This is your artist’s day, choose whenever you feel like, but give you a date for doing some art. One of the books I might suggest you for stress relief was written by Julia Cameron. The Artist’s Way.
For the side story, I found this book on my way, when I arrived in french Brie region, and I was recovering from a pretty unhealthy relationship. Something like moving with a narcissicist, in a completely new area of my life, as far as living abroad, and feeling isolated, that thing.
It was 10 years ago. And still, I can’t efford writing on that subject, from the beginning to the end. Because, yes, there is a happy end. Mine, free from that hell called “fuck this is not love”. On the subject “domestic violence and abuse”, please, check What’s love, has to do with it? and your look on Tina Turner will no more be the same. God bless Tina and her legs, right? lol
That said, I moved to “Briard” and I am very happy of this choice. Despite the parisian weather, Mother Nature is really taking care of me. Btw I’ll take pictures of blooming trees later to give you an idea of what I mean. Today is a day to spend outdoor, all the way. Too early to get a tan, but let’s fill up with vitamin D, at first. Not bad, either.
Oh, I’ll go quick and do some yoga to start the day.
After this morning inspired meditation, I wrote down some ideas on my next book, I collected memories of Allen Ginsberg manifest for the beat generation, and I remembered the time I was 25 and read anything about William Borroughs, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Jack Kerouac.
Well, I admit, that I am also collecting pieces of my puzzle to try to fix the entire picture and this blogging idea is a blessing.
The PTSD Beautiful Trauma Project was born in France, in 2018, after 3 years from terrorist attacks to the “Charlie Hebdo Magazine” Board Office. Despite not being an activist, neither politically, nor labour councillor, I felt soon concerned and, in fact, I was. They say that, if you want to grow and evolve, in a lifetime, you get what you need, and not what you want. This was my case.
After multiple and unfortunate events, in Paris suburbs (2015), I woke up from burn out one mild day in mid-September, and I finally began my journey with struggling with PTSD as trauma survivor.
The social, both personal and professional, context I have been through this Parisian terror season, not only put me in a diseased mental health condition, but also forced me to a life-changing transformation. Understanding, first, talking and taking actions, in the aftermath, were the only way to move forward.
Today, although, my work position is still in progress, as well as my emotional, physical and psychological state, my Body/Mind Health and Wellbeing are developing and improving one day at time. Panic attacks are over. Anger is a best friend of mine. Finally, I could find my purpose, and stick into my big dreams and life goals.
One side, the technique of Self-Discovery, thanks to the professional help of a kind lady, from the Occupational Psychologist Service, led me to a process of looking at my own identity, and therefore finding my True Self (Empathic and Highly Sensitive). On another side, my personal journey with PTSD recover was a chance to explore my potential, gifts and spiritual Path.
What could I ask more from a tragic event, and a chaos state of mind, other than survival? This project and my present life driving’s force speak out loud.
A couple of valuable aims will be sharing my personal tips about coping with PTSD, and ultimately, co-creating a community around Mental Health awareness, as well as Common Values.
Motto: What goes around comes around
We are all related.
Hi dear, I just went through your blog article about bullying and I feel like I want to say something. Bullying in the 80s, in Italy, at school? Once, I remember I had a fight against 4 school mates who wanted to beat me, and I reacted so violently that I could gain their respect. Btw I was such a tomboy, and I couldn’t simply accept that my mates would try to hurt me, for real. They were just playing, right? Were they?
Self-harm and mental illness came in my early twenties, too. Forget about talking to anyone. In 1994, internet wasn’t still developed, it arrived only in 1996-7. There was no means to learn about it, except in tv series, or rehab centers. The first time I heard about eating disorders, for example, it was in “Fame” tv show. A few years after my despair, I found my self in a hospital to pay a visit to a school friend, same than minute 8″, in the following video. Same exact situation.
But, please, don’t put weight issue at first place on eating disorders scale. It goes so far deep inside, there is a 10 per cent of body self image, and the rest is related to perfectionism, and control, or parents relationships, self worth and self esteem issues. You really go through hell on earth, like a drug addicted. Food, calories, obsessions start from the first minute of your day until the very last minute. Social happenings like a pizza party, become a torture. Go away. You start lying to your self, and your friends, all of your peers (my mother used to invite cousins for a lunch on sundays and I hated it, I had to explain why I was eating just a mozzarella, instead of lasagne and tiramisu’ and I didn’t need to loose weight). Anorexia wasn’t worse for me, binge/bulimia was the worse. In fact, I didn’t loose so much weight as I would wish, and that explains why the Mental Health Center rejected me. Yes, because I wasn’t skinny enough. Honestly, if I look backward I feel so much relief because the two guys, brothers, who live in front of my parents home, still today, were accepted and got medical treatment, and no one of them could recover from their mental illness, until today.
Ok, James, I did my part, sorry, I will add plus details another time. Thank you for sharing. And go, get your memory published soon.
This is perhaps the most important topic I have covered on The Bipolar Writer blog. It is also the most talked about, and today as I write some new posts for the remainder of the week, I wanted to repost thing blog post, because there has been so much feedback posted on this post. I […]
First Paris attack came in january 2015. The whole week, unhappily, I’ve been watching videos on the web. Every day we got striking news about actions of terrorists around the parisian area. They said that they were stealing cars and hiding in the woods, so I was in alert. Police forces were hunting them, streets to airports were blocked, everybody was on his nerves. Since our company is american, it was on the target of terrorism, after 2001, and still is, so we felt like something could strike soon or later.
And as low of attraction demonstrates, when you FEEL something, it happens … this point is worth to be stressed enough, concentrate on positive, means sending good vibes into the universe ….and cosmo will send you back ! Viceversa, live in fears, and your vibes won’t have the same effect. You see what I mean? This time I was quite nervous because these two men were around, and there had been already a shooting in Paris, a police woman was killed the day before, following a car accident where one of the terrorists (the one from casher supermarket) was involved. He was wearing bulletproof vest and had a kalashnikov rifle. Another policeman was shot in Paris, a few days before, he was lying down the ground begging the killer to spare his life. He had no pity. And shot his head blood cold to finish with him. On You Tube you could find this video supporting the theory that, the fact I just told you, was a fake. It was meant to put people in chaos. And nobody knew exactly what was really trustworthy. Except people who knew that man, like a guy I was dating on line, yes, his father was a jobmate of that poor guy.
That week “Je suis Charlie” went on a massive world movement, and suddenly turned all pictures on Facebook, into french colors. Mine, too. But I was angry, angry with Italians who hadn’t any idea of what was going on here, and with my peers, nobody showed up to say « hello ». Only a few posting on Facebook to show off at which point « everybody was french ». But no calls on my phone.
Until saturday morning, 10th of january. The day I had a date with Death for a chess game. Things hurried up at about 10h30 am, when the hall was full of kids with their families. First, I saw a security man walking speed in front of the reception, and directed to the floors. Second, two others, right after. Our screens on pc were on news all the time. The two killers, at the printing house, were shot the evening before, in Dammarie-les-Lys. Two persons held hostage were still alive. The man in the casher supermarket, who killed other persons, caught and dead, too, by the GIGN commando. What else could happen ?
Suddenly, someone shouted at the bottom of the hall, « SORTEZ ! ». « Go out ! » Damn, I swear, in first seconds I had no time to realize what was going to happen, I was just scared to death, and only knew that I had to go out from there. No matter what. My Brazzaville’s jobmate said something, and I replied « « Dear, pray, that we can tell this story, some day». We were all expecting something terrible to happen. Our energy vibration was tuned on those videos on You Tube, so in a certain way, we were waiting on a bomb strike or kalashnikov rifles fire.
Two seconds, and your life suddenly stops. Someone pushed « stand by » button. One, you hear « sortez », two, what the f*** …and in between, it stands your life until today. « What did you do until now ? » « How did you spend your life ? » »Did you explore your potential ? » »Did you do what really counted for you ? » »Did you try harder ? »
Questioning your life in two seconds, and third, last question, …where’s EXIT ?
Before I had time for longer self reflection, I hold the first little girl’s hand, and slowly, hurry up to the door and to the parking area. The man who was entering was a policeman, and I won’t ever forget that eyes look. Thank you french cops. Never enough. As soon as I stepped out of the building, my full body nerves coulndn’t stop shimmering, and seeked for other colleagues. Crowd was in panic, one close jobmate was crying, evenutally calling her sons, while I realized my phone was left inside, and I couldn’t reach my mother…. That was better, I supposed, cos what would I tell her ? « I love you Mum » like in 9/11 ? That was the feeling.
As team, we were used to test evacuations on a regular basis, more for fire prevention. But this one was supposed to be not a fake, and it was the worst and worse organised I ever experienced. Not only we weren’t informed on what was happening, but we were held in the parking area, at zero degrees, me in short sleeves, without the possibility to leave. The gate were kept closed. I mean, … Thousands of people in a parking as hostage ? Yes, police call it « freezing ». They keep control on the situation by avoiding people to go away, just in case, there is anybody involved in terrorism. Someone was jumping the gate, but eventually also the closer train station was blocked. So, I spent one hour and a half with this couple of spanish army, with their two little girls, and I admit, we were quite sure that something important was going on. A german jobmate, tried to calm down guests, and dancing salsa in the handicap parking space. No much results. So, it came naturally to me to leave my team apart, and stay with the little girls. The younger showed me pictures of her cartoons heros. We tchit tchat for a while until we were told to move. We did. And after this endless snake line we could go back to our work. Danger was over. Was it ?
So, we all were asked to go back to our job locations. That is very bad for provoking anxious state, and strange enough, we didn’t get any psychological support. First, after I entered the building, I went to toilet, of course, and stood a little, thinking to what I just experienced. Was it real ?
Nop, it was a fake.
Yes, a fake alert. What the f*** ! That meant that I won my match against Death, yes, I was given some more time, and from now on…. from now on, what?
In respect of the victims, and highly sensitive people, just like me, I won’t put any videos on Paris Attacks. Anyway, I might suggest you this one: “Three days of terror” on You Tube.
Today I was reading this blog page, talking about suicidal survivor, and I found my self wondering what kept me safe from going down, in last two years. I mean, I’ve been depressive, and bipolar, when younger, and at age of 43, I admit that I am, proudly, NO MORE. During my journey, I’ve been told that bipolar was for life, that you can’t sort it out without medical treatments, or psychological support.
Of course, I have been in psychothearapy, and self discovery. Talking to someone neutral and stranger to you is a good key. Not judgemental. Not involved. That’s a perfect therapy. While you’re talking about your issues, and thoughts, to someone who is listening is magical. Psychotherapy is just THIS. The person in front of you acts like a mirror, she or he allows you to listen to your own words. You finally have a witness to your suffering and that is a good start for healing. Or, at least, understanding. Therefore, UNDERSTANDING, is the beginning of healing. When you become conscious of your triggers, perhaps, you also realize that overthinking leads to paranoia. Ollalla’. Not easy to recognize at which point you became a « paranoid ». But it all starts from you. Forget that a stranger will tell you what’s wrong with you. Or your childhood. You do the job. Most often you just need a guide, a coach or a good listener.
Yes, I’ve been paranoid, especially when working at night shift. I simply hated not sleeping on a daily bases, and going to bed at 9 in the morning, when most of other people started their day. Or not falling asleep until exhausted. Or waking up after 21 hours, and checking news, just to make sure that you didn’t miss anything important. I was so tuned on negative thinking that I felt like there was a conspiracy against me. Like if all my colleagues disliked me and everybody else ignored me. If I existed or not, it didn’t make any difference. Paranoia, you said it.
When I was 23 I’ve started with Yoga for getting a nicer silhouette, but I already felt like this discipline was more than just physical excercise. Since then, I’ve been keeping practicing once a week. That was pretty fine for me, one hour now and then. Not much effort. Beginner classes suited me well. Until I went though my last peak of stress, last year.
When I started cutting my hair shorter, yes, darling. And decided to do my yoga every single day, once back home from work. Sometimes at 22 pm, now 19 pm. Depends on my time management.
So, I’ve tried a few channels, until I finally found my fave one. Not only my body became slimmer, and stronger, but my mind was more focus and could concentrate on my class in breathing and out breathing. Sometimes 30 minutes, or one hour in my weekend days. Leaving time for rest, at least one day per week. It became a wonderful way to distress my frustration and felt like I wanted more. When I read that yoga helps with depression issues I didn’t catch it. What’s the matter ? How can physical practice be related with being anxious or depressed ? ( mental issues )
Body, and mind, are definitely strictly connected.
Often you feel depressed because you have fear, you are not well in your situation and you knoe that you need a change, but you don’t take risk to move out of your (un)comfort zone. Victim status might also be cosy. It’s not your fault.
Practice in yoga means getting used to unbalance. You can fall, you are allowed, and you can laugh at your falling. And try again. Until you do better.
When you work your balance and breathing, with yoga, your subconscious keep focused and you empty your mind. That’s the useful meditative work done.
Tonight a friend told me, that my fear is the fear of existence of other. Oh my, really ? And I happily realized this, if you are reading this article, you shall consider how much you love your Self. Me too, I had this idea that I hated my Self …
It’s not true. You lost your confidence. Or other people made you loose your precious confidence. Often it’s parents or peers. Sometimes strangers. Most often is self sabotage and your worse enemy lies inside.
Until you meet your dragon, and stare at his fiery eyes. And his face is not a mirror, but it helps you to build up your Ego.
Body, emotion, and mind, align again. You become a whole.
Paranoid ? Yes, so what ?
When I read about PTSD before going through my personal journey, I thought that PTSD were reserved only to war veterans or raped, child abused victims. God bless them all. Now, I can observe, « abuse », in a lifetime, can come in different ways, and shades of grey. It all depends on your level of sensibility. What is hurting me can be easily ignored by others. And, what’s worse, others won’t be able to understand your degreee of suffering, if they are not empath at all. I finally accept this. Since I’ve embraced the real fact that I am an empath and higher sensitive, in the noblest meaning. Also, I completely forgive these others. They miss awareness, and sometimes they simply don’t care. This is their misery. Not mine.
In my early twenties, I developed eating disorders and self harm disease. Depression was my company, since very young, it was more than weeping cos I wasn’t happy, and I couldn’t efford a Levi’s, financially, or couldn’t fit in. At 8 I discovered how to throw up food after eating, and it seemed to me like I got a magical power, eating junk food without putting weight on my belly. That worry didn’t last until I grew up older. I knew I wasn’t a typical cutie girl, and that was fine, that pushed me to look inside and focus on my personality. I really thought that my karmic debt was so heavy that I didn’t deserve to be the goodlooking girl which makes all men turn their head. And had to gain my beautiful body in one of next lives through hard work. Actually, not only I had a negative body image perception, but all my thoughts were tuned on negative vibes. Emotionally, I was a crap. Disfunctional family environement, of course, didn’t help and, at a certain moment, I just wanted to disappear. But slowly. A way to ask for attention and care.
Today I can recognise that I was on a strong love demand, and I can’t blame my peers not to understand how to manage my bipolar behaviour. Joyful, gay and cheerful, outside my armour, and damn upset and hating my self deeply inside. Self love is my last, wonderful achievement at age of 43.
Suicidal thoughts passed by in my twenties, like dark clouds on an empty sky. When anorexic, I have been diagnosed schizophrenic, because food&alchool abuse made me loose balance and clear mind. My mum had to watch me all the time or I could do something very harmful. Until I was hospitalized. Of course, today I see that it wasn’t my body, but my soul, the one who needed to be taken care of. But it took me 20 years to realize it, once for all.
At that time, the only way to overcome my lack of balance, by advice of my neurologist, was doing a psychodrug therapy. Recovering from drugs takes a long time and memory loss. A part of your soul flies away. Your personality, if you could build up some, at twenty, is no longer the same. Simply, you loose a big part of your Self. But in 90s there was not such a knowledge about ED like today. In a way, I feel lucky. First choice was a Center for Mental Health, and I can tell you that two of my neighbours passed by it and today they are still not well. Drugs addicted. Nobody takes care of them.
In my case, after all, time brings justice.
Being suicidal is natural when struggling is too much to bare, it makes sense to me, except that today I am a believer. Life is a game, a challenge. Indian call it « Lila ». Because I believe in karma, and reincarnation, I read once that, when you suicide, your soul is trapped between worlds. I can’t even think of being sticked in a hell of pain. This is enough for me to keep it up. But before I go on with my storytelling, I want you to know that choosing life requires courage and a bunch of energy.
So if you need more, ask for help to professionals. Not your neighbour, not your best friend or family member. We are nothing without others. Choose carefully.
Before I discovered meditation, my daily routine was jumping out of bed, at last minute, rushing for having my breakfast, and getting ready for going out, and still hurry up to catch my bus. Typical parisian, I’d say. Yes, except I live in suburbs, and this area is located between country and woods. Even more scary.
Not only my way of walking, but also speaking was speed. Truth is that deeply inside, I am shy, and that means that when I have to speak, I feel I am at the center of attention and I am not confortable. This was me, before. « Hurry, hurry. » Consequently, french guests or colleagues tried hard to understand what I was saying to them. And actually, still do. But this is another story for another bed time. The fact of hurrying each moment of day made me more anxious and tired. Until I fell exhausted. Also, speaking my mind was a big trick for me. Simply, I didn’t take enough time to build up my thought, and this is quite typical for firy aries like me.
When, finally, got this audio-book from french psychologist, Christophe André, I was on a quest of the meaning of here and now. Why being mindful ? What is it ? Why are we not living the present moment, all the time ? It looks like our mind is escaping it, in the past and the future, … So, I started this practice for about TEN minutes, in the morning. Every morning. Straight before my coffee. First time, I kept watching the clock and minutes seemed like never passing by. Was I doing right ? Sat down, and focus on my nastrils, breathing IN cold air, breathing OUT warm air. That was helpful. My mind could start concentrating on physical. Thoughts flew away and then came back. « What will I put on today ? » « What will I eat for lunch ? » Then focus, again. Third eye helps. When you close your eyes, and concentrate on the dot between your eyebrows, I admit, that is powerful. So, what?
Yes, my life has magically changed since. And the results motivate me to hold one this practice. Now, that meditating became a pleasant habit, I spend more time on my orange pillow, sitting on the floor, but that doesn’t mean I am doing it properly. If I can, I let my overthinking release and let it go. Ok, I am anxious and a bit stressed, and that’s okay. I simply accept it. When you become aware of it, that’s a good start for healing. Your subconscious records that information and starts working on it, and eventually send orders to neurons to fight against stress. Your body gets prepared in a certain way. When you are so stressed out and you feel like you can’t meditate, just sit down and take ten minutes to RELAX….. that’s EXACTLY the perfect moment to do it.
Some life coaches call it power hour. The first hour in the morning, where you can write down your journal, reading inspiring quotes, affirmations, doing yoga or work out excercise, and meditate. It’s matter of habits. What time is your clock in the morning? How do you feel now ? Emotionally ? Physically ? Can you imagine advance your clock for one hour ? Ok, ten minutes ? Start small.
If you like, keep on breathing. Darling, you just learnt how to take time for your Self, no matter what. No kids around, or work schedules. Each day is a good day for trying better. You’ll be grateful.
Don’t try, do.
When I was diagnosed « burnt out » by my doctor, september 2015, I used sleeping 3-4 hours per night, five days a week. In my weekend days, I was so exhausted that I didn’t wake up until I had enough. Recovery sleep, what was that ?
Professionals say that our biological system starts producing melathonin at 22 pm, and recovering every single cell in our body, from 23 pm to 1 am. After that time, it’s too late. That means that if you go to sleep after 2 or 3 am every single night, it is quite possible that you develop health issues, and deseases, due to a weakened mental and physical body. As soon as I got my sick leave, a collegue had a terrible accident on his bycicle, when out for competition, on a sunday morning, he had his chest broken and couldn’t do any sport or walk properly, for a long time; another collegue went to hospital for a few months, and when he came back to work, he had to rearrange his schedules the same then I. He was stressed out, but he couldn’t ever admit to him self. The first, who was also my coach, told me that 4 hours sleep for him was enough. And for a while, he went on smoking weeds to help relaxing him self in the evening, until he finally had to quit, because of addiction. The second, who was in charge of « fake alert » (after january Paris attack), with me, moved to another service after a long recovery time in hospital. Because he was in denial, first, with him Self, he couldn’t see that something was wrong with me. He just told me, once, that I looked like I was going to cry, all the time, and that’s it. Also, he asked me if I was bipolar.
When home, not only I felt drained, but unexpectedly, I wanted to do more. So, I used to sit on my kitchen table, and write down plenty of « to do list ». Cook, walk, draw, create, clean, iron, fix bike’s wheel, yoga, relax. I checked the list, except for last one, of course. What you should consider as normal, on an off work day, like having fun, going out, or simply cocooning at home, was not considered, and seen as a waste of time. Yes, I spent my rest time keep doing things. What helped me, during my journey, was this article about being anxious. It stated to try to write down your list, and then destroy it. So, I did it. My table is much cleaner now. And my mind, too.
By the way, the person who really made the difference there, was my manager. During a certain time, she wasn’t there as much as the service required, or I would, due to her family’s configuration schedule, but I can’t blame her. At that right time, I did. I was angry against all management and frustration made me nervous and put me in a bad mood. Instead of leaving, cos there weren’t healthy conditions, to do our job, we felt compelled to replace them (for different reasons, I suppose). When she came back from holidays, she called me on a meeting with her, and asked me if what she heard was true. « Did I really had the courage to claim for a bonus ? » Definitely, yes, I did. We, as a team, did an excellent job, all alone. We had deserved it. Of course, that was the straw that breaks the camel’s back and, finally, bursted into tears. Go away. I was worthy a recognition for the effort. Instead of striking, as we were supposed to do, once the safety conditions are not guaranteed (guests became quite aggressive and they were right to be angry against a lack of service and staff), but we kept on doing a great job, altogether. And not only it didn’t pay off, we’ve been called and judged. That was my chance to blow the whistle. And I haven’t missed it.
That was the right moment when she, the boss – one of the persons I « feard » most– humbly suggested me to ask for help.
The first reaction that I remember, before burn out, was feeling guilty. I felt like I was not strong enough. Others look was very important and you don’t want to desappoint them, right ? Your will is to show them that you are worthy their attention (and perhaps love ?).
Everybody was tired, but my collegues were holding on. Nobody spent a day sick at home. It was very exceptional, because as a team, we knew that if someone wasn’t there, others would do the job. It wasn’t human kindness, instead, but a sort of spiritual pride. Deeply inside, as individuals, we couldn’t bare not to be necessary. My service was precious, I thought, and I pretended to make a difference, in service, too. How could they manage without me ? Oh, well, they could, and they did. After burn out, there were no reaction, but release. Finally, I could start to breath again. And still do.
breeze : synonims, gentle wind, breath of wind, puff of air, current of air, flurry of air, gust
Since 2015, all in my life went wrong, and so, I had to decide what was really worth going on and what was time to let go. Ego suffered the most. Now, three years later my beautiful trauma, the moment has come to move forward. Taking the responsability of my entire life. If you agree, that we create our own reality, and if you are someone who attracts toxic relationships, or fake alerts, even natural disasters, you shall ask questions about WHO YOU ARE, and WHY YOU.
It takes 10 years now, that I live in this Country – Parisian suburbs, France – where many people are renowned to complain about anything, from weather, to strikes and canteen food. If they are black skinned, they say that there are too asiatic, in town, and they are ready to move into another city. On the opposite, asiatics are quite happy-go-lucky. They inspire me always looking on the bright side of life.
That means that when you open your window, after one month of cloudy and rainy weather, you shall be thankful for Mother Earth. Or saying “hello” when you meet a lady, out of a station, who is begging for money, even though you won’t give her any coins. That is the positive attitude which I have been developing in last ten years. I can’t remember when exactly it happened, but this shapeshift is still transforming my mind and behaviour.
So, welcome to my PTSD world. I hope you will enjoy your visit, take notes, and get well.