2016, Mental Health

Fourteen Months and Counting

It’s been over a year since I found the courage to ask for help.

14 months ago I embraced vulnerability and walked into a doctor’s office.

I learned how medicine could give me the shield I needed to find the space between my anixety and my authentic self.

In therapy I learned that in this space there are practices I can use to ease my suffering.

I learned what I truely believe in, I discovered my core values and built a framework to keep me aligned to them.

14 months ago I realised I was not alone.

Many of you have been on this journey with me, loving and supporting me at every step. Many of you have shared your own journeys with me. This is more than social media my friends. We have made, and keep, real connections. You guys give me energy and you fuel my desire to succeed, you are often the source of my hope. With all the paradoxical disconnection of this over connected world always remember there are hearts and souls behind the screens and devices all aching to find belonging and genuine connection.

14 months ago I realised I would be ok.

In some of the hardest months of my life, through upheaval, heartbreak, grief and loss I’ve always known I would come out of this. That the suffering would pass. That I would be ok.

I learned that in every loss and every heartbreak there is a lesson to be learned. A way to grow and a way to become stronger.

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2016, Mental Health

To-do vs Can-do or Obligations vs Opportunities

I sat down early this morning to start work on a to-do list. It’s time to snap out of holiday mode (I’ve been back for weeks) and continue progressing some of my goals for this year.

As I started writing

– greyhound media campaign
– kindness crew and other volunteering
– rally fundraising
– podcast
– reading list
– army painting
– listening list
– videos
– apply for citizenship
– apply for Masters
– writing projects

I felt an all too familiar panic starting to rise from the pit of my stomach. Thoughts immediately began to manifest physically. Physical pain, shaking, sweating.

Anxious me is terrified of obligation. He would rather stare at a wall than make a start on something. I’m going to get trapped in apathy. Again.

I caught the panic in time to realise I needed to reframe.

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2016, Mental Health

Bad People vs Bad Choices and Self Compassion

As I sat with a dear friend recently, who was going through a time of suffering, a simple concept became crystal clear to me.

We spend a lot of time saying things to ourselves that we would never say to someone we cared about. We tell ourselves we are a bad person and that we probably deserve our pain. Our loved ones might argue and tell us that we are good but we find it hard to listen because a complete reversal seems impossible.

In reality it’s more likely we have made a bad choice here and there. The intense self critic instantly equates bad choice to bad person.

This lack of self-compassion, or as I prefer to think of it – self kindness, can be devastating. We would never ever dream of treating someone we cared about in the cruel way we can treat ourselves.

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