So I fell in a hole.
A pretty fucking dark one this time too.
I was unable to get out of bed most days and I literally froze, like a rabbit in the headlights, every time I sat at my computer to work.
I couldn’t understand what had happened.
I gave in. I went to the doctors.
Yeah, that’s right – the ‘Happiness Ninja’, on happy pills.
Surely that’s cheating, right?
There’s no shame in asking for help.
THERE IS NO SHAME IN ASKING FOR HELP.
It’s ok to ask for help; to take a break from this madness; to press reset, pick up the pieces dust yourself off and start again.
After starting the year with a right bang; my mush on the front cover of a magazine in Australia, interviews with Virgin and Standard Issue Magazine, I’d gone on to line up the most awesome few weeks working with ideal clients all over the country. I’d been signed to a London Photo Agency and even braved pitching to photograph Denise Duffield Thomas’ Lucky Bitch UK event and got the j.o.b.
I was dead proud of myself.
I 100% expected this to carry on and to go on some right exciting adventures, and I assumed these adventures would be of the external, big wide world type.
The universe had other plans though – it wanted me to go on an adventure within; to face the demons we all try to run from (or ahem, that we sit on the couch, scrolling, numbing and ignoring).
I’d started noticing a pattern. I’d smash it, create awesomeness, ride the wave, love it, feel amazed I’d created this, then BAM. I’d get sick, I’d be exhausted, my whole being would ache to the core, I’d get depressed, and work would dry up.
I’d pull my head out my arse, get myself back out there, smash it, create awesomeness, ride the wave, love it, feel amazed I’d created this, then BAM. I’d get sick, I’d be exhausted, my whole body would ache to the core, I’d get depressed, and work would dry up.
Rinse and repeat.
It was subtle at first so I didn’t notice it. I put it down to what new business was like – peaks, troughs, feasts, famines. Later, as I got to know and understand myself, I put it down to being a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) in business, who just had to learn her limits and manage her energy a little better. But as time went on, this pattern became undeniably clear – as the waves I rode got bigger and bigger, so did the crash that subsequently followed.
Feeling defeated and utterly worn out by it all, my coach, Annette, suggested I go to the doctor.
“I’m not sure what’s going on, I’m here to see you about depression but the funny thing is, I don’t feel depressed – my head is happy, I know who I am; a sunny soul full of joy. I don’t think negative thoughts any more but often the life I am living is completely different to the unlived life inside me. It’s not my head that’s depressed. It’s my body. I feel like it’s letting me down. I have passion. I have purpose. I have drive. But I feel like some force is holding me back. Like my meat suit is two sizes too small for my soul or that it’s really made of a dense metal, weighing me down preventing me from moving forwards with my life.”
I swear this doctor was an earth angel. Not only did I get my appointment that very same day I called (umm, like that never happens) but he was so understanding and just perfect. He prescribed some pills and suggested I get some professional help with this.
I’m still waiting for therapy, as that’s how it is here now in the UK but something amazing has happened since – by using the pills as a break, to help take the weight off the daily struggle to just get up and fight the heavy energy, just so I could function, a few things came to light.
Whilst I’m no stranger to looking inward, I do throw myself into my work at times. Especially when something deeper is trying to get my attention, something that clearly needs healing. It’s just we don’t always notice we’re doing this. With my body feeling so heavy, I struggled to get to work and by just freezing when I sat down at my computer, I decided to take a break from the business and see what was trying to get my attention.
Also, knowing what a fucker facebook is for falling into the ‘scroll hole’, I came off that too. It was just instagram and cat pictures for me 🙂
I took a couple of weeks to solo-retreat, I meditated, I ‘now’ed’, I yoga’d, I walked dog, I made friends with butterflies, I journaled, I spoke to friends, family. I went bat shit crazy on the self-care.
I found out I have complex post-traumatic stress disorder. I learnt that it’s not just soldiers and people from war torn countries who can get suffer with this. Trauma can affect anyone. We’re all different. What can bounce off one person, can completely annihilate someone else.
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Suddenly every issue, problem and random behaviour in my life made sense.
Finding out I have PTSD has actually been the best thing ever.
Yeah, I know. I’m a fucker for silver linings but armed with this knowledge, the missing piece of my own puzzle, I know what I’m working with now and can move forward in a way that works for me.
Committing to a complete break from my distractions, earning a few quid doing part time admin work over summer and just taking it one day at a time. I’ve mustered so much strength and inner peace. I have gained so much clarity too.
It’s like I couldn’t see the forest for the trees.
So yeah, PTSD is a bitch. But I can be an even bigger bitch when I have to be.
I’m back and I’m really excited to tell you about the things I’ve got lined up… they’ll just happen in their own time, and I’m 100% ok with this.
I’m not letting this define me or put me in a box.
Big love xxx