A Dark Phase Is Over

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A Dark Phase Is Over

By : Francesca Seopa

A dark phase and struggle is over.

A new phase is upon you – one of hope, glory, light and triumph.

It is won through boldness and persistence.

You have been through much, and now victory for you Beloved,

For the Divine Solar Child, 

A new consciousness within you, is born.

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Thank you for being with me. I look forward to seeing you here again soon. Let us rebuild a healthy state of mind.

Love,

Francesca

Losing Hopes To Despair

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Losing Hopes To Despair: Thus Passes A Lifetime 

by: Francesca Seopa

There’s a battle being fought behind the curtain
An enemy awaits me, on that I’m certain

There are blows being thrown where im out of sight
But my armour awaits the evil that lurks with night

Cuddled in my manner of ancient darkness
Puzzled at the thought of a destructive kindness

It is orion that has lead me here
One that bears the tales of mysteries found at Giza

Vanity it might’ve been
A route embedded in my own imagination is one I could’ve seen

Insanity is what i feel;

A bot of maturity is what you’ll need to heal

It’s the voice;
The voice, the voice that made me believe there lives a choice between the paths of emotion and reason.

Yes indeed it was the voice
That drew my devotion and blinded my senses from the sins of the seasons.

Embraced by the orbits of overtuned obscurities;
Anger,Hate,Regret, Resentment, Anxiety,Betrayal and oh yes Fear

Fear is He who’s battle triumphs I hear the most

There’s a battle being fought behind the curtain

The weapons are drawn
As the horn is blown
The horn is blown
And the weapons are drawn

My courage cuddles in a corner
Questioning why it was summoned

Anger raises a flag of cowardice
Hate awakens social exile
Fear chooses to run that extra mile

Exhausted by distress
What they think I could careless
A river cried full of tears
A youth filtered no sign of peers

An enemy awaits me
Listen-
The horn is blown

With sounds signalling sympathy

A war-cry is heard
Adrenaline is endured
The thunder of drums drilling devotion

I collect the scattered corners and cuts of my uniformly coloured collage of sorrow

As I seek to approach the curtain
Coiled in curiosity
Cautioned by the confusion of what may arise
Visions at a flashing rate

Stop!
I’ve had it with lies let whatever it is be a surprise

Trapped in the muds of truth
Cautiously analyzing the buts of previous burns.

A batlle is fought behind the curtain
An enemy awaits me on that im certain.

Thank you for being with me. I look forward to seeing you here soon. Let us rebuild a healthy state of mind.

Love,

Francesca

One Step At A Time

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Sometimes just be. Do not think or worry, do not get angry under stress. Keep patience and see how well things will work out for you. – Sancta Pandey

Some of the content discussed in this blog post or article may be uncomfortable for certain readers and might possibly trigger people living with complex PTSD and PTSD.

When I first got diagnosed with Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD), Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and Panic Disorder, I was well in my second year of college studying Aeronautical Engineering. Truth be told I wasn’t copying with my studies (I was on the edge of being placed on academic probation).I was extremely overwhelmed and unable to focus. Let alone, I was sexually assaulted that year and failed to report this at the college I was studying at. They later found out when I registered my CPTSD and other disorders at their disability unit (disability services and accommodations at the university). I was later called in and advised to take a leave of absence from my university because i wasn’t doing well as I mentioned.

A lot of students struggle to share how mental health impacts their studies.Lack of concentration is a symptom for so many mental health illnesses and chronic illnesses. Today, I wanted to share my struggles of living with complex PTSD in college. Whenever I studied I could barely read a page and recall all the information I had studied. My short term memory wasn’t capturing new information because of my overwhelmed brain due to my trauma. I couldn’t study in groups and attend lectures because crowds and sounds overwhelmed me.img_0752 I was extremely hypervigilant and hyper-aware of everything in my surroundings, sounds and any movement(s) overwhelmed me. My body was trying to protect me from what had happened of course, because it’s what our brain does if we are in danger.But the problem is our bodies do not know how to get rid of all the chemicals in our bodies after trauma; so we continue to react even when we are in safe zones or in places where we should feel safe. This set my whole academic career on hold for 6 months. I stayed home and tried to get help for my complex PTSD. My voice was gone and I couldn’t communicate in class, do orals or have casual conversation with strangers and friends. Everyone was a danger to me. No one was to be trusted at all, even my family members. I lived in fear of being violated again. The truth is, this stopped me from living and enjoying life, I was surviving everyday. I was constantly crying everyday because I was physically and emotionally in pain.

When I went back to college after 6 months I expected everything to be smooth sailing. But things didn’t go as well as I expected. I went from being a straight A student to being average and that didn’t sit well with me. I was still very paranoid and living in fear of what could happen next. I honestly never attended classes because lectures consisted of chatter and crowds and that would set me on edge – with the possibility of me having a panic attack. Just more reasons for me not to attend. Therapy is not as smooth sailing as everyone ought to think it is. Sometimes it works, other times its takes more time to work and it can be frustrating. jacqueline-day-619822-unsplashI am currently on my way to doing my Master’s degree in Mechano-biology or a Master’s in Artificial Intelligence. All because I chose not to give up. It wasn’t easy, I fought with my psychologist and sometimes with my psychiatrist because I didn’t believe in being medicated. Meds did help me with sleep and with my studies. Having my Professors as my mentors, made the academic pressure more manageable. What made things worse was that I was constantly triggered when I had to take finals, because all my traumas happened before my finals or after my finals. It took me years to speak up. PTSD and CPTSD takes away one’s voice and one’s ability to project or portray their opinions through any medium of expression. That hindered my healing process a whole lot!

I chose not to give up. My marks did eventually improve and I managed not only to finish one associates degree but two. One in mechanical and mechatronics engineering and another in computer science and computer engineering. I was 19 when I got diagnosed. I am only 23 years old. It was a whole lot of work but it was worth is. I never missed my psychiatrist appointments and therapy appointments because I wanted to heal. I took my meds everyday, changed my diet because of bowel issues I ended up having because of CPTSD and I did yoga and meditated often. Be proud of yourself for all the progress you make during your healing journey, you deserve it!

Please learn to say no whenever your intuition tells you to. Learn to trust your own gut, its never wrong. Self care is very important especially when one has a mental health condition or chronic illness. Learn to forgive yourself and don’t be too hard on yourself you’re human at the end of the day.

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You are allowed to cry and to crawl when you can’t run. You are allowed to breakdown. You are allowed to doubt yourself. But you aren’t allowed to give up. – Francesca Seopa

Thank you for being with me. I look forward to seeing you here again. Let us rebuild a healthy state of mind.

Love,

Francesca

Repressed Memories Resurface With C-PTSD

Growing up, I never realized my childhood wasn’t normal. I thought my life was similar to everyone else’s but with a different order of events or situations. I was 30 before everything started coming back. Small pieces at first. I didn’t have an official diagnosis, but I knew I had anxiety and I researched everything. This is when I first started contributing to The Mighty. As I continued researching, more memories returned; repressed memories. Repression of childhood trauma. I lived in the trauma for so long I thought it was normal. I thought domestic violence was normal.

It started when I was four. This was the first incident and I have few memories from anything prior. I’m told its normal for people to not remember much from their early childhood, but I feel the trauma has something to do with my lack of memories. The trauma continued for years. My older sister recalled I would rock back and forth with my arms crossed every time my parents started arguing. I don’t remember this. She said I did it for three or four years. There are so many things I don’t remember and part of me doesn’t want to remember.

After those years, I became emotionally detached. As I aged and went to high school and college, I had trouble relating to my peers. They didn’t understand my perspective and I didn’t see the joy in life they all saw. Few people wanted to spend time with me. When someone did, if they poked fun or ridiculed me, I would leave. They always thought I was bluffing. I grew up being ridiculed and treated like I was nothing. I didn’t want to be around that anymore. I spent nearly 30 years without emotional support from anyone. That’s a long time to feel alone.

I have a long journey ahead of me and I feel I won’t be able to have a healthy romantic relationship for many more years. I’m only now starting to get emotional support from other people. It’s only a handful of people but it’s a start. And I provide emotional support for them. I’m not broken but I need to heal. I’ll never be fully healed. The damage is too deep, and I spent years without treating it because I didn’t know I had damage. Time heals all wounds? Maybe. This wound needs all the time I have. If your wounds feel like too much, don’t give up. Give your wounds the time they need. Don’t stop fighting.

The Year I Almost Ruined My Birthday

Birthdays were never something I looked forward to when I was younger. I’m 32 and I can think of four, possibly five, birthdays that were pleasant. Most were uneventful and that is my preferred way for my birthdays to go. The happy highlights include my 11thbirthday, party at Chuck E Cheese’s with everyone from my class; my 26thbirthday, the girl I was dating at the time made the day all about me; my 27thbirthday, my roommate and I had a pirate party and most people there didn’t know it was my birthday.

The not happy highlights include my 15thbirthday, my mother got a restraining order on me (and my father, his girlfriend, and my oldest sister) and the court date was my birthday; my 16thbirthday, the family and I were broke down about 20 miles outside Albuquerque, NM waiting for the engine to cool down so it could overheat 20 miles later; my 17thbirthday, I had a party at my house and two people came. I had never met the second person at my party. All other birthdays are just like any other day and that is my preference.

All these birthdays, both happy and not happy, involved situations that were out of my control. Either bad things I had no control over or someone else planned the party. I have yet to plan a party for myself that succeeded. Maybe I’m just bad at planning parties. Per usual, this year I made no plans for my birthday. I had turned off my birthday settings on my Facebook page and convinced myself that no one would care about celebrating my birthday. This was my first mistake and I felt depressed for a few days leading up to my birthday. The night before, I turned on the birthday setting again.

A few people kept talking about my birthday and asked what I was doing. This perked me up a bit but by then it was too late to make any decent plans. Someone suggested attending a Greek Festival. I had no real interest in this. I mentioned I wanted time alone with a steak dinner and watching a movie. This was a half-joke half-truth. I wouldn’t complain if I had time to myself, but I did want to see a few people on my birthday. I decided to give my sister the contact information for my friends that I wanted to see and left it in her hands.

Nothing was planned. I hoped I could at least enjoy some time to myself that evening at home. My sister was staying with me for the last few months in my tiny one-bedroom apartment and time to myself was rare. She made the joke on more than one occasion that she would plan this epic party and invite everyone I know except me and I would stay home and enjoy a steak dinner. Or she would say she was planning a party where everyone celebrated in their own way at their own homes.

That day, someone I had only just met offered to buy me a pastry. They insisted, and I enjoyed eating something sweet. I felt a little selfish, but I also wanted to feel special. My sister got me a Ninja Blender. It was something I would use and small enough to have in my tiny kitchen. My sister sat on the couch that evening binge watching TV. That’s when the negative thoughts started. Since I wouldn’t have time alone, I thought I would go out for a drink and invite some people out with me. I showered and changed.

I made it to one place I had wanted to go since it opened. It was crowded. I had a beer anyway. I chose to go somewhere else. It felt weird being out alone. I suddenly didn’t want to be around people or crowds and didn’t even want to invite anyone out. I didn’t want to drink. I wanted to read a book and be alone. I drove myself to a Barnes & Noble just before they closed and bought two books. My birthday gifts to myself. This eased my negativity, but it all came back when I got home.

My sister was still binge watching so I grabbed my bag with a book and writing notebooks and I went to Starbucks, where I work part-time. The ladies working briefly sang Happy Birthday. Just enough in an attempt to embarrass me but not long enough to annoy me. It was kind of perfect. I talked with them for over an hour and this helped settle my mind. The negative thoughts still lurked beneath the surface. Sleeping would put my mind back into the right place, but I knew it wouldn’t take much to push me back over the edge.

I almost ruined everything by getting angry because no one was spoiling me but given my birthday experiences, I think I’ve earned a little spoiling. Maybe one day I’ll find that special someone who goes all out planning something for me. I imagine I’ll have a few more mundane, uneventful birthdays before that happens. I’ve realized I don’t communicate or express my needs, wants, and wishes and I’m sure this is why I don’t get the things I want. I thought I had always made it clear what I wanted, but each day I learn something new about my condition. One day I’ll figure out this whole human thing.

To summarize, it was another uneventful birthday, and this was my own fault. I didn’t do anything to make it eventful. I don’t know that I will do anything special next year. I don’t think about my birthday the way other people think about theirs. I don’t think about most holidays like others. I have a long way to go with no end in sight. All I can do is keep working hard and moving forward. For now, I need to tell people what I want.

Drowning In Thought: Seeking A Corridor of Courage.

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I would not look upon my anger as something foreign to me that I have to fight. I have to deal with my anger with care, with love, with tenderness, with non-violence. – Thich Nhat Hanh

Drowning In thought: Seeking A Corridor of Courage.

By: Francesca Seopa

Lost in words

Drowning in thought

Seeking a corridor of courage.

In search of a craft

That can help me culminate a

collage of creativity.

Engulfed in engraved empathy

On all levels of perspective.

Preaching Peace yet overwhelmed by pain.

Chained by trauma

Trapped by memories of Tragedy.

Yet, I still seek a corridor of courage.

With paintings compassed by a 

collage of creativity.

Reflecting on the realities,

Realized on a journey

Rallying for unquenchable freedom.

Lost I might seem

Afraid I am,

An uncensored desire I’ll always have.

Driven by Destiny,

And A self Narrated Philosophy.

Lost in thought

Drowning in words,

Yet, I’ve never felt such warmth.

A home in confusion,

A hut in hostility.

Painful yet fulfilling

A pleasure found in destruction.

A self narrated ” building ” Destruction.

Driven by Destiny,

Or A self Narrated Philosophy?

I will Find Myself,

As I Voyage through this Destruction.

Surely, A Self Narrated Philosophy 

And Driven By Destiny and Passion.

Thank you for being with me. I look forward to seeing you here again. Let us rebuild a healthy state of Mind.

Love,

Francesca

When I Finally Knew My Worth

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This has been the hardest road I ever travelled on. This Journey of finding myself and who I was destined to be after trauma has not been easy. I hope that this gives people hope that one can come out victorious even when they had gone through circumstances that were unbearable. I really travelled through this madness to find myself. I became comfortable with myself in this space (on this planet) because I no longer have nothing to prove to anyone. I just have to be authentically me. I had to changed how I saw (my perspective) of my circumstances and the world. I chose me first. I chose to follow my intuition, my inner-compass.

I will never be anything less than me and if that bothers you, step out of my light. – Anonymous

After so many years of soul searching and seeking external validation, I have outgrown so many things. I outgrew people who gladly offered criticism instead of support. I stopped trying to meet unrealistic expectations that were set by my family. I have outgrown my own unrealistic expectations of myself and my need to people please. accomplishment-achievement-adorable-1119981I no longer associate myself with human beings, who wear masks and secretly rejoice at my misfortunes and my mistakes. I ceased shrinking myself for people who were intimidated by my presence and by my intelligence. People who wouldn’t allow me to express myself because they were intimidated by my outspoken nature. Even when I was shrinking myself, I had the courage to break the silence and hear myself sing again.

I have outgrown friendships, love-ships and family-ships that did not celebrate accomplishments. I stopped supporting people who disappeared whenever life got a little tough. I learnt to respect myself. battle-black-blur-260024I no longer associated with people who took pleasure in gossiping and spreading negativity. Dull, shallow and meaningless conversations are a thing of the past. I value my time and energy more than ever before. I have outgrown society telling me that I am not beautiful and not worthy. I ceased filling my mind with negative thoughts, self doubt and insecurities. I stopped finding reasons not to love myself but more reasons to love others before myself because of my emptiness. I have outgrown people and things that don’t enrich my soul, inner-tuition and my life purpose. After so many years of soul searching and seeking external validation, I have outgrown so many things. My soul is finally free. I finally know my worth more than ever now.

I stopped waiting for the world to give me what I wanted; I started giving it to myself. – Anonymous

Thank you for being with me. I look forward to seeing you here again. Let us rebuild a healthy state of mind.

Love

Francesca

Falling In Love After Trauma

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As a child I felt myself to be alone, and I am still, because I know things and must hint at things which others apparently know nothing of, and for the most part do not want to know. Loneliness does not come from having no people about one, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to oneself, or from holding views which others find inadmissible. – Carl Gustav Jung

Most people suffering from Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) often have issues forming interpersonal relationships with other people, more especially romantic relationships. Most of us have suffered abuse at the hands of people who have chosen to use us as a container for their rage and their emptiness. The rage that they chose to exert on us was a result of their own life experiences. Please note that all trauma survivors are not responsible for this rage or their emptiness. We were made to believe through our suffering that we were responsible for the rage that was being showered our way. We were made to believe that we would not amount to anything in life and that we had to bear this rage for eternity. We were made to believe that we should discredit our own emotions and overlook our intuition. When a person neglects their intuition, it can be difficult for the person to assess whether the people around him or her are toxic or whether they have good intentions. This is the main cause of why people who have suffered trauma have issues forming relationships (emphasis on romantic relationships).

 The Toxic Cycle of Seeking External Validation:

I have had several friendships and a few relationships with people that were mainly there to fill up the void that I had inside of me. The void that I had as a result of my own trauma. I tried to validate my own existence by being around people who often made me “feel good about myself” or people “I thought were good enough to help me grow“or “those I declared as non-toxic“. My own perception of myself was so distorted because I had no self-esteem and I did not believe in myself. I could not trust my own intuition, and I think somehow toxic people could sense that I had no sense of direction in my life.beautiful-blur-fashion-210628 They could intuit that I was searching for myself in all the wrong places. This resulted in me having dysfunctional friendships and romantic relationships. I wasn’t co-dependent but I tolerated abuse even when I had no reason to. My empathy and altruism are both a blessing and a curse because some people deem these traits as a weakness; using them against me to further hurt me and to make me feel less of a human being. This lead me to further stray from myself because I was constantly seeking external validation; validation from places I knew weren’t meant for me. This is a tough pill to swallow, but I learnt the hard way. By making mistakes and by trusting people I knew my gut told me not to trust. I think some trauma survivors do sometimes struggle with this, especially those who are still at the early stages of recovering. I hope the advise that I give out could help someone in need of it. Even if you don’t need it, I hope you use it when you feel blue or feel like giving up on yourself.

There is no virtue in tolerating toxic behavior. The hardest thing I had to learn; My seeing people’s internal struggles and pain had been my undoing. It was here, I learnt that people steal more than material possessions. – Francesca Seopa

You are all that you need: Set Boundaries To Set yourself Free:

To those reading this, you need to change your inner voice. Sometimes the negative inner voice you might have might be an externalized voice you once heard (during trauma) and your brain chose to internalize it. It is very crucial that one realizes that the brain is a powerful tool, it sometimes protects us even when we don’t need protection. Sometimes things and words get stored in our brains because there are emotional and violent connotations associated with them. The brain is all-powerful and authoritative and we need to acknowledge it’s power in protecting us.agriculture-environment-flower-33044 However, the brain cannot breakdown and analyse where these hurtful things and words come from. We tend to be impulsive and have a lot of anxiety when we hear negative words or when memories are being played out in our brains. It’s not easy and you have to put in the work to make yourself feel better. Secondly, acknowledge your own identity: it will help you praise how far you have come since your trauma. You are a warrior and a survivor, nobody deserves to make you feel less than who you truly are. What’s really important is, all the people in your life, the position and their meaning in your life is dictated by you. We often forget our own power and influence because we have been made to believe that we aren’t so great and that our opinions (our voices) don’t matter. Set boundaries, they are really important. They will help you distinguish between the toxic people and the people with good intent.

No matter what your boundary is, the people that respect you for who you are will stay and not cross your boundaries. I believe that boundaries help us get a sense of what people’s intentions are, they should be established at the very beginning of any relationship. So that you can know when to walk out. bloom-blossom-close-up-235941You are worthy, We are all Kings and Queens and if anybody makes you feel any less, use your intuition to navigate the situation. If you don’t trust yourself yet, talk to someone whom you trust so dearly. If you don’t have a great support system use online support groups and mental health professionals to navigate your situation. Your gut always has something to say, even if you doubt it, talk to someone about it. Most of us have learnt to suppress our emotions. It is essential that we re-learn how to express them because our emotions can help get a sense of how our bodies react to certain situations. Lastly, Love yourself, love how your body unfolds and love how you present yourself in this world; people will sometimes make you second guess yourself. Be firm and learn to stand your ground about who you are. You have life and your life will serve a greater purpose on this world. Even when you doubt yourself, just start by appreciating the fact that you’re still breathing. The little things always count. You will heal, take your time and don’t rush yourself to do anything!

Walls keep everybody out. Boundaries teach people where the door is. – Highly Sensitive Refuge

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Very few people will get past my detectors and earn a place at my table. And if you knew how long it’s taken me to find peace in this life. You’d understand why I’m so careful who I let close to me. – Brooke Hampton

Thank you for being with me. I look forward to seeing you here again. Let us rebuild a healthy state of mind.

Love

Francesca

When Things Don’t Sparkle Like They Used To

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We are all a little broken. But last time I checked, broken crayons still color the same. – Trent Shelton

This is a letter to anyone who has been recently diagnosed with a chronic illness or a mental illness. This  letter will contain all the things I wanted to hear from someone when I initially got diagnosed. When I needed to be comforted and when  I was experiencing inner turmoil and conflict. I hope this letter comforts someone in need of a shoulder to cry on.

Dear Lovely Friend,

It took me forever to get a diagnosis. For all the hospital trips that I made whilst seeking help made me feel worthless. I was being told from time to time that what I thought or felt “was all in my head” and that it meant nothing. That all the pain that I felt will be melted away by the pills that I was prescribed. Deep down in my heart, I knew I meant more than a diagnosis and a hand full of prescription pills. I thought that I would be happier after knowing what was wrong with me. Little did I know, I had so much work to do, so much healing to do. Not only was I unwell but I had no sense of self and I had no idea about who I was.

After being diagnosed with Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD), Depression, Panic Disorder and chronic migraines. I really felt like my past did define me. That I never knew who I was outside my trauma. For a while I felt like a label predicted my future and I felt so much shame because of it. “I am a failure and I would never amount to anything in life“, my inner critic would scream at me from time to time. I never knew who I was outside of what my abusers thought of me and outside the seed they decided to plant in me. I had never used my own voice for such a long time, I became so familiar with speaking in silence that I really expected other people to interpret my silence and have them possibly “read my mind“.

I was living most of my life feeling benumbed and not understanding how I could exist each day without true connection with my body, mind and soul and also with other people. My soul ached and craved to connect to those who have walked in my shoes, to those who were in similar situations as me but still I struggled to find them. I had felt so disempowered for so long that I forgot that I was my own safe haven and my own source of strength. I had lived a lie for so long because of what I had been told I would amount to, and how much of a failure I was. That I lost sight of my life purpose,most importantly I lost my spark, my self-esteem and my voice. I longed to be comforted and held by someone who could sympathize with what I was going through. I truly needed healing from someone’s soothing words. I needed a hero but little did I know I was the hero I was searching for my entire life.

To the everyone who struggles to get up in the morning, to the old me that was seeking comfort from all the wrong places because I could not find my own way. Here are the things I wish I knew then :

Nothing is more powerful than your own voice:

The biggest mistake I made was to allow my own voice to be drowned by the opinions of others. This was mainly due to my low self-esteem and the programming one endures during  trauma or prolonged trauma.beach-dark-dawn-39853 I learnt not to listen to my own voice, and I deemed my voice as something that was illogical or absurd. I did not understand that one uses their voice to express emotions, that emotions were meant to flow like water in a river. I was always surpressing my emotions and I had issues expressing negative emotions. Looking back now I wish I never bottled up any emotion. Emotions are meant to come and go and if one delays that process, emotions tend to lead to psychosomatic symptoms or other health problems in the future. Emotions are not abnormal, they are peculiar but they deserve to be expressed. Let them sift through your body without hindering that process. This most definately had to be the most difficult thing I had to relearn, I still to this day, struggle with handling my emotions.

Healing is not linear:

Living with chronic or mental illnesses entails dealing with flare ups. There will be bumps along the road, I mean this is part of life and life is very unpredicatble. It was really difficult for me to accept the fact that I have no control over certain situations in my life, especially with my health. art-artistic-bisexual-1209843The uncertainty made me feel uneasy, I wanted to feel safe. My constant need to control things was due to my fear of being harmed. I always felt a need to look out for myself even when it wasn’t necessary for me to do so. I do experience sparks in my life, where im really happy and content with my life. I have always tried to embrace those experiences. When I feel blue, working with a team of mental health professionals and a support system that are in sync with my personality often improves my optimissim and helps me create a frame work that keeps me sane. Meditation, soundness and yoga have helped me calm my mind and have helped me become more aware of how I present myself in this world. I became more aware of all the people around me and my surroundings. They have also helped me realise that I shouldn’t allow the future to collapse under the burden of my memory. The battle of man to seize the ear of his kind is one of the most important things I learnt. People with Mental health issues and Chronic illnesses deserve to be heard, they deserve to be understood and not cirtisized for their suffering. They should not be judged by the chapter of their stories (their lives) that people walk in on.

Missing who I was before My diagnosis:

I will admit that at some point in time I had issues accepting my diagnosis. This was due to the stereotypical and cultural stigma that forced me to discredit my diagnosis. This hindered my healing and led me to spiral out of control.city-lights-close-up-dark-1096060 At some point I was filled with so much anger and wanted to work towards being the person I was before my diagnosis. I also thought that what happened to me was not part of me at all. I battled against so many people that tried to help me. I pushed so many people away because I could not trust them; even when they meant no harm. I lost so many friends and this made me feel lost and lonely. I thought something was wrong with me. I truly yearned to be who I was before my diagnosis. My life had changed so drastically after a couple of labels that were thrown my way and were now apart of my life forever. It was only when I grew to realise that everyone is a little broken; some people hide their brokeness by disparaging how broken other people are. I decided to begin loving myself, loving how my body was unfolding, loving my empathetic and altruistic way of living despite what people had to say to me and about me. But most importantly, accepting my diagnosis. Looking back now, I realise there was truly nothing I did wrong. I am only human, failure and success are birth rights and there’s absolutely nothing I could do to change these. I am choosing to never let a stumble in the road be the end of my journey. I will not believe everything that I think because some of my thoughts were programmed in my brain to ambush me of my dreams. These thoughts contributed to my loneliness, led me to further isolate myself from people and led to my feeelings of unworthiness. I will follow my intuition and live my life the way I know how.

To the old me that was recently diagnosed, to the person who needs to hear this right now. Please note that:

Children never look back and this means that we must never allow the future to be weighed down by memory. For children have no past, and that is the whole secret of the magical innocence of their smiles. – Milan Kundra, The book of Laughter and Forgetting

Embrace your inner child and remember to laugh is to live profoundly despite whatever you go through.

i love our story. sure it's messy, but it's the story that got us here. (1)

Thank you for being with me. I look forward to seeing you here soon. Let us rebuild a healthy state of mind.

Francesca

i love our story. sure it's messy, but it's the story that got us here.