Thank you again to The Agenda for this amazing opportunity.
I have been adding lots of art lately…as you can see, and I feel it is spilling out of me, like water. Ideas come from photo inspiration or from my mind and I feel like I can’t wait to put them on paper. I don’t really watch TV, so I find this medium to be an excellent way to distract my mind from darkness that normally consumes it. I can’t sleep unless I get certain images out of my mind, and drawing with messiness and complete abandon is so therapeutic for me. Who knew that I would discover this way of healing during a time when I felt more lost than I had been in a very long time. Thank you to my higher power for this gift of cleansing.
On this bonus episode:
-I share how I use “The Four Agreements”, by author Don Miguel Ruiz, to help me form healthy boundaries in my recovery,
-How to cope with negative support,
-and Lollers finds Walter’s bone. 🙂
I have a new book coming out that you can preorder here.
This inspiring book of quotations from Natalie’s Harris’s raw and gripping account of her mental health journey, “Save-My-Life School,” offers daily motivational and thoughtful lessons.
Busy and bored – I’m both. It’s possible. Weird right? Even though I am not on the road as a medic anymore (sigh) I am a busy bee. Family, fur babies, podcasts, new book, new speaking engagements, and lots of emails to reply to, keep my busy every day – and I’m grateful that I am able to do all of these things – but I’m bored. I’m on a new medication and I think it is giving me a lot of extra energy (Abilify for those who are wondering). I wake up super early and can’t get back to sleep which is weird for me as the old super depressed Nat only slept!
So with that being said I want to share a few amazing words of inspiration some friends have given me over the last day or too to help easy my mind with it’s new found energy and boredom.
From Christine Newman: “Here’s what I can tell you for sure Sis… things will seesaw for a while until you eventually find your happy medium. Some days you will be in the groove and rocking your socks off. Other days, the needle skips on the record and everything sounds like shit. And at least Lollers didn’t barf IN your shoes”. Brilliant! She also told me that because I have been through so much this year, that it will take some time to find a happy medium.
From Caroline Richards: “Well, I guess this is just where I’m at, I really need to just accept this”. Beautiful and true! When Caroline said this to me, I felt like she was speaking to my soul. I have to accept where I am – it really makes things a lot easier.
From @365daysofbipol2: “When you feel like you are moving forward and seem like you’re going nowhere you are on a plateau. Learn to enjoy the view”. Simple and profound all in one.
From Dr. Debra Lindh: ” Some days are harder than others. Remember: We grow when we’re stretched not when we are comfortable”. Isn’t that the truth – thank you for reminding me.
I hope that if you are feeling the way I am that these messages help you as much as they have helped me. XO Time for some Pearl Jam and Linkin Park.
Living in the now is great and all, but I can’t help but wonder what the future holds for me. Finances, health, relationships – these are all big question marks. But I suppose they are question marks for everyone really. I don’t do well without having inspiration in my life. That’s why I usually have several projects on the go – when I’m healthy the more inspiration the better – I think. Wings of Change, a new Save~My~Life School quote book and journal, my Brain Storm podcast, future speaking engagements, a little pastel artwork…I don’t do well with doing nothing.
When my brain feels well, I usually get to work on a lot of projects because I know that beyond the horizon there will be yet another era of my alien life that will grab me tightly and not let me go for however long it chooses. And during alien life, projects are few and far between. But they are inspired when they do arise. Being in darkness fills my brain with outer-space ideas and feelings that rip out of my soul because they are too painful to contain. Actually, they are impossible to contain.
My alien mind is interesting and thought provoking while I’m in a healthy mind. But when I’m actually in alien mind, it seems anything but interesting! When I’m in it, death screams in my face constantly. It literally spews hot spit-filled air on me as I try to breathe. I have a noise sensitivity when my healthier mind is active, but when my alien mind is active, noise is more than just sound! It’s like acid that permeates the air, my cells…my entire existence. It hurts, a lot. It makes my eardrums bleed invisible blood. It makes my eyes cry invisible black tar filled tears that I can’t easily wipe away. It makes my lungs cave in on themselves and scream that they hate taking yet another breath…and another breath…and another. And all of these symptoms are SO real to me when I am in my alien mind. You could tell me they aren’t but I wouldn’t believe you. In fact, I would probably punch you in the throat if you tried.
It was nice to draw today without my alien mind active. I can personally still see that mind lingering in the background with the colours I choose and the features I draw. But when I put the pastels away today I sang a song, and cleaned up, and made dinner for my kids. Lasagna and garlic bread! Some days are ok. And I will have some art to remind me of it when these ok days are gone.
It will be interesting to see what I draw when the alien returns.
Moving forward I will be releasing a podcast every Monday and Thursday with the help of Luke from Podcast Wagon. Luke also produces Jody Mitic’s podcast and I am very happy to have his help!
Different Levels of Stigma
On this episode:
-How depression carries more stigma than PTSD and anxiety,
-Shout out to Sick Not Weak and Michael Landsberg who will be a guest on Brain Storm in the near future,
-How compassionate care is necessary for all types of mental illness,