Thursday, 31 July 2014

Lifeline Session 2: The masks we wear

Today was our second session of the Lifeline course and it was pretty eye-opening. We spoke a little bit about trust and then went deeper into exploring the different masks that we each wear on a daily basis to cope with various situations in our lives. Masks can be a good or a bad thing, depending on whether you use it for your benefit, or to hide your feelings and emotions. Some people need to wear many masks while others don’t feel the need to wear any. But there is usually a cost involved, as it may affect your relationships and/or cause you to isolate yourself.

I hide behind smiles and laughter, when the truth is that I don’t truly know how to be happy and content with my life. I wear my mask to create a barrier between myself and others. I have a couple close relationships but I’ve realised that I still keep my guard up, not fully disclosing everything; keeping my real feelings and emotions hidden.

I’m afraid of being vulnerable and exposed because I don’t want to give anyone the chance to hurt me again. From my past experiences I think I have started to believe that most relationships don’t last. So I don’t want to be put into a position in which someone will have the upper hand if our relationship goes bad - for whatever reason.
I know that this is not a good way to think about relationships. I want to be more open about my true feelings and let people in. I think that my problem is that I don’t know how people will react or respond to all my overwhelming emotions. I mean, what do I expect them to say? What if I over-share and it changes their opinion of me in some way? 

Maybe I am also afraid of being judged by the things that hurt me the most. I don’t want people to pity me, or my family and all that we have been through. I don’t want to appear weak. This is one of my greatest struggles right now.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Lifeline Session 1: Out of the darkness

I started attending a Personal Growth Course through Lifeline Community Wellness Centre. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I am honestly very glad that I found the course.

Right now I'm trying to figure out how to move forward with my life, and get over some of my painful past experiences. I feel stuck and I just don’t know how to deal with these overwhelming emotions.

Basically, this course is a journey towards greater self-awareness and self-discovery. The main goals are to gain greater self-insight, to learn to accept yourself and your feelings, to communicate more effectively, to expand your ways of relating and responding to others and to know yourself more fully.

Exactly what I need! My reasons for doing the course are:

- To figure out my true identity apart from once being a medical student
- To meet new people that are also facing similar challenges
- To find my purpose
- To make new friends
- To find joy within myself
- To let go of my past and move on with life.
- To help me become a mature and confident young woman
- To help me face my fears head on
- To help me start taking risks.
- To start healing all these scars from my past

We were allocated to smaller groups to discuss the different exercises for each session. One of today's tasks was to draw a picture of ourselves, and where we are in our lives. This is a very revealing exercise because even though one doesn’t have the skills of an artist, the image still comes across quite vividly.

It was quite something to listen to each person describing their pictures and to be able to open up, emotionally, to a group of strangers that I had only just met. I felt comfortable telling them all that had been weighing heavily on my heart the past couple days. Once I had started speaking, the tears just came - but I wasn’t embarrassed in any way. It was freeing to let it all out. They offered encouragement, and shared some of their own personal experience in similar situations. 

It’s time to move out of this darkness that I have been hiding in, and to accept that this is my life; I can’t silently wish it were different if I am not going to get up and do something to change it. I want to make the most of what I have been given, and be grateful for every blessing.

This is not about simply smoothing over the surface, hiding away my issues or making everything appear better. It's not even about trying to put a smile on my face and being be more positive. It's much more than those fancy quotes that I love, that tell you that everything will be OK one day; it is about building my self-confidence and truly believing in myself, with no doubts or second guessing.

It is time to change the things that make me unhappy - even if I just take one small step at a time.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

A little bit of hope

For a while I have not able to get out much, mostly because of financial restraints and because I don’t have my driving licence yet. And instead of trying, I have been avoiding all social contact all together. I think that I am still waiting for things to get easier and start falling in to place, even though I know that is not how things usually work out. 

I saw a student counsellor at the university last month, with the hope that she would help me find out about more possible options. But after making a list of values and things I want from a career, the rest of the conversation revolved around Medicine. She had the idea that doing anything else would not bring me full satisfaction, and instead I would just be settling. I think she was trying to motivate me to give it another try. But I was/am not convinced. She didn't really understand where I was coming from and I left feeling even more confused and hurt. She even tried talking me out of studying psychology, because according to her, it would not be worth it in the end.

I remember coming home and just crying for a few minutes, feeling as though I was just right back where I started, with no way to move forward.

The other day, I was searching the internet, looking for some kind of support group in the area and I stumbled across the Lifeline website. I phoned the organisation and they told me about a Personal Growth course that they offer for 8 weeks which starts on the 24th July. I am feeling very nervous about it and I have no idea what to expect, but I am hoping that this will help me deal with all the things that I am having trouble letting go of and also help me to move forward. I don't want to hold on to the past any more. 

Friday, 18 July 2014

I try to be better....

Another month has come and gone, and I still feel as though I'm standing in exactly the same place I was last month. 

I try to be better, but these changes don’t stick. I'm falling deeper and deeper into my own darkness. I know that I should pull myself out of this and start moving on with my life, but sometimes it just hurts too much.

I've lost my dreams and I don’t know what to want any more. I hate that everything is just so difficult. I just want my life to be easy. I want things to happen the way that they are supposed to. 

I don’t want to be this person anymore - weak, afraid and uncertain about who she is. How can I be this unhappy? I am exhausted by my endless days and by my own inadequacy.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Letter to my love #2

When everything hurts, in the dead of the night, will you be there? Hold my hand. I know that you can't stop the pain, but the comfort and warmth that you bring, lying next to me, will fill me with hope. You'll give me something to fight for. With you, I'll no longer feel weak. Together we are stronger.

I know this pain will not last.

Please remind me, of the beauty of the sunrise, that comes with each new day.

Friday, 11 July 2014

‘Every woman has the exact love life she wants.’

Kat:  You say, and I quote, Every woman has the exact love life she wants.’ Now that seems like a pretty a broad generalization....
Do you honestly believe that I want to be single and miserable? Do you think that I want to be hung up on some guy who led me on for years and out of the blue just shattered my heart?

Nick: Well first of all, there's no such thing as out of the blue. And second of all, yeah.

Kat:  What?

Nick: When you're ready to let go, to be un-single and un-miserable, you will. ‘Till then...