Davi Kopenawa, Yanomami shaman (via diaphanee)
Amen be nice to our momma earth 🌍
Respect for our mammy. 🌏
It is ‘International Youth Day’ today, a day that tragically corresponded with the announcement of the death of actor, Robin Williams who died in an apparent suicide. This news has shaken the world, particularly hitting home with sufferers of depression, anxiety and other mental health issues, which is why I have chosen this special but harrowing day to talk about my long-term struggles with anxiety, self harm and insomnia.
I struggled to confront my feelings with my parents’ separation as a 9 year old - something I felt, and still feel is not abnormal for children during a household breakup. It was only until I was 13 that I started feeling like something wasn’t quite right with me, my ability to cope with simple life problems was almost non-existent. I began ripping and biting my skin excessively, sometimes scratching myself so that I could create new scabs to rip off - a compulsion I now know as ‘Dermatophagia’ or ‘Wolf-biting syndrome’. This is the only physical manefestation of my anxiety, and something I still do now unfortunately.
(I would post an image of this condition, but it can be quite disturbing to look at)
Shortly after, I began having sleeping issues, and was told by friends and famiy that it was due to using my laptop or my phone too much. This was the most frustrating thing to hear after being told to ‘try to sleep’, as I knew this was something that was completely out of my physical or mental control. This escalated when I started my A-Levels, resulting in me frequently being too tired to go to school and having long insomnia blackouts while doing simple tasks like making a cup of tea, or showering.
It was only recently that I was finally diagnosed with Generalised Anxiety Disorder, and Insomnia, which has allowed me to get a hold back of my life. People do not understand how much help a simple thing like a diagnosis is for a sufferer- it is like putting a name to a face. It allows you to distinguish between what you define as ‘me’ and ‘my behaviour’ and what you understand as your illness. Since then I have seized my life back by communicating my feels, meditating and following zen doctrine, but this doesn’t mean I don’t still endure the effects of my issues, but it allows me to not be consumed by them.
Talking about my problems everyday is a battle, and I don’t really like doing it, it feels self-indulgent and strange but it is a huge comort. Getting help and going to see a doctor was the scariest thing I have ever done in my life, and I cried for days afterwards, but I cant imagine where I would be if I hadn’t gone so I urge you, if you are going through anything you need to talk to someone, either a friend or a professional.
This has been a very meaningful day for me and if my story can touch anyone, and allow them to seize their life and get help then I will feel eternally humbled.