This week, I realised that I was filled with fear about a whole lot of things. This realisation came as quite a shock, for up to that point, I was blissfully unaware that anything was wrong. The panic attack I had the week before was probably an early warning sign, but I chose to move on from it and did not bother to sit down and try understand why.
After spending time deep-diving into what I was fearful about, I figured out that it was related to some of the challenges I have had to overcome in the past. I have alluded to some of those challenges in previous posts, but then I have never really opened up about them. At that moment the hypocrisy of it all hit me. How could I expect anyone to trust Transformation in Motion or me if I was not transparent about what I had experienced in my life?
I remember periods of my life where I was immobilised with bouts of depression but never sought professional help. back then there was a huge stigma attached to mental health issues and I certainly had enough issues without having to add another one to the list.
The depression later developed into Bipolar mood disorder. There have been times when the bipolar has wreaked havoc in my life, having to deal with the extreme highs and the catastrophic lows. But, thanks to the outstanding care I have received from my psychiatrists and therapists along the way, I am now on the proper medication, and my life is stable (those who know me well might question that statement :)).
It took me many years to realise that it was not just about the medication. If I were to beat this, I needed a new mindset and complete lifestyle change. I still have days where I do not want to face the world and would prefer to curl up in a ball underneath the bed, but I keep going because I will not let this disorder hold me hostage.
From a young age, all I wanted to do was escape my reality and substances provide that escape. They helped quell the incredible anger I had towards the world and the hatred I felt towards myself. Self-destruction was the name of the game, and I did everything in my power to destroy my life.
Along the way, I destroyed the lives of others, those I loved and anything that stood in my way. I only found recovery when I stopped blaming the world around me and took responsibility for my life and the wrongs I had done.
Thanks to my family, friends and a great support system, I found recovery after years of torture. Initially, the thought of recovery was terrifying, but the alternative was so much worse. This was one of the main reasons I decided to become a psychologist; it was my way of making up for the damage I had caused in my earlier years. My addictive nature pops up occasionally in the form of instant gratification or obsessive thinking. But I know this beast and all of its silly tricks, and as soon as I start looking for something outside of myself to change the way I feel, I know I need to put in the work (coffee does not count).
I can never undo what I have done, but I can commit to being the best version of myself every day. I have made it my mission to help others find recovery because life can be truly magical if you are prepared to put the work in.
My inner critic and the insanity of it all
As I have mentioned in previous posts, I have always felt like an outcast of society. This was partially due to the bullying I experienced when I was younger because sensitive, artistic boys were abnormalities back then. This contributed to me internalising the idea that I was not good enough and unlovable. I also developed a very distorted body image and incredible insecurities. Still to this day, I cringe at the thought of having my photo taken.
For the longest time, I was convinced that I was hideous and my body was not that of a man’s. This resulted in self-mutilation, steroid use and very disordered eating patterns. I never thought I could get a degree because I was not intelligent enough or deserved to be in a relationship. I could go on, but I think you get the picture.
For the most part, I have managed to bring that inner critic under control, but every now and again, it escapes. Then the battle begins, and swords are drawn. Some of these issues can still a struggle sometimes. Still, mostly I win and have learnt to live a more self-compassionate life. A very special thanks to all of the incredible people who have helped me on my journey of self-discovery.
What I have learnt along the way is that life can and is beautiful despite what you have been through. All you need is commitment, hard work and the belief that you deserve to live the best life possible. That is the purpose of Transformation in Motion. It is a combination of my lived experience, my work as a psychologist, the incredible people I have worked with and the fantastic resources that are available.
Nothing about what I have written makes me a hero or special in any way. The purpose of this post was to help others understand that anything is possible. Perhaps now you can better appreciate my passion and belief that change and transformation are possible for anyone who wants it. Thank you for your time and understanding. Next week I am going to talk about setting goals and ways to achieve them. Until then, be safe and be kind to yourself and others.