Honestly, the above title is so true. I am here as living proof that investing the time and energy into yourself really does bring you happiness because it all starts within and we cannot get it from anyone or anything else. I had my daughter at twenty five and felt pretty much alone as a parent, even though I was in a long-term relationship at the time. So by the time I hit twenty six I was exhausted from stuff that I won't bore you with today and then it hit me like a tonne of bricks... the passing of my Dad. Here he is, two weeks before his passing, and it really was the icing on the cake of feeling totally sh*t. I'd never experienced loss like it and I wasn't getting the support I craved from the man I once loved, so the whole experience was pretty f*cking grim. It sounds so dramatic, but I was so unwell during the months that followed and I knew something had to change. Well, that's a lie, a LOT had to change if I was to continue forward in a positive manner, because there is no way I wanted to continue on feeling this exhausted. They don't teach you this at school because, if they did, mental health issues would be on the increase even faster than they are during this ludicrous lockdown! Those poor students.... anyway, I digress!
I spent the next three years focussing on everything I had absolute control over and, that is the thing, WE have the power to change everything about our lives, but it is down to us to take responsibility for it, and that is where people hit a wall. Yes, I'm talking to you! I am going to actually talk to you now rather than in the third person, because we all need some honesty right now... I hope you don't mind. If you're that person sitting there reading this who feels as sh*t about yourself as I once did, then I am here to tell you that there is so much light at the end of that very long and bleak looking tunnel, you'll need the biggest pair of Ray Bans you can afford! You know, when you're sitting there thinking 'just keep going' or 'I'm doing it for the sake of the kids', I am here to tell you IT DOESN'T GET ANY BETTER. And that thing that you're trying to shield your little ones from, is exactly what you're putting onto them without even realising it. Those little eyes and ears see and hear everything, even when you think they're too busy watching utter sh*te on YouTube, trust me, they heard you. They heard you whinge to your friend about how unhappy you are and how useless your partner is. They saw you crack open your third bottle of wine this week and it's only Tuesday. They see and hear it all. And, this is the sort of sh*t they remember. Trust me, I know, because I was that child once. So, instead of blaming everyone and everything for how you're feeling, let's do something about it. Now, I never said this was going to be easy and, to be perfectly honest, it was the most uncomfortable decision I ever made. To totally flip my life upside down, become a single parent and start from what seemed like 'square one'. I must have been completely bonkers! But that was a far greater feeling than what I was currently experiencing in my life so it had to be worth a shot.
So I did absolutely everything I could to change my life. I started by joining a local running club to help me train for my first ever marathon. Yes, in the height of my emotional torture, I thought it would be a fantastic idea to volunteer to run the London Marathon to raise money for the Hospice who cared for my Dad before he passed. I thought it was such a fantastic idea, even though I had never run a marathon previously, had only ever been able to run a mile (usually from any problems I faced in life...) and didn't enjoy the fecking thing either! So maybe one lesson to learn from this is to wait until the emotional rollercoaster you're currently riding calms down a little. Actually, no, f*ck it. It was the best decision I ever made and completely changed my life for the better! So, go and do something bat sh*t crazy that you've never done before and throw your whole being into it... it'll feel so uplifting and fulfilling. Anyway, to that end, I decided to knock the booze on the head from January to April 2018 in order to fully train for this marathon. I had a massive overhaul of my nutrition and lost weight/toned up from the regular running/gym classes as well as eating the right foods and not drowning my sorrows - that sh*t really does work! I had my first experience of a Life Coach where we looked at everything from nutrition, exercise, relationships and sleep, pretty much everything I now coach others on! And this really did give me the kick up the a*se I needed to continue on, even though the self doubt started to creep in. My then partner and I split up in the March of that year too, so bang in the middle of my marathon training *awks* but I felt liberated. My mind had never been as focussed as it was then due to everything I was doing to focus on my health and wellbeing, and let me tell you, removing people from your life who no longer support you in your journey to optimum happiness is absolutely necessary and you cannot run away from that fact, no matter how heartbreaking it might be. I then went on to run a subsequent four marathons over the next twelve months, including the one in the photo which was my fastest time in Bournemouth 2018. It was amazing, I shaved off a whole one hour and two minutes off of my London time, how epic is that!
Fast forward another two years and I have setup my business as a Nutritional Therapist and Wellbeing Coach and I am now engaged to a man who supports my journey and adds to my already solid state of happiness. And that is an important fact. He doesn't 'make me happy' because that isn't a thing and anyone who tells you that is lying. We have to find true happiness within ourselves first and only then can we love onto others how we wish to be loved. There is something really freeing about loving yourself unconditionally. It means that no-one can ever take that love away from you, even if relationships don't quite work out, your love for yourself is still there and carrying yourself through life with integrity, love and kindness is a must. I have acquired two beautiful step daughters in the process, my family has doubled, literally, and we have a beautiful home filled with love and laughter. Our health is paramount and our mental wellbeing is at the forefront of our minds. We support each other in everything that we do and we hold each other accountable when we're acting like d*ckheads because, unfortunately, no matter how much personal development we do, we can still slip into old habits occasionally...
So, moral of the story is, DO NOT GIVE UP ON YOURSELF. Your happiness is worth the hard work. Your children's happiness is worth the hard work. And your whole life's work is nothing if you're not truly happy. Oh, and getting yourself an awesome coach can help *smirks*.
Sending you all lots of love,