Spread the love !!!

It makes me so sad to see a fellow human suffer especially by those who they love the most. It happened to me and I’ve seen it happen to many great, beautiful people. We get shunned by those who love us the most. Whether it’s from addiction. Illness… or anything else that is consider taboo. The list goes on. We are only Human. We are All only human. What if one of these said things happened to you ? Would you like to be loved and accepted by your community or shunned and rejected by those you love the most. We should not be made to feel less for those things that are out of our control. We are all only doing the best we can at any given time.

Too many of us are left to suffer on our own without the love and support of those that mean the most to us and what these people don’t understand is that is exactly what we need to get better !!! Love, support, understanding; Acceptance and faith in ourselves and our recovery. Too many people take drugs and other pills to party but judge those of us that become addicted . People with addictions, mental illness and such need as much love if not MORE than the rest of us. Something needs to happen ! We need to step up ! Support love and care for those less fortunate than us. We need to unite as one. Remember we are all one and be there for our fellow human beings. What if this happened to you ? How would you react. We need to support accept and understand we are all only humans doing the best we can at any given time. Stop to JUDGEMENT! STOP THE HATRED ! SPREAD THE LOVE !

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Make friends with the night,
Make peace with the dark
Know the the morning isn’t too far,

Let the light in but don’t be afraid of the dark
New hope and peace are found in places near and far,

The beaming light of love is never too far, for it resides in all of us i

The end is not the end

Not only have I experienced hard times mentally but emotionally my life has had many challenges. I lost my best friend at the age of 21 when she passed away in a freak accident. I’ve always had people come and go throughout my life due to my condition. I’ve dated a couple of guys that have left me because of my illness or laughed in my face when I explained what I go through.

My life has been far from easy but I choose not to give up. Mental challenges are real on all fronts and can seriously impact on our lives more than we can imagine. It’s taken me a good ten years to work through everything that happened to me and come to a place of peace. At the start when i was 19 I felt like my mind had completely shut down. I was getting strange sudders through my body and found it very hard to connect with people on any level. I feel like I’ve had a lot to learn in this life and have already learned so much on so many different levels.

People can be very judgmental to those like me and shun us off like we are nothing. But I can assure you as black and white as this text is I would not ever let the opinion of another govern my life. I think that is one of the best things I’ve learned since facing the majority of my mental challenges alone. As much as I enjoy the company of other people in my life I’m quite happy to spend time on my own. I in fact cherish it as it gives me time to reflect on everything.

Breakdowns / breakthroughs…. I’ve had many that is life for me. What I’ve also learned is the dark times will always pass. Whether it’s depression, anxiety, pyshcosis or what not. They will not stick around and some form of normality, peace and love will always return to fill the void and the scars the darkness left on us.

It all started with a choice for me not to give up. I was merely a teenager and when everyone else was doing what ” normal” teenagers do I was battling with my mental demons.  My mind was dark and hazy and even leaving the house sometimeswas a challenge. For a long time those close to me would blameme for what had happened and where I’d ended up but over time we realised this wasn’t the case.

My darkest times were definitely around the first incident. All I could see was darkness, negativity and judgment anywhere I went. But the moment it all changed was the moment I decided I didn’t want to live like that anymore. It was a case of reprogramming my own mind and thought pattetns. WheneverI would think something negative I would stop myself and change it to something else. It took me a long time but eventually it became my nature to be an optimist about every situation in life, not that this gave me all the answers but it helped me obtain the tools to overcome situations mentally.

As corny as it sounds it all began with the idea and thought that I can. I decided not to be the person to play the victim. I chose not to let my illness rule my life. I chose not to let what other people thought of me bother me or change who I am. I chose to put myself and my needs first and that’s when so many areas in my life began to heal.

If anyone out there is going through anything similar please do not give up. Life is difficult and challenging at times but the best is yet to come.

With Love and Light, 
The Ghetto Mermaid 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

Panic at the disco!

So after my first experience of be hospitalised for my condition it took me a long time to get back onto my feet again and accept what had happened to me, years in fact. But eventually there came a time where I was at peace with myself and my condition. The struggle has been real and I have faced some very difficult times and situations due to my condition. The first hurdle that I had to face was coming to terms with the fact that people in my community thought I was “crazy” and the taboos attached to being hospitalised for having a mental condition. It put so much strain on my relationships that I lost many friendships in my early twenties and like the saying goes, it did really show me who my good friends are and for that I am forever grateful.

We all get faced with difficult situations in our lives but we can’t let them dictate who we are, only we can chose how we deserve to be treated and only we can chose how we perceive ourselves. This is what I’ve learned from having many set backs and struggles in my life. In no way do I see myself as a victim but maybe a mental and emotional warrior. My story is a sad story at times but it is also a story of inner strength, compassion, love and determination.

Being in public was and still is hard for me as I often become flooded with huge amounts of anxiety, and paranoia about what other people are thinking of me, I’d often suffer from social anxiety which in itself for me was a fear of being judged. After the third time of hospitalisation I began to have major panic attacks. I remember the first panic attack I ever had like it was yesterday. It was so vivid and so horrible and I had no idea what was happening to me.

I was out at a local bar with a couple of my friends when all of a sudden EVERYTHING became too overwhelming, the room seemed to become hotter, the music and background noise became louder and invasive, all the colours in the room seemed to be so overwhelming and bright that I couldn’t focus on anything. My breathing began to slow down as my throat seemed to tighten, I had random thoughts racing through my mind and my clothes began to feel so constrictive. I had to leave in that instant so I did, I told my friends I had to leave and I almost ran out of the place, getting to the car taking off my shoes, belt and anything that felt too constrictive on the way.

These kind of attacks happened at least once a month for about three and a half years until I learned to overcome these demons. My doctor thought I was having anxiety and prescribed but it wasn’t until years later when I overcame these panic attacks and learned the difference between panic attacks and anxiety did I realise I’d been having them for years straight. Each time they would get that bad to the point where I would pass out. On the up side I’d always wake u feeling ok but those moments before felt like absolute torture. Fortunately though with the help of low doses of medication and lots of personal work on myself I taught myself to overcome my panic attacks. I still do get mild forms of anxiety form time to time but luckily enough I no longer suffer from full blown panic attacks.

Anyone who has experienced these or still does I feel your pain. There was a time where I could even hear someone talk about anxiety of panic attacks without going into “panic mode”. There was no real rhyme or reason to my attacks as they would happen whether I was out in public or sometimes just in the company of close friends and family. My friends would often get frustrated at me as they didn’t undertaking what was happening and they would often just want me to be ok, as did I. But I would always have to leave the party or wherever I was to be on my own, lie down and eventually fall asleep. It was a very challenging time for me as I never knew when they would happen and it would often cause strain on my friendships and disrupt my life. I remember one New Years Eve I was out with my friends, had my hair done, make-up, new dress and everything but I was only out for about half an hour before I had to head home with a full blown panic attack under way. When this would happen I would want to talk to the people around me but that would be virtually impossible as my mind was racing that fast and my throat felt like it was closing over and I could not breathe properly, the attack would take completely over to the point where I’d have to leave no matter what.

Over the years though the panic attacks became less frequent and slowly turned into anxiety. Which I still get from time to time but nowhere near as badly as it was in those first few years. My point is no matter what anyone tells us, we are power beings our minds have very strong and power capabilities to over come anything, everything heals overtime, even our minds. At one stage my doctor had me believing that I would have panic attacks for the rest of my life, but that is definitely not the case. I haven’t experienced an attack for years and we can teach ourselves to overcome anything. It all starts with the choice and the belief that we can.

6 years ago there would be no way I could even write or talk about this kind of stuff, but look how far I’ve come, to anyone that is going through anything similar please do not give up, you are not alone, there are so many options out there to help us heal as long as we are open. Our minds are incredibly powerful objects and if we use that to our advantage we can overcome anything.

Please feel free to comment or ask any questions

Love and Light,
The Ghetto Mermaid xo