"My Brain is Broken" - Mental Health Awareness Week 2020.
The reason I wanted to write this blog today at the start of MHAW is that I've just watched a Netflix documentary called "Cracked Up" by the Best-selling Author of "God, If You're Not Up There, I'm F*cked" - Darrell Hammond. 'Cracked Up' resonated so much with me, not because I went through the same horrendous trauma he did, but because it took me back to the pain and huge anxiety I felt daily and could not escape from as a young person. It also reminded me why I suffer - "Hypervigilance is a state of heightened alertness accompanied by behaviour that aims to prevent danger" - I've suffered this for as long as I can remember. I thought everyone felt this way until recently when I had a conversation with my husband. Once again it was another learning experience for me, that can only be discovered upon very honest conversations, and shows how I'm still affected daily by my trauma. I've just learned to live with it. It also made me cry, and once again reaffirmed my belief that everyone who suffers from mental illness, or as I used to call it "my broken brain", can relate to one another's stories. Therefore, this is why we must share them to help heal and recover. As Dr. Van Der Kolk said "when your reality is not allowed to be seen or known, that's the trauma". Darrell had a particular doctor that helped him more than others he had been seen by before. His name is Dr. Nabit Kitbi (Dr. K as he is affectionately known as) and he talks very frankly about what Darrell had gone through and why. I was lucky to have one particular psychiatrist who supported me through my recovery, she was my brain angel, I thought - These people work some magic in our brains without us even realising. Like Darrell and many others, I turned to self-medication and some terrible behaviours, including starvation. However, I know one of the main reasons I have been able to let go of the shame of everything I've been through and done, is because I have forgiven myself for doing the things I needed at the time to survive. And that's the biggest lesson I've learned in my life so far... Kindness to ourselves is the biggest and most important behaviour, and hence why it is this weeks theme :)