Simply I spent so many years living stuck in my head. I overthought. I questioned myself. I compared myself to others and was always left feeling lacking and not good enough. I loved to worry and find a reason to feel anxious. I took other people’s opinions of me to heart and changed myself to behave in a way that was seen as “right” to them. And I completely lost touch with myself and who I was in doing so.
I know I’m living too much in my own mind when I push rather than let life flow.
When I project into the future rather than find peace in the now.
When I am hung up on what could go wrong over visioning how I want my future to look, feel and be.
When I try to control and hold on over letting go and accepting how things are.
When I act from a place of pride and ego rather than say how I really feel.
When my heart is hardened and closed over soft and open to others.
“Have the courage to follow your heart and
intuition. They somehow know what you truly
want to become”
– Steve Jobs
Through my own battle with mental illness as a teenager, I learnt the hard way, where a life believing everything your mind thought to be true could take you. It took me straight to an adult psychiatric hospital. A battle with anorexia that was close to taking my life, saw me hospitalised in the only place they could find to place me in, an adult psychiatric hospital. A place I stayed as a full-time inpatient, the only child surrounded by adults battling their own minds with drug addictions, manic depression, multiple personality disorders, schizophrenia and anxiety disorders, for close to six months. It was my own Girl Interrupted, just like the movie, moment.
I didn’t really belong there. But I wasn’t allowed out till they said so. And I’m not going to lie, it was frightening. I spent my first full night sleeping away from home listening to people scream in the night because they’d been put into isolation and keeping my eye on the occasional person who was wandering down the hall near my room and shouldn’t have been.
I did what I had to do when you’re in a situation like that. I eventually started to eat. I made friends with some of my fellow patients. Befriended the ones that frightened me a little so that I didn’t have to worry so much about them wandering into my room at night. And because I wasn’t allowed any privileges because I was still trying to reach my goal weight, I made myself known to those who were able to sneak contraband items into my room like books, magazines, chocolate and pen and paper to write on.
I watched adults live out loud exactly how they were stuck thinking in their heads and I learnt some important life skills. That not everything we think is true and the importance of questioning our own thinking, our own stories and beliefs. I learnt how to fit into any social situation and hold my own. Of empathy and being able to see through a person, that “the human within me sees the human within you.” And that while our thinking might be louder, sometimes even more rational than the pull and quiet knowing of our hearts, that it should always be the heart that wins out if we want to live a whole, fulfilled, off the charts amazing life.
I don’t have all the answers. But I know I feel better in myself everyday when I tune more into what I’m feeling and how I can better that even more and less on the chatter going on upstairs in my head. I’m happier, I feel more thankful, I’m more at ease, I feel more confident, capable and I behave truer to me when I do.
Big love to you x