There’s a time I used to wake up at 5:00am…after a night of 3 hour sleep breaks; prepare breakfast for the family, they’d be out of the house by 6:30am by which time I’d put a workout DVD and have a 45 minute workout. Then I’d shower and do my chores till ‘little man’ wakes up at around 9:00am. I would alternate tending to him and doing whatever other chores that needed my attention. I did this for a year, 6 days a week, consistently without fail. I also took up running on the weekends.
When I went back to employment, I’d do evening runs and go to the gym. Every Saturday I’d run from work to my house, a stretch of 15km. Was I disciplined or what? This too went on for almost a year.
While pregnant with my second baby I ran till I was about 7 months along; after doing the Standard Chartered half marathon, I almost got divorced, this Mister wasn’t having any of my running addiction, so I did short runs till a few weeks before delivery.
Then came baby number 3. I pushed my running addiction to 8 months. You’re wondering what this disciplined, focused, mum is on about?
9 months post-partum; having lost the pregnancy weight plus more, stress happened. I can’t explain how my body moved from a size 10 to 16 in 3 months, that’s because I didn’t see it coming. It happened so fast. Then I stirred the pot further by getting hormonal family planning..I actually looked as if I was pumped with air…now I can laugh about it..
It is at this point that I got to feel and appreciate how much of a struggle weight loss is and why some people ‘yo yo’ on their weightloss journey…
Down in the abyss of life nothing makes sense. I could doubt, second guess, question God’s existence, life becomes meaningless, fear is abundant and crying becomes a habit. Have you ever cried for hours on end till your head hurt so bad, you have to take pain killers? The kind of crying that comes from your soul and physically comes up from deep in your stomach?
At this point life goes to a pause; unfortunately it took getting to this point for perspective to check in clearly for me. The only way to know what you want sometimes, is by having what you don’t want.
My mental health has been one arduous journey. I’ve suffered depression once before in my 20s, back then I didn’t even know what it was. It was triggered by a very painful encounter.
As I’ve grown older and understood things better, I’ve learnt that the layers of my life unfold in different seasons. There is no shame in depression.
This tribe of people (the depressed) tend to keep to themselves. They will have one form of addiction that keeps them company in the absence of human company e.g. food, alcohol, exercise, sex etc. Even when they are with people they feel alone.
I’m not sure there’s a fool proof method to deal with depression; I know counselling helps, some people will be put on medication but above all, time is the only thing that seems to heal. That phase of my life is passed. I had to live it, every emotion of it in order to get over it. The important thing is learning the triggers and how to handle them. It doesn’t always work though. Some days are spent in bed, curtains drawn with the door locked. Other days are normal. Most of us will not talk about it to anyone, in case we do, we are not looking for sympathy but understanding. For all who came through for me, I’ll eternally be grateful.
As May comes to a close, I felt it was important to acknowledge this mental health awareness month.