For years, I told myself: “the doctors said I will never walk normally again, so I guess I won’t.” I’d also told myself: “no one will ever love me.” Here is a funny story: when I would meet a man, I would say (and this is no joke) “Hi, my name is Jenny, I have three kids, two ex-husbands, and one leg. Are you still interested?” That’s how insecure I was. I figured if I laid out all the baggage first, there would be no surprises to find out later and no other reasons to get hurt. I would sit and cry in pain not knowing what to do. I was frustrated that I couldn’t be the person I was before with this leg…or lack thereof.
I started to ask myself some deep questions. Who are those doctors to tell ME what I can and can’t do? Why aren’t my kids listening to me as I sit there on my butt and scream across the house? Why won’t a man or even a friend want to come visit me? No one wanted anything to do with me, WHY? I came up with an answer. No one wants to be around someone who brings them down, Including myself. I had become “Jenny Downer!” I couldn’t even stand to be around myself let alone expect anyone else to!
This upset me greatly! Being mad is my fuel for an internal burner. Like I said before, that big smile and the overload of positivity, that is my mask, and hiding behind it was how I coped. Realizing this is how I learned to get out that depression, that madness, the hopelessness, the selfishness. I knew it was time to get rid of “Jenny Downer” and become the truly happy person I am, who I strive to be every day. Through exercise I learned to like, love, and overcome that shell of a person that I’d become. I could transform into who I am today, what I am proud of, and keep fighting to be. What’s most gratifying is that I showed those doctors, family members, friends, onlookers, and most importantly myself that I CAN do anything I want if I just try.
Being able to manage your mental health is no simple task. We all have ups and downs, we are only human. I’ve learned so much about how exercise ties into positive mental health. Check out this article for some great insight on how exercise can benefit your mental health. I’ve also found that when I’m stressed or slipping into that funk, simply going for a walk will help clear my head. Don’t believe me? Come take a walk with me and let’s have a chat about it.
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