My family and close environment have always known me as the one who has her life together. The one who always know what to say, what to plan, how to execute. I am known to be a “strong person”.
But in fact, I wasn’t strong at all. 7 years ago I’ve ended a 3-year long very controlling relationship after struggling in it for more than 1,5 years. When I was finally on my own again I felt betrayed, lied to and ashamed.
Ashamed for why I didn’t realise earlier what was going on. Ashamed for nearly losing my mind and sanity over someone’s constant lies. Ashamed for why I didn’t listen to my brain instead of my heart.
When you live with a narcissistic partner for so long you think you are mad. You think you can’t tell good from bad, truth from lie, you lose all your trust in yourself and all your self-esteem. A narcissistic partner will make you feel guilty, not good enough, you have to prove yourself to them over and over again but you will never be able to feel loved and safe.
I’ve given all I had to that relationship, so by the time I got out of it I lost myself. I was empty. I didn’t remember my dreams and goals. I didn’t actually remember who I was.
I had two choices. I either pull all my remaining strength together and start to reinvent myself or I drown.
That time I had a startup at the country I was living what was just about to pick up and started to get international interest. I’ve spent most of my waking hours working and studying for my final exams in the university, but still was struggling every single minute from the pain that started as emotional pain but later on manifested as physical symptoms too – it was very bad chest pain. I’ve seen several doctors, from bone specialists to radiologists, none of them found any physical damage or disorder.
I knew it wasn’t going to be a joyride, and at that point, I wanted my life back so badly, I’ve decided to leave everything behind – all my pain, my old life and my startup – and move to another country to start from scratch.
And when I say from scratch, I mean it. Imagine that one day you’re making decisions and negotiating with international investors and the next day you are making coffee and washing dishes. By the way, there is nothing wrong with making coffee and washing dishes, I just want to show you what a 180 degrees turn it was in my life. Not to mention that I was still trying to and concentrating on staying sane.
Cut the long story short, a year after that nasty breakup I started my first company in my new country, where I felt home by then. I felt like I was back in my power. I was working hard, achieving fast, and as I just turned 25 I didn’t pay much attention to burnout, only wanted to get things done as fast and as effective as possible.
Within a couple of years of working 6-7 days a week, 12-16 hours a day it hit me.
I was getting up every morning, doing what I had to do as a routine but had no idea why I was doing it. It didn’t give me joy anymore. I was bored, grumpy and lost my love for life – again.
A good income was guaranteed monthly, but it didn’t make me happy. Probably nothing would have made me happy then. Took me some time to realise I was not only depressed but had anxiety too. There was no socialising in my life, no fun, no relaxation, no self-care. Days went by and I was locked into my flat, working from my computer just out of routine without any fulfilling aim. Didn’t want to talk to anyone and didn’t want anyone to ask how I was.
It was early autumn 3 years ago when I collapsed at home, then couldn’t get up from bed for nearly a week because I caught a horrible flue as my body was totally run down and exhausted – both physically and mentally.
I took a couple of months off work – and I know I was very lucky to be able to do that.
What I realised over those months are the followings:
I am responsible for my life. I can’t just keep falling into the same trap made by myself, it is time for things to change.
I must know what my goals are. Never had any problem with working hard, but from now on I need a better strategy that works for the business and works for me too.
I need time for self-care and I am responsible for the allocation of that time. There is nothing more important than my mental and physical health because if I stop, everything stops.
As I was helping myself out from the darkness and started to see the little light at the end of the tunnel I realised I’ve started to help my environment too. I shared everything I learned through books, seminars, webinars and coaching with my friends and family and was amazed by the positive changes not only in my life but in theirs too.
And there it was. I couldn’t see the forest for the trees for so many years! It took me a long time to understand things don’t happen to me but for me. I can use all the experience I had in my personal and professional life, all the knowledge I gained through failure and struggles to help women in similar situations to overcome difficulties faster and be their true selves again.
Since that realisation, two years have passed and I’m living my best life. My head is just as clear as my goals are, and I am my priority.
Working on my coaching business, finished my second degree and was invited to sail the world with 300 amazing women researching plastic pollution in our oceans and try to understand what behavioural changes would be necessary to tackle plastic on land before it reaches our precious waters.
Through all these incredible opportunities I get to spread the word and empower women to step into their power, reach their goals, make the changes they want to see in their lives, environment and mindset.
I know I needed to overcome all the struggles in my past to become a better version of myself and I am grateful for everyone who has been a part of my journey for a reason, for a season or for life.