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.


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


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!


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.