiot in me

Oh man, the weather is just awful. It's grey and very cold and snowing/raining all day. Every step outside is one too many.

Did you know this last Monday was Blue Monday? It is said to be the most depressing day of the year. I totally understand that.

These last days I am feeling a bit off. Not depressed, no. I just have to fight a steady feeling of discontent, although everything is just fine. I feel unhappy about the most stupid things and I really have to work on pushing these feelings away. I feel too fat, too boring, too old. I feel like being not enough. For my children, my husband, my pupils. I feel way too average.

Why? I have no idea. It might be the darkness outside, it might be the fact that I am turning 40 in less than two weeks. It might be PMS. It might be nothing of that at all.

Sometimes, it's just what happens. I don't like it, but this will pass. I try to give it not too much thought (Who am I kidding??), and this works just fine on some days and some other days it won't work at all.

What bothers me the most is the fact, that I should be so grateful for what I've got. Just five years ago I would've given everything for just being healthy. I would have loved to be just normal and average and cuddling up on the couch on a snowy January night. I should be so, so grateful.

But then it occured to me, that these feelings come from a very good place. They come from my comfort zone, whispering little lies into my ears and make me feel less than what I really am. I am a fucking PPD survivor. I am a mother, who had to fight for the love towards her baby and I am a freaking one man show running a job, household and juggling a thousand appointments a week. Yes, I am a normal mom. I am an average woman. And yes, I am a boring German eating Kraut and Bratwurst. But I am me. I am good the way I am and I am blessed with two wonderful kids, a caring husband and health.

I am one lucky woman.

Love, Sanna


Sonntag, 14. Januar 2018

Stay gold, Ponyboy or About feeling deep

For as long as I can remember, I have always been in love. With guys, books, music, movies, whatever. Also, for as long as I can remember, I have a dark side of feelings. Feeling the blues is something that I have in me (I am not talking depression here) from the very beginning.

I know that I feel much deeper than most people. When I watch a romantic movie, I actually feel the butterflies in my stomach when hero and heroine are finally together. When I read a book, I can dive into different worlds and characters and sometimes need hours to come back to reality. Sometimes, a finished book leaves me aching and heartbroken, because I am not ready to let go.

I easily fall in love. I develop deep feelings for characters in books and movies. Fictional characters, that is. That's why I cry through every freaking episode of Grey's Anatomy or Outlander. Sometimes, the crying does not stop for half an hour or so. The TV is switched off, teeth are brushed, makeup off and I am in bed sobbing. It's hard to get rid of these feelings at that moment. Eventually, it happens and it's not that I am in dream world all the time. Sometimes it doesn't happen for months. But then it hits me and I am gone in faraway worlds.

All this is a blessing and a curse. I love it, because it has opened doors to me that others will never experience. I am sorry when people do not find joy in reading, because I know what they are missing. At the same time, I sometimes wish that my way to feel wasn't that intensive. Because the bad feelings are there as well and I fell them deeper, too. That's not really fun.

The first time I read The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, I was devastated for days. I was in my late teens and it left me heartbroken and sobbing like mad. Still, I love that book. It's a special one.

Why am I writing about this? Actually, I hope to find someone out there who feels the same, because I feel like a freak sometimes. Is there anybody who can relate to all this? How do you handle it? Do you just let it be or do you try to keep it under control? I'd really like to know.

Love, Sanna

Montag, 8. Januar 2018

Happy New Year!

Hey, happy new year, everybody! We haven't seen each other for quite some time, huh? Or to be more precise...I haven't blogged for a while. Sometimes, I just don't know what to write about and other times, I am too busy with life to post. Both of this has been true lately.


Christmas was wonderful and the kids were happy and excited and life was just incredibly good. We spent New Year's Eve with friends and that was sparkling and great as well.

Then came the first week of January and all through the year, it is the hardest week for me. Christmas decorations are stored in boxes until next season, the sparkle and fireworks of New Year's are gone. The weather was grey and cold and rainy and we had too much time on our hands. Little L was back to daycare, DH was back to work. This left me home with Big L, who was meeting friends and playing too much PS. I was bored. The winter blues kicked in. No, not depression. I was just sick of hanging around on the couch and shuffle around home in my slippers. The days were long and I really lacked energy to do the simple things, such as laundry and running errands. I slept way too much and out of boredom went for a stroll through the supermarkets. Awesome.

So, I was more than happy to return to work today. Actually, I LOVED returning to work today. I was so excited, I had problems to sleep throught the night (and that never happens). So this morning I jumped out of the bed and into the shower at 6.15 am and was happy and glowing. I was singing along the Kinky Boots soundtrack on my way to work (The sex is in the heel!) and was greeted with enthusiasm by colleagues and pupils, who felt the same.

So, we are beack to our daily routine. Something, I really really need to cope. Whenever I am out of routine it is a bit like drifting in open water. I am a very structured person and I need structure in my life. That's just the way I am and I know, that I am not alone.

So, I really hope this boost of energy will stay for a bit and make me blog more often. Because I love blogging and catching up with you and spring is just around the corner, right? Right.

Love, Sanna