I remember doing swimming lessons in primary school, and the water went over my head, there were so many of us, the whole class, and 1 instructor, this was many years ago. I panicked for around 10 seconds, i wasn't hysterically panicking, i just froze, but i could feel my heart in panick. I could hear the lady shouting at me, but i didn't know what she was saying. I was completely underneath the water, not knowing what to do, i lost my footing. Only until i managed to put my hands down and ground myself i realised she was shouting put your feet down. Easier said than done lady! It was embarrassing, not knowing how to swim. I wasn't the only one, but i felt like i was the one in fear. That made me feel more embarrassed. So every week i would put my hands on the floor and move forward kicking my feet. I learnt nothing, but most importantly i survived so i didn't care.
Now i understand it isn't about surviving, it is about learning. It is about progressing, reflecting, and me personally about taking the steps forward to become better, to become calmer, to become less emotionally burdened, to inspire and to help, to live not just to be alive.
I liken depression to drowning. Constantly finding myself in a depressed state under water. I cannot swim. But somehow i am still drowning. Years later, still waiting for a hand to reach out to me, a lifeline to save me. I often search for some sort of guidance above me, as I continue to wash ashore. I am sometimes optimistic that there is someone who may just see me, someone who may just help me out of the continuous spiral that is sometimes out of my control. Then i come back to reality, and realise there is no one, and i am still spiralling alone. The very place in which I see my death is where I seek sanctuary, where i see prosperity.
When all anxiety's find themselves on top of me. I cannot swim, but i wont let drowning get the better of me. Im learning how to swim physically, and emotionally.
Recently i travelled alone again back to Mykonos. I came back home with some realisations of myself. One, its easy for me to feel very alone even if i am constantly around someone, or people. I think more so because of how i see and feel things. And many cannot relate or understand. I also realised i don't surround myself with people all day everyday for that exact reason. I spend a lot of time alone, so that i don't have the feeling of loneliness consuming my mind. As being alone, and being lonely is two different things. The biggest thing i learnt was, i struggle to be away from home. Reason being, is because home is essentially where my heart is. Its the only place i know i can be myself, without fear, without embarrassment, without judgement. It is the place where i feel protected, like nothing can harm me. My parents are my only true carers in every circumstance. They hold no animosity against me, they hold no ill feeling towards me. The love me without conditions. The only agenda they have is to protect me. To grow me. When i get out there in this world, especially alone its hard to adjust accordingly. I find being so far away brings out emotions in me that i don't necessarily have when i'm home. I don't feel protected, and even if i'm out there alone, i am lonely, not alone!
When i was away i felt like i didn't have much of an outlet, a warm place to escape to. Before i left to go i didn't have much time at home because of work. So when i went to Mykonos to go and seek tranquillity, my mind didn't allow peace within me, instead i was in overdrive, over thinking, over analysing. I still had a lovely time though, went to see a good friend, who was constantly making sure i was okay. I also made some new friends. I laughed a lot at all the comings and goings on around me. I made a new handshake with Alex that made me smile every time. I spoke to this Amazing, beautiful girl who works in fashion, she was very similar to me, we spoke about London, Hull.. and life in Greece. We spoke about our creativity and how comes it comes with major road blocks, frustration but happiness all the same! She advised me on things that have worked for her in the past to overcome speed humps that have been set in her way. I visited Mykonos town, watched the children dance in happiness and play in the playgrounds. The old people sit by their white stone houses, decorated with bright hues of green blue and red wood doors and banisters. I spent most of my time at Tropicana beach bar with my good friend, Him, showcasing his one eyed wink as a tip, of charm for his customers. Watching the drinking get heavier as the night falls, and the dancing get messier. The speech becoming more slurred by the night. I watched the sun break into the night over by the windmills (KATO MILLI) amongst the hundreds of tourists trying to get their perfect silhouette shot, with the sunset just right.
When i find myself lost and emotionally charged, my eyes fixate and dance with the rain, I thought it was just the rain, because I live in London. Now I have had a chance to travel, i smile at the ocean (on holiday) because it now knows all my secrets, in time of reflection. Amongst angst and frustration.
It brings me back up to the surface. Out of anxiety's way. For the time being until another wave. I know i can depend on the very thing that takes me off my feet to return me to my confident standing point. I am scared of masses of water, as it is something you cannot control. It controls you and your every movement if your caught up between it. And i like to remain in control. I loose myself in the waves beating against the stone pane, taking its course to sand and pebble beaches that rejects it stay at the shore. So the ocean waves return back to where it knows, where its home. Even the ocean has a home. And i see that within myself. When i return home, i can collect my thoughts and feelings properly, outside i am disorientated and almost trespassing amongst life. I am not perfect, and i still find myself in bouts of anger and sadness. This year i found myself under extreme amounts of pressure and stress, disappointment and let downs that bring me back to a depressed mental state. But i sift through my tools that i have learnt over the years, to fix myself up before its to late.
My home is like the ocean, calmed throughout the night.
What kind of things do you do to chill out? to unwind? to get you through stressful days? Do you have a place of sanctuary? Look forward to hearing all your responses.