Published on July 10th, 2019 | by Ramona Sarac0
Ana. A winner
14 years ago, Ana Mocanu-Suciu (47 years old) had a rare and extremely difficult surgery. During that, her heart stood for two hours on an ice table, her body temperature was reduced to 28 degrees and, for the doctors, her survival was a miracle. In 2012, her husband became seriously ill, and died in 2016, after a very hard, painful battle with life. At that time, Ana had two jobs, she was a teacher at the Law School and a very good lawyer. She worked 16 hours a day, had 100 kilograms at 1,60 meters high and one day simply realized things did not go in the right direction at all. That something had to be changed. So she gave up practicing the profession of lawyer, started going to the gym – although she remained, after the surgery, with an aortic metal valve – lost 30 kilograms in 6 months and changed her way of thinking, of seeing life, her priorities completely. Her battle was with a painful depression, also. Today, she is good with herself, happy and she just shines – that’s the word. This is her story – the story of a fighter and of a winner.
14 years ago, Ana’s survival represented, for the doctors, a real medical miracle. She was 32 years old and the diagnostic was awful – ischemic stroke, meningo-encephalitis, right hemiparesis, abscess aortic ring. A very complicated surgery followed – her heart stood for two hours on an ice table, her body temperature was reduced to 28 degrees to protect her brain. “In the end, things went better than everybody expected, the doctors could not actually believe that things went so good”, she remembers.
She strengthened herself a lot, understanding that feeling pity for herself is not helpful at all. So she made jokes about the way she looked like after the surgery – and her huge optimism helped a lot back then. She learnt another lesson, also. “I realized how quickly everything can come to an end, no matter your age or your social or professional position. I learnt to live every day the way it comes ever since”, she says.
Her husband’s death. The revelation
But her biggest shock came a few years later. In 2012, her husband became seriously ill, had a major heart attack and was diagnosed with diabetes, also. The problems repeated in 2014 and two years later, when Gabriel died. It was november 2016 and a world was over. Her world.
It was a very difficult period. Today, Ana says the word depression without hesitating, articulated, it was a part of her life, it hurt, but that period also contributed to the person that she is today. “It was hard to accept towards myself, first of all, that something was wrong, then I talked to some friends who had been very helpful and supportive to me. I read a lot about depression and I realized that the problem was serious because I could’ve stayed for days without doing anything. The first sign of depression is when you simply start wanting nothing”, she says.
But all those difficult moments also leaded to a revelation. That she need to do things – not just one – to change her life. To change it profoundly, with the eyes and heart wide opened. To change it completely, actually.
Giving up practicing the profession of lawyer
The first revelation was about her working way too much than normal. She had two jobs – she was a teacher at the Law School, at Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, and also a very good lawyer. Actually, I do remember her from those times – she had trials all over the country, always running from school to the court, always trying to do more and more and everything good. 16 hours a day, she admits today. That much she used to work.
“It was that moment that I realized I had tried to hide the medical shock that I had in 2005 through an intense professional activity. After my husband died I kept on doing it for a while, but I was always thinking about giving up one of the two jobs. And I succeeded in doing this in March 2018, when I gave up practicing the profession of lawyer”, she says.
First time at the gym. 30 kilograms in 6 months
And it was just the first change. The second one was even more important. She realized she wasn’t physically good either – the had 100 kilograms at 1,60 meters high, her feet and her hands hurt. Of course, she got kilogram after kilogram because of her way of life – running from morning till evening, she used to eat in the evening, when she got home – and that’s not good at all.
After long talks with a friend who was a sportsman, she decided to go to gym. She honestly hoped she will find a trainer that will accept to work with her, in spite of her medical antecedents – after her surgery in 2005, she remained with an aortic metal valve. And was very lucky to find one – a man she is very grateful to.
“It was the first time in my life that I entered a fitness club – I didn’t even know how it looks like. When I went there for the first time and the trainer told me to go on the running band I didn’t even know how to start it”, she remembers, laughing.
She had a huge ambition. She changed her diet completely, her entire way of life, actually. Now she works normally, has time for herself, spends quality time with her two wonderful children. And she started doing two trainings every day, 10 trainings a week. The result is spectacular – 30 kilograms lost in 6 months.
“When I was doing my exercises, my trainer tried to convince me to look in the mirror, to be sure I’m working correctly. And I refused to do that. And then, I realized that I refused to accept myself. But I was lucky to have a trainer who understood what was going on with me, and who knew how to determine me to work without forcing in any way”, she says.
The emotional rebuilding
Practicing sport and the way this changed her entire life helped Ana get out of depression. Step by step, she simply rebuilt herself. She started making plans again, “now I have projects for the next 20 years”, she says, laughing. She “made some cleaning” in her life and her self-esteem grew up enormously. “I wanted to look good for myself. I am the motivation, I want to be good with myself”, she says. She just discovered herself and learnt to rely on herself.
She started seeing people she hadn’t seen for many years. It was like coming out of the pit – you rediscover yourself and and your relations with the people around become better and better.
Now, she does not see a catastrophe in any difficulty. She has defeated all her fears, one by one, and re-ordered her needs – she realized you actually don’t need much and don’t need expensive things and that you are not in any competition with anyone. You buy things because you need them not because you feel like being in a competition or want to make someone envy you. “The respect of those people who really matter is not based on the valuable things you own – and this is a way of sorting the right people, also. We sort people in this kind of moments, because we do not depend on validations anymore and we are not afraid to stay with ourselves anymore”, she says.
Looking back now, she smiles. There was another valuable lesson, also. You don’t only realize what a deep pit you’ve been into – you also realize how strong you are because now you are on the top of the mountain, and you had the power and the courage to get out of that pit and climb up to the top.
Ana, today. The peace and the happiness
Today, Ana is simply shining, that’s the word. She is good with herself, has a valuable inner peace and she is happy. Happy and grateful for her wonderful children, for the special people around her, also for the lessons and for their results. Somehow, she takes everything that had happened as a process that helped her become the person that she is today. “Nothing hurts me anymore, neither physical nor emotional, I laugh a lot and I rediscover simple things that mean the real joy in life”, she says.
PHOTOS FROM PERSONAL ARCHIVE
Do you know a very special person? Someone who has followed his dream, built it piece by piece, with passion, energy and lot of soul? An usual, simple person who did something in life, who you can identify with, who can be, for others, a source of inspiration? Tell me about that person and let’s tell the others his/her beautiful story. Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org, here, on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.