What even some of my closest friends don’t know is that I once spent a whole month in the Mental ward of the Hospital after being unjustly accused of being ‘crazy’ by someone close to me I shouldn’t have trusted. The doctor released me with the diagnosis that there was absolutely nothing wrong with me, and in fact stated that I shouldn’t have spent the amount of time that I did in the Hospital . But this was after I had a Paralegal and Lawyer call her to advocate for my sanity. While I was in there I declined to take all medications and declined all physical exams to prove a case for my sanity. The saddest thing to me was that It took a MONTH and a LAWYER for them to finally release me .
This experience really opened my eyes to the subjectivity of “Mental Health”, “Labels” and the idea of “Crazy”. The lines are so blurry and arbitrary that doctors themselves can’t tell where a mental health diagnosis begins or ends. They can only asses whether or not a person poses damage to themselves, those close to them or to society. They can only try to dig into the past for a trigger to your state of mind, but here the deal – don’t we all go through troubles in life?
This made me really question if the stigma of ‘mental health’ had any validity. It also made me question if our society was actually designed to harbour and encourage mental illness. For me, the major culprits are society work demands, lifestyle choices, a lack of nomadic living, resistance to change and a constant exposure to toxic – food, entertainment and environments. People are working 12 hours a day, eating junk, in the same cubicles/offices for years, and the levels of toxicity in our bodies is the highest it has ever been thanks to our terribly low food and water standards. In this case, one could argue that we are all crazy, and only worthy of being locked away if we harm ourselves or others … & Im not sure if this is an accurate way to measure mental health.
The people I spent time with in the mental ward of the hospital were even more eye opening, because I realized that most of them were just regular people like myself – who were seeking tools to cope with our fast paced world. A small percentage of them had psychological issues that impaired their brain function. But for each person who was able to carry on a conversation, I learned that a traumatic experience often contributed to their downward spiral. The experience really helped to shed some light on the stigma of mental health and made me realize that our society was in desperate need to access tools that would help them deal with stress and intense life transitions. (This is why the focus/niche’ of my coaching is ‘transitional coaching’)
Today, If I were to assess myself, I would say that I have a reasonably stable experience with my mental health. But it has taken daily self care & some diligent steps (that I share later on in this blog). When I was younger, I had moments of anxiety like most people living in our fast paced environment. And I occasionally in some few but intense situations, contemplated suicide ( and anyone who says that they never have themselves is lying). I also had some anger issues- (I mean what millennial doesnt ? we’ve inherited the worst state of the world in history).
I actually don’t think that losing your mind is necessarily a bad thing given the overly concerning state of our society. In fact many psychedelic therapies like Psilocybin mushrooms, LSD and MDMA are said to cure post traumatic tress by doing just this- allowing us to get out of our heads in order to engage more viscerally and dynamically with life. Its interesting that doctors and scientists are just now verifying psychedelics to be valid forms of therapy (under supervision) for those suffering from depression, anxiety, PTSD and bipolar. I even saw some of these therapies showcased and supported by a medical community on the Dr.Oz show.
But I have to tell you this- The moments that contributed to my feelings of spirituality and connectedness were during the times that I was going through so much mental angst, I had to lose my mind to find my soul. (some may have included psychedelics). Meaning literally let go or surrender the constant chatter, reasoning and analysis of my life by my brain and liberate myself to living more in the desires of my heart and feelings in my body. When I say “lose my mind” – I mean heavy doses of grounded-ness and presence in the now moment that had me forget my worries and get silent enough to feel the pulse of my heart and soul. ( Or simply just becoming aware of the beat of my heart).
If this sounds to Foo Foo and New Agey to you, here are some more practical steps I take daily to manage my Mental Health.
1. Using fluoride free toothpaste. (Studies have shown that the high levels of fluorite in toothpaste are neurotoxic to the brain over time)
2. NUTRITION– and I mean really committing to NON-GMO, pesticide free, Antibiotic Free, Organic produce. ( I know its more pricey, but I personally use each dollar as a vote for a more organic living in the population). Now I have to take this moment to emphasize ….THIS MADE THE MOST SIGNIFICANT CHANGE TO MY MENTAL HEALTH – which is a testimony to the level of neurotoxicity we receive from the chemicals in our foods. I wish more people knew this !
3. Clean, spring, mineralized water. And I’m not talking about the Reverse Osmosis water (studies have shown that the charge and lack of minerals in RO water actually steals minerals from our body as we hydrate) . If you are still drinking RO water, try remineralizing with some pure or sea salts.
4. Meditation and Practicing the Reiki Principles daily. ( For more catch my blog on Meditation and/or Applying the reiki principles to your daily life)
5. A Continuous commitment in learning how to Forgive, Love and Let go. ( Its funny how they say ‘the greatest love is the greatest forgiveness’ & ‘If you truly love something/ someone- let them go’ )
6. A lifestyle that includes more play than work and at least 8 Hours of sleep each night. (Research has shown that while we sleep our brain repairs itself and if we don’t sleep enough, we don’t allow the process to happen)
There, thats all I have to share for now. How are you managing your mental health today ?