Just One Morning of #whatyoudontsee

D-Toxd - What You Dont See 2

The other day, we wrote an article for Depression Awareness Week and The Blurt #whatyoudontsee Campaign for #DAW2016, sharing some pretty personal stuff.

Writing it was a challenge. It was uncomfortable. It felt revealing and ever since publishing it, if the truth be told, it’s quite nerve wracking knowing that people are reading it and know “this” about you.

As someone who works with people daily in the health industry, you get asked so many questions. You do your best to live your life as true to the message you share with the world. After all, if you don’t, what’s the point of doing it really.

For those of you who come to the Retreat in Spain, you will have experienced how open and honest we are about everything. We share the up’s and the down’s, the high’s and the low’s. But you know what, that’s in our “Safe Space” that we have created – in front of an intimate group of people in the middle of nowhere in the mountains.

And that’s great, it really is. We’re proud of what we have created and we’ll keep doing it every day.

The Retreat 2

People are quite surprised when we tell them that we haven’t always been as healthy as we are today. I mean, how often do you look at someone and think to yourself “Well, it must be easy for them because they don’t have . . . . . “ – and you know what, we have done that LOADS of times in the past.

So I (G) wanted to expand on what I was saying in the last post because this Campaign has challenged me personally to share, quite simply because there is so much more that goes on behind the scenes, not just for me, but for each and everyone of us.

We all fight our own battles. We all live with our own demons and skeletons and daily, we go through the motions.

I am going to do my best to write this as conversationally as possible so if it doesn’t make sense, please bear with me – I don’t often give myself permission to type these kinds of things. It’s quite strange when you sit down in front of a computer and type – all of a sudden, all these edit functions come into play and you try to get it all as perfect as possible, using big words that sound good.

Here we go.

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Yes ! I went blank for a moment. Didn’t know where (or how) to start really and that’s the thing.

I get frustrated a lot of the time. My mind wants (and thinks it knows) one thing and my body, on the other hand, has a mind of its own. Working daily to get that balance can be difficult. I can wake up, feeling full of energy and rested, my mind is calm and peaceful, I have had a good night’s sleep. I feel focused and have a clear intention for the day.

Pi usually comes to greet me when she hears movement in my room. She has learned that I am a pretty restless sleeper and I move around a lot during the night so she has her own bed that she sleeps in – but the mornings are for cuddles. She’ll jump on the bed and give me a love and then under the blankets she goes.

Pi_Fotor

Suddenly, without any rhyme or reason, I will be filled with emotion. Tears will well up in my eyes and my heart can start racing. Nothing has happened. Nothing has changed. A few moments ago, I was feeling great. But out of nowhere, it hits me – this overwhelming rush of emotion created by a little ball of fur and love and energy giving me a cuddle.

Tears will roll down my face and suddenly, I just want to curl up and turn over and switch off the world. Like I mentioned in the previous article, the TV is suddenly switched on. What started off as a nice, calm morning is now becoming an overwhelming mixture of noise and physical emotion.

In the past, I rolled with it. I allowed it to control me. Now I understand the chemical imbalances that can take place.

So I give myself a few minutes and, instead of being angry with my body, I guess you could say I just give it a hug and acknowledge it for what it does. I may not like it, I may not enjoy it but you know what, it’s doing the best that it can.

I focus on my breathing. Just for a few minutes. Giving myself permission to stay calm. Giving myself permission to start my day again, just reminding myself that it is OK and that it is safe.

The TV in my mind dies down to a bearable volume and the emotion starts to lessen. I’ve only been awake for literally 10 minutes and already I feel drained and exhausted.

It would be great if this happened once in a while – I would quite happily live with that and be perfectly content. But when it happens most of the time, like I said, it gets frustrating.

So I just go about my day really. I carry on. Sometimes, I can go for days or weeks without it happening regularly during the day, but breaking it down now (which is what this campaign has really got me thinking about because I take the way I live for granted) it . . . . .

If you could only hear the things I am saying to myself as I am typing this right now, you would laugh.

Don’t type that. Don’t say that. How silly is all of this. You’ve just made this all happen to yourself. Everybody goes through this all of the time so why even share this, nobody needs to know about it.

Stop Sign

But you see, that’s the very thing that stops people truly speaking about how they feel and what they are going through. That’s why Depression and Mental Health problems come with the challenges that they do.

We all have days where we feel down. We all have moments where we question ourselves. We all feel like giving up sometimes. Nobody likes it when people are down all of the time.

But, sadly, for some people, it is HARD to talk about. Like I said, people are often surprised when we share where we have been. We look pretty good on the surface but #whatyoudontsee is what sometimes goes on.

For me, and this is my personal opinion, there is a big difference between feeling down and depression. When you feel down, time with a friend having a hug and a good laugh can quite quickly lift your spirits and take your mind off things, giving you a fresh perspective on your situation.

This may polarize people, but sadly, there are people who get their needs met by “being depressed” and that puts me off openly speaking about my challenges. You see, I don’t want to feel this way. I don’t want this to be happening. I would give anything to just feel a bit down.

I KNOW I have SO much to be thankful for. I KNOW there are people who face worse in life than me. I KNOW that life is a beautiful gift that I have been given a second chance to experience. I KNOW I have absolutely nothing to feel depressed about in the slightest.

Believe me, I do the positive thinking and I do the Gratitude Lists every day – goodness me, they are a huge and vital part of being comfortable with all of this.

Yet sometimes, my body has a different agenda over which I have no control every now and then, so I work at it every day. As my best friend and brother, Jeroen, always tells me – you are NORMAL and just because your normal is different to what you think other people have, that’s OK.

This is what I live with, each and every day. A constant, and sometimes tiring, battle to live my life. I have learned that when I ignore the signs, and pretend that they are not really real and just a figment of my imagination, it does more harm than good.

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I live a normal, healthy, happy life. I have made my peace with what goes on inside of me, even though I don’t like it at times, and I will keep doing what I do. It doesn’t make me any more, or any less, of a person. It makes me, ME !

Yes. I live with these challenges but that is all that they are – challenges for me to overcome and grow through, one day at a time.

I don’t let them define what I do or who I am anymore, even though they feel that way sometimes. There is absolutely nothing different between you reading this right now and me – we’re just humans who are living our lives as best as we can. But typing this has made me take a good, hard look at what I now take for granted – just things that I do each day like brushing my teeth and taking a shower.

My daily routines and practices help. My diet and lifestyle are a HUGE part of being healthy and happy, making things more manageable. My friends and family are constant rocks who I know I can turn to if things get out of hand – and as I said, I learn to do that more.

D-Toxd - What You Dont See 3

 

 

 

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