With this being my first time blogging I can say for sure that I am both excited and nervous. Nevertheless, I knew that this moment couldn’t wait any longer. This is because I grew tired of sitting by whilst seeing politicians lie to us, the healthcare systems not curing illnesses only prolonging them and education systems inhibiting creativity. I personally bear witness to the fact that the world is in a difficult place. However, this blog is not going to address worldly conflicts in too much detail. This is because I know that our opinions will differ and therefore divide us. I want to focus on what I consider to be a universal truth. Which is the idea that if we can all find the natural passion and empowerment within ourselves, the world would change overnight.
In order for this dream to be realised, I want to be as honest and transparent with you as possible. I struggled with mental health for a large part of my life. Mostly in the form of depression and anxiety. I had previously spent the majority of my life not actually living but merely existing. I preferred the life in my imagination and dreams. A reality I would prefer to escape to. Eventually I had to make a decision. Do I continue a life not worth living or do I create the life I want to be a part of? I had many deep philosophical questions that kept my mind busy and made me appear wise. I went into a phase of reading many books. I felt like a man on a quest for meaning. Marching through Waterstone’s bookshop hoping to be inspired, like Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) from “The Da Vinci Code” looking for the holy grail. It was fun to be able to let my intellectual curiosity guide me. It offered a temporary focus and opened my mind to the idea that knowledge is power.
Coming from a background in psychology at university, offered a nice continuation of my obsessive search for deep and hidden truths. What I didn’t expect was for this subject to serve as a starting point in rationalising, understanding, and accepting my mother’s schizophrenia. Ultimately, the hidden truth I found in my life was that all of my escapist behaviours were simply because I was not given the love and acceptance at an early age that I wanted. I didn’t know how to heal the wounds of my heart until I discovered how to practise self-love in order to embrace the darkness inside of me.
Long story short, I know what it is like to go through difficulty. To lose hope and to stare into the face of adversity. I want to share all I know with people who have gone or are going through similar situations in order to promote positivity and help all of you grow into the best version of yourselves. As Psychetogether grows I want to run many projects, which will educate, inspire and find creative solutions to combat the stigma of mental illness. I dream of a day where society can get to a place of peace, understanding and tolerance for one another.
Before I end up on a philosophical tangent, let’s build our knowledge slowly through answering this first question: What needs do we have to meet in order to live a fulfilling life? Looking back at my studies, we were taught about the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. This is a theoretical framework that sought to represent all the motivations that govern human behaviour into a hierarchy starting from physiological needs and ending with self-actualisation needs. If we were to assume that this theory is true, then this could explain why those that gain all the riches they could imagine, do not find happiness. Since, these people are only fulfilling their need for security and status but not self-actualisation. Next question we need to ask is what is stopping all of us from meeting all of our needs from survival all the way to self actualisation?
Depending on what your circumstances are, you may know the answer or you may not, generally I would say the barriers are:
- Not being able to notice when a subtle need is not met. (Lack of self-awareness).
- Feeling ashamed and judging yourself for having these needs.
- Being aware of a need but not knowing how to meet that need.
- Feeling afraid to ask for help or perhaps a guilty conscience.
Essentially, we could find many reasons people find it difficult to meet these needs. However, I hope that what I will share may give you more tools to carve yourself out of the tunnel and into the light of your dreams! One thing I must mention is that it is important to learn how to deal with uncertainties and how to thrive anyway regardless of the confusion. Easier said than done? Of course it is, but that’s what I am here for. Anyways, I would say that you must develop your ability to identify exactly what is troubling you before you try to seek help from somebody. It does not matter if it is a therapist, general practitioner, family member, or friend because ultimately they can only meet, help, and communicate to the same language and comprehension of which you understand yourself. If you try to seek out help for an issue you do not fully understand yourself, you may not get the solutions you seek.
My advice would be to first cut away the boundaries between your senses and your thoughts. This is called mindfulness, being aware of the present, being aware of what we feel without judgement. I will go into more detail about mindfulness in later blog posts because this is a whole other can of worms in itself. For now I recommend you go and research this for yourself, in order to familiarise yourself with this concept.
Oh and by the way, I recommend you conduct your own research for all of the topics I discuss whether it is through YouTube videos, journal articles, or books, etc. This is a great way for you to be able to truly learn and gain more insights. Keeping an open mind through your journey to peace and happiness is key! I am not saying for you to believe everything you hear or see, just have the common courtesy to be open for the truth from whatever source it comes.
Psychetogether is about sharing knowledge and wisdom. I thought of this name, because I knew that the only way for all of us to realise our unlimited potential is through sharing what we know and working together.
When you are facing your own internal struggle, I want you to remember that you are never alone. Please show your support for this call to change! This change that is coming from within.