Expedition 16-Beyond The Beads

Intuition is a beautiful thing and for one to understand the magnitude one must be willing to go through hell to find the beauty within that pulls at us when we need answers the most. I started making mala’s & bracelets to calm my anxiety & avoid the grips of depression after taking a leave from my corporate job last June. I recall thinking then that this leave would only be a few weeks. But as the months went on, I learned that the distrust in humanity & my fears post-accident were far more serious than what I’d originally thought.

For the first month of my leave I slept or was awake for long stretches of time. Not sure what to do with myself while awake or looking to numb the mental pain while asleep. I quickly realized with the help of my care team I was simply using avoidance to get me through the day. There was no way this would get me back to NORMAL (does normal even exist)? The second month I was equally lost this time it was Netflix that sucked me in. By the third month I began to spend more time outdoors meditating and reflecting on where I would end up when the storm passed.

I found myself in that PROVE mode which I’m always trying to explain to my care team. This is the pressure of the mask I was wearing while pushing through the pain for the 8 months following the accident. This was the need to push through it all so nobody realized my struggle which left me feeling anxious all the time. Crying at the smallest things, lashing out in frustration, feeling tightness in my chest, fidgeting, unable to focus & disassociated from the things happening around me. I would have panic attacks regularly not knowing what to call any of these manic episodes or how to stop them I just wanted to put the mask back on.

Although I still experience many of these symptoms, I’ve learned something very interesting on this creative journey. What first started as a remembered wellness practice has somehow morphed into a therapeutic peer support network. What I take from others I am now able to give back. I was broken, lost in need of healing in so many ways but my mental health was holding me back from accepting a much deeper gift I’ve always possessed. That gift is intuition when connecting with others emotions. This gives me the insight to understand my own challenges and have empathy for others experiencing similar struggles.

I’m still working through my daily challenges attempting to “get better” which I realize is futile as mental health struggles don’t go away, they become a part of your story. Every day is a struggle without knowing who will get out of bed that day. Will you feel empowered today or powerless? No matter how many tools I’ve amassed to help the fact is some days I just can’t win no matter how hard I try.

My journey started with some beads but now I’ve managed to find an ability to use this creative process to tell my story. I truly think I’ve climbed a mountain this past year. What is more gratifying is knowing that I’ve inspired others to speak of their struggles?  I know there is a lot more work to do but I’m starting to learn how to accept the changes so I can love myself and continue to be of service to others in spite of my fragile mental health.



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