One of the things that really struck out to me at the height of my struggle with mental illness, was the perceptions of those around me. It is not bad enough to have these confusing, and alienating swarms of self doubt, and self dissatisfaction in your mind, but to grant matters worse, mostly everybody who you open up to about the situation that you face, will likely have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.
If you are indeed lucky, and you decide to turn to somebody who has even an ounce of compassion within them, they may offer you the standard comments of feigned compassion, ‘everything will be alright’, ‘you just have to think more positively’, or..(and this one has to be my favourite), ‘all you have to do is pray’.
Whilst all of these gestures truly meant well, they were all missing out on one vital aspect of my mental illness. What i was feeling, was entirely out of my control. This is the part of mental illness that many cannot seem to wrap their head around. And truly, i do not know if i can blame them for that anymore. What is categorised as mental illness is actually the collection of your own belief systems, thoughts, experiences, and energetic imprints, malfunctioning, because they are all together damaging! One can not truly expect somebody who hasn’t lived the same life as them, or even a similar life, to walk inside of their shoes in this way, and to understand the things that haunt them, or the ways in which they are haunted.
This is what separates mental illness so from physical illness. Physical illness has physical manifestations. Everybody will believe you are sick because they can physically see, that indeed you are sick. Your skin may appear frail, you may exhibit symptoms of being unwell, such as excessive coughing, fatigue, or outbreaks of skin disorders.
But what about mental illness?
Doesn’t that too carry physical manifestation?
Well, actually..Yes it does. Because our internal system is in such direct accordance with our external systems, (as above, so below), the thoughts and feelings that we conjure whilst we are suffering from depression, anxiety, or let’s say ptsd, we do actually begin to exhibit notable bodily changes during our suffering.
The biggest physical manifestation for me during this period, was weight gain. But this actually differs from sufferer, to sufferer, with some instead dropping an alarming amount of weight within a short space of time.
Typical with many empaths, is our desire to shield ourselves from the ‘psychic attack’, the external energies that attach themselves to us, and the feelings that they stir within us. You will find that many empaths are actually overweight or struggle with food issues, because food is one of the defensive shields that are used to allow us to feel grounded, and one could even argue that the layer of fat that surrounds us when we are overweight, serves as a protective barrier, (psychologically), from that which threatens to destabilise us. I feel as if these protective measures are only magnified if the empath exists in a space that is absolutely polluted with vampiric energy, and negative life force – which is typically alot of the time.
Ranging inbetween insomnia and fatigue.
During the most intense periods of my mental illness, i would fluctuate between being completely unable to get any sleep, to being so devastatingly tired, that all i could do was draw my curtains and sleep for hours, and hours on end. Sleep was yet another tool that i used for escapism. Whilst i was asleep, i could escape to dream land, and i did not have to deal with, or face any of the ugly things that the waking world had to offer me – including myself. The nights that i was held captive to insomnia, were simply a result of my inability to shut off my mind, and the intense desire that i had to overthink every single detail, and event of my life up until that exact point.
I may not have been aware that i was so sinking into the depths of something that would refuse to let me go, even years later, but i definitely knew that something was not right within, but whilst i did not know what, i would set myself up on a mission every night, to scrutinise, and analyse, why my life was so? Typically, i would be pretty hard on myself when i did this. Or rather, the depression, would be so hard on me. Somehow, my mind would always manage to pinpoint all of the worst things that i had experienced, and chose the night time, possibly the loneliest, and the most quiet time, to go over it all, to assess it to fine minute detail, and to mock myself for being ever so silly, so gullible, and so unlovable. Such was the narrative of my evenings.
Poor skin hue.
It may seem like new age, or vegan propaganda, but it is true that along with the foods that you consume, and the thoughts that exist within your mind about yourself, have significant impact on the way that you look, the way that your skin appears, how brightly your smile shines, and the condition of your eyes, as well as your nails, hair, and teeth. Somebody who is suffering from depression, ptsd, or anxiety so severely, will surely look unwell. It may not be so apparent to somebody who sees them regularly, or even everyday, but the deterioration of their appearance surely follows, once they have become engulfed by this invisible monster. And ofcourse! It is hardly a surprise. Who wouldn’t begin to look a little off colour if they were suddenly plagued by a host of negative entities intended to destroy them?
Bad thoughts, about yourself, your experiences, and the beliefs that exist as a result of this, are more than enough to cause you to look inside of the mirror one day, and almost not recognise who you are.
Procrastination and lethargy.
Stagnancy, is perhaps amongst the most insidious, and harrowing effects of living with a mental illness. Without the belief in yourself, or the motivation to make a change, it is very likely that your situation will prolong itself, once again – this is not in your control, so your ability to pull yourself out of this funk, becomes seriously limited, and restricted. This is what separates mental illness from simply experiencing a period of stress, or finding yourself overcome with life’s usual ups and downs. In the case of mental illness, you have no energy or desire within you whatsoever to do the necessary work, that may supposedly cure you of your ailments.
Taking walks, getting out there, going to the gym, eating better, seeing friends again – these were all concepts completely alien to me whilst i didn’t even feel like seeing myself. Depression makes you lonely. Extremely lonely. I mean the kind of loneliness that grips at your heart, and threatens to shatter it into pieces. In a world of 7 billion, depression will convince you that nobody is there for you, and that even when you reach out to them, your efforts will all be in vain. Depression will tell you that nobody cares about you. Over, and over again. Anxiety on the other hand, (which it is usually coupled with), will tell you that i if you were to reach out to somebody, they would sense the depth of your depression, and not want much to do with you anyway. Anxiety will tell you that if you tried all of these things, the getting out there, the meeting up with friends, and the going out, that you would only have your worst fears confirmed, and will be judged, scrutinised, and abandoned – inevitably reaffirming your depressive beliefs, and sending you right back to square one.
Two devils – on both shoulders.
So then why is it, even with all of these physical symptoms of mental illness, people still refuse to acknowledge that you are indeed, mentally ill?
Well, that all depends on who you are, and who you are telling. There has existed a long standing stigma with mental health, that it is simply all in the mind, (which it truly is), and can be wished away simply by conquering the mind, and pushing through with a passion anyway.
This was one of the initial problems that i had with spirituality – well, the hippy dippy version of it anyway! The version that said that all you had to do was simply think positively, and all of your troubles would be washed away. Well, you see, that does not work so very well with mental illness. Mental illness is actually a chemical imbalance, caused by the structure of the brain, typically affected, and altered to become over stimulated, and triggered by stress – a negative by-product of childhood trauma.
So simply, ‘positive thinking’, or ‘prayer’, as religious advocates suggested, was not going to be enough. In order to understand mental illness, and effectively fight against it, you must get to the core of it. This is why i became a healer. I am not interested in the fact that things merely exist, i am interested in WHY they exist, how they exist, and in eradicating them, i understand that you must first unfold the secrets to how they came to be.
Healing, is a continuous process. A continual re-wiring of the brain, and ever deepening layers of self realisation. The things that cause your depression, were actually imprinted upon you. They are not yours to keep. But only should you know this, should you begin to work through this.
It is very important to recognise the symptoms of mental illness, because if you are anything like me, and you come from a culture, and an ethnicity that pride themselves on two things – strength through the suppression of emotion, and a stern belief in religious salvation in the face of all turmoil, then you will likely be told many times throughout your struggle, that you are not actually suffering at all, that you must buck up your ideas, and find a way to cope.
This is ludicrous, and a disastrously damaging belief system to perpetuate! Mental illness is real. Whether you do accept that it is through spiritual possession or not – the effects of it, are as real as night and day, and it is important for all ethnicities, backgrounds, and communities, religious, or otherwise, to come to accept this. This is the first step, in healing.
I chose spirituality, because it gave me the option to stand up for myself, to seek within myself, for my answers, for my troubles, for my turmoil, and not seek outside of myself, not to ask God for help that would supposedly fall into my lap one evening and right all of my chemical inconsistencies. No, spirituality made me understand that this ‘God’ that i sought, was only to be found within myself, once i had freed myself of everything that was not ‘of God’. This was the same all knowing God that had entrusted that if i were to be infected with all of these external damning energies, that i too had the power to expel them, and in doing so, bring back the anecdote to expel them in others, as i find myself doing now..
Side note – “People will always do their Very best to invalidate your pain, it is how they get by ignoring their own. Pretending that it does not exist, pretending that every painful occurrence is casual, and non offending, and non penetrating. This is how they get by. This is how they get through life, choosing apathy to hide the wounds that they do not wish to deal with. So they will stare you right in the eyes and tell you that you too are not in pain, that you are merely exaggerating or feeling sorry for yourself. And this is largely because you acknowledging your own wounds takes them to a place within themselves where they have refused to acknowledge their own. Do not fall victim to their delusions or illusions. There is great strength in acknowledging that you have been wounded, it is a skill of the searching, analytical mind to pin point wounds and exact moments that they have occurred. Only then can we begin fixing, and re-arranging, and even healing. What a bold person, to accept, that they are so far from perfect.” “It is absolutely vital that sufferers of depression and post traumatic stress disorder feel validated in their suffering. Often, people attempt to minimise, downplay or outright ignore emotional pain as it does not leave physical scars, and is far more difficult to prove to those who just aren’t willing to grant others the sweet release of acknowledgement. This is particularly a tactic used by abusers to keep themselves safe from being identified as the abuser, whilst continuously abusing the ‘victim’ by denying them any right to feel pain or hurt about their misfortune. This also denies them the ability to begin appropriately healing, or identifying that the destructive behaviours and self inflicted injuries that follow their abuse, are not at all their fault..the very real danger here, is that as a result of such prolonged psychological, emotional, or physical abuse, the victim already doubts themselves and experiences internal conflict in the form of self doubt and confusion, this means that by being told that they are simply being, ‘silly’, or ‘over sensitive’, in their concerns, they are very likely to once again doubt themselves, wondering if at all they are being abused, or if in some way, they are deserving of this abuse..” – Cindy Anneh-bu.
To discuss mental health with me, or book one of my advice, reading services in order to find out what your blockages are, or dream interpretations to uncover the hidden guidance behind your dream symbolism, email me to place a booking. Please note, that i am not a doctor, and do not claim to stand in substitution for professional guidance. I will always advice my clients to find a suitable balance between seeking both professional/medical advice, and holistic therapies. Please always consult a medical professional about the best options available to your for treatment, and never feel obliged to go through with any method that feels uncomfortable to you. There are always people to speak with, either myself, or your closed loved ones about options that are available to assist you in your recovery. Above all, please know that you are always worth this help, and this healing. And if i could make it out of my worst, suicidal days, then so can you! Just look at me now..
© Seek Cindy 2016
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