Step 1: The Realization

Since last week’s blog, I’ve come to realize a few things:

  1. There are always people who care and those people are not always the closest to you, in fact they are probably far away or so busy they might as well be on the other side of the world.
  2. There really is help for anyone who dares to ask for it. I can say that with the help of a very special human friend in my life, and the interest of a good human far away, I now have a little bit of hope in the form of online therapy whenever I feel the need to reach out. It’s not particularly difficult though sometimes it is uncomfortable while I am in the act of typing it all out, the real trouble lies in what happens in the hours and sometimes days that follow. But there is help and that is all I really asked for, and I cannot express how grateful I am to both of these people for giving of their time and effort to make a difference.
  3. Some people won’t regard your depression as a real struggle: In fact I used to be one of those people since I had been brought up in a very Bulgarian family who really do not consider feelings to be of any importance and who regard depression as a phase and sadness as weakness. I still struggle to share any of what is really going on with my family because I do not, at this stage; need to validate what I am going through. A few years back, I had an admirer who unfortunately was also struggling with depression and I found it very unattractive at the time. I feel awful about it now, but I am glad that I have a better understanding and I must admit that I feel rather insecure about what I am going through at the moment, but I have someone who’s slowly proving to me that it is okay to break sometimes and it is not anything to be ashamed of.
  4. Thunder-storms, rain and cuddles combined are a great re-energizer. It happened a night ago. My partner gently woke me up and I got to experience the first summer rain and thunder-storm while in the safest, most wonderful embrace. The storm itself was soft and though the rain didn’t last long, the moment was one that I had never in my life imagined possible for me, it was just perfect. It made me hungry to feel that way more often, as opposed to feeling guilty or undeserving of my own happiness. I deserve to be happy, and even if I may not really know how to be happy at this point, I have glimpses of what it feels to be that way and I am eager to have more of that.
  5. Harry Potter is good for the soul! It may sound off topic, but I think it is very relevant. The story itself is a manifestation of a struggling human’s strength, and in this world I found my own bit of strength. I remember going to watch Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets when I was about 12, it was a very sad day for me and since I had no one to talk to I walked a few km just to go see the movie and get away from home and from my own thoughts… I just felt so easily comforted by every single aspect of the story. I had not read the books back then (I still haven’t because then it all comes to an end. I have decided to read one more book every few years, but I want to drag it out for as long as possible). It took me 12 years since the release of Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The KIng; to watch that because I did not want it to end either, but in any event. It’s nice to have a little magic in your life even in the form of stories and what gives me hope is the fact that I can slowly but surely begin to feel the meaning of those words: magic, adventure, love, trust, hope… it’s not going to be an easy fix but as a much stronger me used to say, ” Nothing is impossible!”
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Figuring Out How To Deal With Not Coping

Last week I wrote a blog about my struggle with depression in an attempt to reach out to the rest of everyone out there who may have been through or is currently going through the same thing.

After completing the blog I then personally messaged those people I considered closest to me and/or would be in connection with someone who might know how to help. I mailed just under 20 people. I was hopeful and looking forward to the new doors this might open, because I have been told that there is always help for those who ask for it.

Well I haven’t just asked for it; I pretty much at this point am begging for it. Out of the 18 or so that I shared my blog with 3 people read and adequately responded… either with concern or a suggestion, 2 others said it was an “awesome” blog to which … when I asked if they had actually read the thing, I pretty soon figured out that they hadn’t even bothered.

This past week I have had to deal with not just the sadness but also with realizing that the people I have been referring to as my closest friends actually couldn’t care less. I’ve had to deal with flash backs from traumatic experiences from my childhood, insecurities, being frustrated that moving to a different city with its different dynamics whilst not knowing anyone is scarier than moving to a new country. Not only am I leaving the people I know in the old city, I am leaving them behind because if I am to find real help and truly move on, I have to start by surrounding myself with people who actually care always and not just when it suits them.

So, here’s the thing. Since there is clearly no one out there who is really willing to help, I guess I will just rant and rave on this blog. I will spill my secrets (as uncomfortable as that might be at first), and I will hope that the process of writing everything down and going through the motions and emotions of it all, might actually help the process.

For sure though, I’m done with being the one who always makes the effort, always forgives and makes excuses for how badly other people treat me. It’s not fair to anyone, especially to me and those who are closest to me because in the end it takes away from the trust I have in them and their intentions for me.

I’m tired of crying for everything, because it feels like everything is just going from grey to black and I see nothing bu feel everything. This blog was started with the intention of being something positive in a really negative world.

Perhaps this world has to be my own.

I.

When You Can’t Afford A Therapist:

You don’t get help.

I was going to title this something along the lines of getting mental health help in South Africa, but just yesterday I experienced something that kind of set me back a little. Let me start off by sharing this story.

At some point last year a friend of mine suggested an online counselor to me, she’s from the USA and she seemed pretty willing to help, she was even willing to drop her prices in order to accommodate my income at that point in time. I was supposed to hear from her in January 2017. I emailed her again yesterday (14 August 2017) only to be told that her slots are full but I could try again in September 2017. Cool, so she didn’t bother with me because her slots (luckily for her) were filled with people for whom she obviously didn’t need to drop her prices. She was kind enough though to refer me to betterhelp.com, they are supposed to be a group of affordable online therapists, BUT before you can even contact them, you have to fill out a form that is supposed to help them place you with the right therapist. It was a very short questionnaire and it went something like this:

Q: Are you currently experiencing anxiety and depression?

A:Yes.

Q: Are you currently experiencing suicidal thoughts?

A: Yes

Q: Are you suicidal?

A:Yes.

Q: How would you rate your current income: good, fair, poor.

A: Poor.

End of questionnaire. What does my income have to do with finding the right therapist for me?

This:

Hello,

We understand it takes a tremendous amount of courage to reach out and ask for help. Unfortunately, based on the answers given when you signed up, we determined that online counseling with BetterHelp may not be the best option for you.

Online counseling is still new and is not the most effective form of therapy for everybody. However, you deserve to get the best help possible, and seeking for help is certainly a step in the right direction. We recommend considering traditional face-to-face therapy and you can find many available therapists in your area by clicking here. If you are in a crisis, or if you need immediate help, please look at these resources.

We are sorry that we couldn’t be helpful to you at this time. Please note that your records, including any information you submitted when you signed up, have been deleted and removed from our database.

Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

Thanks,
BetterHelp Team

This was the response I received shortly after completing the question form.

I have been looking for an affordable therapist for the past few years. I have tried researching our local government institutions and the reviews are frightening, and so I figured I have better chance of surviving without attending a government institution. Private institutions are out of the question as they obviously cost a whole lot more than I can afford to spend, and the cheapest therapist I’ve managed to find, costs 2 times more than what is within my price range, and even if I managed to find someone that is technically within that range, it would still be a struggle for me to see them once a week or even once a month.

The point is: I know I need help, I am actively looking for it, and in the meantime I’m picking at all kinds of scabs and wounds in order to find some sort of root or cause for whatever it was that brought me to this point.

I’m not going to go into how I actually feel at this point in time. This is not a pity party blog, but rather – a final attempt at finding someone who may be willing to help, because I am more than willing to work towards getting better.

For the very first time ever, I have found a home and someone who loves me not just on my good days, but on my bad days too, and if not just for myself, I would like to be better for my partner too.

So this is my plea, if you know of someone, or might even know someone who might know of someone, please send a link to this post and I hope that at some point, someone will realize that a human life is worth more than a few dollars/rands/pounds. I don’t even mind being a research subject if that means finding my feet again.

Thank you for your time,

Iva

Heritage Day

Today is my last day

 

I manage to crawl off the bed that ceased to be coupled almost a decade ago

then land in my still relatively tiny bathroom, though my own physique seems to be shrinking by the second now

I look up at my reflection and I realise the purpose of mirrors

There is a headline,

my face

wrinkled and grey beneath its letters seems to unfold like an over ripe flower without ever having been touched

it says;

Heritage Day

I shuffle along until I trip over the now almost dry white board marker and I begin the list:

One: I inherited the dark lines of deceit off my mother’s core

Two: I learned how to live with being a liar

Three: I came as a foreign being full of love

Four: I was denied love but I’m still leaving filled with only those four letters

Five: Life was beautiful though the darkness is always the beginning of a new story

Six: I inherited the art

Seven: I will never forget

 

I rinse myself off and decide that it would be better to leave full of hope

After all

3 months before they expected me I was ready

13 years before I was

they weren’t

my family

 

The wardrobe whispered the call of majesty

I obeyed my longing eyes

past the dioors and my goodbye suit

I found the two letter phrase barely in disguise and I remembered why

Heritage day:

One: I learned how to judge myself better than anyone had ever judged me

Two: It wasn’t always sunny

Three: How to fake the smile through heartache

Four: How to cause the same

Five: My clothes are cheap

Six: I am unworthychocolat_l

Seven: I knew this each time we made eye contact… after all; we are self proclaimed judges

 

So neat, tidy and fresh I walk towards the lonely seat and the non functional tv

and on the top right hand corner of the screen

A phrase in white paint screams out at me

Heritage Day:

One: My skin colour murdered my first love

Two: I inherited the skill of not caring much for those attributes

Three: My father Died of a broken heart

Four: You saved mine

Five: Our life was puzzled together by vibes and muted sentences

Six: In the end, my quirks were irrelevant and your were my indica

Seven: I fell eternally asleep with the very thoughts that days and nights before had always haunted me.

 

Palm on palm now

My eye lids find their space

No tears left in me

My heritage day is eternal

and I only grew to know that the moment I looked into you!

 

 

 

 

Druidry and Prayer – A Review

It is just before midnight in a small, stuffy, but comfortable enough room to feel like home and I certainly am not fully aware of what I am writing; I find this is the best time to actually take it on. In my previous blog post: Experiencing The Storm I had only begun reading a book which in a matter of moments helped change my outlook on life.
I wanted to write the review in a formal manner, I  was going to research and practice until I felt I knew how best to write this (as if any formality or craftsmanship could ever do this piece justice).
When it comes to Nimue Brown’s work (the bits I have  been fortunate enough to read) I feel like a sort of groupie, never having anything but amazing things to not only say, but also feel.

‘Hello! Would it be so wrong of me to say, that I dislike religion to such an extent that I get nauseous just reading the word?’

Druidry and Prayer is not a self help book (because I cannot stomach those)… neither is it your conventional guide to being spiritual (those taste like cardboard in my mind) – it is the calming tablet for an uneasy mind…

The uneasy mind which loses sleep more often than not, because the ignorance of the world and its politics drives it to a point of maddening anger; because life is shit and there definitely would be no comfort in performing a mindless hand-me-down ritual of a religion that is filthier than the most neglected sewerage place thingy.

What I appreciate most about this book is that right in the beginning we are soothed and our doubts as to, whether or not we made a mistake opening the book  are erased as we are taken through the context of otherwise sickening words… for example,
‘ Religion: For me a religion is a formal and proscribed social structure with functions that can be understood entirely in social and psychological terms. ‘
Had this not been part of the book, I probably would have not carried on much further with it.
‘Talking about Gods’ in itself helps broaden your perspective and prepares you for an easy to swallow reality check.

I could ramble on about all the bits of the book that resonated and the bits I am certain will have an effect on any and every person who does read it all the way through, but why spoil this magical journey for the rest of you?

‘Dear whatever is out there, I climbed out of my self made grave because you threw at me a thing I would have never imagined could exist.’

Let’s forget all we have been spoon-fed, let’s work on the magic within ourselves and in the process empower those around us who need it most.

If there is one book I would say is a necessity to have read; Druidry and Prayer by Nimue Brown would be it. I’d have someone read it to me when the time comes and I begin chasing the white light – really… I would.