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