Turning 31 + Reflecting on Mental Health

Happy Friday! Today is my 31st birthday. I can’t believe I’ve been on this planet for 31 years. Every year I feel like I get more comfortable with who I am and better understand what I want out of my life.

There are many times when I think “I wish I could do my 20s over.” I spent so much time in my early 20s in the depths of my eating disorders, and then I spent a good portion of my late 20s learning to recover from my eating disorders. I’m definitely not going to waste my 30s.

Just within the last year I’ve started to really be able to see what I want to get out of all areas of my life and I’m taking steps to get there. I bought a house, I took Cecil on vacation and I asked for the things that would make me happier at work.

(Okay it sounds silly to put “took Cecil on vacation” up there but honestly I’ve wanted him to experience a vacation for so many years, hah!)

There are many other steps for me to take in the near and distance future, but life is a journey and it’s enough right now to feel like I’m making progress towards bigger goals. I just don’t want to be writing a post when I turn 41 talking about missed opportunities in my 30s.

Yesterday was a nice last day of year number 30. I worked from home and got to spend the day with Cecil. He will be celebrating his 10th birthday this month!

While it seems crazy that I am going to be turning 31 today, it also seems crazy that Cecil will be turning 10 in just a couple of weeks.

On August 14, 2007 I had one of the worst days of my life when I had to say goodbye to my first cat, Leo. Little did I know Cecil was about to be born. I’m so grateful to have this little cat. He’s been with me through most of my ED recovery, and it seems silly but having a pet can help with things like that. Some days it’s just nice to find comfort from someone who won’t judge you or ask questions.

I honestly wouldn’t have made it through the last 10 years without Adam and Cecil.

I feel like I always get reflective about my ED history around my birthday mostly because I’m just grateful to have made it to another birthday. There were times where I experienced depression and had suicidal thoughts. Never so bad that I would have taken action on them, but I definitely had them and felt overwhelmed by them.

I don’t often talk about this because it makes me uncomfortable but I do think it’s important. I’m not sure if this is exactly true, but I think most people think I’m a well adjusted person who has her shit together. I feel like that is who I am today, but it took a lot of professional help to get there.

I know there’s still a stigma around mental health and receiving professional help. I’m hopeful that the more people talk about it the less that stigma will exist. I know I can’t change that alone, but maybe by talking about it every once in a while here on this blog I can help one other person feel more comfortable and less alone.

Personally speaking, I know reading blogs has helped me a lot. I used to feel like the only person I knew who had to see a psychologist and that’s such an isolating feeling. Finding other people online like me has made me feel 110% more comfortable.

I also honestly would not have made it through my 20s without finding running. That’s why I will never give this sport up. Running, for me, is about SO much more than just fitness. It’s helped me build confidence, feel comfortable in my body and learn more about who I am. Those long runs are great for thinking :).

Running makes me feel so in tune with my body.

I miss our sport a lot and I can’t wait to get back to it. I want to run more marathons, ultramarathons, ragnars, and so many other things I haven’t done yet. Having to take a break from running has renewed my passion for the sport.

I’m excited that next Wedesday I finally get to have my compartment syndrome test. I’m hopeful that progress with my injury will start moving quickly again once I have the test results. I want to schedule surgery as soon as possible.

I’m looking forward to having a great year number 31 and that includes running A LOT! ๐Ÿ™‚

Thank you SO much to everyone who left advice/tips on going dairy free. I will be reading through all the tips more thoroughly this weekend!ย 

Any other August babies out there?

5 comments

  1. Hanna @ minimal marathoner

    Happy birthday Kristina!! I hope you have a great day/weekend!

    Thanks for being open about your struggles. I’m glad you are in a much better place now and that you did the strong thing and reached out for help to get there.

    As for whether we’ll look back on our 41st birthdays and see missed opportunities: of COURSE we will. We’ll be wiser, more experienced, and likely different people in 10 years. Hindsight is 20/20 and there are always going to be things we wish we did differently. We’re always going to look back on our old selves and see someone less mature because that old someone WAS less mature. I was definitely a little more of a mess in my 20s but I try to resist the urge to feel superior to that person, because the 40-something me is probably going to feel superior to who I am now. I’m older and wiser but I’m always still growing. That said, I agree with you that I’ve definitely grown more comfortable in my own skin and a little less anxious about life in recent years.

    Cheers!
    Hanna @ minimal marathoner recently posted…Thinking Ahead: Running Post-MarathonMy Profile

  2. Megan @ Meg Go Run

    Happy Birthday, my dear friend! How lucky you are to celebrate the same date as Obama! Aug 4th was a good day in history! ๐Ÿ™‚ It makes me sad to read about your struggles in your 20s. I can relate to some of those horrible feelings… I really don’t know how I got through it, but it was probably a combination of a lot of things. I didn’t read blogs back then but I can imagine how helpful it would have been! I didn’t know anyone who struggled how I did and I don’t even think I opened up to anyone about it. I didn’t open up to running friends until I was a little bit older. I admire how you are very focused on what you want to achieve in your life! Some days I wonder if I am holding myself back… I love my job, but some days I wonder if there is more for me out there.
    Megan @ Meg Go Run recently posted…5 Memories from my Hometown Run!My Profile

  3. Sam @ G & G Nutrition Co.

    Happy belated birthday!!! I hope you had a fantastic day and are having a great weekend ๐Ÿ™‚ I love that you are so open about your ED. I saw a counselor when I was going through my divorce and it felt very embarrassing- but it shouldn’t have.

    Good luck on your test this week.
    Sam @ G & G Nutrition Co. recently posted…Lately: July 2017My Profile

  4. Susan

    Happy Birthday my friend! I think we all look back on our lives and wonder if we wasted time on things that didn’t serve us. I had my own struggles during most of my 30’s with an exercise addiction. Sometimes I look back and get so sad at all those years I spent wrapped up in such an unhealthy obsession, but then I know I wouldn’t be the person I am today so I just try to celebrate recovery and lessons learned. I hope you feel the same way, too. I think you are 100% perfect exactly how you are and I am grateful to have you as a friend. xo

  5. Karen Bayne

    I totally relate to your struggles and have been down many roads in my history that make me very uncomfortable. I always feel thankful when I think back and realize how far I’ve come, but I did it a lot later in life than you. I am excited that you have figured this out much younger!
    Pets are the best comfort ๐Ÿ™‚
    Mental health has been a draining issue in my life, not just because of my ED issues but because no matter how hard I tried to protect my son and give him a very happy childhood, he struggles so much as adult.
    I think it is great you are willing to share a piece of your heart. One more day till the test!

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