How are YOU feeling?
So yesterday I went ahead and spilt my guts in a private Facebook group and came clean about my mental health and how I'm still works in progress. Considering everything I'm doing well. I posted it as a last minute thing, debating with myself whether it was the right thing to do since it contained the harsh reality of my struggles. I am still in loving shock from all the messages I received of encouragment and thanking me for sharing my story. I wasn't expecting it, I thought I'd post something last minute hoping Facebook will bury it. But no, that was not meant to be. I had a message, and my guides wanted me to share it. Sharing it was cathartic and opened the gates to more positive emotions. I went to cry alone in the bathroom because the messages I received after that were incredibly touching.
I had a loving childhood, my parents are sent from the Divine above, my siblings who I still adore and look up to to this very day. But things happened at the time, pictures lived and seen, words were spoken and hearts were broken. It took me a long time to accept all that have happened and when I do occasionally talk about it I do so by distancing myself from the emotional part. My family was my strength but not I could not talk about how I felt with all of them. We talk about what happened and for that you get a badge for bravery. But talking about emotions was not something we did. I was brought up to be strong and bold; moving to Switzerland tore down those walls and I realised that I could be strong AND vulnerable.
It was only lately that my therapist 'diagnosed' me as suffering from PTSD, a term which I usually associate with war not with what I saw or gone through. The fact that my ghosts were given a name made it easier for me to make peace and move on.
And I think this peace is what led me to write about it yesterday. As a coach and mother, I am an advocate of verbalising our emotions. My sons must hate me by now and dread the end game of a squabble. They know what comes next after all the shouting, the tears ... I ask them: But really, "how are you feeling?" As a mother, I know that if my boys are hurt my first instinct is to go and fight their wars and hold them close to me. I realised one thing though... if I do, they'll keep on carrying the burden of the squabble for some time. Naming the emotion is a release, a lesson learnt, freedom from the chains of the negative experience. Bottling up your emotions is suppressing them into your subconscious which in turn leads to limiting beliefs and other destructive patterns.
It is a release to express our emotions out in the open and if you're lucky to find people like I did who are ready to listen empathically and non-judgmentally, then your journey to recovery is guaranteed. But it takes courage to speak up.
Here's what I wrote (minus the bad bits)
"I believe, I was meant to go through all this to be able to understand my gifts and my purpose here on this planet. For a long time I attached my self-worth to my looks, my appearance on local (Maltese) TV programmes and my popularity as a teacher. When I moved to Switzerland I lost all of that. Or rather, I needed to rediscover my own self-worth based on who I am and not the compliments I received. My real healing started then, the moment I felt alone was when my anxiety hit me and all the things I suppressed started to reappear. Years of therapy work, studying, learning, meditating and just being instead of doing have brought me to this point in my life. I am vulnerable and I do mistakes, a lot, and I do spiral out of control every now and then. But if I learnt anything from my past is to cry, scream, sit still then put on my big girl pants and keep on painting my life with vibrant colours. What my journey has taught me is that no matter who you are, where you come from or what you do, you are important and unique. We all yearn to be understood, loved and to have someone listen to us, empathically and non-judgmental."