The Power of Choice

In life one always has a choice. Stating that you don’t is limiting yourself of rising above whatever it is that you are facing. And it all might make you feel as if facing an obstacle that is leaving you without a choice.

There is always one. If you know where to look, you will always find the options that lay before you. Feeling overwhelmed and feeling as if you do not have a choice is in actuality you that is clouding your own judgement. I realize I am stating a bold statement here. But I truly believe this is true!

Once you dare to truly look within, learn how to listen and approach from a place of love. The options you have will reveal themselves and the deeper you dare to go, the right one will always be the one you eventually pick. Always trust that you will always pick the right one. Because differiating right from wrong is how you perceive the outcome of your choice. There is always something to learn in life and thus there will never be a wrong choice when you empower yourself to learn, grow and move forward.

Listen, some are hard to make and pick. Because some paths at first glance, seem so painful and maybe even impossible. But remember that when you are at the bottom of the mountain, you can never know how it feels to have that view from the top if you never take that first step uphill!

If you dare to be honest with yourself you know that you always have a choice as to how you deal with whatever comes on your path! Look at me, sexually abused, moving from my beautiful roots, experiencing abandonment, PTSD and most recently depression with suicidal thoughts, I could have chosen to stay where I was. Let myself be swallowed by the darkness and potentially taking my own life. Although hard to acknowledge and take action, I chose to seek help. And look where I am now. Falling in Love with myself and Truthfully enjoying every single step that I have taken and still am taking down hill and up hill!

You decide the gear you put on and take along to conquer that mountain. You decide what mountain you climb, you decide your pace, you decide what view you wish to experience. You decide. YOU CHOOSE, YOU EMPOWER YOU!


For Real For Real

I thought I would share with you how I have been. Ever since I restarted blogging, quite a lot has changed. And surely with the current developments you could have seen on my other social media outlets, I felt it was just right to just catch up.

So much has changed as I look back at Am I?. I was so lost and in so much pain. Even though I can read the darkness in my earlier blogposts, they still do not capture the true gravity of how close I was to really take that road into ending it all. I was just tired, done… Thinking and feeling of the pain I was in, now hurts me so much and brings me to tears. I feel so sorry for having it all come that far. Having let all the outside factors touch me on such a level that I eventually turned against myself.

The road of therapy has been one that I am grateful for. As it allowed me to vent and openly talk about all my dark thoughts freely. Talking to someone who understands what you are going through on a medical and scientific level helped me understand me.

Now vs then on how I fill my days. I am in general a lot more active and social. I spend a lot less time on social media or watching tv. Going outside does not scare me as much as it used to. I am trying to build up a routine for myself. With things I enjoy right away and things that give me joy after completing them or in the long run.

Overall it all sounds super positive and to be cautiously optimistic, it is a great improvement. Once I found that switch described in I saw my Light… I started working even harder on my recovery and I am Blessed that it is all paying off. Just this past week or so I have had a slight draw back. This has to do with me coming forward with my abuse story and outing the offender. So many emotions surfaced that I could not place and in combination with a higher intake of alcohol due to social activities, I started getting more and more detached from my feelings. I haven’t been on point with building my new routine, in fact, I started falling back into my old ways. Bad diet, isolation, emotional withdrawal, numbing…all the stuff that never served me in the past! And I am well aware! Although it might sound crazy, I feel as if I am still in charge. I am letting myself feel whatever it is that I am feeling, but at the same time I am reminding myself of the great feeling I was starting to have continuously working on myself in a loving way.

In conclusion, the struggle is very much real and present. But I am loving it because I am no longer beating myself up over my “bad” days. I am embracing it all and giving myself room to grow, improve and keep my eyes on the price, that is Me.


Volcán Barú

In 2014 I made this journey that I regard as one of the most spirited journeys I have ever made. As my work literally involves traveling and discovering, to me, new parts of the world, I still had not experienced the tools that my trip in 2014 gave me.

I went on a month long holiday to south America. Backpacking through Panama and Colombia by myself. For many it may seem like a risky thing to do. A young female alone going cross countries, countries somewhat unknown or even to some considered as rather dangerous. But I was looking for the adventure and the beauty that those countries had to offer. I didn’t have a fixed plan of where I wanted to go or when, I did have some highlights I did not want to miss. And one of them was climbing Volcán Barú.

My itinerary before heading for the volcano had changed as I had met 2 other female travellers who I joined. But after a few days together I decided it was time for me to change course and head up north. Our last night together we went out and to be honest I had a little too many drinks to compensate for the lack of external party buzz there was in that particular town that evening. My first regret of the abundance of alcohol in my system came when we had an early morning surf lesson the next day, just hours before I was supposed to catch my bus to Boquete. As you can imagine I did not perform all too well, we all three didn’t to be fair. One of us even fed the fish with her stomach contents while struggling to stay on the surf board. Or was that me….? Secondly was the long drive up north in a mini bus packed with other backpackers, seats not comfortable and temperature alternating from boiling hot to freezing cold. And the third and last regret of having consumed that much alcohol was when, totally voluntarily, after only 3hrs of sleep in my hostel bed, I had to wake up at 22h30 to embark on my new adventure.

But I powered through. I showered, packed my backpack with the provisions I managed to buy earlier that day upon arrival in Boquete, dressed up warm in layers, a scarf, raincoat, head torch and gloves. At midnight the randomly combined group of hikers and tourists including me were dropped off at the bottom of the volcano. Our driver wished us well and drove off. In that moment, pitch dark, I asked myself what the hell I got myself into. The desk clerk at the hostel had told me that the climb was doable, but that there were people who had turned around crying because they could not complete it. That they had broken down because it was too hard for them. My first reaction was fear and self doubt. But gradually my excitement grew and I was curious to see if he was telling the truth or if he was just trying to scare me for the fun of it. And if he was telling the truth, how strong was I? Mentally and Physically? Would I be one of those people who would turn around and walk away in defeat?

Standing at that bottom, and being the only one that came alone, I told myself, I can do this, I will do this!

People started to hike and I found myself joining two individuals that were relatives, uncle and niece. Profoundly to me, the niece reminded me of India Arie, as I consider her a beautiful Soul whose songs I can deeply relate to.

Damn what had I done. It was pitch dark, really dark, there was not even the slightest light from the village or town down below. The only light there was, was the one attached to our heads, and focussed on the ground before us. And even worse, there was no real path. Well, the path that was there was was uneven, slippery as hell, filled with loose rocks and sand and one had to zig zag their way into finding the best underground to place their next step.

Just hang on, this story is leading somewhere….

This first couple I joined proved to be one that I had to leave behind. The male could not help himself but to keep on repeating how hard it was, how cold it was, how dark it was and how he wanted to turn around and return to the hostel. As I was trying to make my way up, I started to feel the weight of his words and energy. It started to penetrate through that wall that I had built, shielding off my physical pain, my fear, my lack of security and even that hangover. In that moment I felt that I was not strong enough to hold back that external source that was feeding its way through my energy. Blessed that I was this Irish couple passed us and I asked them if I could join them. They accepted me and as I said goodbye to the relatives I said goodby to the negative energy that was slowly destroying me.

The second couple was from a total different kind. Their pace was much faster, their whole energy was so much more uplifting. They had a schedule and a clear plan of how they were going to fulfill the goal of reaching the top before sunrise. Cause that was the whole point of starting the hike in the dead of the night. So that once you completed, you were rewarded with the rays of light and warmth from the sun. And the amazing view over the mountains and both the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea. Every now and then we would alternate with who would lead our small group of achievers at the front and who would lead from the back. Every hour we would stop for no longer than 10 minutes to catch our breath and refuel our bodies. And damn how did I experience my body on a totally different level. Every time of refuelling I would literally feel the new energy flowing through my body and giving me the much needed power for the next 60 minutes. And my mind…it blew me away. As from the first few meters and during my time with the first couple I wanted to quit. I thought fuck it, let me be that person. Who cares, I am going to quit. Back to the hostel and back to that warm and cosy bed. But I did not. I managed to experience the true meaning of Mind over Body. What kept me going was the prize. I wanted to see, feel, taste, hear, totally experience that view. I wanted to succeed, I wanted to conquer this volcano. And more so, I wanted to conquer Me!

And I did, every step I took, I remembered myself why I was doing it. I kept singing positive songs to myself in my head. I was literally saying to my self, one step at a time, and there goes another one….you can do this, you got this! And I did. Wow…

By the time I reached the top I was freezing. Both from the cold, the rain and my own sweat that couldn’t evaporate and had gotten cold. I was empty, I had given my all. But that reward of making it to the top was worth everything I had to endure those past 5,5hrs! There were some clouds, not all the mountains were clear to see nor were the two oceans. But I didn’t care. Although it was not as I had seen in pictures. I loved every bit of the view that lay before me and I was Grateful! I was Grateful that on that day, that hike had brought me on a journey to a view of myself that I had not yet experienced in that awareness.

Through this experience I learned that we all walk our own path at our own pace. Cause although the first couple did not make it till a little later, they made it. They might have missed the whole sunrise at the top, but on their way up they encountered other beautiful things that I did not. I learned that every accomplishment, big or small starts with one step. And is then followed by many more untill the goal is reached. I learned that through positive affirmations I could alter my mind and control my body in doing that, that I wanted it to do. I learned that the Believe system within me is Beautiful and very strong.

And I learned that I would use this Volcano whenever I faced obstacles that at first seemed impossible or unbearable.


So what Changed…

As you guys know I was not able to work or even function properly. I did seek professional help, started my therapy sessions and did a lot of home work. It all did get me out of the house. Firstly because I had to, in order to attend my sessions, secondly because I was experiencing the benefits of fresh air, nature and excersise. And slowly but surely, getting out in public and being around other people, became less and less stressful.

I also started to build up routines. Like taking walks and eating right. I also started going to the gym, finally, after months of paying without even making use of my membership. I set small goals of going once a week. And I am still not consistent. But I am working towards it. This is what I want you to understand, I am still building and working on these habits, to create new routines in order to keep me out of isolation and in to a creative consistent, and a more positive and prosperous state.

Before shit really went down I already had the habit of watching inspirational YouTube videos or Netflix documentaries. Like the one with Tony Robbins or the Iyanla’s show. But what really shifted me, turned on that light bulb if you will, was when I watched a YouTube video of the Proctor Gallagher Institute. In this specific video, a younger Bob Proctor was being interviewed. I don’t know what it is, but this guy got to me. That evening I kept feeding myself more and more of his content until I was overflowing and my head and heart were literally spinning and buzzing from this new found energy.

I invite you to go watch it, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E44kFkyl_Y8. I feel that there is no need for me to try to explain the contents or message of the video. Besides that, I believe that everbody should take from it whatever applies best. Although a lot of what he said wasn’t anything new, still it resonated with me on a whole new level. And the content gave me the ability to learn new things about myself. He made me see and believe in my own potential and look beyond my own limiting believes and past experiences! So thank you mister P!

Now it is up to me to truly take action and stay in this empowered flow.

 


How I Self Medicate

In order to cope with the deafening negative noise inside myself I found myself reaching out to some substances that I thought would help me redirect the focus, and numb my feelings. I am well aware that the things mentioned below were not fixing anything. But I was so deep in the dark that I couldn’t see it or even care.

Let me start off with the worst of them all alcohol. This is some dangerous poison, that when consumed for the wrong reasons it will do more harm than help. And unfortunately I have had a lot, a lot! of occasions where the combination of alcohol and myself brought out a person in me, I do not wish to see. In my earlier blogpost My Inner Kruella, you can read all about it. With this depression however I found myself really trying to combat the urge to drink. I had become fearful and ashamed of my Kruella. I was experiencing that I was needing more and more alcohol to numb myself. And the more I consumed, the nastier the hangovers and the set backs were. Just 1 episode of drinking eventually set me back 3 steps, made me feel even more depressed and really fed my anxiety. The struggle is real, but I try to refrain from drinking and when I do drink, be more conscious.

Secondly comes my true love food. Food is so Good, for the numbing, celebratory and rewarding function I attached to it. In my upbringing food always played a huge part. It was a way of bonding, when cooking together; feeding the body when eating right and abundance when celebrating. And in my adulthood I kept the same morals. Only, when suffering from mental illness or any type of stress I would flip the script and take it to a whole other level. For me it became: the more the better, the nastier the better, enough was never enough. And here too, I knew it didn’t help, but when I was in those truly dark places, I would grab anything I could take a hold of, just to keep me from drowning. And now after all those days, weeks of eating like crazy and having food delivered, I am full. My clothes don’t fit me, my body aches and my bank account is empty. I finally have come to the point where I kinda feel, that enough is enough!

Netflix&Youtube, this was and still is a true addiction. I could go days without having a full nights sleep. Too afraid of letting go of the distraction and too afraid of what tomorrow would bring. I would rather keep watching other people instead of living in my own reality. It is such an easy escape, as I didn’t have the energy to concentrate on reading, watching or doing anything else with more substance. I was too restless and living in a negative mindset. I saw everything, from really crappy content and shows to less crappy. And nowadays I try to focus more on inspirational and constructive content.

My most recent addition is coffee. When I was younger I couldn’t stand the taste or smell of coffee and coffee breath. I even had some sort of intolerance for caffeine where I would be nauseated for a solid 24hrs. But about 2 years ago I forced myself to truly start appreciating that dark brown liquid. I did this because I was in need of a new form of inflicting the numbness that I could use 24/7, as my job obviously doesn’t allow any of the above on duty or as for food, the amount that I was taking would literally keep me from doing my job the way I am supposed to. On my mentally tough days, I would drink so much coffee, it gave me the shakes, heat waves, racing heartbeat and sleepless nights. And here too, the detriments are starting to outweigh the benefits.

On my way to recovery and true healing I see myself redefining my self medicative choices and learning that at that time in need they were there for me and we became best of friends. But it is now time to seek healthier and more constructive medicine without going to the extreme.


The Odd one out

Recently I told my therapist that I feel as if I just don’t get this whole concept called Life. I just don’t get it… I have always felt like I don’t belong. Like I was this weird human being that had time traveled to the future, walking amongst human creatures that were far more evolved than I am. And that I just could not manage to catch up. For as long as I can remember I have always felt different. I know that even as a little girl, who had just moved to Europe from Africa, I had a hard time understanding how people literally work. And I am not talking about the obvious cultural differences or even the language barrier at the very start. I just didn’t get it, still don’t get it, I still feel lost…

I know that I am very sensitive and highly affected by pain and pain caused by others and general injustice. I am a woman that can’t stop over analyzing certain human interactions and emotions that come with it. As I have had my fair share of hurt, self inflicted as well as put upon me and some of which I am not even able to recollect its origin, I don’t understand why people can intentionally hurt each other. And sometimes invest with such passion in their evilness, rather than putting that energy into looking within and try to understand where that urge for hurting comes from.
This at times makes me feel numb around other people. Feel as if I am invisible, as if my whole being is vibrating on another level.

My brother once said: Woman you cannot save the world and you should really stop trying to, how noble of you it may be. And I would just nod, but still not able to let go. How could one just let go and stop caring. How do I stop?

You know what they say: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Well, I feel as if “everybody” is able to do so. Some even make such damn good lemonade, they are enjoying it as if they are sippin’ on the finest champagne. And I am out here, gulping on this watered down tart liquid that is just about able to keep me from dehydrating.

Crazy at it may seem, I always felt that my oddness had a purpose. How uncomfortable and confusing it may be. That it was destined for greatness, for the greater good. Hopefully I will be here long enough to see it or maybe it is just a matter of opening my eyes to live it.


My Progress…

A few months into my journey to healing, I thought I might share how it all has been so far.

A few months ago I was really in a dark place. I was literally done… I had expressed to some close friends that I was tired of fighting and that I felt as if there was just one way out… A dear friend managed to convince me to ask for professional help. And so I applied for help. Unfortunately there was a waiting list of at least 28 weeks in my home town. I knew I wouldn’t be able to make it through that time in one piece so I chose to seek help farther away from home, with the option of relocating once there was an open spot closer to home.

Therapy started. It felt as if I finally managed to grab that lifeline that would prevent me from drowning. For me therapy is like talking to someone familiar who is able to respond on a higher psychological manner and without any judgement. After having recaptured the how and why from my point of view, the first order of business was getting me off the couch and out of the house. Before we were even going to tackle the thoughts, cognitive behavioral therapy, I needed to get out of isolation.

Now 1,5 months into therapy, I am slowly but surely more able to push myself and get out of the house. I am lucky to be surrounded by friends and family members who are truly stepping up and embracing this version of me and its needs. I, on the other hand am still struggling with what is going on and where this will lead to. I still don’t see or feel the point of it all. The purpose of me living. They say it takes time…so I guess I just have to be patient, keep on going and keep an open mind.