perfectly imperfect

  • my eyes, dark rings and tired, due to the lack of sleep related to all the what if’s
  • my joints and tendons, hurting from forcefully seeking to reconnect with and fall in love with what I have lost
  • my acne, inflamed due to the imbalance in my life the last couple of months
  • my skin, dry and choppy, from my cold body temperature and not taking time to care for me
  • my nose, dripping from the weather transition into fall
  • my stomach, bloated, due to inconsistent and rushed scheduling
  • my hairline, thinner, because of the excessive worry
  • my mouth and lips, dry, from the inconsistent hydration

and that is just what you can see on the surface level ….

photo: Colin Fitzgerald

A couple of weeks ago, I had a very important conversation with Tianna Bartoletta, where I titled my prepared notes; “I’m scared.”

Tianna immediately began breaking down the concept of depression, and I wanted to share our conversation here, even though it is personal, I want to make sure that this knowledge, awareness, and the seriousness around mental health is implemented into our everyday conversations.

She explained how a diagnosis will never change what one is experiencing. She simply stated, what you are going through, is depression. The only thing a diagnosis can help with is being able to label the experience, which may make it somewhat manageable. 

As an athlete, she highlighted the importance for me to treat it as an injury (my immediate thoughts were “but how am I to do so if I don’t know how, if I have not been educated on this important issue?”). Tianna caught me in the middle of my default thought process; thinking that a potential time off, involves doing alternative, physical things. She told me, “your current state depends on what you do – this is a mental injury – no amount of physical performance will cure you mentally, it will only treat the symptoms of the physical” 

There is no cure for what is happening, but what I am realizing more and more, is the importance of allowing yourself to pause, experiencing the pause, and talking it through. What I decide to do is critical for a potential comeback, my comeback (in whatever shape and form it may take), however, it is important that whatever I decide to do – that it is for me.

Tianna inspired me in ways to get out of my head and to find answers, I want to get into reading again, to set out to find who I am outside of the track, investing in my personal development, and maybe eventually I will be able, to begin with, goal setting, again.

The story of Tianna, and the reason for why I reach out to HER, is because she took a seven-year mental and physical break from the track, and then came back to earn her Olympic gold medal – I know, impressive, empowering, and inspiring… During this break, she explained how she still worked out, but her mentality was “the best I can give will vary, the types of workouts don’t matter, showing up is what matters.” Consistently making small deposits.

What I am explaining is a depressive state, it does not reflect on me as a person. I am to label it as it is – an experience – and not constant. To further navigate my way, I need a specific and practical way, something I am currently in the process of discovering.

No matter what I do – I need to continue to show up for myself.

It will pass – the question is how do we decide to spend our time.

I want to finish with Tianna’s finishing quote “Take a break today to honor who I am today, and don’t sabotage for the Mina tomorrow”  

photo: Colin Fitzgerald

You are never alone. Reach out. Seek help.

-Mina Marie

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