At 19 years old, I found myself in a psychiatric hospital being monitored and heavily medicated for an ongoing psychotic episode.
I was experiencing frightening hallucinations, hearing voices and suffering from paranoia and depression. It was a scary time of my life. I had been suffering badly from anxiety and depression for the years leading up to that psychotic break.
I left home early at 15 with a developing drink problem and full of resentment towards my opioid addicted father. I was self harming, my hair was falling out and I was causing problems for everyone around me. I had several drunken attempts at suicide prior to my stay in hospital. I was a damaged kid growing into a damaged man.
My road to recovery began when I hit 30 after throwing in the towel with alcohol. And it was a rocky path littered with still more drinking, self damaging behaviours and addiction to medications. I just couldn’t seem to let go of my past. I always lived with the looming cloud of mental deterioration. It felt like a normal life would always evade me.
I have had years of therapy from psychiatric to dbt, and although I discovered a lot I was never truly honest with anyone. I was too ashamed and frightened to discuss my own abuse, the real cause of my internal conflicts. I was in my late thirties when I first spoke about it, and it was around that time I began to heal. Speaking out was a cathartic experience and everything changed as a result of bringing my darkness to light and being willing to let it go.
My past is one of wreckage. And it’s taken me a long time to move on from it. From finding my feet in sobriety, overcoming an abusive past to becoming a father to Frankie and the triplets, it has been one hell of a journey. And I put the centre of my recovery to faith and non contemplative meditation.
My life took a complete 180 as a result of being willing to change and face life from a more conscious perspective. It doesn’t mean I am the perfect man; but it does mean that I am committed to improving my life. Living in the light without being tied to the darkness.
If you are suffering I want you to know there is a way out. That you don’t need to be a prisoner of your past or your thoughts, no matter what the trauma behind you. When I sit with my daughters I take nothing for granted and I feel only gratitude that I can be present in their lives. Free from the anger and fear that once plagued me.
So please don’t be afraid to reach out for help. And if your problem lies in thoughts and memories I will leave the link to the free meditation exercise I use to remain emotionally neutral. Even though I still get some mild symptoms of my past from time to time I now deal with them from a place of conscious awareness. My thoughts no longer control me. From the meditation I have experienced forgiveness, no longer running on resentment and fear.