Tag Archives: Mental Health

Overcoming Hopelessness: Nick Vujicic

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Although my life has been far from idyllic, it certainly hasn’t been the trial that so many others on this planet suffer through.

I am genuinely grateful for that. However, I do have, and have had for nearly thirty years, a mental illness that has robbed my of my ability to view my life and life in general, in a true and clear manner. My vision of the world has been tinted with scratches and murky dark clouds. Clouds that became physical burdens often.

But I never stopped trying to find a solution to this situation – to the reality of my life. I kept trying and trying to find peace and maybe a speckle of happiness. I look at other sources outside my mind to generate calm and discover different points of view. I’ve heard this described as bravery or courage. To not succumb to the darkness.

I don’t think that’s what it is.

Although I no longer wake, disappointed to still be alive  – the truth is I don’t really have any passion for life. I have been banished from my nephews’ lives, my mother only remembers me when she needs something and all but a couple of friends have found my journey through Depression to be exhausting to the point of abandonment. Losing Horatio, then Jack ten months ago was in a way, the final straw in my connectivity to this world.

While I have a deep awareness of ‘Why’, it doesn’t alleviate the sting of the reality.

So, without a purpose or person or reason to ‘live’ I just muddle forward. I am building a website from scratch in the belief that one day it will provide a substantial income. I try to learn something new every day. I am building a kitchen, from the floor up. I have started a long-since dead practice of taking “Afternoon Adventures“. I Create something EVERY day. I blog. I watch. I view. I read.

Although there is no ‘happiness’ in my life I can claim to be ‘happi-er‘. And this is a grand victory against previous hopeless moments.

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Prepare To Have Your Mind Blown!

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I wanted to share a meme + video with you,
BUT
before I do I just wanted to highlight something that you’ve probably already notices.

My ‘depressive’ posts are become fewer and fewer.
There has been a gentle swing here at Pialosophy in the past few months,
that points to something important
– taking control of your Mental Health means getting your life back.

One step after tiny step,
day by day.
It is happening peeps.

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So now onto the Mind Blowing section . . .

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I saw this men on 9gag last night, and I have to admit, it’s philosophical and cognitive question I have often wondered.

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And it turns so has the rest of the world.

Now watch this video and PREPARE yourself.
What you will learn is pretty trippy.

You’re welcome!

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What’s Your Most Public Wrong?

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Not so long ago, when I was battling with a severe turn in my war with Clinical Depression, I wrote a post about how noone in the world is so important that they make a difference. A difference of any measure or proportion.

And if you read it,
I’m sure you wanted to tell me just how wrong I was.

But it wasn’t ME that was speaking – it was the Black Dog.
The ugly voice that seeps into my skull and winds it way through every tendril and synapse of my brain.

My Clinical Depression is a beast that has made me question the validity and purpose of Homo sapien sapien on our beautiful Blue Planet.
Our net worth.
We seem to cause so much more destruction than we do innovation, and humanity itself vipers back onto itself repeatedly to cause such misery.

In truth, it is Mankind’s (& I use this gender specific term deliberately)
that I have a problem with.

In 2014 I faced the most basal knowledge of humanity and the ultimate purpose of us being in existence. I desperately sought some minuscule grain of hope that would give me a more wondrous outlook on the future of us all.
Even the tiniest glimmer of better things ahead.

And what did I discover?

That the Hope that I desperately seek, is not in grandiose or mammoth achievement or pursuits . . . . .
. . . it is in the tiny things that we do in our every lives that make Life sing with Purpose.

The kindness, compassion and honesty that are the keystones of a “Good Person” are what create a beautiful community and a world worth living in.

It is the granny who collects rubbish in the park as she goes on her evening walk.
It is the rock star who speaks to an autistic fan with true ‘is-ness’.
It is the homeless man who adopts and cares for a stray dog.
It is the nun who uses church funds to open a home for poor & the ill.
It is the mother who who goes without new clothes for five years, so that her children can attend a better school.
It is the Wealthy man who shares all his knowledge rather than hordes it.
It is the broken & alone woman who allows her ‘best friend’ to attack her verbally, because she know that her BF is in pain and just needs to yell.

It is actually the undocumented ‘goods’ that happen every day in every corner of our world, that make Humanity and our existence real.
And it is these ‘goods’ that make life worth living and each new day worth looking forward to.

Clinical Depression steals the view we have of this possibility.

It clouds what is really in front of us and instead throws up a murky curtain, a vision, of our greatest dread. A completely false vision.
Without my medication I would not be able to push that illegitimate vision aside and see the truth.

In fact – I wouldn’t even be here.

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And The Villain Is French Champagne

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Sometime last year, I stumbled across a gem of a find in my local bottle shop (liquor store).
It was a bottle of French Champagne that only cost $20.
Yep – just TWENTY dollars.

And it was good.

But that’s not even the most alluring part of my tale.
This green bottle containing the golden bubbles that travelled all the way from France,
was preservative and chemical free.
And do you know what that translates to?

No hangover!

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Oh em gee.
I had discovered Nirvana.
Well, perhaps a sample of Nirvana.

And so, up until a couple of months ago, whenever I managed to put aside the required $20, I purchased myself a bottle of the wondrous bubbles.
I drank from a traditional champagne glass as seen with Audrey in “Breakfast At Tiffany’s”.
Handblown glass from Vietnam, if you don’t mind!

Audrey

And can you guess what the consequence was?

Actually, there’s no need to guess, just go back and read my posts from the last ten months.
Black.
Hopeless.

I know that in hindsight it seems SO blatantly obvious that the consumption of alcohol would exacerbate my Clinical Depression [or **Asthma as I coded it].
Alcohol is of course technically a Depressant.
Derrrrrrrr, Pia !!!

But I wasn’t partaking of a glass (or ten) EVERY night.
It was just once in a while.
When I could find the money.

Then a few months ago in early July, I decided to reboot my ‘I Quit Sugar’ efforts and give up alcohol at the same time. The process was as simple as that. I haven’t missed the alcohol, but I have missed the action of drinking. The pouring of golden nectar into the cute little glass. The sound of the bubbles as they cascaded into the glass.

Oh my god – the sound of the bubbles!

It just felt awesome to sit at my desk and tap away at my keyboard, pausing every now and then to take a sip. So grown up. So sophisticated. So glam! Ooh la la.

But that has all changed.

And when you no longer drink, can I just say that the consumption of alcohol on tv, movies, etc is actually pretty high. Like WAY high. Whenever Penny on the “Big Bang Theory” is in her flat – she’s drinking wine. Whenever two guys are talking in a movie – they’ve got beer. Whenever a rich movie character gets home – they pour a scotch from a heavy crystal decanter. Next time you turn the tv on or watch a movie, take note. You’ll see what I’m talking about.

But there is a silver lining.

Bit by bit, I appear to be coming out of the darkest, heaviest of fogs.

I’m not getting ahead of myself, I am just making a record for myself. Here on my own Blog.
I no longer consume alcohol,
and my future looks quietly brighter.

“I may just be ok”, she whispers to herself.

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Broken

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I realised two very important things during this past week.

  1. I am Broken – Humpty Dumpty broken
  2. There is a glimmer of hope in knowing how ‘unfair’ the world is, and yet still building a life worth living.

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There is a state that all Mammals are affected by called ‘imprinting’. It is a psychological affect that simply means: meaningful relationships ‘imprint’ certain behavioural expectations for future relationships. Our earliest relationships, i.e. our parents, leave the strongest imprint.

Neither of my parents are particularly great role models. Their behaviour as nuturers is far from favourable.

Now, I have never nor will I ever, blame my parents for how I turned out. Purely and simply – it’s just not helpful. It won’t heal me or help me move forward.

But if I’m being honest with myself, both my parents were terrible Parents. Narcissism was entrenched in both of their psyches, they both drank heavily, they blamed others for their situations in life, they both believed that they were ‘innocents’ being taken advantage of by others and both of them were terrible with money. And they had four children in the space of three years (twins in the middle).

All four of us kids suffered different mental trauma from our parents’ decision making. As I’ve said – I don’t blame them or necessarily hold them accountable. I do however believe that being exposed to two very selfish adults as our first role models, was always going to cause havoc to our growth as healthy human beings.

And it did.

I have been especially conscientious in trying to discover who my Mother was and where she came from. I have been back to her homeland, South Africa, eight times. My siblings have only been twice and once respective to their age, when we all travelled with Mum in our childhoods. My Father refused to ever go with her. In my adult years I attempted to have written relationships via letter and then email, with my cousins and second cousins. I spent time staying with my Mum’s best friend and both of her elder brothers and their wives.

I listened to stories that were full of equal amounts of fact and bias. One of my Tannies (Aunts), couldn’t wait to tell me how selfish my Mum was, when she got  a job as an air hostess and left South Africa in her mid 20’s. Apparently abandoning her parents in the process. Over the years in between and since my visits, I have been able to put together a very accurate picture of my Mother and where she came from. It was a stifling and emotionless upbringing and it’s little wonder that she wanted to escape.

If only she had learnt from all of this experience.

My Father is another another story altogether. I’ll keep it short by saying – he was/is Gay, had a Mother who favoured him and who disliked men (although she had three husbands), has no relationship with any of his three siblings, had no relationship (at all) with his Father, was flamboyant and very social and couldn’t hold down any job for more than two years.

A Role Model of Stability, wouldn’t you say?

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Yesterday one of the few girlfriends that I still allow a relationship with, H, dropped by with a healthy Subway lunch. Despite being utterly flat out in her own busy life, she scrounged the hour to come and see me.

We barely had half an hour of quick ‘what’s happened this week’ exchanges, when an elderly ex-customer from my Purple Paper House days came to the front door.

Now I’m not proud to admit this, but FUCK! – I just wanted an hour with my friend without interruption – so we both just sat still and silent pretending noone was home.

This didn’t deter her!

She went around the back of my property and came in the back door. Fuck!

No hiding now.

So she came in and interrupted our afternoon and talked about herself , etc etc. H of course had to leave (school pickup) and so I was stuck. I’m a really crap liar so I couldn’t find a way to extricate myself from the situation 😦

In the end I just subjugated to her presence, got her a glass of water and offered her a seat. I listened to an hour of her and her husband’s health problems, her son’s love life and money woes, etc, etc. Then, without warning, she turned the conversation onto me and my love life (or lack of) asking where my boyfriend from two year sago was, where my other two (dead) dogs were, was I working, what about my family?

I wasn’t prepared for the constant peppering of questions, and subsequently became ’emotional’. Eventually I blurted out that my life sucked and I was only alive because I had to be.

She then proceeded to apologise, exclaim that it was unfair for me to have to stay alive because others said I had to and finally asked me what manner I had planned to use in case of suicide !!!

I then got a twenty minute run down of the safest ways to kill myself, that were painless and trauma-less (for me assumably). She gave me three solutions of suicide saying a number of time, “I probably shouldn’t be telling you this, but . . . “. I was also told that I could contact Dr Nietchke but would have to lie about being depressed and possibly my age as well.

I honestly didn’t know what to say. I was dumbstruck!

After she’d been here an hour, she decided to leave.
I felt like crawling into bed and never getting up again.
Ever!

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When you drop a raw egg, it’s not just the shell that breaks.

As the shards of the shell come to rest after a breakage, the real chaos and destruction becomes evident. The life-force of the egg, the yolk, is now compromised. It cannot be ‘put back together again’.

Despite decades of research, therapy and effort I now realise that I have been concentrating my efforts on putting back together my shell. The outer casing that is presumed to be the whole of the entity. I didn’t even think of the yolk.

And I’ve realised this truth, too late!

Beat Down The Inner Voices

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There is something so incredibly powerful about beating the negatives voices that rule your own psyche. The voices that have such a loud voice in your own mind that you can’t actually shut them down. Or block them out.

And over the past 6 – 18 months, I have managed to put the bastards to bed.
I am finally rid of all the nagging and insidious voices that were controlling my life via my brain.

Yes, being under the care of my amazing GP and also a Psychiatrist + taking anti-depressants, including a new (secondary) one, had been a big part of this conquest.

But I also want to credit myself – I DID this!
I continued to strive to cane the *asthma*.

And I am coming to a place where I am not pressuring myself to conform to a predetermined notion of what I should be achieving. What I should be!

The Dalai Llama regularly answers the question,
“What is the meaning of life?”,
with,
“To find true happiness”.

It may be that I have unwittingly stumbled onto this path of enlightenment.

 

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If you are unaware of the ‘voices’ that I am talking about,
then watch (& listen) to this video to understand!

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Bad huh?!?

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An Amazing Day

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Despite having *Asthma*, the reality is, I have a normal day-to-day life. I have to feed my dog, eat food, shower, brush my teeth, poop! Although I’m not working at the moment after losing my job in difficult circumstances last December, the reality is I still fill each day with ‘stuff’.

That’s life.

But if I’m being honest with myself, I can’t quite admit to owning a ‘normal’ life. My day-to-day requires fuel, personal grooming and certain responsibilities, but other than that I have built a pretty unusual existence.

I spend a minimum of five hours a day making things. With paper or timber, old palettes, modelling clay, plants, old books, ribbon, fabric, canvases, paint, lace, crayons, wire, household items (like pegs), and sSO MUCH MORE.

I absolutely adore being creative.

I have developed a keen sense that EVERY human being needs to have a creative outlet. An activity that stretches the ligaments of the imagination and exercises our curiosity – to try to create something new. A recipe, a handmade card, a new garden bed, a diy home remedy, a new set of musical cords, a flower arrangement, a cocktail!

And I feel like I am good at nurturing creativity in others.

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8 months ago I decided that I wanted to have an outlet to sell all the things I made. My flowers, my diy craft kits, my  altered vintage books, my palette derived home decor, my handmade paper flowers, my bunting, my mercury glass, my hair clips, my paper garlands, my twig hearts, my feather canvases, my fancy tags,  my paint swatch art, my vintage tin pansy containers, and so much more.

However all the outlets in my town and surrounding region that allow me to sell my creative wares, are all bait – wrong!

There is no handmade markets in my area, so I only have the choice of attending market that also house fruit & veg, bali imports, secondhand books, secondhand clothes, etc. It’s not ideal.

PLUS – all the markets in my area are outdoors, and as most of my goods are paper-based this means quite often . . . disaster (or at the least, soggy or sun-scorched products). Surely I could find a market-style outlet for my hand,made goods?!? There are so many people in my areas (South West, Western Australia) that value highly the novelty and quality of handmade and crafted items.

But I couldn’t.

So I started my own Indoor Market-Style outlet . . . . the Busselton Creative Co-Op.

It took eight months of wrangling with my local Council and lots and lots of paperwork. An insane amount of paperwork. Then just three and a half weeks ago, I was given notice that I had permission to run our first Co-Op on Saturday 12th July. TODAY!

So I work even harder than I had in the previous 8 months – I promoted the shit out of it on Facebook and I organised Public Liability Insurance and I booked and paid for the venue and I designed and paid for newspaper advertisements and I spoke to numerous people about selling their handmade produce AND I organised thirteen stalls to attend our Co-Op today.

All on my own.

And I have to tell you – I was absolutely and completely blown away with the number of people who attended our first Co-Op. We easily had over 200 people attend over the space of your and a half hours. people were turning up one hour before we even opened! I am still trying to come to terms with our success. My town – Busselton – is notorious for not supporting local events. And here we were, with throng after throng of people, looking at and buying our handcrafted goods.

I need to find a way to actually take on board what I achieved today. I am too adept at deferring the positives in my life. Today/tonight needs to be different.

What I managed to pull off today was nothing short of a coup!

But this wasn’t the end of my Amazing Day.

When I left the grounds, after packing my little Beep Beep and cleaning the hall, I dropped into my local liquor store to buy a bottle of champagne. And I bumped into one of the ladies who I had worked with in my previous job. I hadn’t spoken to her since November last year. She was SO happy to see me and was so apologetic about what had happened to me. She was just so sincere in her desire to see me happy and in gainful employment. So after I had explained about the Co-Op and our success of the day, she was so upbeat and happy for me.

She gave me a big hug and told me that I deserved nothing short of happiness.

It was just the most awesome, amazing day.

My imagination finds no need to rest. As long as my hands can move and my eyes can see, I will create beautiful things.