Mental Health: Awakening – Part V

Preamble

Firstly sorry I missed last week, I was at a friend’s wedding. Happy one week anniversary Mr & Mrs Sweetman from myself and Le’Boo!

Awakening: Mental Health
Happy one week anniversary Mr & Mrs Sweetman!

Well, Moonlings, don’t worry, today my thoughts on mental health are positive. Often I forget to write down how I’m feeling on a good day. Or maybe the processes that helped me get through a particularly bad day. I think once the bad day is over I’m so happy to be balanced again I neglect self-reflection.

So that’s what this is. A simple bit of self-reflection. I look back to when someone recently hurt my feelings, and how I processed those feelings so no more fighting happened.

The Issue

Somebody bruised my ego. Look I’m not perfect(much to my chagrin), and when people say cruel things they sometimes hurt my feelings. Normally I’m pretty much used to people not understanding me or saying hurtful things in an unsolicited way. I’ve grown to have a thick skin because I like who I am, my style and how soft I am in regards to the flora and fauna of the world.

Some people don’t like that, they are afraid of what they can’t categorise or understand. Does this make me any less valid? It certainly does not.

I also have the added bonus of not doing something just because it’s always been done that way. (I’ve been called the black sheep in my family more than once). If we didn’t question our realities then citizens would still be legally allowed to own slaves in America, homosexuality would still be a crime in Ireland, and women would not be allowed to vote or own property.

Anyways I digress. Basically, I realised that when someone makes you feel bad, you are allowing them that right. Have you ever heard this quote from Eleanor Roosevelt?

“No one can make you feel inferior, without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

This is a sentiment I come back to time and time again. If something cruel is making you feel bad, then there must be a break within yourself. The cruelty is an external force, and you cannot allow it to penetrate and become an internal force.

A Solution

Notice how I wrote ‘a’ solution, and not ‘the’ solution as there are many ways to tackle mental health, and they are all valid as long as they follow this cardinal rule. They don’t harm another person. (This includes yourself because you are a person).

So I used one of my many solutions. The “letters we write, but never send,” method. Why do people do this? Surely talking it out is the only way to resolve a conflict between two sentient beings?

Nope. Sadly sometimes the other person is incapable of seeing things from your point of view. You cannot force them to see, because the only person you have control over is yourself. So what you must do is write down all your feelings, problems and thoughts so you can see them in a thoroughly organised way.

Address the letter to the person, tell them how they hurt you and why. Explain that you’ve tried to see from their perspective but you don’t understand because it seems unduly cruel. Then end with forgiveness and feel your calm returning.

I am not spouting ‘hippy’ nonsense, these methods do work to an extent. Especially on a once off fight or situation. However, if someone is being continual cruel or worse, abusive, you may simply need to walk away from that person.

Once you are done you can seal the envelope, burn it(safely), or even just rip it up and throw it away. Under no circumstances should you give the letter to the person, as this will just cause more hurt. Healing cannot happen if there is continued hurting on both sides.

Then do your best to forgive and move on, knowing that in your own heart it’s ok to be you.

Myself and Le'Boo wedding ready
Myself and Le’Boo wedding ready.

Samaritans Ireland: Call: 116 123 or Text: 087 260 9090

Pieta International: Call: 1800 247 247 or Text: 51444

Copyright © 2019 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

I have written about mental health before, and you can read about that here.

My Anxiety & My Magic – Part VI

– Red: Depressed / Anxious / Angry / Negative

 – Orange: Sad / Unsettled / Low

 – Yellow: Empty / Tired / Fed-up

 – Green: Middling / Feeling Nothing / Don’t Care

 – Blue: Feeling Strange / Unsure

 – Indigo: Happy / Relaxed / Smiling

 – Purple: Very Calm / Content / Happy / Positive

 

I went to Iceland in 2016 with my parents and Le Boo. While driving around we listened to Björk a lot. Her voice and music style makes more sense to me now I’ve seen the landscape of her homeland. It’s incredibly beautiful, but also quite alien. I can only imagine living there before the industrial revolution.

It’s desolate and lonely fields of lava coupled with intense coastlines feels genuinely out of this world. It was the trip of a lifetime. We went to the Blue Lagoon, and I’d paid my ticket in advance to swim in it.

iceland-139016_1280

That never happened. While my parents and Le Boo were swimming in the Blue Lagoon’s naturally heated water, I was in the bathroom of the facility. Crying as quietly as I could in a stall, while my body panicked so fiercely it felt as though I was going to die. For days afterward I was exhausted, and couldn’t enjoy the holiday as well.

When I got back to Ireland, instead of being able to sleep the night before I returned to work, I tossed and turned. My stomach was sick, and I vomited at one stage. When Le Boo was getting ready for work in the morning he was surprised when I didn’t get up. I informed him as soon as my GP’s office was open at 8am I was going to make an appointment with her.

He was extremely supportive by the way and still is to this day.

I sobbed in my primary care physician consulting room, which was a new experience for me. I told her how I was feeling, and how there had to be something wrong. She suggested I quit one of my jobs (which I never had to do before, I have like 3 jobs now) and try some anti-depressants.

I then found a counselor recommended by a friend. She kindly informed me I had a mental breakdown after many years of suppressing pain and illness.

It’s been two years since that breakdown.

Let me make something very clear. At the time of the breakdown I was with Le Boo, and that is an extremely loving relationship. My parents, brother, and friends are all phenomenal people. I had managed to get a scholarship for my Ph.D. which was what I had always wanted, and my career was finally moving in the direction I wanted.

And yet…

You think you get what you want and your mental illness will just dissolve. There isn’t a chance of that. What might happen is finally recognise if your internal monologue is healthy. If your relationship with yourself is kind. The road to discovery this may be tough but I found journaling helped. I included a colour chart I use at the beginning of this post. It has been indispensable to understanding and processing my emotions.

What I discuss on this blog is not revolutionary. It’s not ground-breaking in itself. Except for those suffering from cycles of anxiety followed by depression. When someone with other chronic illnesses discusses their symptoms, tt makes you realise you are not alone in your disease. Although it wants you to feel as though you are.

The community of people I’ve surrounded myself with on this site has been eye-opening. Those suffering from an array of mental illnesses from bi-polar to PTSD to social anxiety, and many more. They describe moments of pain, and they share their load. Hopefully making it a bit lighter.

Share your pain, listen to your emotions, and finally be kind to yourself first. Otherwise, you won’t have anything left to give to others.

Copyright © 2018 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

I also make YouTube videos on occasion to accompany my posts. You can check it out below:

My Anxiety & My Magic – Part II

Magic has been banished to the past. It has been overshadowed by science and its meaning twisted to fiction rather than fact. Humanity has voiced magic for millennia. I like to believe magic is within us all, only we’ve forgotten how to invoke it. When I call out my mental illnesses, voicing to the world their impact on my body, my pain is allayed. That is the magic through words and declarations. We need to be open to magic, and let it flow.

Throughout my life, I appeared to be a happy and contented human. However, I was not always a happy child, nor teenager or young adult. This passage I present to you is not to lay blame, there is no magic in blame. There is magic in self-reflection, and I am lucky to have been a writer for most of my life. I can look into the past to see myself, who says magic is impossible? My writing wasn’t for others, most of the writing appeared in a diary form, for comfort and understanding. Now I am more or less comfortable in my own skin, and maybe that only happens after a certain age. I can’t help feeling my rediscovery of magic helped.

Below are excerpts from a diary between 2007-2008 when I was 17. I was in my first year of college, and unlike most, I was miserable. I’ve decided to post it for me at 27 before I turned 28 next week, so I could see a girl who was hurting. Writing these entries was the only way she could soothe her sores. I want you to know that I don’t hurt nearly as much or as often anymore. The emotions that caused these fragments are no longer my master. Their control has weakened, and although I am still not fully formed, I know who I am. I look into the past to see, someone who is no longer me, because now I have compassion for her. When I was her, I could not forgive her and her demons. It’s calming to see how I formed, not just through my happy moments, but through adversity. In between class notes, and assignments, I wrote the following words.

2007

“Observe and learn. I’m wearing my ring the right way around, and I’m running, not walking down one way.” – 16.10.07

“I’m running away, but I don’t get that far, the blue calls me back, and the voice is my scar.” – 18.10.07

“I just need to get some stuff out of my system. I haven’t eaten… I’ve bruises on my wrist, I know how I got them.” 19.11.07

“Soon everything will work out right? It has too, I’m trying to be strong (failing miserably), but it seems I’m failing in every aspect of my life.” 19.11.17

There is this Othello quote, I need to include it because I was with someone I wasn’t in love with. I was so young I didn’t understand that consciously, but my unconscious self-connected with these words for a reason:

“My love doth so approve him, That even in his stubbornness, his cheek, his frowns… have grace and favour in them.” Desdemona. Act 4. Scene 3. Line 20.

“Can’t wait for my days to be over.” – 22.11.07

“I feel like someone beat me up and left me to die.” – 27.11.07

“The pain! I’ve pains everywhere lately. Chest, stomach, head. Stress is a killer.” – 27.11.07

“I’m in the study room again. I really like it in here, it’s quiet, warm, and you don’t look like a freak for being alone.” – 4.12.07

“I wish I was home with the 3 idiots I live with. Idiots only in the sense that I love them to bits and they’re really special. I miss them too. I miss home.” – 4.12.07

I guess I understood cause and effect when I was 17 but often choose to ignore it:

“I haven’t eaten in a while so that’s why I assumed it had something to do with how crappy I felt. That or the fact that maybe I’d too much to drink last night.” – 17.12.07

2008

“We have to live and grow. Some things have to happen as a natural part of the process. See the concept is crystal but the execution is elusive, and mostly the result is resounding. Either in a very good heart-warming way or, just killing every good thought you have that day. Or week.” 11.02.08

“I hope we don’t fail. I think that should be the motto. Or maybe something a little more uplifting? I believe that failure is not a factor.” – 11.02.08

“I can’t stop writing complete waffle. There has to be something good and worthwhile in all this crap.” – 11.02.08

“I’m confused, really I wish this was all over.” – 13.02.08

“I see the desert red, in my mind it helps, you stand.” 13.02.08

“The blanks and the blanks are just part of that process.” 14.02.08

“As a story begins, so does the whole new world. Growing so fast.” 21.02.08

“Can’t control it. I’m not the only one whose ever felt this way, but you’d have to feel this way to understand.” – 3.04.08

“You know I probably wouldn’t have gotten through this year, if it hadn’t been for this journal. It gave me solace, and a place to voice my thoughts. I’m so glad Mam and Dad gave it to me.” – 23.04.08

“I actually don’t know if all of this is good or bad for my state of mind. I’ll just have to hope it has a strengthening effect on it. It was always fairly week before, I always wished it could be stronger.” 23.04.08

Listen to this poor scared girl:

“It’s 20 to 1 in the morning. I’m sitting on my bed, near tears but none will come. I’m sick, of the mind. I wish my mind would shut up, stop haunting me. I hate human feelings, they are human right? Not the issue, I can’t let go, I’m afraid, so afraid of people leaving, of not seeing and loving what I have, please, please take me away, give me some purpose, you don’t owe it to me but I owe it to you. I can do good, I can learn how to do good, I’m not evil, I’m normal. Sad and normal. It’s extraordinary people that achieve. It’s all relative, I just want to achieve good. Is darkness affiliated with evil because people can’t see what’s really happening? If so the world must be shrouded in darkness and it continues to fall until the world is pitch darkness.” 02.05.08

“These are not my words.” – 02.04.08

Here she is, in all her pain and glory:

My Anxiety & My Magic
My Anxiety & My Magic
My Anxiety & My Magic
My Anxiety & My Magic
My Anxiety & My Magic
My Anxiety & My Magic
My Anxiety & My Magic
My Anxiety & My Magic
My Anxiety & My Magic
My Anxiety & My Magic
My Anxiety & My Magic
My Anxiety & My Magic
My Anxiety & My Magic
My Anxiety & My Magic

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