Human beings have so beautifully developed a tendency to generalize events and situations that occur. Wait did I just make a generalization about human beings?!
When great theorists in the field of the arts, theorized on abstract concepts such as, emotions, thoughts and behavior, they did do a great deal of observation and gathered statistical evidence on the group of people they studied, to be able to define these abstract concepts. Have we ever wondered as to how easily we underestimate or overestimate these concepts in our daily living? As fantastically humans are created, most beings take personal experiences for granted. Why do social problems exist? Why do environmental problems exist? Why do marital/relationship problems exist? Why do genetic problems exist? My take on the subject of these issues that our “developing” earth is facing, is partly because we fail to understand ourselves. Most scientists have and are constantly investing an ocean amount of resources in studying and understanding the capacity of the human brain, but have we ever thought of how we can maximize our full potential in just understanding how we can deal with a not so complex issue by just using our abstract traits that each one of us are naturally gifted with. If we constantly fail to understand ourselves then how can we ever understand another, sitting and talking by our side about the great “progress” that is taking place in the world.
While I stay awake on most nights contemplating on what it takes to never lose your SPIRIT, I rewind and pause and think of all the trauma, misery, heartbreaks, loss and downfall in the lives of humans. Another abstract concept hits me, which is RESILIENCE. How is it that some of us humans can be down in the dumps for a really long time affecting oneself and the others around and how is it that some of us use our SPIRIT (an alternate word I choose to use for the concept of willpower) to move forward to choose the best for ourselves and for the people around us. The underlying fact remains that we all have the power to be resilient, to choose a better feeling for ourselves, so what stopped some of us humans? Psychology, Sociology and Philosophy theorize that it’s the environmental factors, our upbringing, genetic alterations, cultural values and belief systems, existential crises and so on. All of these factors do contribute to the conflicts that exist in societies today, but how often do we uplift each other on a societal level, how often are we able to understand what we feel about the place we occupy in this world, how often are we able to express that we need to pause for a decade at least. Most often we hesitate, we hesitate to question these abstract traits that we so easily use in laymen terms and take for granted. And here an ANXIOUS STAR IS BORN.
Like most professionals in my field, I have interacted with individuals going through severe mental health issues in institutions and in the so called real world. There is a very thin line between understanding what is normal and what is not. What if there is no line at all? What if my teacher who is teaching me about this very subject is having a manic episode, she’s on a high and she is able to teach the class very well and take us all out for a trip with a mere act of impulse? But no we are busy human beings forming groups of us and them, drawing lines for our own twisted understanding of what is and what is not that we end up not having a foresight on what we can actually do to help ourselves or another right in front of us.
I was blessed to have found a strong mentor in my most troubled days, when I understood that, no matter what, we need to treat each other the way we’d liked to be treated. I’m still on my journey to be able to put that into practice mindfully in every interaction. And the most striking thing to realize on this journey has been, that it only takes a simple act or thought of ACCEPTANCE. Now as simple and as inviting as it sounds, I also began to realize that it is extremely abstract a trait to understand and explain. One has to live it, one has to consciously practice it and one has to be inviting enough to receive it. And yet another most important factor in practicing acceptance is that it often gets confused with sacrifice and compromise, and here is when the most loosely used term in the 21st century, DEPRESSION is born.
When humans choose to take a stand, grab every minute opportunity that presents itself, depression and anxiety can be woven into masterpieces of expressive art where there is no tolerance to burden oneself, no tolerance to impose on another and no tolerance to fight just to be able to live.
Here’s my first reflective post on mental health and wider understandings of self and others, await my next reflective post coming up on _________and other forms.
People will talk to you until they are no longer need you.
Nothing, you know nothing. You’re basically born, spend your whole life confused and then you die. That is all.
Did i plan my life to be this way? Abso-fucking-lutely not. Everyone has dreams when they’re a kid but when adulthood smacks you in the face like a wet fish your life is flipped upside down and it stinks.
Some times things go better than you had planned, sometimes they go worse and sometimes you reach a sort of happy medium where it isn’t what you had planned but you’ll take it anyway because it brings you joy.
So, this blog is going to be all about that, all about how mad and mental life can be.
I’m Kristie, I have two kids, I’m 22 and i have no fucking idea what I’m doing 99% of the time.
welcome to the world of fun.
My battle with fear & anxiety began in August of 2014, just a handful of weeks after I got married to my best friend and high school sweetheart. I had been suffering with pain in my stomach (which I later learned was from a parasite) and was in the early stages of visiting doctors to discover the cause. Everything else in life was humming along. My business was doing well, my children settling into their new routine and Ash and I were enjoying making a home together. We both put on some weight (early marriage bliss definitely to blame) and life was exciting.
11th August 2014, I woke to breaking news of Robin Williams suicide. My heart sank and felt like it was wrenched apart. He was a familiar face, someone I had been a massive fan of all my life. Memories from childhood of popcorn, movies & laughter; his hilarious persona, warmth and friendly face. It stayed with me for days. I thought about it constantly and couldn’t seem to shake it. I was overwhelmed with sadness and grief over someone I didn’t know but felt a connection to. I thought to myself “how could he feel so miserable’, ‘how could he take his own life’, ‘how did people not know and come to his aid’. To be completely honest, this was the first time in my life where I thought about the reality of death. I found myself so deeply and profoundly touched by this tragic event. I had never really been here before, at this level of pondering the meaning of life and dying.
I started to think about death from the moment I woke and could hardly sleep at night. I thought about the plane that went missing earlier in the year. I kept my eyes on all the news. Little William Tyrell went missing and all of a sudden I was surrounded by all the horrific things that were taking place around the world. I started having panic attacks and night sweats out of my control. Frozen with fear. I felt anxious about everything. Driving down the Wakehurst Parkway had now become a nightmare and filled me with dread. I noticed every tribute and cross placed along the road where there had been fatalities. The panic inside me was so real and so dominating. I dwelled on how people had died and how their families must have felt and I would get completely overcome with worry about my children. I was so gripped by fear, I didn’t want to go anywhere or do anything. Small daily tasks felt heavy and overbearing. I didn’t know how to cope. My health was up in the air and I didn’t want to go there, I didn’t want to know what was wrong. I was so afraid that I was terminally ill as that was my frame of mind and a scenario I had already constructed in my head. My world felt like it was crumbling around me. My honeymoon to NZ was around the corner. I felt more and more anxious and more and more paralysed by fear as the date got closer. I was going to be leaving my kids for 6 long days. The smallest details about the trip bothered me. I pulled up the flight path on my maps at least 10 times a day to look at the journey over the ocean. Why did it have to be a 3 hour flight? What if our flight went missing? What if I never saw my kids again. It was all too consuming.
Ash had been supporting me the best way he could. He was super encouraging and really tried to understand but when I looked at him, I knew, he didn’t get it. How could he. I could not share the extent to which the fear had gripped me. I had to tell him that it was impossible for me to go on the honeymoon. At last a tiny moment - a deeper fear that outweighed the storm I was facing - a fear of upsetting or disappointing him. He said he understood and that we could take the trip at another time but as I looked into my partners eyes, I faced a minute glimpse of reality. I was more afraid of hurting him.
Having never gone through anything like this before, I decided to open up and talk about it with my mum. After letting it all out and hearing myself talk about it, I felt more at ease. She too, shared a time when she had had a similar experience of fear when she had to leave us in South Africa when she had to fly to Australia to check it out before we immigrated.This made me feel worlds better about the trip. Enough to call Ash and say that we would definitely go. She expressed that what had helped her was prayer and knowing that fear was a spiritual attack.
My nightmare was far from over. Facing the almost unbearable torture that was my mind, I got to New Zealand, trembling the whole way. I remember thinking as we landed ‘ok so I didn’t die on the way here, maybe I’ll die on the way back!’ Much of the trip is a blur and as much as I hate to admit it to my husband, a horrible experience that was endured from start to finish in terror regardless of the most beautiful surroundings. We were road tripping from the top to the bottom of the South Island over 5 days and every time I got in the car, I was petrified. I won’t go into how tough the whole trip was as you can already imagine. I was losing the fight against my thoughts. No matter how hard I fought, with what felt like vengeance, they hounded me further. On our final day, we were travelling to our last destination before flying home when we were stopped by police only to hear that there had been a fatality on the road just ahead and we were redirected. A young female tourist had been speeding and had lost control of her vehicle. I don’t have to tell you what a mess I became. This was now a war and I was on a battlefield.
The flight home was agony. My head was screaming ‘you are going to die’ ‘you are never going to see your family again’ all the way!!!! We experienced turbulence which resulted in a longer flight time and I can tell you that in those moments, I wanted to die to escape the panic. We didn’t hear from the captain to let us know that we were behind schedule so in my mind, I had already created a whole scene and decided we were going missing, the pilot was taking us far out to sea and that was that. We were going to be another MH370.
Ash comforted me as much as humanly possible. I still don’t know how he was so chill.
When we landed all I could think about was seeing my kids faces. I had survived and all I wanted to do was hold them.
The onslaught of torment continued. I’ll fast forward to the Martin Place siege in December. Well, apart from it being the most horrible thing to witness (I was glued to the television all day) my two brothers were working within a few hundred metres of the building where the siege took place. Just a bit too close to home. Just one more traumatic event that stays with me even now.
I wanted to draw a picture for you with real stories and examples of how anxiety and fear can spiral out of control and come out of, what seems, nowhere. Pinpointing exactly or being 100% certain about the initial development of the fear & anxiety for people who suffer with it can be very difficult. There are many triggers. Mainly physical and emotional trauma. Looking at my circumstances at the time and on reflection, I believe I know how it all unravelled. My body was under immense physical stress with sickness that I was yet to know about and I had unresolved emotions about a previous traumatic relationship. These underlying issues, I feel must have played a part. The sadness that came from learning about the death of a great man was enough to tip me over the edge and caused a reaction. Our mind is so powerful and we only have to lose control over our thoughts for a small amount of time for it to run away with us captive to it.
Healing my mind only commenced when I decided I had had enough and that I wasn’t going to let this thing beat me. I remember having to say it to myself. Like ‘that is enough Erin, you are tougher than this.’
That was honestly my first step forward. My second step was writing about it which became it’s own kind of therapy. When I wrote about it and read it out aloud, it seemed so silly and far fetched, almost like I was reading about someone else. It dawned on me how it had evolved and how I had allowed myself without really knowing it at the time, to get carried away with these ugly thoughts. I had made choices to watch tv, listen to news and create in my mind, a reality of darkness and gloom. Looking at it from a distance really helped me see it in the light. Writing about it saved me and spun me in a different direction. It allowed me to breathe again and opened a tiny gateway, a space for new thinking. Little by little, I started to feel myself again. I wrote and wrote until the big yucky things in my mind became so small on paper. I had to write that I accepted the fact that I was not in control of my fate or the fate of loved ones. I had to come to terms with the fact that horrific things happen in the world and I can’t change that.
I was faced with mortality and the terrible truths of life and decided I was going to be okay with it all. I realised I had grown even further (down a road of healing and toward recovery) for having been through this ‘attack’ and saw that the healing process from my previous relationship with a psychopath was still underway (Mind matters). I decided I was going to learn from this experience and knew in my heart that there was a reason, that I was going to get to really understand the importance of and how powerful my mind, my thoughts, the way I perceive myself and my self worth are in making or breaking me. And now I do. I trust me to be in charge of my mind and take control of my thoughts when they are not serving me. I have continued to study and learn about the mind and our ability to transform our thinking and therefore, our emotions. I recognised that this battlefield of my mind was preparation for the next one I was going to face. The journey of restoring my health.
I have never seen such genuine happiness of you seeing Papa getting mad at me!! I am starting to think that you are an immature prick.
Happiness, sunshine and butterflies all over the place. No trace of the colors black or gray . Suddenly out of the blue, mom told me I can’t go to the mall. I raised my voice at her, I glared at her, I even shouted at my dear brother. Confused, I stopped my actions. I sit tightly and reminisce about the things I did. I suddenly remembered the lost love I had, I suddenly remembered the pain of having no one by my side when I feel down. I suddenly remembered I was everyone’s sunshine, but nobody dared to be mine’s. I also remembered how I was there for someone when he needed me, but that someone is not here right beside me. I checked my email once more just hoping, hoping I would get a mail from him. But no, there was none. Not even a hi or how. I closed my laptop with tears streaming down my cheeks, I yelled in my brain, “I just wanna die.” Thinking of how miserable my life, thinking how a fool I am, thinking how I changed because of this stupid thing called depression: it hurts, it hurts so bad and I can’t make it stop.
Depression changed me as a person and depression is a soldier at war waiting for the perfect opportunity to attack. Waiting for the perfect moment to spoil the perfect little thought you had.
and tbh, I want to self harm.
I’ve got a lot of backlogs and I haven’t started anything. When will I have a motivation? Why am I like this all the time? I wish I can stop all of these things that bugs me whenever I want to study.