Close my eyes and I am facing the younger me.

She was too young to feel anguish, but she did.

As just a 5 year old girl, she would get up everyday, very tired and wondering how long it would take for school to be over. She would feel so wearied  out that her first thought getting up in the morning was “I am going to sleep the whole afternoon  after school”, but she never did, she couldn’t sleep in the afternoon even if she tried hard. She didn’t have many friends, she onlyhad the neighbour’s girl, and another girl that studied in the same class as her.  Though she had two siblings, they studied in the opposite time of the day so after school she spent a lot of time alone.

Every day she would walk to the window  of her simple but big and strong house, and get introspective, there was this aching inside her chest that she didn’t know what it was, neither why she had it, but it would always come with the sun set time, after a while she developed this fear of the end of the day, because she knew that ache would come back, and she didn’t know how to change or fight it. One day she was so sad because of how that feeling made her captive, she walked to the bedroom and jumped the little fence to get into the cot where she still slept, she sat there by herself and the tears started pouring down, why this pain would not go away?

Her mama found her in the cot crying, she didn’t stop crying, she didn’t care that her mama was seeing her that way, she didn’t ask why. Mama observed her for a few minutes and said: “you’re feeling anguish”.  She was a very simple woman, she loved her children but she didn’t know how to help them, she hadn’t had much help from her parents either. But in that moment, that statement brought a name for that pain. Anguish. Nothing was done about it. The way it was, it stayed. That little girl would have to find answers by herself… and she already knew it.

At the age of 33 I found out that I have been battling against depression since I was a little girl. I didn’t know it for most of the time up to here, as this was just what life was like for me since I remember. I wasn’t aware that it was depression.

Learning about yourself frees your spirit in a way I never could imagine.

Now a lot of things make sense, and it warms my heart to think I can close my eyes, look at that little girl, and in my mind just give her a long big hug and say “keep going little warrior, everything is going to be alright”.

And what I hated about me was a good thing all along

In my last therapy session my therapist had given me an exercise to think about and write on a paper how my life had been up to now in relation to being present in the present or if I thought I lived too much in the past or future. I thought it was VERY interesting because this was a thing I *always* (since my early 20’s) wanted to address and talk about in a therapy session.

Anyway:  I finally told her that something that had always bothered me was that throughout my life all these years (I’m 33 now) I had always been bothered by the fact that my mind always seemed to be in the future. Either long term future or just “what am   I going to do in 10 min time?” And I mentioned it to her, that a LOT of times I have found myself trying to concentrate on the present because even when I was doing something I really liked, it was almost as if I couldn’t enjoy it completely because I still then I would be thinking “what’s my next task?” “Where am I going in 1 hour when I finish here?”, what’s next? “what is next”?.

When I said it to her I was expecting her to say how this was bad and how I had to try and concentrate in the present. (Which is also right) but no, she said the opposite, she said “hey, this was a very good thing and this is probably why you are still here and you got through all you did”, my mind went blank for a few seconds with her response.

Well, I have talked to her a lot about all the emotional abuse I had to face my whole life, and when I thought I would be free from it a few years ago, I actually found myself trapped in a even more hurtful situation for years again (and that was when I had my greatest breakdown ever, from what I am still recovering, hence I am doing therapy, where I found out I have been dealing with depression for longer than I thought).

When she said that I didn’t know what to think a first, my first reaction wast to think “how can this be good?”.

Then she explained to me that “me” being this way was actually a result of my brain taking care of myself, helping me cope with life. All along my mind was automatically keeping my mind so busy that I wouldn’t be “in the present” that was SO hurtful and this way I had a way to keep going and achieve things I wouldn’t have if I stopped in the cold freezing present back then. She said my mind used of that tool to keep me safe and now it was time learn no live in the present, because I am not in that place anymore. I have tears rolling down my face as I write this, because I feel I finally reached that time, the time I can live in the present. It took so many courageous moves in moments where I felt I had no ground, but even when I was paralysed in my years, I gathered the strength to move myself out of that whole world of abuse and fear. And I finally feel I can live in the present. Actually my exercise this week is to try reminding myself to be in the present as much as possible, and it has been a great exercise to remind myself to be the present and not fear it. I still have so much to learn but now I can look myself in the mirror and love who I see.

This discovery made me love myself even more, I found out that all those years I was taking care of myself and didn’t even know. I am amazed. The human mind is something wonderfully made.

I would like to encourage you to find in yourself ways you have been protecting yourself and you didn’t even realise. Maybe this will help you to walk another step towards learning to love yourself.

Hugs people! Welcome new followers! ❤

They were not just scrambled eggs.

I woke up earlier than usual and my first thought was to put some nice music on. So I did.

Suddenly the idea of getting up and cooking myself scrambled eggs and toast (and a nice black coffee of course) seemed exciting and natural. I took my music with me and danced while I was cooking. Until that moment and for 2 more hours I would not realise what was really happening right there. I ate my delicious breakfast and went to work. Half way through the morning I received a text from someone special asking how my morning was going. I quickly gave the usual automatic answer we all do “yeah, it’s going fine”… and then it hit me something fantastic had happened that day and I didn’t realise: I woke up and I felt like getting out of bed and living. Just the idea of doing something for myself (like breakfast) seemed to be a good reason to get up. I then realised I had NO IDEA how long it had been since I last felt like getting out of bed in the morning, I only knew it had been many years and I didn’t even remember what it felt like, because not wanting to get up had become the new normal. I felt one of those effortless tears rolling down my face and touching the light smile that realisation brought to my face.Suddenly I realised there was some hope that I could have one of those “normal” lives People with no depression have.

When you have depression getting out of bed seems pointless. The only reason I would get up was because there were bills to be paid and I needed to work for that. I always was aware of that feeling that wanted to make me stay in bed all day and always forced myself out just because I rationally knew that wasn’t healthy. So I would take myself out for breakfast, for a walk, for a road trip, for a holiday… even when I was not enjoying it because of the chemical imbalance depression causes in the brain making it impossible for you to enjoy life and even enjoy what you love. So I never (almost never) let myself just stay in a dark bedroom all day, although that was what I felt like doing. But it was all merely informed decision, because I am an educated person and I had awareness of what was happening and I knew that if I stopped fighting the water would submerge and my boat would sink.

So yes, waking up in the morning and WANTING to get up and cook scrambled eggs was a HUGE deal.

Depression was like if I was in a boat, full of holes, where I had to fight all the time with my bucket to get rid of the water that was constantly coming through those holes and I was constantly tired of fighting to not let the boat sink…. then when I  woke up and WANTED to get out of bed for the first time in years was like if for 5 seconds I lifted my head up and saw my boat was heading to a harbour and I would be there soon and have firm ground under my feet.

Those scrambled eggs were more than just food, they were a reminder I was heading in the right direction.

Ah, and it happened on the week 3 of anti-depressants. My therapist said it was a sign my brain was starting to react to treatment.

I’ve seen quite a few people following me since I started this blog.. and I would like to thank you guys. It feels nice to know there’s people out there wanting what I have to share…

The first two weeks on anti-depressants and the scariest experience I’ve had!

It’s been two weeks since I started on anti-depressants. My therapist and my Doctor said that the first two weeks would be the hardest part as my brain gets used to the new chemicals. And now that the two weeks are completed I feel I can write about it.

Well, for the first day or two I didn’t feel anything different, I thought “humm maybe I’ll be an exception and will have an easy transition”. So naive right? day 3 kicked me in with a punch in the stomach. I woke up with a high anxiety level, almost couldn’t concentrate on work. My doctor told me to take a calming med he gave me for times like this, so I did and it helped, from there I had bad anxiety for a couple of days, then a few days later random parts of my body would start itching in different times of the day. Well I knew it was expected so I didn’t worry about it. Then it happened: a little bit after the first week, I woke up at 5 in the morning and had a panic attack, a very very very scary one. probably the scariest I have ever had. Out of NOTHING in a matter or 10 seconds my WHOLE BODY got really HOT,  the sensation was almost like I was burning from the inside, the whole body, and even my face! My heart was racing really fast and all my nerves felt stiff! I jumped out of bed and run upstairs to wake my flatmate up to take me to the hospital because I thought I was dying! That was the worst feeling EVER! Then just as I was going to knock the door I realized I was sweating like mad and it was expelling the hit out and regulating the temperature in my body. I sat there on the stairs and started breathing in and out slowly, trying to calm myself down. I was not dying. What a relief. after a couple of minutes, I went back downstairs and sat on the couch. I started crying like a baby. It had just been the scariest experience ever. I had no idea that your body could hit up like that so suddenly! I wrote a text to my therapist that early in the morning. She was already in her office and she recorded her reply in an audio message, she had a calming music in the background and reassured me that all was well, I cried for a while… but it amazing to be able to get those words right there when I needed.

I got up and went to work. I should have stayed home relaxing after that… but if I didn’t go to work that day, it was one of those days where there would be no one else available to stuff that needed to be done on the day, so I let the sense of responsibility talk louder. I wasn’t very productive but managed to get through the day. After work, I went home had a shower and went straight to bed and had an early sleep, my body and mind were so tired I slept all the way through.

Well, that was the worst part of the first two weeks. And now I know that if I ever get that again it won’t affect me that much as I know it’s not death knocking my door (haha) It’s just another bodily sensation created by a panic attack. And just like every other one, it’s just a wave that comes and goes. After that day I have been feeling less and less side effects and I might be getting to the point where my body is used to it and it will actually kick-in and start working as it normally does.

It’s been like a roller coaster! But I am proud of myself for not giving up and I’ll give myself that. I am loving myself. And the journey to learn to love is not always easy and beautiful, but knowing I’m going in the right direction is comforting. The only person responsible for my well being and happiness is myself and learning to love myself it’s been an amazing journey (with highs and lows, but still amazing). We’ll just keep walking!

See you next time!

It was like if my soul couldn’t react

Have you ever felt like the whole strength you have can only guarantee you keep breathing to stay alive and survive another day?

You wake up in the morning and the first thing you feel is the heaviness in your chest, you open your eyes and realise it’s another day you have to face (and that if you could sleep at all last night). That heaviness on your chest is like a heavy stone that stays there all day, compressing your soul and making you feel like there is a knot in your throat. You don’t want to get out of bed. You feel so weared out because you’ve been carrying that stone on your chest for a such a long time. That heaviness never goes away and grows bigger, it’s almost suffocating. You see life happening around you and it’s like you can only watch it pass by, it’s like if your soul can’t react, you feel helpless because years can go by this way and you don’t have strength to get out of that place. All you wanted was to be able to grab that stone and throw it away, as far away as you could. You don’t remember what it feels like to be light and easy.

I have been there. That was my every day for about two years and it felt like it would never go away. Felt like this would be “me” for the rest of my life and it made me not want to live anymore. You lose all hope, all enjoyment of life, and even when you try getting out and doing something you used to love, it’s almost like you are frozen inside, you can not feel that thrill and excitement and this is the weirdest sensation! I would never think about taking my own life, because of my beliefs, that was never an option for me. But when I was in that place, it was like if for that moment in time I was given the opportunity to enter the dark room from where people who commit suicide jump. It’s like a really really dark room on the edge of a very very high cliff and it feels like there is no where else to go. I had the chance to understand what they feel and why they do it, you just don’t want to live anymore, your brain is so tired of the prolonged suffering that it doesn’t want to even think that there is a way out, because it feels so complicated and impossible that you will be able to live a normal life again, you dread the idea of living another year like this, you dread a lifetime living like this. And the funniest thing is that people who live around you have no clue of what goes inside.

I felt compassion and sadness for the lives that could not turn and walk away from that dark room. And if you are in that dark room right now, I need to tell you, don’t jump. There is way out and you can do it. There is so much to live for! I know you can not see it yet because the chemicals in a depressed mind just make you blind to that. But the way out is still there, even when you can’t see it. And the journey out is not an easy or a quick one. It’s a long process, but SO worth it. And no one else in this world is more worth to fight for but yourself. Doesn’t matter if your depression was generated because of what others did to you. If someone didn’t love you and made your life hell. You can love yourself, and you can work to get out of there, step by step, and if it doesn’t come naturally, it is something you can learn. You can learn to love yourself.

I would like to encourage you to go and find a professional Counsellor therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist. If you don’t have the strength to look for one, pleas ask a friend you trust to find one for you. There is sunshine out there waiting for you, there is a could breeze in a hot day waiting to blow on your face making you feel alive and able to get excited again! There are smiles and laughters waiting for you. The journey to get there is not easy! It’s the hardest! But if you are still here, know one thing: you are strong and you can do it. I am still in my journey and I am still struggling to believe I am strong, and it’s like a roller coaster, big highs and big lows, but its moving and we will get there!

We walk through it and we will get there. There is no other way out but through. And you can do it.

Struggles of a tired mind – journey to healing begins

I am starting on therapy and anti-depressants this week. This is the first time in my life that I’m trying it. I have done therapy before, but never with a real awareness that I’ve got depression and I need to treat it. Even now, saying it sounds surreal to me. I still resist the idea that I’ve got it. Probably because life has always been like this to me and I will explain in the next post why. I guess it’s normal that you think there is nothing wrong with you when that is the only “world” you have always known. It kind of becomes your “normal”, until you feel there’s something wrong, and then you ignore it and think “maybe it’s just different”. Fine line there.. Where is the balance spot between what is abnormal and needs to be sorted and what is just “different” and should be embraced?

Now that I have finally admitted to myself, I actually think I have battled with depression on-and-off during my whole life, yes: since I was a little girl. I have always been a great self-analyzer and self-critical person and I believe this has helped me to grow out of depressive moments in my life as I learned more and more about myself. But I never ever stopped and thought: I need to treat this, I need to get to the bottom of it (although it has certainly been what I most wanted unconsciously).  well, this time I will. I feel I’ve found the right professional to help me and I will share my experience here with you guys. It’s actually a bit scary to write about it. But I feel I need to. I have always loved to write and I let this side of mine sleep for many years (probably consequence of on-and-off depressive mood). And although sharing it makes me feel super vulnerable it also helps me and I hope that sharing will also help others who are going through the same thing. We can share experiences and help each other.

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