Sometimes in life you need to hit the very bottom before you can come back better than ever. Obviously, the bottom is a subjective thing, but no matter who you are, or what’s going on, it’s never easy to get back up on top.
That’s what struck me when I had a brief chat to Felicity at my gym.
You see I looked at her and saw an awesomely fit, strong, vibrant lady who could kick my arse around the spin room and make me want to vomit 10 times in 45 minutes, and she just goes like the Energiser Bunny.
She’s a thinker, philosophical and provocative, and she called me out one day on the way I’m often quick to judge something if it’s different to what I know.
I liked that.
I like someone challenging the way I think. I went away and thought about what she’d said.
A little way into our discussion Felicity revealed that a few short years ago she was in a toxic and abusive relationship, with a very small baby, was 30 kilos overweight and quite simply –
After a whirlwind romance she married her love very swiftly, but it did not take long for cracks to appear.
Felicity quickly fell pregnant and between that and the emotional stress she was under her weight climbed steadily. Her self esteem was nose diving at a rate of knots and she let go of her self care.
Not just physically, but also emotionally.
Felicity suffered pere-natal depression and was put on watch, and that extra attention went on after the birth of her child.
‘I was put in a single room and monitored closely. My hormones were going crazy, which I’m sure many mothers can relate to. After I left the hospital I still really had the blues‘
Felicity was madly in love with her son, but the cloud over her was dense.
Although she genuinely wanted things to work with her husband her spirits were sinking deeper with each explosive incident… and although that part is not my story to tell I will say there were many incidences that would have broken a lesser woman.
It was a Christmas away with her family, watching the dynamics between her people and observing the way they interacted with each other that made Felicity realise that her relationship was bad for her and it was time to make changes for herself and her son.
The logistics of a break up is always tricky and after a few false starts and some low patches Felicity and her son Josh moved in with her parents where they still now stay.
‘If it wasn’t for my family and community I would not be the person I am today and doing the things I am doing. The dynamics of parenting with my parents is sometimes tricky, but I am so thankful that I have them. They help me no end, and Josh has a wonderful relationship with his grandparents because of that’.
People don’t often speak of the sense of failure they feel when a marriage breaks down but Felicity was quite candid with me.
‘I felt like it was my fault and I should try harder, but in the end it was so unhealthy, and I was so unhappy, that I knew there was no other way. I sought solace in my spirituality and received counselling without which I don’t know how I’d have gotten through‘.
Felicity had started her Cert 4 in Ministry (Theology) 6 years ago and fell off the wagon then got back on 6 months into her separation as she felt a real need to complete her certificate, knowing it would guide her through the tough times. Then in 2013 she began her University degree in Psychology, theology and sociology.
She threw herself into being the best personal trainer she could be and by getting into her body and mind was able to rise again like a phoenix from the ashes and take back control of her life.
‘I don’t lose weight easily and it took three years to lose the weight I had gained, but I’m now fitter, and stronger and happier in my skin than I have ever been.’
It’s her attitude.
Her light shines out of her, as cliched as that may sound.
Felicity has a very thoughtful blog over here where she shares her journey and her inspiration.
Here’s one paragraph of hers that just sings to my soul right now –
Metamorphosis…..and…. The rhythm of life…
I absolutely love this word and the meaning behind it. The caterpillar goes into a cocoon and comes out a magnificent butterfly. How amazing is this when we can transfer this concept into our lives? The idea that we can have time to heal, replenish discover who we are then enter the world with beauty and wholeness…
You can also catch her on Facebook here.