Beyond the Vortex

There are many times I sat alone in darkness on my own metaphorically and physically with dark thoughts at dark times in dark hours of the morning. I used to despise and relish these moments at the same time, as I’d dive deep into my imagination and the inner depths of my being. Although looking back I spent too many hours on my own, although this did give me a greater sense of independence it also kept me isolated in a sense. As I believed I was alone in what I was going through I didn’t know where, how or who to reach out to. My friends at the time didn’t understand because they had never experienced anything like this before so for me I was on my own dealing with the greatest obstacle I’ve ever faced on my own …(mental illness)

At the beginning I would pretend it didn’t happen, I guess that was part of the processing phase, I would not speak of what happened, I’d try not to think about it and I would completely try to shut it out as if it never occurred. I didn’t feel safe talking to anyone about it but eventually that phase passed onto the next one. I began to start talking to friends and family about what happened but no one knew the answers, most would react in strange and particular ways as in laughing at my
“hallucinations and paranoia” or avoid me. Some would try to reach out but I got to a stage in my early twenties where I could not go to events. I would not answer my phone or return messages and I let myself slip into a deep, dark cave of self- loathing depression. In hind-sight this was one of the most crucial phases in the healing process for me as getting to those dark depths was when and where I decided I didn’t want to feel like this ever again. I decided I didn’t want to live in the dark vortex I had created for myself. So I didn’t.

It all began with a choice, the choice not to want to live there, I didn’t find out until many years later but during this phase I taught myself Cognitive Behavioural therapy. Which essentially is the concept where we chose our own thoughts and don’t let the negative ones control our existence (this is very common). It’s a hard practise that takes everyday conciousness to achieve, a daily activity of deciding how we perceive each and every situation in our life and instead of letting fear and negativity dictate, to chose the power over or thoughts and our existence. It’s been a long and tedious journey for me of many ups and downs and back and forth type of existence, it’s been a tremendous journey of self discovery and realisation. It took me years to accept what had happened to me and even longer to be at peace with it all. This is not something that I take or talk about lightly, I speak about my experiences in the hope to shed light in dark places for others because I have come to a place where I’m happy to share my story to others in the hopes of healing and disarming the taboos stigmas attached to mental illness.

My illness has effected my life and relationships with those around me more than I’d imagine, I’ve lost lovers and friends over my condition from misunderstandings which is probably the most heart wrenching part for me. I’ve even tried to write about my experiences with my illness a few years ago and couldn’t do it as each attempt bought me to tears, re-hatching and reminiscing about these past events was too much for me at that time. This is how I know I’ve grown and this just shows me how far I’ve come. As I always say and always will I’m writing these posts from the point of view of a person who has suffered from the taboos of mental illness for over a decade. I write these posts in hope to connect with and share my story for those who can relate and for those who can’t relate to understand.

Peace and Love xo

State of Psychosis

By the time I was 23 I had been hospitalised for my condition three times, all two years apart around the same time of year- in between June and August. I don’t know why this time of year triggers me but it always seems to have, it is winter here and I don’t know if it has to do with the cold temperatures on not but each time I’ve been to hospital it has been around the same time of year, so you can imagine how absurd but real the fear is each year when winter comes around. Although I am now 31 and apart from my recent relapse last year I did go 7 years without any form of hospitalisation for my condition. That was a huge achievement for me !

Living with such things as mental illness are so hard to describe or explain to people who have never experienced it themselves or who have no idea what truly happens, I know and have heard some of the stigmas surrounding these areas of mental health and think it’s actually disgusting how some people respond to other situations and conditions of their mind. It’s not like we have a choice in the matter and if we did, we definitely would not choose this path. It’s such a hard road for many years which I walked alone. I didn’t think anyone in the world existed that had been through the same thing as me until many years after my first submission, because one thing most people probably don’t understand about mental illness is that although some people may be diagnosed with the same thing our symptoms, reactions, triggers, mind-set, attitudes, delusions are completely different. When I would try to explain to people what had happened to me most would laugh in my face because it seemed so out there and absurd. There were times in my 20’s that I couldn’t work or go to social gatherings because of the fear of being judged and criticised by everyone there..(hence the ongoing social anxiety I dealt with for years after). The thing I think people couldn’t understand most was that I “appeared” to be “well”. They would tell me things like “you don’t need medication” and “there isn’t anything even wrong with you”… hahahaha I laugh at this because these people were blind to the fact that psychosis is not something that can be seen all the time and just because I was having a “good day” doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. They were ignorant and but eventually saw the effects of my condition first hand.

Recently I was asked to be part of a Q & A for Beyond Blue where I was asked questions about depression, anxiety and mental illness. In one answer I compared having a mental illness to having a broken arm, something I have witnessed first hand, (I’m so proud that my statement has reached much further than I expected and hopefully in time will help shift the stigma). My statement was that people will rush over to sign your cast if you have a broken arm but avoid you if you have been diagnosed with some type of mental illness! How is this any different. We are both sick and need support, love, nurturing and care to get back to a healthy state of existence. Just like the broken arm in a cast, those of us with mental illness can’t fix ourselves properly without the right support.

Things are definitely moving forward in these areas compared to many years ago where people with my condition where left in dark rooms on their own, left to bleed out in baths, electroshock therapy and not to mention lobotomies. Therefore I guess those of us diagnosed with such conditions are lucky these days compared to the people of many moons ago, but there still needs to make a change, we need to stop rejecting and start accepting those who are different, who need different types of help and support in different ways. We need to stop laughing at people with psychosis, stop telling people with depression to just “be happy” and stop getting frustrated with people who have anxiety and stop telling them to just “get over it”. I have suffered all these conditions at some stage in my life and I can you you they don’t last forever, they come and go in phases and I believe that we can overcome anything we put our minds to. I know myself I’ve already come so far on this journey and I’ve been through many challenging times. But I’m not weak. In fact I’m strong, very capable and lovable and so is everybody else out there.

Big Love,

The Ghetto Mermaid xo

Feeling it out !

Feel it out !!!

When I’m going through hard times, I like to remind myself that “nothing lasts forever” and “this too shall pass”. Life can seem like a massive jerk sometimes that not only shuts doors but seems to slam some right in your face. Sometimes chapters of our lives close before we want them to and sometimes people we love leave us without and clear indication. It can seem at times like our world is falling apart, but like a phoenix remember we will always rise from the ashes from the fire that burnt us in life. As long as during those burning times we remember that the pain will not last and we will rise up once again. That is life! There are ups and downs, struggles, happiness and sadness it’s all up to each of us on how we handle the situations we are presented with, especially those of which are out of our control.

“Remember there are no rainbows without rain”… When I was going through a hard time last year one of my good friends would always tell me to “feel it out”.. I was confused at the time because I felt like I couldn’t escape my emotions at the time, but what he meant was to embrace and feel every emotion that emerged during this time for me, the good the bad and the ugly. So I did, he told me to purge and embrace my emotions all of them, don’t block or try to avoid any of them and for that I am very grateful, for although it was a challenging time in my life I came out the other side a stronger, more grateful, wiser and happier person. It’s taught me a great lesson about dealing with emotions, instead of trying to mask them or avoid feeling them… his advice helped me get through my struggles by “feeling it out”… feeling out every emotion that surfaced, it wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t easy but in the long run I am grateful for the experiences that I faced because it taught me so much about myself and other people, that I was unaware of previously, it also taught me great life experiences which I can share with others.

My purpose of my posts are to help and encourage those who have also experienced many challenges in their lives and to see such things from a different perspective. Having had a lot of traumatic experiences during my short 30 years on this Earth I don’t want to be seen as a victim nor do I want sympathy. I want to empower people and help others understand that we are the masters of our own destiny. I want to inspire others to see the situations they are faced with and help them rise and rise and rise again, after we have fallen time and time over. I want to promote and create a space to talk about those things that are considered “taboo”, depression, anxiety, mental illness and much more. Many of such things I have dealt with myself through my life’s journey personally. I want to talk about such things in a positive way and help others to understand that these circumstances do not mean its the end of the world, to look at such things with a different perspective than the often “critical mind” of the general consensus on such matters, I want to go into the depths of these matters and I want everyone to know that is struggling with similar things that there is indeed silver linings to what may seem like dark clouds shrouded in our lives. The point is acknowledging these negative emotions when they arise and not letting them take over, but accepting them for what they are then letting them go.

I know from my own experiences dealing with types of things such as anxiety, depression and mental illness people would often struggle to understand, so here I am to help you and anyone who is interested. My life is an open book and I’m willing to wear my heart of my sleeve and share my story solely for the purpose of inspiring and helping those in a similar situation and shedding light to those that are interested.

I was 19 when my first experiences like this occurred and it wasn’t until many years later that I was labelled with a diagnosis. Labels and diagnosis mean nothing to me, they are just words that are in place to help people make sense of something they don’t understand.

Who even knows the truth behind the terms “mental illness” from my experience these words were formed by Western Medical Practitioners to indicate, dictate and “fix” people that do not fit into social norms. There are many enlightening articles all over the internet and in Libraries that suggest the opposite is the case to those which suffer from “mental illness” I have read many articles that suggest in Eastern societies people with such conditions are seen as gifted individuals who are acknowledged and praised for their talents. Not medicated and locked up for being indifferent.
I don’t have the exact answers, I only can speak from my own opinion, research and knowledge in the search for a deeper understanding to these matters of which are still seen as “Taboo”.

Please feel free to comment or begin a discussion.

Cheers, Thanks for taking the time to read my posts, I’m really hoping to get the message out there and shake these stigmas up and help people accept, recognise and appreciate those who suffer mentally or internally.

Much love xo

Being an emotional warrior

Being an emotional warrior

In life it’s important to be and emotional warrior not an emotional worrier, to stay strong in a positive frame of mind sometimes can seem like a fight against ourselves, a battle within our own minds, a fight between the darkness and light, between ourselves. The battle could be a daily fight, it could take one step at a time but the important thing is that we try.

We try and fight to not let the worrier take over, but accept the worrier and let the warrior within us fight and lead us into the light. It can be a slow process that we face everyday but the warrior within us is urging us to try, to stand up and fight and not give up on the most important person in the world, which is ourselves. We need to accept the challenge of the darkness a negative frame of mind provides and say our internal warrior we will win the fight.

It’s so easy to get back into old patterns and negative frames of mind but acknowledging the darkness is the first step towards the light. I have been through stages in my life where I’ve been worried about money or how a situation would turn out and much worse but what I realised over time is that these type of thought patterns never helped the problem that was in front of me and most of the time there wsan’t really a problem at all. What I did learn is that no matter what we will always be provided for as long as we loss our fear and embrace hope and believe that everything will work out for the best. Because from my experience fear seems to perpetuate more fear. But by having the internal belief that everything will work out in one way or another leaves space for miracles to happen and leaves us open to new windows of opportunity or ways of support and solutions to our problems that we may have previously been blind to.

It’s up to us to open our eyes to the solutions in our lives, they may not come to us the way we expect or perceive them to but if we are open to all possibilities then our options are endless.

Battles with the mind

The world we live in seems to be so technology advanced but in other areas of our existence we are just beginning to scratch the surface. What about aspects of our human mind and the power in has over our entire lives and the world around us? The research and understanding to this is still limited at best. When I was younger none of these types of conversations or aspects were even talked about, the mind just seemed to be something that existed within us but the power of its purpose was never bought up or mentioned to me until years later when I went searching for answers. What I discovered was the interrelationship between our bodies, minds and the world around us. Focus on a black dot in a room full of colour and the black dot will seem to enlarge, focus on the colour in the room and the black dot will blend in with the rest of the coloured spectrum. What I’m referring to is the power of what we believe in and what we create for our own existence and what we focus on we create more of.

If we focus on fear, loss, pain and struggle then we will perpetuate those feelings and make more of what we don’t want. If we focus on battling those demons placed on us and fight the dark feelings that overcome us we will be able to create better worlds for ourselves and the word around us.
Being strong minded doesn’t mean we don’t have negative thoughts or feelings or that we only experience joyous feelings, being strong minded means we still have all those thoughts and emotions but we don’t let them control our lives, we acknowledge them for what they are and we choose to not let them dictate our existence but yet we overcome them.

It all starts with the decision and intention to change ourselves and our lives for the better,to avoid those negative pitfalls that we all have and embrace the power of believing in ourselves, it all starts with one step in the right direction.
xoxox

Heartbreak and Happiness

Nothing I ever truly lost, merely misplaced, whatever is lost will always be replaced, maybe not by the exact same thing entirely but in a different way in a different time in a different space.

Heartbreak is a difficult emotion to be faced with, because in some cases it feels like your whole heart and soul has been replaced and left with a endless void of empty space. The damage has been done but in the long run all wounds will heal and all pain will dissipate. The pain does not last forever, it may seem like an eternity when it occurs but what has seemed to be misplaced will return. Love will return and your heart and soul will be healed. All is not lost, as long as hope resides within you. It may be a slight glimmer, it may be a a shining light. But as long as hope exists be sure to see a flash of beaming light. You may no realise it at the time but when you look back down the track you will notice that the God and Universe always had your back!

Never lose hope and always remember what appears lost will always return, it may be in a different form, but the dark times will pass and remember happiness resides within you. xo