Five years ago this July, my world stopped spinning. It was almost an immediate stop. There were a few days between normal and not normal, but over all, looking back. It felt as though one day was everything I had learnt up to now, and the next I knew nothing.
It was as if someone just pulled the rug on which I was standing and my legs just wooshed away so fast, I was left lying on the floor, unable to get up again.
It became apparent very quickly that my thoughts were never going to be the same again. A huge change had started and there would be no going back to normal.
I had to learn that there was only one way to go from here. Forward.
To do that, I had to first and foremost acknowledge and make peace with this very scary fact. If I denied it and tried to fight my way back to my old normal, I would surely fail. It took me some crying to get to this realization number one. At first I screamed for help, running to Doctors to help me. The Doctors did not help. I was in a maze of confusion, running like a mad woman possessed down hallways and corridors trying to find the way out, only to find myself crashing head on into dead end after dead end. My waking day had become a nightmare that I couldn’t escape. Every avenue I pursued for help and relief, took me straight back to nowhere. I could not believe that the institutions I believed would help me in this time of the utmost distress and unwellness, could not help us.
When it dawned on me that there was no help, I found myself in my own head. The only way out was by the power of my own mind.
Some days passed. My daughter, unrecognizable as to her formal sweet 12 year old girl self. She was lost to us. Her mind, mad. Her brain, on fire. All she had was me and her dad to keep her safe.
I grabbed 3 Journals and labeled them as such.
- THIS BOOK IS MY BRAIN-July 2015
This is my think tank. This is me getting my ideas, thoughts, feelings. ahha moments, the road to recovery as I begin to travel thought the universe of my daughter. Spiritual, emotional and above all, love.
2. THIS BOOK IS MY APPOINTMENTS-JULY 2015
This is a journal of outside help, explorations for moving forward, plans, therapies, alternative help, appointments. The picture on the front says ‘I have a strong desire to travel’ so I will travel this road to self discovery with my daughter.
3. THIS BOOK IS FOR YOU MY DAUGHTER.
Here we are, our interaction, my thoughts, your wee self and our family journal as we find our happy place again. From this I hope we can learn, laugh, cry, grow, show, reflect and never forget this incredible time as we solider on. I love you unconditionally, every breath I take is for you. The front of this book is going to be my mantra, it says today will be a good day.
One day, when I write my book I will share what’s written on those pages, but for the convenience of this short version, lets just say, that keeping these records was my pathways to wellness.
I was now coming to accept that change was inescapable and the only choice I had to make was how I was going to handle it.
The next stage was to let go of the old.
We call this, grief.
Grieving does not just have to be attached to the physical death of someone. It is a necessary process that one must go through at the ending of anything. The intensity of the grief will of course be different for each one of us and dependent on the person and the loss. My son is so very sensitive, he grieves for all sorts of things that end. He feels upset at throwing away a box, or sad when a good movie finishes. The next man might not feel much at all when even a close friend passes. We all have different levels of tolerance, perception and belief. It is my observation though, that in order to fully embrace change, one must go through acceptance and letting go before they can authentically and unconditionally love the change. My grieving was an uninterrupted outpouring of tears. I cried for many weeks. Cried, cried, cried and felt every drop of pain that my thoughts could throw at me. As my beliefs around what was normal, what should be, what I expected and what the future could look like came up and up, I just cried at them. I drenched every thought in my tears, washing them away until one day I stopped crying. There was a break in the clouds and I began to pick myself up again. No one could do this for me. I had to go it alone. All the while my daughter lied in her bed, unable to walk, eat, speak or move. Hell was still around me, but I had stepped into a new place in my mind. The storm had calmed enough for me to start treading water again. My plan, to swim, and then float in the calm waters again. I had no indication at all how long this would take. I knew there would be many more storms to get through along the way. But in that moment of clarity I knew that I was getting it right and that I was a lot stronger than I knew.
In order for things to change, we have to let go of the crumbling ways that do not serve us. We rarely plan huge change consciously, but we do ask for experiences that will move us. Sometimes these come as great suffering, illness or loss. Huge, significant events that leave us no choice but to change do infact make us stronger. They teach us stuff. They drive us to think about new ways of doing things, better serving environments or a different kind of person as a companion. We must honor where we were, where we are and what we want to happen. Leaving things to chance takes away our power. Our power, is in the thoughts we think and the realities we create from our thoughts.
We came back from the darkness as different and stronger people. In order to do so, we never gave up knowing there was a road which was brighter, bolder, and better than the one we left behind.