I have been doing really well lately but I still have my lows. I think it may have more to do with weather than me personally but I can’t help but be affected by SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) I struggle with the common symptoms of depression, oversleeping and overeating. I was becoming really hard on myself and hating myself a bit for these things but finally have decided to give myself some grace. It is a season, a season in my life in which I may not be feeling a hundred percent, but everyday I become a little more like my self before I experienced psychosis.
It had been a long downward spiral following my psychosis, with the deepest depressions I had ever experienced, inability to do even basic functions like shower regularly and brush my teeth. It lasted a couple years but I am finally beginning to see the light again. I was spending each day binge watching whatever TV show I set my mind to that day but mostly having it as background noise to drown out the spiraling negativity growing louder in my mind. Thoughts like “You’re not normal and you’ll never be normal” tormented me all day and everyday. One thought stayed with me and repeated itself until it became a limiting belief “You can’t learn anything new anymore. Your brain has been damaged by psychosis.” This thought and then belief tormented me the most because I was used to a life of academia and succeeding at it (being the top of my class in everything). I felt like I had lost myself.
Now, years later, I am starting to rebuild. I am challenging my limited belief by taking two course at the local college – Typography and Drawing Techniques. These are both courses offered in the Graphic Design Program which I hope to one day complete. However, I am giving myself even more grace by accepting that maybe I can learn but not necessarily at the pace and skill level I was at before. I am allowing myself (without getting upset) to simply pass these courses. I used to have a NO BELOW 80 Rule in every course I took and would put immense pressure on myself to succeed at it.
I have to take into consideration that I have not been in a formal academic setting in over 7 years and have been out of high school just over ten years. The fact is if I just show up to these classes and give it an honest try I will be content with myself since for years I’ve been avoiding even putting myself in that situation. I still hold on to this limiting belief that my brain was damaged by psychosis and I am now unable to learn or pick up anything new but that being said it’s starting to become challenged. For example, I have completed five assignments in my two classes so far and got back my first grades. I have an 80 in Typography and a 90 in Drawing Techniques so far. I don’t believe my grades will stay that high for long but it’s nice to know I was able to grasp at least the beginning material at a sufficient rate.
I am also putting myself out in the community for the first time in years as a volunteer at a local food bank. I again, thought I would struggle to pick the task up and learn what was expected of me but have been doing very well as a volunteer so far and thoroughly enjoy what I am doing. Who doesn’t love giving back!? It is a gratifying experience to be able to contribute in some way to society. I may not be ready to work yet but these are the building blocks to getting myself the confidence to eventually do that. I feel tenfold better about myself and future compared to those days when I was lying on the couch binge watching TV. I feel like I finally have a purpose again. I am still waiting for the other shoe to drop though as I am a pessimistic optimist. I fully expect this to all blow up in my face but you know what I am okay with that cause even if it does, I’ll brush the debris away and start to rebuild again.
I also have a new journal to brag about I bought this weekend in which I plan to write ideas for my book in. It is my first real leather bound journal and it features a prominent Sugar Skull on the front. It is handcrafted and is literally in my opinion the most beautiful thing I have ever owned. I found it by absolute chance as if it was fate. The Wine Shop was closed for fifteen minutes, so me and my boyfriend looked for stores in the same plaza to kill time in. We found a witchy crystal store which had recently just opened according to the owner who greeted us and inside was this treasured journal. I bless the soul who needed a fifteen minute break from The Wine Shop for bringing this item into my life.
I’ve learned a valuable lesson from my psychosis and recovery which is to take each day as it comes and to take small steps each day to reach your goals. The main thing is to always be moving forwards. It doesn’t matter if you move a millimeter or a mile each day, long as you’re moving forwards. And remember you got this! whatever it is you want to set your mind to, I believe you can achieve it as long as you can believe it too.