Please Don’t…

Don’t tell me it’s ok not to be ok. Stop saying that it is normal to have a bad day every once in a while. Don’t say I shouldn’t exaggerate and just get over it. Don’t tell me that I should focus on the positive things in my life and that this will pass sooner than I can imagine. My Mental Wellness will not just improve with some encouragement or kind words. Sure the love is appreciated, but I didn’t end up in this place because I was not trying to be receiving of.

I have come to the realization that people rather not speak of the less nicer things in life. Although everybody experiences stressful or even traumatic events to a certain extent in their life, what is seen or shown is mostly the good or the positive outcome of their journey. Don’t get me wrong I do understand that highlighting on the hardships in your life won’t do you any good. But for me, who is quite sensitive and shares practically everything it is hard to deal with only seeing one side of the medal. It takes away a big part of the realness and even worse makes me feel alone in my struggles and at times very misunderstood. And this all makes it even harder to share how truly dark the darkness gets.

And I feel that, because people rarely share the other side of that medal, the world of Mental Wellness is one of many paths unknown. Speaking from my own experience, not giving my Mental Health the proper attention only makes it worse. Because Blessed, I have done it all! I went from confronting the negative feelings and thoughts head on to literally running or rather flying away from them. I took on challenges, stripping away all the noise in my life like materialism and unhealthy lifestyles. Reading self help books, watching inspirational videos and showering myself with positive affirmations. Even taking the next step in my career and living situations. Everything I could think of as a way to get rid of the numbing pain that was boiling inside of me. And lets not forget 20 years of me in and out of various therapy sessions.

And yet…here I am again. After all the above that I have tried and done, wishing it was working. I find myself with this Depression, back with yet another specialized psychiatrist.

What I am basically trying to say is that in this hashtag positive prone society we live in, there is this huge other world of people just like me that do not rhyme with the whole #ilovemylife kinda vibe. They might try to, I sure have and still am! But don’t be too quick to ignore it when the message comes out differently or the hashtag isn’t as joyful as you are used to.
Mental Illness is Real.


Clean House

…that is the hefty task that lays before me. Figuratively and Literally.

Many times have I said, This is probably the hardest Thing I ever had to Do. But some how, there always seems to be more from where that came from. As if that damned well of hardships, painful confrontations and hurdles is one that’ll never dry out.

It has been a few months now since I actively embarked on this new journey. If I am being honest, I had been unconsciously, negatively working myself up to that point of final exhaustion and breakdown for a few years.

The darkness only recently fully found its way to the surface as I could no longer ignore the pain I felt inside. Showing up for work meant a whole ritual of giving myself a pep talk and repeating positive affirmations. Going outside was only done when necessary. And eventually getting out of bed seemed like the hardest thing ever.

Just before my ultimate breakdown I found myself crying on an almost daily basis. I had this constant sadness and darkness I could no longer fight or dissect. And then again, after bursting out in tears in public amongst strangers, I called a friend. I had come to a point where I wanted to end it all, I was done, I was tired, what was the point of me, my life…

A few weeks prior I had been vocal to my closest friends about me sympathizing with people who after a long battle eventually chose to end it all. I let them know that I could see myself on that path too. But like I said in an earlier post I hadn’t given up just yet. I knew I needed help and I wanted help.

And so that one call to my friend got me to where I am today. At home on sick leave for going on 2 months and a few weeks into therapy for what was diagnosed as a Severe Depression with suicidal thoughts.

I have a long road ahead of me. Although I still don’t find any joy in my life now. I feel that I can breath again and that there is someone holding my hand and guiding me through the darkness.

Everyone has a different journey. We all have different pasts and presents. And so no Mental Health issue is experienced the same. No need to compare or judge. Just keep it simple: Respect and Empathize.

Stay Blessed


VeganLisious

Who would’ve thought that I would even get it in that Pretty, Crazy mind of mine to challenge myself into going on a vegan diet for a month? An African girl with the name Mashumba, wich stands for Lion, as a representation of our family, the girl who believed a meal without meat wasn’t a real meal. Too much meat was something that you would never hear coming out of my mouth. And still I took on that challenge or maybe because of…

I successfully finished my challenge about a week ago. I have to confess that since then I have been eating as if I had a lot to catch up with! But in reality, I didn’t really miss the meat, fish, poultry or dairy. These 31 days left me feeling and looking amazing and light from the inside out as I was eating really clean. Making everything myself and as far as I could afford, using mostly organic produce. As a bonus I ate whatever I wanted and as much as I wanted and I still ended up losing some weight.

People would ask me what I’d eat. Well, I am Blessed to love food, cooking and trying new things. So out of all the produce there is, there are just a few things that I’d rather not eat. My favorite ingredients when making a meal, were red cabbage, okra, sweet potato, pumpkin, chillies, garlic, fresh fruits, berries, coconut oil, peanut butter, corn, beans…let me stop here, cause I could go on and on. To give you an idea of what I would eat I will name a few things.

Breakfast: Overnight oats with unsweetened almond milk (or coconut rice milk), topped with berries or any fresh fruit, roasted coconut shavings and raw nuts. Cooked oatmeal with almond milk and peanut butter, fresh fruits/berries and raw nuts. Smoothie with frozen banana, fruits and veggies. Lunch: This usually consisted of a cold or warm salad full of veggies. The dressing I loved to make was with fresh lime juice, olive oil and fresh herbs like cilantro, mint and parsley. If I were in a hurry I would have ezekiel raisin bread with peanut butter. Snacks: Would be more fruits, left overs, raw nuts or khorasan wheat cakes with peanut butter or home made pumpkin spread. Dinner: Guess what…more veggies with either rice or roasted sweet potato. I even made vegan pizza from scratch. For some extra protein I would eat tempeh, seitan or other vegan meats.

The whole ride has been pretty easy. It was only in the end that I had some major cravings, but just because I knew the month was about to end and I thought that I needed whatever I was craving. The challenge, as hoped, gave me new insights, learned me more about myself and my surroundings. I know now that I can easily live without eating any animal (by) products. I am learning to appreciate myself more and more with each passing day. I am capable of accomplishing anything if I just put my mind to it. And as I wrote in my last blog article, I am loving Me, more and more, becoming my biggest Fan! I also got to explore cities throughout the world in a different way as I would try out the local vegan cuisine.

Moving forward I would like to go back to my plant based diet after this week of eating anything but vegan. I know now that it is mostly make believe, although I love my meat, it doesn’t give me the same satisfaction as eating clean, wholesome, plant based meals. I will probably have non vegan food weekly because I want to, I can and I am Blessed as I am.


Aint it Funny…

Aint it funny how your emotional state can define how some people close to you treat you? How they deal with you, are there for you or celebrate you? It seems as if they are better capable of handling with your struggles than celebrating your happiness and growth?

All these challenges that I created for myself have taught me a great deal about myself. As a bonus it gave me some insight in how not everybody is there to see me progressing, actually winning. We all choose our own path in this journey called life. None is better than the other as we all are different and require different tools and thus shouldn’t compare. So the fact that I am not drinking alcohol for a whole year, eating only plant based food for a month, not buying any new clothes or shoes (with some exceptions) for a year, working on building up this healthy lifestyle with frequent exercise, does not mean my life is boring, it does not mean that I am doing it the wrong way or beig too extra. Nor does it mean that I am asking for your opinion for that matter. It just means that I, if any, would like your support, as I am working on being the best Me that I can be. I will admit, it might be somewhat different, unique, but it works for Me, and that’s all that counts.

I have learned that I am able of doing anything if I will only set my mind to it and put in the work. I know now how ridiculous my thoughts and feelings used to be, in thinking that everybody was better in anything, than I was. That I was a less likable person than anybody else. That the whole world had all these amazing qualities and abilities, except me. I am my own number 1 now, in priority and love. I am my biggest fan now, cause if I don’t believe in myself, if I don’t support myself, how can I ever expect anybody else to do so.

Sure there are some nuances, as I have also learned that I can be really tough on myself and occasionally have too high expectations of myself and people around me. So this is me venting, as my journey and challenges have given me some new knowledge. Some people are all ears when you are down and out. When you are not confident or happy with yourself and the life that you are living. But when you finally see the light, the seemingly sincere interest dissapears.

But you know what, Imma be Happy, Imma do Me. Imma push through, with or without and regardless of anyone’s opinion. Cause I am Blessed As I Am!


Still Sober

It is true what they say. No matter what it is that you are doing or going through. Time will pass nevertheless. Regardless of how productive you are, that minute, those 30 minutes, that day, those months…it will all pass.
So why not choose to spend that precious time doing something for the better. Why not work on being the best you that you can be, instead of just dealing with life in a passive way. Seeing the days literally pass by and asking yourself, where did the time go?

Acknowledging this, I can’t believe it has already been 6 months, 183 days and approximately 4390 hours since I had my last drink. I can actually say that I have been sober for half a year! And I am damn proud of it. I am happy that I chose to take on this challenge. It could have easily been so different. Me still drinking, hurting myself and others around me. Needlessly spending a lot of money, just to get away of things, feelings, thoughts that I didn’t want to deal with. Or to be honest not daring to deal with my true self, as I thought that I wasn’t enough.

Although I was making some progress in my healing, I know that I wouldn’t have accomplished as much as I have now, were I still drinking.
I used to call myself a little alcoholic, jokily. At times I just loved that buzz too much. But I could easily refrain from drinking if I wished to do so. There were moments that I would be drinking without even really enjoying the taste or the feeling it gave me. At those moments I didn’t see the use of spending that amount of money, dealing with the hangover or the use of truly experiencing my desperate need to be anything other than myself. And these were the moments that made the difference, the moments that I started reevaluating my life and my actions. I needed to do better, I could do better. And for me to do so, I needed to change some things.

I can truly recommend it to anyone who like I drinks for the wrong reasons or likes it just a little too much or exposes their Inner Cruella too often. And trust me, you know who you are. In order to get different outcomes in life, you have to do things different. Being sober has cleared my mind and so much more! You can take it step by step. Challenge yourself for a week, a month, 3 months, whatever works best. You don’t even have to make it infinite. My challenge now is for a year, but I might just decide to make it a forever….

For now I am loving the Blessing it has been and the Blessings it keeps on giving. I am proud and still going strong! On to the next 6 months!


Words Can’t Explain…

I just can’t believe how much happier I am today.  I have so much gratitude for where I am now. Never would I’ve thought that my Happiness was possible. Let alone believe that it would lie in a place so near, so reachable.

I came from a far, deep, dark, ugly and hurtful place. This place was my home, for the longest time that I can remember. I can even say that for the longest time of my life, I stayed at that horrible place. Day by day wishing that things would change, hoping for brighter days to come. Not understanding why I was going through what I was going through. Thinking that that, was what my life was about. Even looking at others, wishing for their strength, joy and happiness. On my darkest moments I even wished to no longer exist…I was so tired…longing for it all to end. No more hope for better days. Believing that I deserved to end it all and be free…

Damn what a difference time makes. I had a lot of help from family, friends, experts and strangers. And in a way food, cigarets, alcohol and buying new stuff helped me through some sad moments every now and then. But there was a source I never knew could be so empowering and satisfying. A source that grows when fed with positivity, love and patience. This source surprisingly turned out to be ME, the one person that truly made this happen is ME! This is such an emotional statement to make. But I know now, that it was ME all along. I have that power, I have that strenght, I AM my Happiness.

Sure am grateful for all the help I got, really am. But I can tell you this, no matter how often or hard people try to shine a light on your Greatness, as long as you don’t believe it, don’t feel it, don’t see it…it won’t lead you to your true Happiness. You truly have to understand that it is all YOU! You make the dark days brighter, you make yourself stronger, happier, Blessed… Even if you don’t see it now, hold on, keep going! That Bright and Warm light is on it’s way!

I Love Myself now

I Am Beautiful

I Am My Happiness

I Am My Greatness

I Am My Love

I Am Blessed As I Am

….and then some.

 


The Struggle is Real

Afbeelding 175

 

It has been a long time, maybe even a long time coming. These dark clouds that seem to follow me from afar finally caught up. Although I seem to distance myself more and more from these dooming negativities, completely getting rid of them, is something I don’t dare to dream of. I have been doing well, making myself busy and living the life I needed at any given moment. In the shadows something dark would be lurking every now and then. With the energy that I had in me I would force in more light, blinding the dark shadows….holding them back just a little longer and hopefully making them disappear in whole…. Because I should be better now. I want to be better now, I NEED to be better now. I’ve been through so much, sought help from family, friends and professionals. Gone from totally breaking down to working my hardest to keep my head above the water. Doing the most to feel as good from the inside as I looked from the outside. Not wanting to bother people with my sad stories, my insecurities and my growing tiredness. I could already hear some think: “Shouldn’t you be over this by now, I don’t understand your problem, you need to let go, your life seems pretty good, you are healthy, you have a great job, a house, a car, loving family and friends…what more do you wish for?” …to be completely honest… I don’t know, Time maybe? Cause all the riches in the world can’t heal a broken soul. The purest, deepest and most unconditional love from others can’t heal you either. It all has to come from within yourself, myself….but what if I am just too tired to mend my broken soul, what if I am out of ways to find the broken pieces, what if I don’t even know how to mend it, as I barely had the joy of experiencing it undamaged….

A whole 72hrs passed by, 72hrs that I needed to kick start myself. 72hrs of total exclusion, shamelessly in a fancy hotel room somewhere in a far eastern metropole. 72hrs that I spend in bed, only getting out for the most necessary. Living on one hot meal a day, water, tv and the little contact I had with the outside world. I had been looking forward to exploring the city, really spending my time to get to know the best places to eat, drink tea, enjoy a cocktail, shop and meet new people. But I just couldn’t, I was too tired, too empty, I needed to reload. And that’s what I did!

The next project is coming up, it hasn’t had the attention it needed, but I will go on! The thing with me is, as long as I am struggling I am moving. It might not seem as such or very productive, but struggling for me means that I haven’t give up. As long as I am struggling there is always hope! So please hang in there with me, I hope to exceed my last creation.