How I started to run for my life

depression help

Wanting to die is so easy. I have wanted to die almost every day of my adult life. (I guess getting into adulthood  is a little more difficult for drama queens). So yes, I have tried to kill myself in many lazy ways, like smoking everything, drinking everything, eating everything, especially rubbish. Yeah, rubbish was my favourite, rubbish  was everything, and I was always hungry only for that.

My decisions in life were even poorer. I wish there were poor decisions basically because there were no decisions at all. I think I believed that committing suicide was a kind of sport, so I wouldn’t do it! I was trying to die on the couch, like a lazy cat that didn’t want to live on the roof tiles anymore. Lying in the sun is so tiring, especially when you feel guilty about it. (Needless  to say, I am lucky I was not a sporty person).

I was a living misery with a face of happiness. And I really want to ask: don’t people watch into people’s eyes anymore? Maybe they never did. Or we simply are or once were in the wrong tribe. At first, I thought I could handle it, really. I thought that was life and I was just… behaving young.  I also used to tell myself, life is difficult, and that was the reason I needed to struggle at work.

I thought something else would happen, something unexpected that would give me a lift. A kind of Messiah, even though I had stopped believing in God some years ago. An opportunity, a person, a trip… until one day I had my first panic attack. And that was my gift. My little Messiah was a little weird, but I have always loved weird things!  So, I understood that the opportunity can only be built, and I was the only person who could build it step by step. That was about taking responsibility and redemption at the same time. It was late at night. I was wrecked. I took a paper and a pencil and wrote down 5 things I loved  about myself and three things I really needed  to change. Then I wrote a letter of appreciation to me, whatever came in my mind about myself as a kid, what I loved, what I dreamed of, what I feared and encouraged me to have the will to live. I was afraid.

The magic list, this little saviour

The next day, I bought a notebook and made a list, every morning. My list at the beginning was funny. I had things like cooking, cleaning everyday and walking… for 10 minutes. Yes, yes 10 minutes. Now I know the best gift I did for myself was that I made the list easy for me so as to encourage myself and make me feel happy at the end of the day. That was what I did for my students, I never overwhelmed them and I always encouraged them, no matter how small the work was. I liked the result I used to see on my students, so I did it for myself too. I spoke to myself like I spoke to children and that was huge.

Encourage yourself as if you spoke to a child. That is the greatest  gift you can give to yourself. Have small goals and tick them everyday, until they become a habit. Tomorrow challenge yourself against the person you are today.

Soon I got used to cooking and walking 10 minutes everyday, and the next month I levelled up! I added 10 minutes in walking and I also started reading 5 pages of a book everyday. I was so happy when I bought my first book. I used to read a lot when I was a teenager, but till 18, school got really hard and boring for me, making my reading a real struggle. School made me hate reading, and I took a book in my hands 10 years later!

After 9 years of sitting on a couch and eating shit, my body was really in a bad condition. I didn’t aim to lose any weight, my aim was to get healthier, breathe easier basically and lead a healthy lifestyle, so as to be strong to walk on the mountains. The weight  loss would come as a result of this. I was lucky enough not to live in a big city, so I was close to nature in no time. I reduced smoking too.

When I woke up every morning, my body was heavy as a broken truck. I had to go to work, so it was impossible for me to wake up earlier to go walking. I went at night and when I got back home, I used to pick my book and read my 5 pages. Sometimes it was really difficult for me, because my brain always loves the habit. But I understood that I needed to make a new habit, it was only 5 pages after all!

I started having a new self to compete and that was so rewarding

I started loving reading, taking notes of motivation words written by wonderful humans 50 or 100 years ago. I loved the way they used to think, and I loved that I found people that shared the same opinion as mine. That was when I built my self-esteem. I started believing in myself.

And then the best part begins. As weeks went by, I improved my breath and started feeling a little healthier. After walking at night, watching the stars and dreaming, I returned home full of positive thoughts. Then I challenged myself to start walking in the morning, before walk. I will not lie to you, that was really hard. I had my backs and forwards, but always tried to tick on my list every day or at least finish all the job at the end of the week. Walking brought magic into my life. As my breath felt lighter, I decided to start running for a second. (I know it sounds funny but I am proud of that!). I pushed myself to compete my previous self, I put limits and personal records I needed to break. And one day the magic happened. I had a personal goal to reach for that day. As I started running, a non-relative thought came to my mind, and I forgot the goal. 10 minutes later I realized that I was running without thinking about it! It was the first happy moment of all this thing.  My body was healthier and stronger, my mind was healthier and happier. I built it and now I could enjoy it and challenge it for more.

The deeper satisfaction was the mental part of this challenge. Walking and running gave me more happiness, for sure. Running had immediate effects on my brain. I really felt motivated and willing to live for the rest of the day, made me work harder for my goals, made me feel successful and determined. Not only I wanted to live, now I really wanted to succeed! Watching insects and animals working from early every morning made me love being a part of this ecosystem, made me want to work for it too. I have watched dawns and sunsets, all so different from each other, every single day. I have listened to birds speaking with each other, I have smelled the soil and the rain. I have danced alone under the stars, I have played like a little kid under the trees. I have let my thoughts dance, run, hop, laugh…

I don’t know many things in life, but one I know for sure. My life changed because I moved. Exercise is the most transformative thing you can do for your brain today and if you think you can’t, just think of how I started my journey. Wherever you are, start today, even with 6 minutes walk under the trees. I am not talking about gym, I am talking about nature.

Take care of the animal inside. We are animals, my friend, deep inside all we need is freedom.

Our bodies are made to move. Our bodies are made to work on the mountains, walk on hills and do stuff. We have built zoos for animals and our own kids. We have built zoos for ourselves, and that’s why panic attacks come to warn us. I find panic attacks as a gift, as a warning of our bodies that you are in the wrong path. I changed my whole life because of panic attacks. I moved, I got broke, broken, lost.. only to see that I was on the wrong path.

Wherever you are, start today. If you have started, keep on moving. Take care of the animal inside you, walk on Earth.

 

 

 

 

 

What Helping Others Taught Me About My Life

be your own hero

I don’t like the word philanthropy. I really don’t. Maybe this word for me responds to the fact that I despise what I don’t understand (and I am pretty sure it stops here).  What is really philanthropy?

I am lucky enough to speak Greek, so I can understand the two words that create this word. So, we have philos (which means friend) and anthropos (which means human). This means, we are genius now to understand that in Greek  philanthropos is someone who is a friend of humans. I am so happy for him, but… what about the other guys? And why don’t we have a word that describes the other guys? Who are the other guys? Where do they live? If they are extremely poor, they can’t be philanthropists, they are the ones that receive it. (for some reason we can’t have both!) If they are everyday people, they at least don’t care about their fellow humans or if they are rich, they at least don’t care about others.

A philanthropist is a rich guy that helps the poor. When you think of a philanthropist, you do not think of a person that works with another for the second’s benefit. The difference is we need to work together. That’s why I think this word should pass in history. It has nothing to do with the future society, we as human race deserve it.

I have been interacting with people and animals all my life. What this behaviour taught me is that we are a part of an animal society, and the most ridiculous thing is to feel superior when you help someone. You are just in a different period of time with the other person that currently feels weak. I can learn from this to make myself better and maybe avoid some mistakes that could lead me to a similar situation. I can also ask for help when I feel weak for some reason or another, from people who do not feel superior than me in this period of their lives, they just love working with others. This helps to the one in need psychologically, you know, that’s why many people don’t ask for help. They feel ashamed for others’ people interaction to their problem.

I have made a list of what helping others have taught me so far about people and myself,  and I am sure, this list will grow bigger as I grow older.

1) We all repeat a story in our minds. You do the same, I do the same. We repeat a story continuously, and this story becomes our reality in a small or big period of time. 3 years ago, I met a woman who lived alone. She had adopted a stray dog that followed her to her home. The woman didn’t know that the dog was pregnant, the dog gave birth to 5 puppies. Short after talking to her, I understood that the enemy was between her ears. She considered herself as lonely because she was unique and no one would understand her. I cannot imagine, how many years of her life she repeated the story to herself and made this story her reality. She would listen to no one that wanted to help her. She was very kind and educated, but that did not stop her from ruining her life. This woman was a life lesson for me. This period I was trapped in my own mind too, in a different way. Talking to her made me listen to myself, and deeply I understood that in reality I was talking to myself.  She didn’t listen to me, but I did. I changed the narration I was saying and made a new one, a more positive one. The more positive narration led me to a more positive story. I change the narration regularly since then.

2) Read people’s behaviours and translate them in you life! Change! What a magic word I used in the last sentence of the previous paragraph, because of the kind lady that refused to change. The easier we change our mind about things, the easier we change our story. There is a myth that people with strong ego are the strong ones. Personally, I think this is a scam that makes both the person and the people around him suffer. If your previous behaviour doesn’t serve you anymore, quit it! Do whatever serves your happiness! It is impossible to be sure about your attitude, especially in your 20’s and 30’s, come on! Change! Write a whole book of your life, don’t read the first page all over again and again!change the narration in your mind

3) We don’t watch documentaries, we are documentaries. When you volunteer in a healthy way, you feel super excited! It gives you a positive energy, happiness and self respect. Yes, it is not about brag, it is about self esteem. When you are a person that experiences things on the road, you don’t need to watch documentaries about life, you are the hero of your own documentary. In my late 20’s, I was wrecked. I was lost, really I didn’t have the will to face my day. BUT. When I got to the road to help, I was my hero. Honestly, I wouldn’t watch TV, as long as people like me weren’t invited there.

4) We are a part of our tribe. When you get in touch with people from different backgrounds, you understand that you are a member of our tribe, our society that experiences things from one and only aspect. You are simply in a different period of life in comparison to the person whom you “help”. He is either younger or older than you. Basically, do you really know how you‘ll be when you are older? Are you sure about that? Maybe in your first years of your life you were lucky to have parents, but it was just luck. No one is superior in our tribe. Everyone knows things all the others don’t. Let people interact with you and take notes. That’s how you grow.

5) It is your duty to go, it is your duty to leave. This is the most important part for me. Helping is like the military. You don’t stay there forever. You go there, you listen, you breathe and you leave. Furthermore, it is very important to be careful as far as humans are concerned. Have you ever heard about soul vampires? Do whatever serves you always and forever. Helping is a circle, you come today, I will come tomorrow, someone else will be there the day after tomorrow. Don’t get frustrated and addicted in helping, because it is not healthy for your mental health. We need happy people, not overwhelmed and frustrated, always remember that, my friend.

In my late 20’s I was ready, after many failures, to finally embrace the real change in my life. In the meanwhile, helping others not only worked in favour of my karma, but also I had lifted myself by lifting others. Now I know my worth building self-esteem through the power of the community. That changed my life.

Everything that I mentioned about people can easily be translated into animals too. Basically it is even better. Help whatever breathes, but always remember the fifth part of our list. We want you to be happy. I will say it again, do whatever serves you to be happy, but don’t trap yourself in your own narration in life. We are a community, and we need you active here.