Hola sweeties 😍,
Before I begin with this blog post I would like to share a short summary of the cremation of Lisa where I went last Wednesday. In case you didn’t read my last blog post here’s the link: Life is fragile. I know her from my choir. She got leucemia 8 years ago and got it back this year. She died at such a young age, only 29 years old. Me and my mother had to go one hour by bus to Lisse from Haarlem. We had to walk through a street surrounded by nature. Then we saw a woman in a car who asked us where the cremation was. She was also going and invited us for a ride which was really lovely of her. We were already near. When we arrived I saw some people from my choir and gave them a hug. It was really nice to see everyone again. They were so nice to me. The cerenomy almost looked like a catholic cremation because Lisa and her whole family are catholic.
We could see pictures and videos of Lisa. The choir sang some beautiful songs and also the brother of Lisa sang solo Ave Maria. It was so beautiful and even didn’t feel like a funeral. It was heartbreaking, emotional but also so beautiful. There were some beautiful speeches from her mother, her sister, her brother and her husband. Especially her sister and her hushband had a difficult time speaking. You could hear them crying which was so sad 😢. I didn’t cry that much. I cried already so much at home. It felt strange because I always cry so much. I could see everyone crying. At the end of the cerenomy we had to walk near to the coffin and first I was afraid but it wasn’t so scarry. I didn’t see her dead. The coffin was closed with flowers. I was sad seeing the family in the first row all crying. Then the rest of the cremation was only for the family, friends and some choir members.
Afterwards, I saw some teachers of my primary school and they hugged me and they were all in tears. Also one lovely man of the choir talked with me and I received a message afterwards that he wanted to talk longer with me. He said that I’m always welcome to go fridays after choir repetition to see my choir even if I don’t sing in my choir anymore. I will go once because he always understand me so well. I also told him once about my anxiety and everything. He support me so much. I will always be there for the family, friends and everyone who knows Lisa. I hope she’s in a better place now 🙏❤. My heart is with all of the people suffering from cancer or any illness.
Now, I’m going to talk about something really important too. This blog post will be about mental health. Today, October the 10th is a really important day in the world. Today it’s world mental health day. This topic is really close to my heart because as you all know I suffer from an anxiety disorder. I have had anxiety my whole life. Some days, months, years are better than others. People always told me that everyone gets nervous for an exam or for big changes in life such as moving out or getting a new job. It’s true that everyone get nervous or anxious. We all have physical and mental health. This two are not separated from each other. They’re connected to each other. Body and mind are one. I also talked about the difference between anxiety and an anxiety disorder in this blog post.
Here are some pictures of beach time 🌊🌞 today in The Netherlands 🇳🇱 I especially bought and wear this shirt of Positive Pages to spread awareness about mental health.
When you feel like you can’t go trough life and your mental health is affecting all aspects in your life you may have a mental illness. When I get really anxious I feel so sick as in being dizzy, nauseous, heart beating fast, crying, feeling like you are going to die, shaking, and even throw up in some cases. That aren’t just nerves. That’s an anxiety disorder. This is my life. My anxiety disorder effects every aspect of my life. Right now, I’m struggling with my dentist fear and with my fear of trying something new such as getting my first job. It makes me feel so uncomfortable that sometimes I feel like giving up 😔.
Having a mental illness is so exhausting. I’m not ashamed of sharing my story anymore especially online. In real life I still feel sometimes that I can’t open up 100% and that it’s better to not be real because people wouldn’t understand it. I learned that there will always be people who would understand me and some people won’t. It doesn’t matter. I hope with sharing my story on my blog and on Instagram to inspire other people to be open and talk about it. Spreading awareness about mental health illnesses is just so important. You can also suffer even if you don’t have a mental health illness.
Sometimes I also even felt that my anxiety disorder isn’t such a big deal as there are people who have depression, commited suicide, self harm, bipolar, borderline, ocd, eating disorders and many other mental health illnesses. I’ve learned that every illness counts. Just because someone has it worse than you doesn’t mean your struggles or illnesses don’t count. Every feeling and thought is valid because you are feeling it. You are the only one who suffers from a mental illness every day.
I think the best way to help a loved one who is going through a mental health illness is just to be there for them. Listen to them. Sometimes the best thing you can do is give them a hug and say that you’ll be there for them. Often people give the wrong advice and that doesn’t help at all. For me, knowing that my family, some good friends and my online mental health community on my blog and Instagram will be there for me in good and bad times already makes a difference in my life. I love that I can be real, vulnerable and honest here without feeling judged. I think that’s so important.
There are people who always want to give advice to people and don’t want to hurt that person with their advice but in some way it isn’t good for the person who is suffering. They would say to someone suffering from depression to go for a walk and try to be happy. They would say to me to try to think positive and don’t always think about the worst and to stop worrying. It just isn’t that simple right. I hope that every day we are breaking this taboo of mental health with speaking up about it 💪. Mental health illnesses are real and everyone who suffer from them need support and professional help. How many times did I think I was crazy in my head?! So many times. The thing is I’m not. My mind is sick, this is my story but I’m more things that just a woman with an anxiety disorder. I’m brave to share my story and inspire people. I’m honest. I’m a highly sensitive person. I’m flawed but I’m beautiful and enough. So are you 💜.
The cure for recovering from a mental health illness is different for anyone. Some try therapy, others try natural meds (in my case it didn’t work out), others take medication such as antidepressants and others try other things or a combination of therapy and medication. I tried some therapy sessions two years ago but it seem to make me even more anxious and I always threw up before I go. I still don’t know if therapy would be good for me. Maybe, I can try therapy in Spain when I hopefully found work there and live there. I’m already taking antidepressants since February 2017, almost two years. It works well but sometimes I can still feel high anxious. I also got subscriped in Spain anti anxiety medication. This really helps me to cope in situations when I feel really anxious such as going to the dentist.
The stigma of taking medication for our mental health illnesses needs to end too. Taking medication can save lives. If it’s okay to go through chemotherapy to cure cancer or to take parecatamol for our headache then it’s okay too to take medication to cure our depression or anxiety. We need this to make us feel a bit better. We don’t have the natural neurotransmitters. We need some help with it. Those aren’t magic pills but will just keep us cope with life.
The thing is there’s no magic cure for curing a mental health illness. It all takes time. Recovery is hard. I think I will have anxiety my whole life but I just find along my way things which help me cope a bit better with it within time. Therapy, medication or other ways… there’s no right way. You just need to do what feels good for you. I hope anyone reading this who is struggling right now with their mental health can get the help and support they need. Speak up and go to a professional. They can help you further. I also know how difficult it’s to speak up so if anyone sees someone struggling or acting different than you are used to, talk with them and ask them how they’re really doing. It’s so important to be able to speak about our feelings and thoughts without feeling judged.
You don’t have to talk about it with everyone. I always thought that if I said I’m doing well and it wasn’t true that I wasn’t 100% real or honest. I got some comments on my blog post a few months ago that it’s okay to not tell everyone everything. I’m always so used to be open. I’m an open book. It’s just important to be able to talk about heavy and uncomfortable stuff with people you trust. Be careful who you let in your life. I hope to not make again mistakes as in way of telling people personal things so that they can hurt me with it. Find friends who love and support you unconditionally. If you feel like you haven’t someone you can trust, remember I’ll always be there for you all 🙏❤.
Here’s a list of things I do which makes me feel good. It really helps me with living with an anxiety disorder. Maybe, there are things on this list which will help you too.
- Surfing 🏄🌊🌞: I really feel sad that I still didn’t surf since two years. I can’t wait to surf again. The feeling of standing on your surfboard and hearing the waves creates a sense of freedom. I’m forever a beach girl and the ocean is my home.
- Reading 📚: Lately, I’m into reading again. I used to read so many books in my childhood. It makes me so happy to read great novels and also self helps books which help me cope with living with anxiety.
- Writing/blogging ✒💭: I love to write in my journal or use a scrapbook for all my memories, thoughts and feelings. I also love to write poems. Blogging also always makes me feel better. I’m so happy to have this amazing blog and community where I can write and let everything go. Writing for me is such an important tool to just let all my thoughts go.
- Singing/Listening to music 🎤🎶: I used to sing in a choir for 11 years. I really miss that time. Hopefully, I will sing in the future again in a choir or something. Singing also always release my emotions and make me feel so happy. I love to record covers and share them. Listening to music also always make me feel so peaceful. It feels great to listen to songs with a lyrics that you feel like it’s written for you. Music is life and will always be there for you in good and bad times.
- Taking medication 💊: It can be antidepressants, anti anxiety medication or other medication. Just anything that makes you feel better. Medication saves lives and are important when you need them.
- Being surrounded by my family and friends who support me 💕: It feels great to talk about your struggles with people you can trust too and who will be there for you. Find your tribe/community. Try to share your inner feelings and thoughts.
- Enjoying nature 🌳🌹🌻🍂🍃: Going for a walk or just being outside in nature can do so many good things for your physical and mental health. Fresh air is all you need to just stay present.
- Photography 📷: I would like to pick up this hobby again because I love to take pictures. I once used a lomography camera and I’ve made some really mysterious and beautiful pictures. Maybe, one day I will share them on my blog.
- Being creative 🎨: I love to create a mess of art. I love wreck this journal, paint something abstract or just decorate my room. It feels good to let everything out of your mind and create something with the mess in my mind.
- Travelling 🌍✈: I love to discover new beautiful places on this big world. Whenever I travel I can distance myself from all the worries I have. Then I feel like my worries aren’t that big compared to the whole universe. Travelling gives me another perspective of life.
- Swimming 🏊: Swimming is soooo good for your health in general. It makes me feel more peaceful and happier. It’s also good for my back pain and muscles. I need to swim again because it also makes me sleep better and is so good to have less anxiety in life. Swimming is just so relaxing.
- Yoga 🙇: I tried some yoga classes a few times in my life and I loved it. It made me feel more relax. Yoga create a sense of calm. Yoga is really good for your health too. I have to go to do some classes again.
- Yoga girl postcasts 🙏: Rachel Brathen is a famous Swedish international yoga teacher. I will soon share a blog post about her because she is just the best. She’s my biggest inspiration in life. I can’t wait to go on one of her yoga retreats in Aruba in her yoga studio Island Yoga. Her postcasts are out every Friday on Spotify or Itunes. She also has a Youtube Channel. I love her postcasts so much. They are full wisdom and inspiration. They are about parenthood, trauma, self-love, mental health, anxiety, yoga, body positivity, rape, family, grief, achieving your dreams, and so much more. You can also now join her Yoga Girl community on Facebook.
- Eating and sleeping well 🍴😴: Eating the right food is so important to feel good in your body and good for your mind. Also sleeping enough and sleeping well is really important for your wellbeing. If I don’t sleep enough I feel even more anxious the next day and I can’t concentrate well.
There are so many other things too which you can do to feel good. You just have to find what’s best for you. You know yourself as the best. Remember, to always be kind to yourself. You are loved and not alone. You have so many gifts to offer to this world. Together we are going to end this mental health stigma 💪💕💊. Every day is world mental health day not just today.
Mental health is as important as physical health. There are still so many people from all different ages and nationalities suffering. They all need help and we need to end the stigma around this issue. We aren’t crazy in our minds. We are sick. We all need help, support and compassion. To raise awareness about world mental health day you can donate money to a mental health organization, you can draw a circle on your hand with the hastag #iamwhole or wear something yellow with the hastag #helloyellow and post it on social media.
I hope that you all liked this blog post. I hope it made you feel that you belong in this world. I’ll always be there for you all. Keep going my fighters and warriors 💪 We are all in this together. Do you also have a mental illness? What do you do to feel better? Can you relate to my words? I would love to know your thoughts in the comment section.
Much love 💕,