That beautiful fear remains me. I so desperately want to survive this pain.

Trigger Warning: Talks about self infliction, may be triggering for some even though I do not mean for it to be.

 

“A pattern of raised crisscrossed scars, some old and white, others more recent in various shades of pink and red. Exposing the stress of the structure underneath its paint”
― Amy Efaw.

Hi everyone, just wanted to say I am so tired. I am actually so consumed, I feel it through my bones. Physically sick. Tonight  I was not as strong as I thought I would be. I ripped my bandages off yet again. The poor scabs, had their healing process brought to a halt. interrupted. The wounds no longer representing weeks of healing and preservation held together by anti-septic  bandages, sticky adhesive wound dressings.

Holding my arms together, side by side; representing polar opposites. On my left arm, old, faded scars- episodic visions of terror and distress are hidden beautifully by the tattooed words ” You are loved. My right hand however, displays the happenings of my latest episode…. caused by silence, those voiceless feelings that tell you there is no other option; destabilized rationality  tell you that even if you had a voice, it would not be heard.       

picture292

 

After the storm, after it is done. 

I shake in a beautiful fear, that remains me. I am human and that indeed I so desperately want to survive this pain. Everything kicks into survival mode, I rush to get a towel. Gently calming myself, I am sorry baby. I gently and slowly begin cleaning the wounds- I give them a gentle, fragile kiss, whilst erratically apologizing to myself. I sing to myself:

hush little baby, put down that razor, don’t harm yourself. I express to myself how I live the life of a child. My life representative of an inner child in need of protection. My rational self vows never to hurt myself because after all I am just a child, my sensibilities are that of a child. 

 

I pray so beautifully that my irrational self will never again come to the surface, a reality I know is all too good to be true. I can only hope that next time I will be able to fight my irrational self just that little bit more. 

Thanks for reading, 

 

LifeLine: 13-11-14

KidsHelpline: 1800-55-1800

For additional hotlines and information please go to:

http://australia.gov.au/topics/health-and-safety/mental-health

Until next time

Shaz xx

‘Beautiful Contemplations’ depicts my own personal views, expressions etc. It is not reflective of any individual, institution or group other than myself. I am not a professional medical expert.

© COPYRIGHT 2012-2014 ‘Beautiful Contemplations’ Founded by Shaz Sturk.

The Story of An Orchid; The vicious cycle.

I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.”  

Hello everyone, 

I have put the music on, because he has come yet again. He is the evil, torturous voice that plays nasty narratives in my head.

He can come at any time, triggered by stress, images of violence, dark rooms, closed doors, loud noises, smells. He may appear in the shower, during a lecture, appointment, or in my sleep.

He says things like: 

die, bitch die. Burn yourself. No one loves you. Burden. 

I am not particularly proud of the way I have handled myself lately, I really have found myself submissive to his words and believing them. I am never proud of myself, I cannot believe how incredibly sick I have become in the time period that six months that is:

26.7 weeks, 182.5 days, 4380 hours, 262800 minutes and 15768000 seconds.

During the 15768000 seconds, pain has fulled my heart. During the 262800 minutes, I have been holding myself up grasping for air. Those 4380 hours, many of which have equated to sleepless nights, dissociation’s, flashbacks, destabilized routines and distorted rationality. Ah the 182.5  waterfall like days, they have been beautiful but such an vicious cycle from mania to excessive depression. In those 26.7 weeks, I have lost so much, it is so hard to express. I have lost my sense of self and I am 149

fighting incredibly hard to get it back; let’s be honest now:

The reality is that life is incredibly hard at times and I truly am trying to do my best with the circumstances I have been given. But there are ti25577_387573639042_2090139_nmes where I question just that. sigh. But I also question if my life will get better, all I ever want to do is write honestly on my blog:

All I want is to be loved, to know that i will be missed. To have someone be kind to my heart. All my life I have felt like an experimentation, like I was on display: my legs and body sliced open for all to see in its raw entirety, robbed of my childhood and aspects- my best friends were nurses, occupational therapists, physios- I felt like I never had a voice, and when I did it was never heard. The truth is I am hurting more than ever and in therapy we have discovered that I am an Orchid.

Real Leaders, describe Orchids as individuals with super sensitive genes, but us Orchids can thrive beautifully and be great successes with ‘the right amount of water, nutrients and heat’ …meaning.. that given the right support we can flourish, that indeed does provide me with hope. Given that  orchids generally have exceptional talents, despite needing exceptional amounts of help. Orchids are even more unique with approximately only 20% of us possessing the orchid gene.

 

LifeLine: 13-11-14

KidsHelpline: 1800-55-1800

For additional hotlines and information please go to:

http://australia.gov.au/topics/health-and-safety/mental-health

Until next time

Shaz xx

‘Beautiful Contemplations’ depicts my own personal views, expressions etc. It is not reflective of any individual, institution or group other than myself. I am not a professional medical expert.

© COPYRIGHT 2012-2014 ‘Beautiful Contemplations’ Founded by Shaz Sturk.

 

it’s a mind game of pain versus survival; that only the most resilient will survive.

For a week or so now, I have wanted to sit down and put words to10348995_10152526725209043_1367067545953559557_n paper.
A few weeks ago now, a great friend of mine passed away. I find myself thinking of this friend a lot lately. Our memories, I am still in shock of this friend’s sudden and unexpected passing. My depression is bad at the moment- but I just cannot find the words for it, I am doing my best to move forward not just because of the sudden passing of my friend but because too many horrible things have happened to me this year. It is crazy to think that was has happened can indeed all happen in a year.
I find myself thinking of hospitalization a lot lately. In the past I have been so immensely against hospitalization, but there comes a point where a break is desperately needed. I am a tough soul- is it that hospitalization and thinking about hospitalization make me weak? Will there ever become a point where my life goes back to normal? I do not really understand how I got to this point, why this year? A life without mental illnesses is now becoming so foreign to me, each day I feel as though I am becoming more and more reliant on my morning cocktail of medications- to survive.
Slowly, I am accepting that I may never fully recover from mental illness- but that there will be periods where I am stable and periods where I am unstable- it’s a mind game of pain versus survival; that only the most resilient will survive.

 

LifeLine: 13-11-14

KidsHelpline: 1800-55-1800

For additional hotlines and information please go to:

http://australia.gov.au/topics/health-and-safety/mental-health

Until next time

Shaz xx

‘Beautiful Contemplations’ depicts my own personal views, expressions etc. It is not reflective of any individual, institution or group other than myself. I am not a professional medical expert.

© COPYRIGHT 2012-2014 ‘Beautiful Contemplations’ Founded by Shaz Sturk.

Daily Blog Challenge: Month of July- Addressing Mental Health: The Positivity Trap

I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.”  

 

This month in addition to joining the Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project. I am making a commitment to blog daily in an attempt to erase the stigma associated with mental health because in recent times I have found myself being sought to be a voice for those with mental illnesses.

People read my blog and relate to my words almost instantaneously I am told. Every day, I receive kind messages from readers- expressing their gratitude for my gift, my fearless approach to addressing a topic that can sometimes be difficult to discuss.

It is of my view that people get too caught up in what I like to call the positive trap, to explain that further it is where people feel the need to be positive all the time, where people feel the need to look at someone of worse circumstances and say well it could be worse. But that does not in anyway excuse the fact that you are going through a tough time. I am not saying not to be positive, but rather to realize that it has its’ limitations. The positive trap, is something that prevented me from moving forward in getting treatment for my mental illnesses. People around me started saying they could not be around my negative attitude, and that I was no longer an inspiration because I was going through a spiral where I was feeling down for an extended period of time. I lost friends, (now I question if they were true friends in the first place). I would be told just be positive, no one likes people who mope around all the time.

I got so caught up in the positive trap. I put on a façade for five years- of positivity.  I am dandelion, very sensitive and need nurturing- but if provided with that do blossom amazingly. I was always taught to be strong, not to cry, prohibited to show emotion. If I did I was told, I was a sook- a cry baby!

In therapy, I am learning how to regulate my emotions, because with the assistance of therapy  I have been able to express emotions that have been bottled up for years- now they just will not stop flowing. However, I no longer feel guilty for expressing emotions in front of my friends- I do not fear that they will not want to be friends with me because I am perceived as being negative- I am lucky to have found friends that adopt the “we are in this together” approach, I get that long negativity can be unhealthy and can have a detrimental impact on those around us.  But a wise friend who I came into my life just this year taught me something so true that these words will never leave me; when she told me this I knew it was the moment I could trust her, and believe that she would always be there.

She said… something along these lines..

“I don’t give up on my friends, even though the hard times. Because Shaz life is not meant to be easy, and you don’t give up on friends just because times are hard”.

This friend has sat with me through episodes of dissociation, she has met Zoë-the extension of myself, supported me when I have been unable to get up out of bed, brushed my hair when I have not been able to, seen my self-infliction injuries- she has also laughed and shared tears with me- she has not left yet – A complete testament to her loyalty.

For people who think it is possible to live in the positive trap, it is impossible. It is human nature to show emotion- you should not have to feel guilty for showing or expressing it- furthermore, mental illness does not discriminate, I am so sick of people saying to me oh you do not look like the type of person to have a mental illness.

Positivity is Not the key, expressing emotions in a healthy manner is.

If you or anyone you know may need help please contact the following:

LifeLine: 13-11-14

KidsHelpline: 1800-55-1800

For additional hotlines and information please go to:

http://australia.gov.au/topics/health-and-safety/mental-health

Until next time

Shaz xx

‘Beautiful Contemplations’ depicts my own personal views, expressions etc. It is not reflective of any individual, institution or group other than myself. I am not a professional medical expert.

© COPYRIGHT 2012-2014 ‘Beautiful Contemplations’ Founded by Shaz Sturk.

Took The Pledge 2014 blog for mental health project: Update

I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.”  

That’s right you guys I am joining the Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project.

Today I made a choice. A friend passed away today. I realize now more than ever that our time here on earth is short.

Sigh….

Sometimes, I get all too caught up with living with several mental illnesses that it feels like that is all my life is about. It is all I am. I have forgotten what it was like not to have to report to my doctor and counselor weekly, I have forgotten what it was like not to have to swallow half a dozen or so tablets in one go. Forgotten what is like to live a normal day, sleep a normal night; have a normal schedule with things to look forward to. It feels like a dream at times though I have never actually gone to sleep. I have forgotten what it is like not to be afraid of razor blades, I have forgotten what it is like to shop for jewelry for its’ prettiness rather than its’ practicality for covering up wounds caused by self-infliction.

Getting off track…

 Today I made a choice, one that did not come lightly. For a fair while now I have had one assessment to complete and hand so I could pass a unit. It is no secret that I have had a tough semester this year at university, the details to sensitive in nature to go through on my blog (although, if you’ve been a regular reader- you might gather some of the story). I decided today, that something just has to give, and if I must I have settled on redoing the unit next year.  This means that my plans to do a master’s degree in social work will be set back further- but in the scheme of things I am not to bothered by this.

But.. I fear that I will not be able to financially support myself much longer, as I am already skating on thin ice, in that department. Get a job they say, I am barely able to cope with my university work as it is let alone having the commitments of a job on top of that. Choose your priorities they say, this time last year I was peer mentoring for two separate organizations, public speaking and engaging in activism surrounding disability issues and was on community radio and in a lot of leadership programs on top of blogging, university coursework and managing my health. This year, I am a resident advisor and I am on community radio (I will be leaving this role shortly)- all the other commitments, I have had to drop due to an unforeseen relapse in mental health.

Writing of my story….

Recently, some blog ‘fans’ have written to me, telling me how my writing helps them and that I have a real passion for words, many have asked if I plan to write a book in the future; my dear fans this is certainly not something I would knock back if the opportunity arose, but right now I am focused on writing being one of my main coping mechanisms and being something that I can do  to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness.

If you or anyone you know may need help please contact the following:

LifeLine: 13-11-14

KidsHelpline: 1800-55-1800

For additional hotlines and information please go to:

http://australia.gov.au/topics/health-and-safety/mental-health

Until next time

Shaz xx

‘Beautiful Contemplations’ depicts my own personal views, expressions etc. It is not reflective of any individual, institution or group other than myself. I am not a professional medical expert.

© COPYRIGHT 2012-2014 ‘Beautiful Contemplations’ Founded by Shaz Sturk.

 

Mental illness …

Mental illness is a very powerful thing. If it is with you it is probably going to be there until the day you die. I am trying so hard to break mine, but it is not easy. It is my toughest fight ever.

Frank Bruno

Staring into blank spaces right now, took four Seroquel tonight-my prescribed dose. 

I am jumpy. Easily startled by the smallest of movements, not really sure if what I am typing truly makes sense right now or if it is in fact worthy of reading. I had to do something, I had to voice it.

I am as calm as dossal dog. I do not feel sedated. Just taken back a few knots. I feel nothing, nor happy nor sad. I am me. I think.

I do not have the energy to post a full post hence why I wrote this quick update. Mental illness is tough, I feel like I am me. Yet as each day passes the further from myself I feel. 

© COPYRIGHT 2012-2014 ‘Beautiful Contemplations’ Founded by Shaz Sturk.

LifeLine: 13-11-14

KidsHelpline: 1800-55-1800

For additional hotlines and information please go to:

http://australia.gov.au/topics/health-and-safety/mental-health

Shaz xx

Getting used to new meds; offering a perspective on living with mental illnesses- my message.

I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.”  

That’s right you guys I am joining the Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project.

May be sensitive; readers discretion is advised. Language used is also sensitive in nature.

‘Beautiful Contemplations’ depicts my own personal views, expressions etc. It is not reflective of any individual, institution or group other than myself. I am not a professional medical expert.

 

 380485_10150467414504043_328977901_n

The only thing I hear in my head now are the catching lyrics of C’Mon by Ke$ha. It is amazingly beautiful, to finally get to the point where the symptoms of your condition(s) subside so much. I can breathe again, I can smile. I go to bed excited to wake up the next day, I am able to see achievements in the small things.

The voices in my head; let’s dance. The world needs you, many love you. You will make one amazing social worker. Previously I would be told “go kill yourself”, “self-harm is the only way the pain will go away” “you’re nothing, you will never be worth anything” “Nobody loves you, everybody hates you”- the voices evidentially so ruthless and relentless in nature.

A few days ago, I told my doctor that I needed a break from all of this. I needed a break from the broken never ending tape recorder in my head that kept playing itself on an endless cycle of repeat.

This week I began a new medication.  Like the beginning of any new medication I was incredibly nervous. I am going very well, still sedated but calmer then I have been in a long time. My anxiety has also dramatically decreased. However, the past few days have been a challenge; but as anyone who lives with any chronic illness or mental illness will tell you it is all a part of life.

The Seroquel made speaking a very challenging task the first morning of being on it. It was not that I was not able to speak it was that I really needed to concentrate and focus to get my words out. Being the very talkative person I am I found this extremely frustrating however, as the day progress things improved, so I increased my dose the next night… speaking still was an issue of a morning, but as soon as I was in my bed I fell right asleep. Tonight I have increased my dose again. After tomorrow, I will be at the prescribed dose.

Today, I really felt as though I had achieved some things. Firstly, I got up brushed my teeth and hair. Went out and got food- with the help of my iphone I was able to communicate. I ate, wrote an email, napped in the afternoon and visited a friend.

Living with a mental illness, is extremely frustrating. Some days, I feel like I am inside another body, as though the body I am in isn’t mine- I find it easy to describe it as though you are looking in on your own life. You get up each morning and take your cocktail of drugs. Scoot around your room, searching for objects that you may injure yourself with, and if you have the strength- throw them out; if you don’t you find yourself at odds with your irrational and rational self. You may cry because you don’t want to inflict pain on yourself, but you also cry because you need to do it to escape pain. When you cannot decide what to do, you become consumed with emotion; punching the refrigerator with your bare hands, punching your white washed brick wall with your bare hands, you slap your legs, bite your arms to leave open wound bite marks or you rip your finger nails until the skin under your nail is exposed and bleeding.

“Henrry” usually comes to play on these days: “Die bitch, kill yourself, worthless piece of shit, fucking do it already” “you’re so incredibly ugly, I hope you’re happy you have made nothing of yourself”. He is nasty, only to me.

 If it is a good day, you are able to function; get in all your assessments, shower, eat, brush your hair and teeth.

Zoë is here on these days, she is so kind and as has been discovered she is an extension of my true self that is Shaz. Her words “Shaz you’re an incredible human being who can do anything you put your mind to”, “A human being of inner beauty who has endured enough suffering” “you’re courageous and someday you will see that”

 On an average day, you do all of the general hygiene tasks but head back to bed unable to face people. On a bad day, you are fighting to be alive; you sleep all the time, disconnect yourself from the world and lose all sense of yourself. Let me remind you that for me the day may have elements of the latter within it. Welcome to the world of madness- A world that has for the last few years become my reality.

There are few places where I can be honest about my experiences of mental illness, but on my blog through my writing is one of the places where my beautifully raw journey is laid out by me for all to view. Talking about the voices I hear (inner voices, in many circumstances), the dissociations I experience, my instances of self-harm is something that I am not ashamed to speak of. One of the messages that I want to get across to everyone reading my blog is that mental illness is not a condition to be ashamed of, it is after all something that does not discriminate; I am in fact quite a successful young lady yet have ended up with several mental illnesses. It is never your fault, you are beautiful, you are brave, it is okay- you can still lead a productive life despite having a mental illness. Yes it is very debilitating at times, but can be managed with the right therapy and perhaps medications…So Please please please, I beg you: If you or anyone you know may need help please contact the following:

LifeLine: 13-11-14

KidsHelpline: 1800-55-1800

For additional hotlines and information please go to:

http://australia.gov.au/topics/health-and-safety/mental-health

Until next time

Shaz xx

‘Beautiful Contemplations’ depicts my own personal views, expressions etc. It is not reflective of any individual, institution or group other than myself. I am not a professional medical expert.

© COPYRIGHT 2012-2014 ‘Beautiful Contemplations’ Founded by Shaz Sturk.