It’s been a big week.
All within the space of four days.
There was no dilemma, no dithering, no umming & ahing… just a deep sense of momentum and clarity.
And since I decided on my mission… I sold more advertising in a day on YLB than I usually sell in a fortnight, an article I published on Elephant Journal reached nearly 3000 readers, traffic on YLB leapt up by about 10% and I got way more comments and emails than I usually get from readers.
It’s bloody exciting.
But it ain’t out of the blue.
There’s been years of hard work leading up to this moment though, and this week.
Seven years ago this week, I arrived back from Whistler, Canada, just a week out of Lion’s Gate Hospitals Acute Pysch Ward. I’d left behind the life I’d spent seven years building, I’d left behind my fiance – well, ex-fiance now as he’d broken up with me in between the two psychotic episodes which had sent me to hospital.
I was broken-hearted, broken-minded, broken-spirited and just plain broke.
Mostly, I felt like an abysmal failure in life.
I was 29, and back living at my Mum’s house, over $20,000 in debt and I was crazy. With a certificate to prove it.
There were two things that pulled me through those dark days.
And boy were those days dark – I cried every day for four months, great body-wracking tears that vomited up from the depths of my soul and threatened to turn me inside out. I couldn’t relate to people, nor open up to people. I was hyper-sensitive to input – driving freaked me out, supermarkets freaked me out, modern living freaked me out.
But I had yoga.
And I had running.
I wasn’t much good at either.
But the days were so awful, I knew if I didn’t have something to measure myself against, I would drown in those oceans of tears.
So every day, I would tie on my running shoes and head for the boardwalk loop – something like two kilometres through the wetlands that edged Lake Wakatipu at the tip of the lake beside Glenorchy. The path was marked with orange sticks spaced about twenty metres apart.
Each day, I would challenge myself to run just one more marker. I think the first day, I might have run to the golf course, and walked the rest of the way. The second day, maybe I ran halfway through the golf course. Each day, always running a little bit further.
By the end of a month, I could run the entire boardwalk without stopping. One day, I got to the end, turned around and ran all the way back in one go.
I knew in that moment that this too would change.
That the sun would shine again.
That I wouldn’t always be broken-minded, broken, hearted, broken-spirited and broke.
I had what it took inside of me to dig deep and turn everything around.
Running proved that.
Not only was it something I’d always struggled with… not only was it something that got the endorphins in my body working again so I could feel good for a few minutes… but it showed that I had the determination and willpower to achieve. Even if it was just running two kilometers around a flat running track.
In the seven years since, life has been a bloody hard slog at times.
The first three years post-psychosis I felt awful most days.
I didn’t start feeling “normal” on a regular basis until about year four or so. And by then I was in the middle of the most challenging relationship I’ve ever experienced. I still felt like shit about myself – which was one major reason why I put up with the relationship I was in.
It took about three years to build my strength and fortitude and mostly my faith in my own ability to perceive the world truthfully.
See, that was one of the biggest challenges about going mad.
Afterward. I couldn’t trust my mind.
Or what I thought I saw in the world.
Maybe it was all just madness?
Seven years on, I trust myself implicitly. I can sense and feel the difference between my mind, thoughts & ego-self and my heart, intuition & soul-self. Most of the time anyway. And I have enough discernment to be able to question myself when I’m not sure.
That ability is what gives me the confidence to whole-heartedly throw myself into my life’s mission.
I can feel the energy behind it and know it comes from a far deeper place than just me.
And that is just so damn liberating.
I remember me, post-psychosis, broken down every which way, and I remember that spark deep inside that just knew the sun would shine again. It’s that place inside which has carried me here, and which is carrying me into my mission.
That spark, it’s not just a part of me though.
It’s also a part of you.
Every single one of us has that spark inside.
Sometimes it just takes the absolute worst in life to happen before it can get all fired up.
It might have taken seven years to get to this point, but I sure as hell am stoked that everything went belly-up for me.
Seven years later
I wouldn’t be here now