Like a phoenix rising from its ashes

dusty-room-800-600Hello? Anyone around?

It’s gotten a bit dusty around here, hasn’t it?

I guess that’s what happens after such a long time, dust piles up and then there’s lots of cleaning to do before we can move forward. To be honest I’m surprised this little corner of the Internet didn’t collapse out of existence after being ignored for so long. But I’m really glad it didn’t!

I had all these wonderful ideas of what I could do and what I could post and how I would do it all. Studying psychology at the OU felt like such an amazing thing and I was ready to take on the world, one blog post at the time. This was supposed to be the place where I could express my thoughts, all my ideas and insights born from what I was studying.

This was all created and thought up with the naivety of one who still believes that traditional education is there to teach us how to /think/. I think I had already forgotten my previous stint at university and the painful realization that I was not so much expected to think as I was expected to fit into a mold.

I don’t do molds. The more I am forced into one, the more I push against it. But also the more miserable I become. So not only was I heartbroken that what I was studying was nothing of square_peg_in_round_hole_2what I had wanted, but it contributed (alongside what feels like a million things that life was throwing at me) to me sinking very low into depression.

For a year, maybe more but it all feels like a timeless blur now, I fought and lost against depression. Simple things became hard and the stress only piled on as I fell behind on my studies. Ridiculously to say I was studying a course about psychology, I received little help from my tutors and the course people. So I crashed somewhere at the bottom of a very dark pit, and for a while, I thought I would stay there.

Maybe one day I’ll talk about it, but for now suffice to say that what saved me is the fact that I don’t know how to give up. It’s something I learnt in childhood, but not so much from my parents as from the anime I used to watch. But that’s a topic for another day.

6304953359400960So somewhere along the line I managed to start crawling back up out of the hole. I had withdrawn from the OU and felt very hopeless about my desire to become a counsellor. That was until I stumbled upon this http://www.emotionaltherapeuticcounselling.co.uk/. This is the Foundation for Emotional Therapeutic Counselling. But I didn’t go to them for counselling, I saw instead that they offered training to those willing to learn. So I signed up. Everything about it sounded like what I wanted to learn and become, and so I took a leap and hoped it would work out better than university.

I still remember being very shaky on the phone interview I had to do before being allowed on the course, but I like to think I rocked it, and that my already increased understanding of our emotions/thoughts/psychology stuff really helped!

Let’s add a little bit of context to this though, shall we?

Around the same time I signed up for the course, I got the news that a sister-like-friend was terminally ill with cancer. She had been fighting it for years already, but this time the fight wassydney-grief-counselling-how-to-deal-with-the-loss-of-a-partner going to be over, and she wouldn’t be the victor left on the field. I don’t think there is an age that makes getting this kind of news easier, but being young can make it more difficult. There is nothing in the way we are raised that prepares us to watch someone we love, someone who is around our age, die the slow death my friend was going to go through.

I crumbled all over again, crashed back down at the bottom of the pit, and shattered. I felt hopeless, like nothing would be bright or be the same again.

My brother, Final Fantasy XIV, and kpop, literally saved my life. They were my anchors to reality, my weapons against the darkness of depression. I didn’t think we could win but, somehow, we did.

So a year down the line nearly from the day we got that news, my friend is gone. She died recently, passed away in her sleep to a better place, or a new, hopefully better, existence depending on what you believe. For months already I had lost her as she wasn’t able to live her life anymore, the cancer so debilitating. So the news didn’t come as a shock, but it didn’t make it any harder: having lost her was now official. There would be no miracle to save her anymore.

But she lives on in mine, and her friends and family’s hearts.

weight-loss-plateauAnd for the living, things carry on. Soon I will be working towards my diploma in Emotional Therapeutic Counselling so I can begin practicing. I am more motivated than ever to finish all the many stories I have started writing and I have a gazillion projects I can’t wait to get started.

Somehow, despite everything, I made it back to the top of the pit, and all the hardships on the way up only made me stronger, made me want to take on the world.

So alongside with starting posting here, and expressing the thousands of opinions I have about our inner workings, I am also going to start doing the #100happydays photo project both here and on Twitter/FB page (which will be created especially for this blog!). Why? Because no matter how dark things get, there are always small things to be happy about. I learnt that over the last years, and now I want to celebrate those small things (or sometimes big things) that make me smile every day.

So yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, the Psych Engine is open once again, and this time it is more than ever ready to deliver!

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