Change is hard. I doubt too many of us ever would if we had a choice. Yet, now and then, we get to a point where’s it’s clear that we need to. Sometimes, we have to hit rock bottom before we’re willing to do the work, but it doesn’t always have to be that extreme. Maybe we’ve just had enough of the same old. My last eye opening moment came when, a few weeks ago, my doctor prescribed me an anti-depressant.
that moment of clarity and choice
Now, I first want to say that I have nothing against medication when it’s needed. The problem is that I don’t suffer from clinical depression. I wondered at first why he would do that, but then realized that I definitely had some of the symptoms. So I had a decision to make. Go on the way I was, take the meds and hope they’d help (small chance of that happening!). Or figure out what wasn’t working in my life and take the steps to change that. Yup, I chose option #2.
With a little help from some friends and pros, I realized that, for most of my life, I had been trying to please people who needed me to be the best, who needed me to win. I spent a lot of time trying to get their approval, but it was a fight I couldn’t win. No matter what goal I chased, or reached, it was just never good enough. I kept trying until it got me to where I was: stressed out and unhappy.
While those people are no longer in my life now, I just kept doing the same thing, not realizing that it’s not what I really wanted. I had convinced myself that this was the life I wanted. But like Sheryl Crow said so well: “If it makes you happy, then why the hell are you so sad?”. Hmm, good question!
doing the work: going after the life you want
It wasn’t easy for me to admit that I wasn’t happy, but once I did, then I was able to get help and change. I’ve spent the last 4 years now, chasing big goals. Some that I’ve reached and I’m really grateful for. Others that may remain unattained. Like anything I do in my life, I committed myself 100% to those goals and made a lot of sacrifices. I’ve sacrificed friendships, I’ve sacrificed finding a partner. The focus I gave running, in the end, made me feel really lonely. It has now become clear to me that I need more in my life than just my sport.
So… here comes Melanie 5.0 (I’d like to say 2.0, but we’re way past that now)! Changing what I’m doing is both exciting and scary. First, I had to find out what I wanted out of life and now I’m working on taking the steps that will get me there. I have decided to: 1- let go of formal coaching for the time being (which was a very difficult decision – thank you Derrick Spafford for getting me to where I am!); 2- keep running and competing but more for fun and the social aspect of it (I plan to join in more group runs); 3- build more friendships and start dating; 4- volunteer more (which is an important part of who I am and who I want to be).
change is hard
Yes, it’s worth repeating. Change is damn hard. Even when it’s needed. If you think this has been a piece of cake for me, think again. None of these decisions were easy (my friends may even think my blog was hacked!) and there have been quite a few tears along the way. Some of the work that I still have to do is also quite nerve racking for me. I even told my sport psychologist that maybe “ignorance really is bliss”. Some days, I wish I hadn’t realized that I was miserable. But I also want more out of life. I want to be happy. So I’ll keep taking the next step and I’m looking forward to sharing some of my new adventures with you!
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