I was recently asked "how did you bounce back from your experience so well?"
This person wasn't in my life during my rollercoaster years, so I was very careful not to jump up and down, saying "I didn't bounce back, it was a long and hard road." But that's the truth!
I also recall a family member saying at the time "it's Tash, she will get through this." Meaning, I was a resilient person so would eventually recover, and she wasn't worried about that at all. She was right, of course, but at the time I felt devastated that the level of my "broken-ness" wasn't being seen.
It is hard to let others into our pain. Experiencing trauma leaves your nerves raw and your resilience low. I know that I am someone who doesn't like people seeing me in pain, or knowing I am vulnerable. I can now see with the benefit of greater self-awareness and hindsight that I wasn't being fair by expecting my loved ones to simply intuit the level of my pain. I also journalled at the time as my way of coping with what I was going through.
Anyone who has gone through trauma will tell you it's like being ripped from your anchor. You didn't even realise that anchor was there until you are left lurching and reeling in the wake of events, unable to grasp at the ground and hold on. In the aftermath of my husband's suicide my emotions, on razor's edge from walking on eggshells, were now completely unpredictable. I didn't know whether I would be cackling at something trivial to try and feel happy again, or numb, or unable to get out of bed.
This lasted for a year, until I hit my rock bottom. Watch my video below where I describe this point in my life: "after a week of my sleep I took
a bottle of sleeping pills washed it down with whatever alcohol I had in the
house and felt my heartbeat slowing down"
That was my rock bottom.
However, once I decided I would live, I decided I would do whatever it takes to get back to mental wellness. I pursued whatever seemed like it would work for me - psychologists, meditation, buteyko breathing technique and ultimately kinesiology. I found the holistic practice of kinesiology helped me get to greater depths of self-awareness. Not only did it pinpoint what emotions I was holding onto around my goals in life, it also gave me the tools to reduce their hold over me. Over the course of more than five years I have been using these tools to help myself and others to become aware of subconscious patterns of behaviour and move through those, freeing myself bit-by-bit to becoming my brightest, happiest self.
Kinesiology may not work for everybody (although I have seen it yield incredible results even with skeptics). To overcome trauma, you need to find what works for you. Have an open mind, what works for you may be completely unusual. It could be medication. It might be long chats with friends over a cuppa tea. It might be solitude and prayer (although be careful about coralling yourself from the world for too long).
For me, it has been a ten year journey so far, and it is far from over. I didn't "bounce back" but I certainly recovered and moved towards health and happiness. If it is possible for me, it is possible for anyone. It does take a commitment to yourself to work through whatever issues come up, and faith that there is light at the end of the tunnel. But once you see the light and work towards it, you will find yourself in brighter circumstances than you could have imagined there to be.
To learn more about my story on living with, loving and leaving my husband with bipolar, and the fallout of grief that I overcame, buy Marrying Bipolar. Every copy is signed by myself, Natasha David, with a personal message to every reader.
Love Natasha x
Welcome to my book website, Marrying Bipolar. As you made it to the blog, you may be interested in learning a little more about me. I was born and bred in Sydney since 1973 to a very tight knit and loving family. We all have our issues, though, and my life's ambition was to become the best person I could be through education, hard yakka (that's work for non-Australians reading this!) and trying to learn as much about myself and others as possible.