Go on, exceed yourself

Let’s talk about something uncomfortable and shamefully personal.

And what’s more uncomfortable than the uncomfort zone? (I’m getting uncomfortable just writing about it.) You know, the zone where supposedly the magic happens? The place where you challenge yourself, learn new things, fail miserably, laugh, cry and also – grow.

I think I’m finally ready to step out of my comfort zone. And that might sound like such a small little thing, but it is huge. For me, anyway. And here’s where it gets personal.

Horrible yet necessary – going outside of your comfort zone

You see, I hate the uncomfort zone. I have not spent that much time in there – except for the years of depression and anxiety. That was uncomfortable times thousand. Or a million. And possibly one of the reasons I’ve avoided some things. I don’t know if it makes sense, but being so uncomfortable, sad, miserable, insecure and depressed – you kind of never want to go back. I only want to go forward. Not to talk about the fact that I still sometimes struggle with the feelings of anxiety.

Pinja’s cat managed to showcase the emotions so well I just had to take a photo.

But the uncomfort zone means owning up to those feelings. All of the feelings. You’re bound to feel insecure. You’re bound to feel sad. But you also get the opportunity to feel proud.

For some reason I have had this fear of trying new things and learning new skills. No, that’s not right.
I have the fear of failing and not being good enough.

Which, in paper, sounds so ridiculous it makes me want to jump in to the unknown. And that’s good. Because lately I have done just that. I have tried new things. I have challenged myself.

And as a small surprise for myself: I didn’t break. 

lifestyle wellbeing uncomfort zone

I’ve stepped in the uncomfort zone

You know the movie “Yes Man”? I always thought it was such a clever idea. It’s fascinating what might happen, once you agree and just say yes. It’s more exciting than saying no. It presents an opportunity and opportunities are rarely bad (except when they come in the form of a very unprofessional email).

Lately I’ve been doing new things and putting myself in my personal uncomfort zone. I’ve made a fool of myself in a twerking class (I’m not quite the agile cat I thought I was), I’ve said yes to a new opportunity (even though my anxiety wanted to say no), I’ve went to a yoga class all by myself (I didn’t die) and I even tried boxing.

My hands almost bled in the boxing class, my heart rate got up to 170 bpm at one point, the gloves smelled disgusting, but guess what – I actually had fun. I laughed and succeeded. And want to go again.

I’m already noticing that one part of my brain is encouraging me: go on, try again.

About the twerking class – it’s so so difficult, embarrassing and fun. I honestly wanted to cry at some point, because I was so frustrated. And yet I’m already noticing that one part of my brain is encouraging me: go on, try again. I think I’m getting the whole buzz about the uncomfort zone now. The feeling of winning yourself is, well, super comfortable.

uncomfortzone

When uncomfortable becomes comfortable

I used to hate waking up early and doing a workout first thing in the morning. I have these few particular moves I especially hated, they were so difficult to do and I hated not being able to do something properly.

I used to dread going out running when it was cold, raining or dark.

Used to.

Nowadays, I look forward to working out first thing in the morning. I love challenging myself and doing those moves that seemed so impossible in the beginning. I love going out for a run – no matter the weather. Running in the dark or cold doesn’t bother me like it used to. I have made some uncomfortable things more comfortable.

I know I’m mostly talking about exercising and sports here. Maybe that’s just an easy way to start? It honestly is. Challenging your body physically is easy, because you see the results with your own eyes. Doing something concrete is effective. You get this feeling: if I can do this, I can do anything.

The good feeling that exercising does goes way beyond looking fit and healthy. Being in shape makes me feel good. Exercising is possibly the most important thing when it comes to my mental health.

Go on, exceed yourself

I’m amazed at how the enthusiastic little child, who’s eager to learn new things and not at all afraid of falling down, is waking up in me and almost winning the calculative, shy adult side in me.

I guess I always thought that I would be perfectly fine where I am. That I didn’t need to do the things I was scared of. That I didn’t need to feel insecure or dumb.

But now I’m thinking, that’s where the fun happens.

If not for me, at least for all the other people in my class wondering what on earth is that girl with no sense of rhytm doing in a twerk-dance class.

To put it simply: She’s there to win.

 the uncomfort zone my experience

When was the last time you stepped out of your uncomfort zone?

thanks for photographing me Pinja

Five years from depression

mental health and depression

depression

Around the time I’m publishing this post, I’m in the northern Lapland, enjoying the Finnish nature at it’s best. I’m quite possibly very relaxed, full of mosquito bites (or not, if the new machine works), happy and most of all – amazed at the beauty of everything.

Not just amazed that I get to live those nightless nights or hear the rain dripping on the pine trees, but just the fact, that I’m there and I get to have those feelings.

Precisely one year ago, I published the most personal blog post I have ever written: I wave you good bye, not farewell. I told you, that I had battled with severe depression and suicidal thoughts. I even told you, that I had spent some time behind closed doors. Hah, that is the one thing, that makes me a bit shocked today. Did I really tell you that? What if someone thought, that I was crazy because of that?

depression wellbeing

But after all, you would go to the hospital, if you had your foot broken. My mind was shattered and needed repairing. And the fact, that I was scared of someone thinking that I was crazy – all the more reason to write about it.

Because normal people can get sick. It’s normal to get sick mentally as well. Old people can get sick. Young people can get sick too.

No one is perfect. No one gets through life without any scars. We like to show our best sides and think of some things as taboo. Maybe we sometimes forget, that it’s okay to be flawed? Or maybe we say that, but don’t apply it to ourselves?

charlotta eve blog

I like to think, that I am successful, honest, fun and altogether a pretty amazing person. I’m also annoying at times, I sometimes cry like the skies were falling on me and I say things, that I don’t mean. I judge and I love. I sometimes live perfectly balanced life with just the right amount of sleep, food, work and play. I exercise and I see my friends. And then again, there are weeks, where I work too much, eat too much and see none of my friends.

I’m not even sure where I’m going with this right now, but I guess I like to think, that we are more alike than you’d think. After I published that post, I got lots of messages from you, which only proved me right. Normal, amazing people sent me messages and told me about their depression. And how they’ve overcome that.

depression my story

It’s okay to speak up.

Talking about mental health and depression is important. Maybe at some point we’ll be able to talk about it, just like any other sicknesses. We’re all just trying to survive this life, after all. Be it dirty laundry, a nice weekend at Cuba, or having a mental breakdown. It’s not like none of us have never stumbled, is it?

Well, I’m all about stumbling. Stumbling and rolling in the mud. Falling and breaking bones. I’m also all about standing up, keeping my head held high and going forward.

It’s been about five years from my depression, but it feels like ten. Like it was ages ago.

I don’t think about my depression as a huge burden. I don’t think about it much, anyway. But sometimes, I do think about it. After all, it’s a part of me. It’s something I went through and helped shape me into who I am.

depression

There is a question in the air, that I think about every now and then. It’s this:

Can one be truly cured from depression? Totally fine, with zero nothing? All good?

When I think about myself and the hope I carry with me (that I wish to spread around for others as well) my answer is: yes. Yes you can.

But as so many things in life, the yes carries a disappointing, but realistic ‘but’ with it. See? Already so many buts in here.

But, I don’t think the scars with the traces of my depression will ever leave me. The traces are like small echoes in my head and they usually raise their voice in quiet places. It’s the tiny fraction of me, that still wants to lay on the floor, cry itself to sleep and feel sorry for everything.

There are things that remind me of it. There are feelings, that are a little too familiar. There are those scars, that burn a little every time I hear of something similar happening to another person.

There are those bad days, to remind me, that, well, they are not that bad after all.

There are those hospital visits, where the nurses have to ask about it. There are the records, that seem like they are from another person’s life.

So in a way, it still feels like a dream. And then again, it’s there to remind me to keep going.

wellbeing

It’s a super hard thing to explain – I think one has to experience it to understand it. I don’t mean it in a way, that I am forever depressed. Or that I feel like I carry a heavy burden with me all the time. I truly feel – and am – happy.

I understand, that I deserve so much more, than I had ever hoped for. And I recognize life and all it’s beautiful little opportunities. I see it’s colors in grey stormy clouds, I run up it’s hills and I find joy in being able to move that way – and funnily enough, I admit, that I would not change it for anything else.

If anything, I would double my cards with it, throw them in the air and laugh, from the bottom of my heart.

Life – it just doesn’t get old for me. I’m here to stare at the stars – or the sun, at 2am, in Lapland.

mental health

hair & photos Susanna Pomèll