I felt compelled to write this entry after all the back lash i received from my previous Instagram post.
I by no means wanted to dismiss the horrendous pain that lies behind both anxiety and depression. My entire page is about sharing my experiences and all that i have been through, in an almost constant battle against these two ‘forces’ that have kept my life from thriving.
I said this before and i will say it again, i have tried several types of medications over the years but for me, personally, they only seemed to work during the first weeks, which in return, i realized was placebo because i was clearly told that it takes several weeks to notice a difference in how you feel.
The side effects were simply not worth the benefit BUT this is what i chose for MY life. I chose to dive deep within myself and find out what was causing this chaos and what i found was not pleasant and it continues to be a journey of self discovery and of ups and downs. However, i am committed to this being my way of handling things and i don’t expect people to make the same choices.
I will say this though:
While anxiety and depression along with all mental illnesses can have a genetic component (hence the chemical imbalances that some people experience), after numerous discussions with psychiatrists and therapists (out of curiosity and because i wanted to help), i was told that even this ‘genetic component’ needs to get triggered by an event, and guess what, it’s never a happy event that triggers it so here we are, back to the wounds.
I’ve been told that i am not a medical specialist and that my recent post could threaten people’s lives. Well, i am sorry to be so honest and have to say that if people REALLY faced their troubles, many therapists would lose their jobs. One of my favorite therapists said to me, ‘Alina, if people were HONEST WITH themselves, 99% of mental illness would vanish”. I remember that hitting me so hard. I attended group therapy and psychoanalysis groups for years, not just because i needed it for myself but because i used to be super passionate about psychology and because i knew that one day i wanna share my story and help. In the attempt to help my own self, i read books on pharmacology, psychiatry, all that i could find on anxiety from a medical perspective but also from a social, spiritual and emotional point of view, asking myself dozens of questions such as:
- what really goes on in the body and mind of someone that has anxiety? (what’s going on with me?!)
- what is a deeper understanding of this condition?
- are there other ways to heal this or is medication the only way?
When you embark on a 10 year journey of self reflection and healing, as i have, it’s hard to stay on the surface of things, it’s hard to have a doctor look at you for 15 mins and then say, well, it seems you have this, this and that, you need to take x,y,z pills and we can do a follow up in about a month.
What the f**k is that? (and you guys know i don’t use curse words) but this is something i feel so strongly about. There were several girls, that commented on my post, saying that i should ‘educate’ myself. Believe me, i am beyond educated in this particular field, in fact, there’s an overflow of knowledge that i’ve been wanting to share with you guys and from now on, i honestly don’t care what other people have to say. I know my intention and i know that i can help because i have been there too many times, feeling the desperation of things that don’t work and the excruciating pain of having to face a situation over and over again.
Recently i went through a break up. I was miserable all summer, in my heart at least. I was putting up a smile for everyone including myself but deep down i felt shattered. I went into one of the worst relapses about a month ago because i didn’t know what to do with the pain that kept piling up and that then, triggered so many other things that were hurting me. I felt like i couldn’t manage. I would wake up every night, t-shirt dripping with sweat and say to myself ‘ok, tomorrow i will do something about this…i can’t believe this is happening to me again! i don’t wanna live this way, i felt so happy, this can’t be happening again’. But then the next day i’d choose to stick it out and just deal with it, despite what i was feeling. It got to a point of madness and i was thinking of calling my former doctor, that i haven’t spoken to in TWO YEARS and asking him if maybe, it would be a good idea to start taking something. BUT WHAT WAS I GONNA SAY?
‘Yo’ man, my heart is sooooo freaking BROKEN for the 100th time that i need Celexa to fix it? Gimme some Lexapro for my inner wounds. Actually, gimme a mood stabilizer too ,cause i feel like shit in the morning and that’s not working for me plus an SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor) to back it up. Hey….thanks!’
NO!……..that is NOT how to deal with pain, trauma, losing someone you love, or any kind of event that happens to you because eventually you will have to come back to the wound and HEAL IT.
Anxiety has a cause! Depression has a cause. They don’t just happen, and if they do, as i said before, the root cause can be unconscious. I was told a few days ago, that my the husband of someone i know passed away and ever since, the lady has been having panic attacks and massive anxiety. SO what would be the right approach here? Doping her with pills to kill a pain that is so evidently INCURABLE for the time being? NO pill in the world will CURE PAIN. It can help alleviate the SYMPTOMS caused by PAIN (panic, headaches, heart palpitations, upset stomach, the list goes on an on), but the would itself NEEDS TIME, it needs SPACE, it needs to be CONFRONTED and ADDRESSED. IT needs LOVE. IT needs PEOPLE that can softly pull you back to YOURSELF because sometimes loss can be so very painful, we feel like we wanna migrate outside of our own bodies just to NOT have to experience what we’re FEELING (hence depersonalization and derealization).
One guy commented that i shouldn’t even dare reply to his message (that’s how offended he was) because of my apparent ‘dismissal of depression’). Jesus, how in the world could i dismiss something i lived and survived? Something i occasionally still do live and survive? I can tell you many things about me that are real but here’s one : I KNOW PAIN.
I spent three months deeply immersed in nature at the beginning of this year and i literally felt healed and was healed. I was in the tropics, in the ocean and at the ocean every single day. I filled my cup with sunshine and laughter, i spent time alone, walking while taking in the breeze. I forgot who i was and remembered who i wanted to be. Healing is different for everyone and i promised i would talk about this. For me, nature has been my medicine, alone with a few supplements that i still take and that i’ll be talking about soon. I rekindled my relationship with God (during that same time) and started reading the Bible and started talking to Jesus about all my problems. My love for Him grew to where if someone would even mention His name, i would start crying. He showed me who i really AM. Not what my mind made me believe i am. I realized i am light, love, peace, kindness, truth and so much more and that i’m not here JUST for myself but for everyone. Mainly we’re here to support each other’s journeys and to understand LOVE, as it really is not as society teaches it to be. It was then that i realized, my happiness can’t come from other people but from a higher realm that is not subject to human aversion. I was so very happy for about seven months, until the break up completely derailed me! But i know that slowly but surely, i will get myself back to where i was.
I learned a lot and i simply can’t rely on pills to make up for patterns and mistakes that i decided to choose over and over again, things that got me in this mess to begin with.
I wanna face this wound and all other wounds, and this time i decide to go deeper within myself because i will never allow this to happen again. Coming back to healing, i will write a detailed list of things that have worked and continue to work for me:
1. Kindness towards myself and others (a state of consciousness where i choose to be open and kind, despite of what i might be feeling inside)
2. Self love and compassion ( i have struggled with despising myself for many many years because of many forms of rejection that i have gone through; little did i know, that much of it stemmed from a deep rejection of my SELF). Until you learn to live with yourself open and raw, taking into account all aspects of your personality, stuff will continue to repeat like a never ending cycle that leaves you drained and wondering ‘why meee?!’
3. Spending time in nature and contemplating its ways (you can do this by taking a vacation or MAKING the time to intentionally take a walk in the park, forest, to simply BE outdoors and plunge into a realm that has so much to teach us, from patience to grace, to unconditional acceptance of all that is)
4. Finding people that value who you are; people that are supportive and that make you feel LOVED and IMPORTANT
5. Working on that self talk (God i could write another post on this, actually i did 🙂
6. The Gym ….i work out about 4 times per week NO MATTER what (and when i say no matter what, i mean, whether i’m fainting, dizzy, got my period, feel like crying, wanna go jump out the window, did or did not sleep well that night) I will STILL GO TO THE GYM.
7. Studying the word of God, which says 365 times (throughout) the Bible……..’DO NOT FEAR!’ There are so many scriptures that deal with fear and sadness and so many instructions on how to live a life that is free of sin and therefore, free of STRESS because i can tell you from my own experience, God doesn’t care if you sin because it doesn’t affect HIM it affects YOU and your MIND and your BODY. Because He loves us, HE wants us to stay ‘clean’ but this is something each person has to or can (if they desire) realize on their own. I am NOT imposing my beliefs i am simply detailing on what made me a better person! I used to drink, smoke, party, things i don’t even mention here. God changed me so much, no force in this world could have ever worked on me in that way!
8. Art : Things like painting or writing, expressing myself and all that has ever happened to me through words, drawings, music ( i love to sing), sitting with myself and all my wounds and just letting them take shape and form OUTSIDE OF myself.
9. Being a blessing and encouraging others (even when i feel like i myself am not able to do that for me) i still try to do it for others. As is said, it’s not about you and me but about EVERYONE. We’re here not just with each other but FOR each other.
10. Living in a state of bewilderment (sometimes i just make an intention of being amazed by all that happens to me, in a good way) and i notice that things just become magical in a way that’s kinda’ hard to explain. Add a little gratitude to this (no matter how your day was) and watch things SHIFT dramatically.
11. ATTITUDE. Had to write that in capital letters because i used to have the worst attitude ever! And i still struggle with it sometimes. Let me just tell you that attitude can make you or break you like nothing else in the world! When you learn to shift your attitude, the sky is the limit.
Hope this helps, sending all my