‘Without it, who am I?’ What being sober for three years has taught me.

FOOD, grief, healing journey, Mental health

I never would have imagined that there would be a time in my life where I wouldn’t drink alcohol. At a time it was a huge part of my life and who I was. Drinking many times a week and whilst at university sometimes every night. It became a part of who I was. Who I hung around with and what I did. I remember never feeling like I could truly enjoy the moment unless I was completely wasted.

This post isn’t about talking negative about Alcohol and thinking that I am better than anyone for not drinking anymore. It’s about sharing a journey and a very tough one. Re-finding my identity and my confidence. I would drink before I went to a big party, before I went to a crowded bar and I would always drink so much during ‘Pre-drinks). I needed to be really tipsy in order to feel confident and to feel good. Then I would be able to talk to anyone I wanted and completely let go of any social anxiety that I had.

I’ve had some of the best times of my life completely drunk with my best friends. And these memories I will never forget. I’ve been so wild and used to party like a rock star. I couldn’t stay at home with the fear of missing out and after a hard night out, I didn’t want to go home and be alone. So me and who ever I was with would carry on again. I didn’t know when to stop and I would never say I was an alcoholic or I had a big problem with Alcohol, but I could see how in the future it really would affect me negatively.

Now let’s fast forward to March 2016. I was approaching my last few months of university. I was working a full-time job at a busy Cafe in Highbury and Islington. I was really struggling with my dissertation and after many attempts to reach out to teachers for help which were met with disinterested emails in return, I began to feel completely lost. I was feeling the huge pressure among my shoulders and worried so much about how I was going to do it.

After a huge night partying I got the bus to my Mum’s house for mothers day. A few days later my Mum would drop me off at the train station to go to Newquay when I had a huge panic attack. The first one of my life. I thought I was going to die. She thought I was having a stroke! We rushed to hospital and they said nothings wrong with you. It was the scariest moment of my life back then. To cut the story short ever since then I suffered with terrible anxiety, Agoraphobia, worry and panic attacks.

I had to move back home, leave my flat in London. Complete the rest of my university degree from home. I left the house only a couple times in two months. I stayed in my bedroom completely dark watching Benidorm on repeat. I had no idea what I was going through. That’s when I found out about derealization and depersonalization and after tests that all came back really healthy. I knew from finding a group about dp and dr that this is what I had.

My boyfriend came to visit and we went to a free party in the park for bank holiday and I drank wine and got drunk. We had so much fun but the next morning I felt terrible. Like I wasn’t in my own body, nothing was real and I could barely talk to anyone. It was after that day that I knew no matter how much I loved to drink I couldn’t anymore. It wasn’t worth it.

If you know anything about dp and dr its that you feel like you are stoned and drunk at the same time constantly (it isn’t as fun as it sounds). 24/7 feeling like you are on a boat and everything around you is a dream. Drinking only enhances that feeling.

The first year was the toughest. Pretending to friends I was still drinking, buying lemonade and saying it was with vodka. Even drinking a sip then going to the bathroom to vomit. Now I look back this was so ridiculous! Why didn’t I just say I had stopped drinking. I was afraid that people wouldn’t want to hang out with me and that people would think differently of me. I felt like I had lost a part of who I was. It felt boring to go out and watch everyone drink when I couldn’t. Something that I had always loved and looked forward to.

The second year I started to go out much more. I told my friends that I had stopped drinking and told them all about my struggles with my mental health. They all responded with love and understanding, a few light hearted jokes here and there. I began to focus so much on myself. Who I really was and not who I had been pretending to be for so many years. I began learning, reading, learning to play the guitar, really getting into learning Spanish, doing Yoga, meditating etc. I had so much more time on my hands because I wasn’t going out every night, wasting all my money and feeling like crap the next day.

I went out and stayed out till 4am dancing completely sober. I had an amazing time and this was a real breakthrough for me. I could do it. I could have fun out without booze! I woke up the next day feeling like a champion and really refreshed. From then on I never let that I wasn’t drinking have an affect on my happiness. It didn’t define me!

It’s just gone over the three year mark since I quit drinking and it has been the best decision ever. I didn’t like what booze could make me become. I didn’t like wrecking my body, feeling like crap and not remembering anything. I have found it so liberating that I have been T-total for over three years! And now I never feel ashamed to tell people that I don’t drinking. I love it actually!

I can do and go and be whoever I want to be and my main focus is on myself and not the opinion of others. I saw what alcohol had done to people around me and to myself at times. I’ve never had a drunken argument with my bf, I’ve always remembered everything about the night and been completely safe. I’ve had to deal with all emotions head on which is benefiting me and will benefit me in years to come.

Anxiety and Panic attacks are a real bummer but they have made me change my life for the better. I am healthier than ever and I continue to heal, grow and be the best person I can be.

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Bikram Yoga benefits: My Body and Mind Experience With Hot Yoga

Fitness, healing journey, Mental health

Yoga originated in Ancient India and it has been used throughout history as a way to achieve harmony and peace through mind, body and soul. Yoga has been used to treat many different illnesses, mental and physical. Yoga is a practice of spiritual growth, derived from the Sanskrit word “yuji,” meaning yoke or union, yoga is an ancient practice that brings together mind and body. Yoga has been embraced in the West of the world and now many are using it as an alternative form of medicine, using it to treat things like depression, anxiety, stress and is even used as a complement to cancer treatment.

So what is Bikram Yoga? Bikram Yoga consists of the same 26 poses and two breathing exercises performed in the same order every class for exactly 90 minutes. Bikram Yoga studios are heated to 105 degrees! With a 40 percent humidity! It is mentally so challenging because of the high heat which means it’s very important to concentrate on your breathing and meditation, to help you stay calm and focused. No talking is allowed in Bikram Yoga and if you feel a little ill during the session you must lay down on your back and concentrate on your breathing.

Hiking in Benahavis.

My first session of Bikram Yoga was really tough, as a person who suffers with anxiety and panic attacks, I was nervous about going to my first class and maybe feeling a little overwhelmed with the heat. I think it’s important to understand that natural that kind of heat would make us want to leave the room however the instructor told me to concentrate on breathing in and out of my nose. This really helps you enter a really meditative state where any panic and fear fades away, as you are completely focused on the yoga.

I couldn’t believe how much I sweat during the session. You lose 1-2 litres of fluid during one 90 minute session and it is unbelievable how much you actually lose. The amazing thing is that you are ridding your body of all the toxins and bad things that you have stored up overtime. Due to the heat and the repetitive and hardcore poses your flexibility improves so much! I went back to the next day and throughout my second class I was amazed at how much better I was able to hold poses and go really deep into them. My concentration during the first session was really good. I focused and I was in a real meditation state however during the second session my focus had advanced so much!

During the session I was only thinking about what I was doing in that moment, such as what pose I was doing and concentrating on my breathing. The heat was really powerful and once you start getting into the tough poses, your mind and body become in sync. It is really an amazing experience.

I’ve been practicing at Bikram Yoga – Marbella. Today there wasn’t a class but everyday next week except for Friday I am going to go. My body feels really good and my mind feels great too. I am much more focused and connected to my body’s ability.

Bikram Yoga Spain at the Marbella center.

Here are some of the benefits of Bikram Yoga:

  • Due to the heat it cleanses your body of toxins! Which feels amazing!

  • Less injuries and more flexibility- due to the heat which helps your muscles be more

  • relaxed and have a better ability to stretch

  • Weight loss – because of all the sweating!

  • Stronger immune system- Exercising in a hot environment improves your immune

  • system and elevates the body’s regenerative capacity.

  • Great for your lymphatic system!

  • Bikram Yoga helps with anxiety and stress reduction and has been shown to help with depression.

  • Improved sleeping habits and increased energy.

  • Reduces negative thoughts.

  • Helps restore balance to your mind and body

  • Makes you feel awesome because it is challenging!!

I love Bikram Yoga now and I am going to continue to do it for as long as I can! Even after two sessions I can tell the positive affects it has on my mental and physical health already.

Simple things to do today to take care of your mental health

Fitness, healing journey, Mental health

New statistics by mind.org.uk has shown that 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year, with 1 in 6 people report to experiencing a mental health problem each week. These statistics are quite shocking and the numbers are more than likely more. With a large number of people never seeking professional help or support. In one respect it is positive because that means that people are seeking treatment and support. However unsettling because the numbers of people struggling with a type of mental illness is very high.

I honestly feel that we have been let down by not receiving sufficient or truthful information about ways that we can all take care of our mental health. I have been on a real spiritual and scientific journey to discover ways that support our bodies natural ability to heal. When you are desperate and I mean at the very end of survival, you will try and do anything that helps.

It’s been an incredible painful and scary journey and I am not out of it yet, so please don’t think that I have it all figured out. I have seen real benefits that have saved my life in more ways than others. Therefore I want to share them with you. Knowledge is power. Some of the information may sound cheesy to you if you don’t believe in spirituality or if you aren’t normally open to shifting your beliefs or open to different ways of thinking. This information 100% works. It’s helped me with PTSD, Grief, Anxiety, Depression, Suicidal thoughts, OCD and my derealisation and depersonalisation. An important point to acknowledge is there is no magic cure or quick fix to any mental health disorder.

It’s crucial to accept that this is a healing journey and healing is never linear. There is no magic cure or remedy which will solve all of your problems. All of the things I have been doing, I have been extremely consistent in. Every single day adding these to my daily routine and only on the very odd occasion, missing only one of them. To notice real changes you need to keep going and give it time. Time and patience are crucial in healing yourself.

Exercise

It’s the oldest saying in the book and maybe it sound patronising to think that exercising will solve all your problems. It helps so much! Moving your body! We as humans are suppose to be very active. Not be coach potatoes all the time doing nothing. The science behind exercise and it’s abundance of benefits to help mental health are huge and it is proven. Exercise has helped me so much with a wide range of different mental disorders. Even if you feel scared or to sad to go, try your best and get your body moving. Movement helps so many things.

Meditation

Meditation is a fantastic way to calm your mind and not be overwhelmed by everything going on inside your head. Meditation and breathing go hand in hand and using your breathing to help bring calmness to your mind is so beneficial to your mental health. I meditate everyday and have done for over a month now. 10 minutes, 30 minutes, even 1 hour and sometimes twice daily. When ever I feel like I am worrying too much, feeling anxious or having intrusive thoughts. I sit down or lay down however I am feeling at the time. Use a meditation app, a video on youtube or just do it myself. I breathe deeply, concentrating on being as present as possible, as my thoughts come and go, I don’t judge them. I imagine them on a check out and as my thoughts are being scanned they go into boxes. And that’s it. The worried about speaking to my boss at work, that’s just a thought and that can go in the work box. It really helps so much to understand that they are only thoughts. To not give them too much attention or focus, gives them less power.

Reading

In my darkest times I couldn’t read anything fictional. Anything with death, storylines too intense and any story which could at all make me feel very emotional. That’s when non fiction became my saviour. I began ready books about self help, healing, self improvement. Anything I could find, borrow or buy from cheap book shops. Understanding that people had throughout our whole existence also faced very difficult times and knowing that they had healed and overcame them. Reading books about being more present and finding out about tools and mechanisms that has benefited peoples life’s so much. Books about Buddhism, mindfulness, meditation, yoga, spirituality and the meaning of life etc. Being really focused on educating myself and this helped my mind and helps me now to be more present. And grow my knowledge about things that really matter to me.

Essential Oils

These amazing plants have helped me so much and I never leave the house without them. Lavender, Lemon balm and orange are my top three that I always use. Everywhere I go I am very anxious, more times than others although I never let it show. It put some drops on my wrists and my neck and it immediately relaxes me. It’s excellent to help you sleep too. They aren’t expensive but make sure you get 100% natural because there are some fake ones with tons of chemicals which is really bad. I’ve been taking a few drops of the lemon in my water and that’s really helped with my depression. The smells are so uplifting and you will be shocked at how amazing the power of smell can be to your mood.

Magnesium salt baths

Every so often I have a lovely hot bath with magnesium salt crystals. These powerful healing salts have been around for thousands of years. When you are low in magnesium it can make you really anxious and depressed. Your body absorbs these minerals while you are bathing. Leaving you feeling rejuvenated and relaxed. I add some drops of lavender to make it super relaxing before bed. And I add a clay facemask too. Hot bubble baths are excellent for our mental well being and to relax the body.

Yoga-Stretching

Yoga and stretching are amazing for your body. Have you ever seen your pets wake up from a nap and they have a huge stretch? As humans we don’t realise that our bodies are literally screaming out for a good old stretch! Did you know that we hold most of our stress, anxiety and emotions in one huge muscle called the Psoas muscle. It’s one of the most important muscles in the body. Unfortunately many people don’t know about this.

There are thousands on video on YouTube that show you how to stretch this muscle specifically and all of your body. This is why yoga is so important because we feel connected in the moment and we are fully experiencing our bodies. By stretching we are releasing tension and emotions that when built up can lead to many complications due to stress in side the body and in the mind.

Journalling

Writing what we are feeling and experiencing is a huge help towards a more peaceful mind. Sometimes when we are feeling overwhelmed it is difficult to shift through the worry and make sense of what we are experiencing. This is why journaling is so beneficial because we can put our thoughts onto paper and looking back at them from a distance can help see them in a more cohesive manner. It is also a way of letting go of many things and letting them flow out of your mind. From journaling I have experienced a huge shift in how I am feeling. It’s like I am telling myself how I feel and I am being truly honest with myself too. I always feel better after writing things down because I am not bottling things inside to manifest into negative things. All you need is some paper, a pen or a pencil and five minutes with yourself.

There are many more things that you can do to help your mental health and well being. I hope some of the information has helped you and can try some of these things today.

Leave me a comment and let me know how you got on trying these different things.

Happy healing, peace and love xo

Things you need to hear if you are feeling at rock bottom.

healing journey, Mental health

If you are feeling depressed, low and you feel like you are going through a really tough time; this is for you. If you are looking for a sign that everything is going to be okay. This is that sign. Everything will work out in the end and even though you feel like you will never feel happy again, that’s not true.

Happiness comes in waves. Sometimes we have an abundance of happiness and other times, all we seem to hit is waves and waves of bad luck.

You are loved. Your family love you, your friends love you and even people who rarely know you, they like you. You may not feel worthy of love and at this moment you may have forgotten what love feels like. It exists. It exists in you to others and others to you.

Be compassionate to yourself please. If you are facing difficulties, don’t be hard on yourself. This is a very difficult lesson to learn but it all starts with how you talk to yourself. Are you showing yourself care? Are you speaking to yourself with kindness? Because through everything that has faced you, through all the hardships you have been through, you are still here. You are a warrior because dealing with your own demons everyday and still showing up? That takes an unbelievable amount of strength and bravery.

It’s important to understand that although you are feeling depressed, you are not depression. Although you may be feeling alone, anxious and scared, you are not these emotions. Don’t hold on to these emotions and judge them. Let them be experienced and allow them to flow through you.

Life is like a pendulum which is always swinging to one side and then to the other. Sometimes staying in the middle which is called the neutral part. The neutral part is the place in your life where everything is calm. There are no great ups and there are no downs. Just calmness. The left side being the rough times, the hard points in your life where you feel like it will be this way forever. And finally the right end is the amazing times, first dates with your true love, wedding, promotions, holidays, doing amazing things you enjoy. Just like the pendulum life is always changing. From the great times, to the bad times and to the calm times. One thing is certain and that is that the pendulum is always swinging and life is always moving throughout these areas.

I like to remember this when I am facing tough times which happens to me more times than I like. It helps me see that my bad times won’t stay like this forever.

Do you know how amazing you are? Out of millions and billions of probabilities you made it to live on this earth. To exist, to breathe, to grow and flourish. No matter what faced you, you carried on smiling and through pain and suffering you still showed the world, it isn’t over. I understand how horrendous depression is. How you feel like all the goodness in the world has been sucked away and you will never experience happiness again. You will. How the foods you used to love taste like nothing. Your favourite shows that made you laugh before, now your face is blank. I have been there.

Maybe you think that you can’t live your life like this anymore. The whole world says please keep going. The thing about the human spirit is that it is so brave and strong. It is literally build to be so resilient, much more than we can even imagine. We all are so much braver than we think. In situations when you think you can not do it, you can not survive something. You can. You 100% can make it. Give yourself time. Be patient and be kind to yourself.

Let’s go back in time to when you were ten years old. Think about yourself at that age. What would you say to your ten year old self? Words of encouragement? Abuse? Would you give them support? Or would you tell them how worthless they are? How they aren’t doing good enough.

No, you wouldn’t. You would show them love. Compassion and support if they were facing the same experiences as you? Which they basically are but in the future. Try to be your own cheerleader and if you can’t try to find someone else to be that support for you. You can 1000000% do it. You feel like you can’t. The fact is that you can. You can hang in there and be resilient enough, patient enough to experience a shift. A shift to maybe easier times, happier times, more comfortable times. No one said it is easy because it ain’t. Plain and simple. It’s gonna be painful, it’s gonna be torturous, it’s gonna be scary, it’s gonna feel soulless.

Life is tough. Life is mean and life can chew you up and spit you out. But life can be beautiful, life can be amazing and life can be everything you ever wished for. Keep going and keep fighting. I promise you that there is light at the end of this tunnel. That bad times have not come to stay. You have made it through 100% of your bad days so far. Be patient. You won’t feel like this forever. You are loved.

As always if you or anyone you know needs help or support, please seek out a professional, let someone know how you are feeling. It’s okay not to be okay. There is so much support out there, you don’t need to suffer in silence. You are not alone.

Why Mental Health needs to be added to all school curriculums.

grief, healing journey, Mental health
Artist unknown.

When I had my first panic attack during my first week of secondary school I had no idea what was happening to me.

I didn’t know anyone at my new school and I had left a small primary school surrounded by loving friends and happy memories. Anxiety was something that I had struggled with all my life. Random journeys to A&E, mysterious illnesses, faking illnesses so I didn’t have to go places. Little did I know that this was anxiety. Even my family didn’t know about it.

For a civilisation that have been around for over 200,000 years, we sure don’t know much about how our own minds actually work.

Flash forward to over 14 years later and I am only just beginning to scratch the surface of the abundance of self help, coping mechanisms, research, books, podcasts, social media account, essays and much more. For three years I have been on a huge journey researching and learning about my own personal struggles with mental health and trauma.

Finally I have been able to find things that work and that have helped me which I will be writing about in my next article. After years of trying and retrying and searching, I have found things that are excellent. Things that have saved my life!

Could my life have been made easier if I had learnt some of these tips and mechanisms in my 20 years of being in the education system? My answer is…. Absolutely!

There has been excellent things that I learnt in school such as reading, writing, music, drama, English, Sports.. the list goes on. However we need to implement studies baseD around who we are as people. How to take care of ourselves, how to help yourself mentally and physically when you are faced with a crisis.

The tools are out there but they are not easily accessible! Mental health is becoming worrying for so many people because no one has any idea what they are going through. The most isolating and scary experience for me was the fact I thought I had gone completely crazy. When you don’t know what is happening to you and you have no idea what it could be, that terrifies you. It terrifies you so much because you feel I should have this information. And the unknown is a scary place to be.

Our minds and bodies are crucial for our existence. And the mind side of it all has been lost. Millions of people are struggling with mental health, whether that be depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, dissociation, panic, suicidal thoughts etc. This is an epidemic.

Artist unknown.

We spend the most crucial part of our whole development as human beings in the educational system, therefore we should be entitled to know about and how to help ourselves as we continue throughout life.

Teach us about how to support a friend who is severely depressed, what to do when you have a panic attack, how to stay alive when you are having suicidal thoughts, how to calm down during a stressful exam, how to limit stress, how to deal with traumatic events, heal, meditation, yoga, journaling, how to talk about how you feel.

How to take care of our minds. As children and adults we need the information and it’s more important now than ever. As children when we learn something we tend to remember it for the rest of our lives, so how about coping mechanisms?

I’ve found that throughout this journey, many times I have tried something and when it didn’t work I never did it again. It was only once I revisited it again and kept doing it, implemented it into my daily life. That’s when I saw results!

Imagine if we could train these mechanisms and coping skills from a young age and automatically have a med free relief from our mental disorders or problems. Understanding more about how our minds, body and brain work, react and cope to many different things, allowing us to be less afraid of them, feeling less alone and less ashamed.Teaching us about positive, useful ways to support our well being when necessary could help future generations and change the outcomes of billions of lives. Teaching it as a subject would not give children, teenagers and adults the skills they need, it would allow a welcoming, embracing environment without judgement. No one ever judged each other when the history teacher started talking about The Battle of Hastings.

Human life, your life, you.

You are the most important thing in the world and your well being and mental health should be the first priority. Algebra, Henry VIII Wives and Pythagoras’s theorem can wait a little while. Of course it is easier said than done, it will take lots of deconstructing and reshaping a system which is outdated and doesn’t focus enough on individualism.

Our fellow humans are fighting as much as they can but some aren’t making it out the other side alive. We all deserve a new breakthrough, a new glow of light in moments of extreme darkness enabling us to be equipped with the tools needed to survive it. Mental health is one of the worlds most serious issues happening all around us.

We can all be that change in one way or another. The impact can be amazing.

How society is becoming more empathetic towards mental health.

Mental health

Struggling with a mental health disorder is one of the most soul destroying, debilitating experience a human being can go through. Living in a very crazy, fast paced world which runs at full throttle almost always, it brings a sense of calm and security that we have the safety of our own minds. However when we do not have this luxury the world can seem unbearable. The mind you have known all of your life is starting to change and become someone who you don’t know. Isolated and alone because of the taboo surrounded by mental health, many of us suffer in silence. Our family, friends and people around us usually having no idea.

Your mental health is crucial for your existence. We have become so disconnected from ourselves with overstimulation and pressures that constantly surround us. Feeling weak or embarrassed to show we are struggling in a world where everything needs to be perfect in order to be truly validated. This is a lie. You don’t need to be perfect. You don’t need to anything. Just be you.

It breaks my heart when I hear on the news or social media that someone has taken their life. How pain, sadness, emptiness, any negative emotion can feel so unbearable that you can no longer go on. I understand that pain. As a society we are beginning to shift into another awareness that we had lost. Compassion. Instead of hearing ‘he was selfish, how could he do that?’. I hear ‘I can’t imagine the amount of pain he was going through and I wish someone could have been there to help him’.

The explosion is massive and we need to help it continue to grow. This is an amazing time to be alive because we don’t have to suffer in silence. You don’t have to suffer in silence. There is so much help out there, tell your loved ones, tell your friends, tell a professional. You are not alone in this terrible and confusing time. You won’t be judged and you will be welcomed with open arms.

We now have facebook groups for any mental illness that you are going through where people are joining together to support each other. Millions of instagram accounts of people who keep going and keep fighting. Support groups and meet ups all over the world. If you live in UK we have free healthcare, free therapists and professionals who you can share your story with. The power of the internet is amazing because we have an abundance of free information and connections.

It warms my heart when I see news stories showing compassion to celebrities going through mental illness. Showing empathy towards people when they are going through a mental breakdown. Maybe seeing this in the media with help some people step forward, to not hide or run and to share their story. To show that mental illness is nothing to joke about, it isn’t a weakness and it’s okay not to be okay. Our mind is one of the most important organs that we have. How we take care of our minds is crucial to our quality of life. Therefore there is no shame or weakness if it is struggling? If there is any positive that can come from such a negative experience it is that now in 2019 we have the platforms to share our experiences with a kinder and more compassionate response.

Keep going, keep fighting and never give up.

There are no flowers without rain.

healing journey, Mental health
This was me and my mum over the weekend at her surprise birthday party.

Over the past few months I have been struggling big time. I think it’s important for me to be completely honest with my journey into healing and recovery.

Sometimes I feel like I have lost my mind and other times I feel like I have made excellent progress, feeling at peace with the hand I have been dealt. I know that healing is a journey and a long one at that. I know that no matter how hard and challenging it gets, I will continue and I will never give up. I want to be my authentic self and show the world that it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, but that it isn’t all rain and thunder.

It’s crazy how everything can change so quickly. Last week I went to England, went to a huge party with lots of family and friends. My anxiety was very minimal and I managed to have the best weekend I’d had in the past month of being extremely depersonalised and derealised. Then the Tuesday whilst at work I felt a huge sense of dread and panic. My body tensed, my heart was racing and I felt like the world was ending right there and now.

I was at work though and how could I run away with the rush of adrenaline that was surging through my body. I couldn’t just leave. I think in times of extreme panic, knowing that you can not escape makes it even worse. I know what to do I told my self, breathe, I grabbed my CBD oil and lavender oil. Practiced my mantras of ‘this feeling will pass, I know it is uncomfortable but it can not hurt you’. Repeating this over and over again. I drank some of my cold water in my bottle which I don’t leave anywhere without. You can’t really explain to someone who has never dealt with extreme panic and anxiety, how scary it is.

As if your worst nightmare is coming to get you and you are completely hopeless. Your body and mind are convinced that there is a danger which would have kept me alive many years ago in the face of wild animals and wars etc. However when I am working and there is a stress of any kind, my body automatically thinks ‘ Fuck, life threatening danger is here. Run!’

Beautiful skies in Marbella.

I’ve been having my one hour a week therapy which I am so grateful for because it is really helping me see things more logically. However 25 years of extremely creative, non logical thoughts, imagining situations that are impossible isn’t going to be an easy journey. I’ve been practicing CBT and observing my thoughts without judgement. Being more compassionate towards myself. This is a hard as hell journey and I need to be patient and kind to my soul.

I’ve just had to quit a really high paid job, with a company car because the job was becoming too stressful for me. There were too many high stresses there which I felt were affecting my healing journey. I need calm, happiness and peace.

My mental health and physical health comes before anything at the end of the day. It has been a really hard decision and I am trying not to feel like a complete failure. I am doing my absolute best in the situation I am in.

“Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived”. – Dalai Lama.

You brave, brave soul

healing journey, Mental health

Weight, a crushing weight on your shoulders. A dark black circle forms inside your body. Breathing slow, or not breathing at all. The ocean crashes against your fragile body. Tired of worrying, tired of feeling guilty and tired of the pain of life. You feel beaten. Like you trained all your life for a race that you lost over and over again. Cotton wool surrounds your soul. You float like a feather through the air. Now you sleep with the stars. The pain you felt, dissolves like sugar in a warm cup of coffee. You feel the wind against your hair. The sounds of birds, the warm kiss from someone you love. Seconds go by, or was it years. Calmness, peace. You made it. You another what seemed impassable day. Now you continue, with the memory of an inner strength that you forgot you had, which you hold inside of you. Now rest child, for tomorrow you fight them again.

This is me. It’s a poem I wrote a while ago to express the feelings that I have.  I am constantly fighting an endless battle. It isn’t a monster or a demon that I face. It’s my own mind. It’s my childhood, it’s my teenage years, it’s my parents, it’s my past relationships, it’s all the times I never felt good enough. These are the deep dark invisible feelings which I secretly hide from the world. Putting on a brave face when really I have no idea how I am coping. Forever hanging on to an edge of a cliff where I have no idea how the hell I got there. And I have no idea how I am still holding on. I am confused and scared because these aren’t physical pains that I feel. These are mental pains which strike me to my knees, however to the world I look like I am standing tall. 

Forever a trapeze act balancing constantly so I don’t drop down into the pit. The dark obis, the darkness I am hiding from. This is my life. It isn’t always like this. This I hold onto dearly. I have extreme highs. And horrific lows. Meditation, exercise and self love have been my angels. Anxiety, PTSD, Derealisation, Depersonalisation, Agoraphobia, Social anxiety, the list goes on.  Trauma something that we still have no idea about.  Trauma, repeated over and over again. It has damaged me in so many ways and I had no idea of it. Sometimes I am so mad at the world because why does everyone have it easier than me. The sudden death of my father just over a year ago. How much more can I take? I am 25 years old and have been dealing with many mental disorders since the ages of 22.  It isn’t all bad. There is bad and there is good. And the bad exists in the good and good exists in the bad. It’s so hard to remember this when you are at your lowest.  I wanna give someone hope. That I still show up and I still keep going. After pain, panic and extreme worry. I still show my face everyday.

 Sometimes I cry because I am so scared to go outside and I love going out in nature but just I can’t face the world. The fear of it is always much worse than the actually thing its self. Remember that. Keep going. Keep being brave. It is so tough and mental illness is so cripplingly scary. I am understanding more about why I have all of this. I am on a journey of healing. Mentally, spiritually, physically and emotionally. 

I am not going to give up. If you find even 1 minute of happiness in your day, for example you smiled, you laughed, something tasted nice, you felt the warmth of a hot tea or a warm blanket. You are capable of that. Even if it felt like the worst day of your life. Be patient, please. This is a hard road and it will be a hard road ahead but you can drive along it. Be patient with yourself and love yourself. Childhood trauma, violence, death experiences, car accidents, the list goes on.

Healing is not linear and the first step to me getting better is acknowledging my past. Healing the inner child. Revisiting my past and developing healthy coping mechanisms. There is no magic pill and there is no quick fix. Patience is key. It is possible because I have felt what it is like to heal. The death of my father damaged me a lot and I am right back where I was three years ago but will that stop me? No. I am learning to truly love myself and forgive myself for the past. Baby steps, baby steps. I shock myself everyday at how brave I am. Keep showing up. You brave, brave soul.

Mental health sucks but you are much stronger than you think.

Now rest child for tomorrow you fight them again ❤ 

Delayed Grief? What is that?

grief

Grief. It is something which we will all experience at some points in our life’s. It is the most horrific and scariest experience I have ever been through. Grief is love. We are full of crazy emotions and chemicals running through our bodies. The most amazing emotions and feelings, however life is difficult and we as humans are faced with extremely difficulties throughout our lives. We can not feel all the amazing emotions that life has to offer without feeling the pain that we will all face at some point. We are all human and it is necessary to feel deep pain when faced with trying times. When my dad passed away it was the most difficult time of my life.

I went into autopilot mode, organising things, clearing out his house etc. It was very traumatic. I called the police in Spain because we hadn’t spoken to him in a while. My sister was panicking like crazy, I reassured her that he was okay. Maybe he had lost his phone or maybe the wifi was down.

How could he be dead? I rang all day trying to get hold of his mobile, the estate agent or the police. I persuaded the police to go over to his house and that is when I received the call that they had found him dead in bed.

I screamed down the phone, I vomited and I immediately ran to the bathroom as I couldn’t control my completely shock and pain that I felt in that moment. To be honest I can only remember little flashbacks of that day. I was in complete shock and I couldn’t eat, sleep or take care of myself. I cried and cried until my head was pounding and then I would try to sleep. Cuddling up to my boyfriend and trying to watch friends on Netflix to take my mind off of the reality I was facing.

I was in denial 100% and for the past year I have been in denial too. I couldn’t accept what had happened. I threw myself back to work after one week and began teaching again. I had to be strong for my sister and support her. I am the oldest and there is only two of us. My mum was away in Asia on a months holiday and it was just the two of us and Rodrigo my boyfriend. I played sports, went out with friends and completely submerged myself into other things. Anything to distract me from the pain and trauma of losing my dad suddenly. People would say how strong I am and how I was coping so well. I thought so too. I was staying positive and always looking for ways to make myself happy and not feel sad about my dad.

I was actually running from my grief and I didn’t even realise it. I thought that I had made it to the acceptance part of grief. Bearing in mind now I know that these stages are just an outline for the ways you will feel, however these feelings will be simultaneous and they do repeat a lot. I have probably experienced all of the different stages of grief. Front to back and then all over again. I thought that I had accepted my grief but I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Actually I had never really faced the grief of my dads death. And now almost a year on I am experiencing the pain and grief as if it just happened. Constantly crying, panic attacks, guilt, depression, isolation, not eating, no desire to socialise and complete exhaustion. There are more to follow.

I recently have been researching about delayed grief. The complex grief of a loved one which you don’t experience till a while after their death. It feels like my dad has just died this week and I am feeling all the pain that I should have felt times a million.

Delayed grief is scary, you feel like you are going crazy, you feel like you are losing your mind, your very existence. I suffer from anxiety, panic attacks, derealisation and depersonalisation. Due to overwhelming stress and panic from many experiences that have happened to me in my life. Combined with the traumatic passing of my Dad.

I have been severely depressed for over five days now. After a huge panic attack about death and my dad. I was holding in all of my emotions regarding my dads death and I was in denial. Unable to face what had happened. Now I am grieving for my dad and experiencing the deep pain which I hadn’t all last year. It was almost running away from my grief and pain rather than hitting it head on. Now I am facing the painful reality of grief and that is okay. I am aloud to feel immense sadness it is normal with grief and I am letting myself feel the pain which is necessary.

I am not going crazy, I am loved and I am only human. This is the most difficult time of my life but it needs to happen. My dad is always with me no matter what, his blood runs through my vains and we are always connected. I miss him every second of everyday. He has died but he hasn’t gone and the memories never fade. We have to face our problems and deal with them head on. I can do this and I will do it for you Dad ❤

Rodrigo arrives tomorrow and I am so excited to see him and be with him.

It has been a really tough time but it can only improve step by step from here. Word of advice- don’t bottle things in. Don’t feel bad for feeling sad and depressed. We are literally made to get through this. You are not alone and you aren’t nor will you be the last to experience grief. I love you Dad and because you are no longer here on this earth doesn’t mean you are gone.

Barra de la cruz-Paradise

TRAVEL

It’s crazy how big the world is. So many beautiful and extraordinary places to visit. Travelling around Mexico has taught me so many different lessons. The most important lesson is that I now appreciate the life I have more than anything. You see how people live in different countries and how lucky you are that you don’t have to face the struggles that they have. I love Mexico so much and the people there are so kind and hardworking. Not only did I travel for three months there but I also got to spend it all with my best friend/soul mate. Barra De La Cruz is a small village, awesome surf, crystal clear blue sea, excellent weather and sometimes there would be only me and Rodrigo on the beach. We saw baby turtles, turtle eggs and even a mother laying eggs on the beach when it was the Luna eclipse!

I will never forget my journey there and I was able to speak so much Spanish! It feels awesome to know how much my Spanish has improved. I am spending and focusing lots of my time on my family and friends while I am visiting back home. My dad’s birthday is tomorrow and it’s the anniversary of his death on February the 14th, so having some time out to reflect and think ❤ Big hugs speak soon