Have you ever felt as though you don’t belong? You try to engage and be present in the conversations and interactions surrounding you, but no matter how hard you try to stay engaged, you can’t help but feel a sense of loneliness?
Sometimes you fear to hear your own voice out loud.
It’s almost as if you feel safer listening to the inner dialogue going on in your head. You know, those thoughts that bounce around back and forth, telling you your not good enough, your not smart enough, tall enough, pretty enough, fun enough, brave enough…you could use up all the ‘enough of something’s in the world.
Unfortunately, some of us are born into bad circumstances.
For me, it was growing up surrounded by the after effects of a divorce. From the second I took my first breath on this world, my parents had already been wrapped up in a web of deceit, pain and suffering.
Some people say that divorce is harder after you have already lived and experienced your parents love, to later then see it get torn apart. But I feel divorce in general is just ultimately really tough, regardless the circumstance.
Growing up, my living situation was very confusing and messy. My dad moved all over the place with my step mom, and two brothers, (one step the other was a half sibling). So, I only saw him every other weekend.
I lived with my mom, step dad and my other two other half siblings…confusing right? Yah…try explaining that family tree to your teachers or friends!
Coming from such a diverse living situation, being heard was challenging. It always seemed as though my other siblings were more of a priority in my parent’s life. It was hard to get their attention between my siblings extra circular’s, whether it was hockey, baseball, dance or soccer.
I was always the one just hanging by the sidelines, just me, and my thoughts.
Growing up, I could never put the puzzle pieces together…there was always some sort of disconnect between my parents and I. Well, it turns out my mom had been suffering from depression for many years, probably many more than she can count. My Dad also suffered from this lonely illness. No one in my family ever talked about the illness. It was something that was very ‘hush hush’.
Nothing was ever mentioned until the day when darkness finally found me.
I remember it, as if it were yesterday. Throughout high school I dated a guy that lived out of town. He was a solid long distance boyfriend since the 8th grade. The day he decided to end it, was the day that I found out about my depression.
Like most young girls, when your first love breaks up with you…you feel as though you will never live again. Your heart honestly feels torn in half. You can’t ever imagine living without the guy you’d thought you’d spend forever with.
But somewhere, along the way, amongst your best girlfriends, and reruns of Laguna Beach you find yourself at the bottom of an Häagen-Dazs ice cream container. You realize you still have your whole life ahead of you, and that everything is going to be okay…
Well for me, it wasn’t that easy. For me, it was just darkness, day in, and day out.
I would just spend all my time in my room with all of the blinds shut, crawled up in a ball in my bed with the covers over my head. I couldn’t cry, couldn’t eat, and couldn’t think. I just felt completely and utterly numb. I stopped going to school, didn’t work, I never left my room. I even thought about all the ways I could end my own life.
I could sense I was starting to worry my mom, even though she tried to stay strong I could feel her beginning to panic and get anxious. She had never seen me like this. I spent countless hours in multiple hospitals. I went from one shrink to the next, who would just ask a series of questions trying to get to the bottom of what was ‘wrong’ with me.
At first when they would ask questions I would just sit there, thinking to myself, “who the hell are you, and why do you think you can figure me out? You don’t even have any idea about who I am!” Eventually my mom decided to step in. She said to me,
“Sairah, you need to start opening up because this isn’t going to get better until you do.”
I responded by snapping back, “Well no shit. The love of my life, has left me and he was and the ONE person who’s ever given me hope that not everyone SETTLES in relationships!” She immediately looked down at her hands, as she whispered, “No sweetheart, with depression.”
I never once came to that conclusion…
Then she started to spill her story about her mother she had lost when she was young, and about a time when she was 17 and felt just as numb and empty as I was. It was within that moment, that I felt like I belonged in my family for the first time in my life. I wasn’t the outsider lost in my own head; I was suffering from an illness just like my mom had always been.
It must have been the fact that I was no longer ‘alone’ in this that made me feel better.
After weeks of therapy sessions I started to feel like my old self again. All was fine and dandy, and I was starting to get the hang of this whole ‘life thing’, until I experienced a really bad anxiety attack.
I was having a difficult time breathing, and then all I remember was being woken up in yet another hospital.
Apparently I had called my mom for help when I was having trouble breathing. She got a crisis nurse on the phone, and within minutes I was being sent away in an ambulance. This time around therapy wasn’t an option. They kept recommending that I go on all these different types of medication. The doctor gave me some sleeping pills, and also prescribed me on lorazapam. He handed me my prescription, gave me the number for a cab, and that was that.
Once again I found myself sitting in a dark room for days upon end.
My mom eventually came to pick me up from college and took me home. I spent the next two weeks with her, as she wouldn’t leave my side. I never ended up taking the prescribed medication, as I just felt so negatively about the entire experience, and something deep inside of me told me there was another way.
It wasn’t until two years later that I found this other way.
A very solid bright white light entered my life in the form of a past co-worker that completely changed everything. She was by far the most accepting, down to earth, kindhearted woman I had ever met.
She saw such greatness in others, and truly believed in a higher good. Being in her presence just made me feel safe. She just knew the right things to say on any given day. She could always turn the most negative situation around into a positive, and she never doubted the universe or what it had in store for her or others.
Well this woman doesn’t know it…but she changed my whole life.
She was very intuitive, had a keen sense of reading signs and messages. She was very involved in the readings of oracle cards, performed daily affirmations, and knew how to perform Reiki healings. She was just very in tune with her spirit.
This was something that was so incredibly foreign to me. Being pulled out of a catholic school at a very young age, spirituality was just something we never practiced whilst I was growing up. I then quickly became fascinated on just how impactful her insights were.
I began to start practicing the laws of attraction, and reading oracle cards myself. I got very involved in astrology, and started reading several books she recommended for personal development, and healing. I started attending group meditation sessions, which then later lead to me doing self-mediation rituals on my own daily.
This was my ultimate turning point.
I began to heal and I quickly realized that I myself had a gift inside me too! I began lifting others up. Friends, family and acquaintances were suddenly turning to me for guidance and insight. I realized I had a deep connection with my intuition and I could read situations very clearly. I learned the gift of manifestation, and started practicing it in order to attract the following amazing things in my life:
- After struggling with weight issues since I was a child, I was finally able to get to my goal of losing 40lbs (19kgs). Now I have my own coaching business teaching people how to do this.
- I found the man of my dreams, whom I currently share the most amazing connection with, and deep down know he’s the one I’ve been searching for my entire life.
- I also envisioned and manifested my upcoming adventure- where I’m headed across Australia with nothing but a backpack.
- Losing my corporate job so I can focus solely on my business.
- The people I encounter and the wonderful friendships I have and cherish.
Everything in my life today has been co-created using the law of attraction, my spiritual beliefs and other practices.
My depression has not returned since I found myself and began to express the true essence of who I really am. The next time you are feeling alone, or stuck in your own head I want you to remember this…YOU are NEVER alone. There are far more people dealing with the same pain that you are dealing with every single day. Some people just hide it better than others. But until we start opening up, and sharing our stories and being open about the isolation we are feeling inside, everyone is going to feel like an outsider.
We must let others know that we are proud of the illness that has, or will shape us into becoming the people we are.
Never be afraid of the pain and suffering, because within that pain and suffering so much growth can be brought about.
So just remember, mental illness is not the end; it is just the beginning of discovering who you really are! That version of yourself will find the light, as long as you allow yourself to find it.
I’m sharing my past with you today because I want you to know that greatness grows from struggle. If you or someone you know is suffering from mental illness, then I can only hope my story can inspire them in all the right ways. Sometimes, knowing someone can relate, can be the driving force between a breakdown and a transformation.
Should you want to speak with me directly regarding this topic, or ANYTHING else-please know you can email me directly on Sairah@turnupthelove.ca
Sending you unconditional light and love,