My key to healing

We cannot go through life without having to experience pain as well. Sometimes the pain seems like a wound that will never close and can start bleeding again every single day of our lives. In my almost 24 years on this earth, I went through lots of heartbreaking agonies that often almost made me give up. Yet I’m here now, writing this for you, to help you with your own healing process.

When people share their stories with me or simply the sadness they currently feel and don’t seem to be able to cope I always give them one advice: Live through the pain.

But what does that exactly mean?

When you experience heartbreak, whether it’s a loss or a trauma, we feel this unbelievably huge ache in our chest. We feel as though we cannot handle it anymore. We feel like our heart is breaking into little pieces creating a pile of shards that we cannot seem to be able to pick up anymore. Our life seems to stand still and we don’t know how to continue living and finding our way back to the light, out of the darkness.
Well, this is how I feel.

We can bandage our wounds with alcohol, other drugs, jumping from one partner to another, cigarettes, parties or simply lots of distraction. Yet it will always bleed through. We do not heal by distraction. Hidden feelings do not fade, they get stronger.

So what am I doing when I find myself back in the darkness?

Every day I take some time to just let the pain crash me.
I sit or lay down and feel everything I don’t want to feel. When I feel like crying, I cry. Until the tears stop by itself. I allow myself to feel what breaks my heart.
I let myself shatter. I let the agony overwhelm me. With no drugs. Sober. 
I allow myself to feel. I allow myself to be sad. I allow myself to be angry. I allow myself to feel exhausted, drained, destroyed and desperate.
And I accept it.
I accept the situation as it is. I accept that, for example, this particular person is not in my life anymore. I accept that something horrible happened. I accept. No matter what caused this agony, I accept the situation as it is.
Because it doesn’t help or make sense to keep questioning. It doesn’t help at all to keep asking yourself “Why me? Why did that happen?”. That’s life.
I am sorry if this sounds harsh but this world and this life will not always be nice to you and sometimes horrible things happen. That’s life.
And you have to accept it.

Depending on what caused the pain I go through, it takes longer until I slowly feel better. But in my experience, the hurting only gets better when you feel it and accept it. Do not lock your feelings away. Hidden feelings just get stronger.

When you do that every day you learn something that is very important:

This hell you are going through right now might feel as though it is burning you alive but it does not kill you.

It hurts, I know, but it does not kill you.

So take a moment every day or every other day to feel what you are going through. Try to accept it. In the beginning, it’s hard but it gets easier. And for the rest of the day:
Live your life. Go to work. Go to university or school. Do something for yourself. Do something that creates value. Maybe learn how to meditate or how to cook. Maybe start doing sports or start drawing or writing. Writing your thoughts down is something that helps me for example. Work on your self-love.
But please, please do not lock your feelings away. Work on yourself. You can do it. You will survive this. Trust me, I’ve been there. I know the feeling of thinking that nothing makes sense anymore, the feeling of being empty and numb, I know sadness and pain.
I know the recurring thoughts that haunt you. And I know that hidden feelings get stronger and I know that you can ease the pain with lots of distraction and maybe even drugs but in the end the pain just gets stronger and one day it will break out and it will crash you way more horrible than when you let yourself feel it every day without any kind of drugs.

And concerning heartbreak: No one in this world owes you your happiness. No one. Accept it. Just like you don’t owe other people happiness. You have to create happiness yourself, within yourself. Everybody will hurt you at some point in your life, we are all just human.

Please take care of yourself. Practice self-love. You got this. You are not alone.

Love,
Soya

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The Darkness, my old friend.

Oh, hello darkness, it’s you again. It’s been a while.

So what are your plans now?
Do you intend to try to burn me again?
Haven’t you learnt? Haven’t you learnt anything?
Every fight we had, I won. I won, not you.

Do you really think you can get me this time? After all this time?
Do you really think you could burn me now?
Burn me to the ground?
Haven’t you learnt? Haven’t you learnt anything?

Every time you try burning me to the ashes,
I rise.

Oh darkness, how naive of you.
You cannot burn a phoenix.
I rose and I’ll rise again, every time you burn me down.

Oh darkness, my good old friend.
After all this time, I’m pretty comfortable with you being around,
nagging, demanding I give up finally.

Oh darkness, haven’t you learnt?
I will not give up.

But if you insist, let’s play this game, again, for good old times sake.

You’ll haunt me in my sleep, sending me nightmares,
make me wake up anxious, covered in cold sweat.
You are going to put the panic back into my life.
You’ll whisper in my ear “You are not good enough. This isn’t worth it. You’re not worth it. Cry, Soya, but it doesn’t get better. You are not normal. You’ll never be. Just give up, just give up.”
You will rob me my sleep, turn me into a vampire again, into someone that functions but doesn’t live.
You will steal my smile and make me fake one.
You will make me push beloved ones back on spec.
And then, then comes your masterpiece:
You will burn me alive,
you will burn my soul and heart
so that all that’s left is numbness and emptiness.

I know every move you make, my old friend.
I know how you work and I know what you’ll do.
You’re out of surprises, my dear darkness.

You may haunt me, you may send me nightmares and bring back the anxiety, the panic into my life. You may steal my smile for a while and you may burn me alive
but what you always forget is
that you cannot burn a phoenix.

So let’s play this game, my old friend.
But just know,
you cannot win.

I will always rise from my ashes.

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Take control over yourself back

We all have fears, we all are afraid of something, but for some people, this fear becomes an anxiety disorder. For more people than we think.

Some of us are scared of a social life, going out seems to be a horrible idea and we always make up new excuses to not do it.

Other people, lots of people, are scared of opening up to somebody about their thoughts, hopes, fears or whatever is going on in our minds. The fear of opening up is quite common actually, we are afraid of judgement, afraid of being let down once again, of disappointment, of closeness, intimacy.

But how do we overcome this? How is a relationship possible when we are so extremely scared of being hurt? Is it possible? Or do we just have to end up alone and probably lonely since deep down we desire nothing more than a deep and intimate relationship with someone?

I’m not outside of this issue, I struggle with it myself. If you have experienced trauma caused by a beloved one, then you find yourself struggling to trust again. I mean, if someone you are close to can hurt you so deeply and traumatise you, then everyone can do it. If it was your partner or ex-partner, how can you know that the next person will not change from good to bad, show his/her real face one day and then you will be trapped again, let a toxic person into your life, again…

After trauma, you need to learn how to trust yourself again. How to listen to your gut again. Our intuition tells us more than we think but we tend to ignore the quiet voice deep down within us because we are either scared or we do not want to see the warning signs, the red flags. When you are in love you do not want to believe that this person could harm you.

I must say, I saw many red flags in my past relationships, especially in the most toxic one that traumatised me. I ignored the quiet voice that came from the deepest part of my soul. I told myself that this person would never harm me because he loved me.

Well, I was wrong and my intuition was right.

When you look at my story, what do you learn from this? That everyone could harm you and that’s why you need to hide in your apartment or house?

No. 

That your intuition, your soul, the quiet voice within you, knows when there’s some kind of danger in your life. 

To learn how to overcome trauma or your fears, the first step is to start getting to know yourself again. Learn to listen to yourself again. 

As soon as you know your own fears, what you are actually afraid of, as soon as you know yourself, really know yourself, you can take the next step. But this one is necessary for your healing, for your recovery and to finally take control back over yourself.

Try to focus on the positive things about you, the things you like but also acknowledge your weaknesses and start working on them.
It’s not easy, no, it’s really hard but it’s possible.

Trust yourself again. Listen to your gut. Love yourself. Do not be afraid of judgment, everyone has to struggle with something, everyone has fears.
Rise from your ashes.

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love,
soyadeba

Mental Health Tips and Hints

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This blog is going to be how certain things have helped me get through bad points in my mental health and tips I think might help you cope in any dark times .

Im going to start by sharing some quotes that have helped me get through tough times :

Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams .

Don’t give up . Remember, it’s always the last key on the key ring that opens the door.

Through every dark night, there’s a bright day after that.

Raise your words , not your voice . It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.

I hope by sharing these with you that when you are struggling or finding things difficult remembering one of these will give you the strength to keep going .

A useful way of coping with mental health is by meditation . The benefits of…

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Panic attacks 

Book: From the Ashes I Will Rise

“[..]Panic attacks

When it comes to panic attacks I can only talk from my point of view. Everybody can google it but for someone who has never experienced it him-/herself it is very hard to understand how it really feels like.

The feeling of losing control over yourself is the worst part of it, I think. When it started with mine I did not really know what was going on although I always had these pictures on my mind. Pictures that haunt me till now.  Pictures of what happened back then.

Not only the pictures from those nights keep coming back to my mind but also ones that concern other incidents I’m struggling with.                                             Therefore I am sure that it feels different if it concerns something else or even someone else.

Some people even panic for apparently no reason where it is way harder to find out the roots of the problem itself. It can be something from your childhood or even something you cannot really remember. But it can also be an anxiety disorder. It is extremely important to know where it comes from in order to defeat it.

Well.. concerning me, it normally starts with a feeling of discomfort. It is something I cannot control, it happens with people I know for a long time but also with people I barely know. My mind tells me “No, you can trust this person” while my feelings tell me “Do not trust anyone.” Like I previously explained if someone you are close to does you wrong like this, you are afraid of everyone.

You can never compare one’s panic attack to another one’s even though the “symptoms” are often similar.

But how can I explain a feeling of something so inexplicable and unbearable?
It can hit me everywhere. It is something I still cannot control one-hundred percent. It is my weakness, my vulnerability.

I do not see myself as damaged or broken but one part of me is definitely not as healthy as others.

It only needs one brief moment that does not feel comfortable and I am losing it. Shaking, being jumpy and not being able to talk is the part that the other person notices. While I feel a fight. A battle over happiness, a battle over control, a battle over emotions that overcome my whole being. Pictures I thought I’ve processed and have made peace with a long time ago suddenly start coming back to my mind. Feeling hopeless. Being angry at myself for losing control over myself. Being angry at myself for letting a person’s act from years ago still control my life. It feels like a vicious circle.

I feel paralyzed.

I want to talk but I can’t. I want to explain how I feel but I just can’t. I want to continue doing what I did but I can’t. I want to have a good time but I can’t because my body just strikes. It is like a writer’s block: You want to write something but you are at a loss for words.

It’s comparable to a blockade just for your body. It feels like every little cell of my body, every little feeling is contracting in my chest, going up to my throat and building a lump in it. A big lump  filled with all the sadness and agony I’ve been through, crushing my soul, overwhelming me. Not being able to breath, feeling out of breath. Feeling a chest tightness. A sadness I cannot handle. Basically losing control over everything; feeling vulnerable, scared, weak, angry, helpless and hopeless; feeling highly uncomfortable and exposed.

Even now just thinking about it while writing this I am struggling for words to explain a reaction experienced so many times in my life that I cannot fully understand myself. I know where it comes from and I know how I’m feeling then but some feelings are indescribable.

How do you explain a feeling when it contains so many different emotions at once?

Most of the time it just strikes out of the blue without any warning. Everything is fine and the next minute I feel like being buried by an avalanche of negative emotions. A racing heart, a a choking feeling, feeling unreal and detached from my surroundings.

It normally feels like it lasts for hours but in reality I think it only lasts about ten minutes. Then I feel better, getting my control back slowly. I slowly can start talking again, the lumps in my breast are loosening. I feel a kind of shame that I exposed myself as so weak but then I tell myself  “At least I am real. A person with feelings in an ice-cold world where feelings are secondary”.

I like to compare it to a feeling of dying inside, burning and then rising again, rising from the ashes like a phoenix.

Often I hate myself for losing control over my own reactions but it is like a vice. Some people’s vices are addictions while mine is this weakness, a weakness that is treatable. Never forget that. It just takes time, healing takes time.

By and by I learned to feel when I am about to have a panic attack again. I still start shaking and feeling paralyzed in a way but I managed over the time to control it so far that I do not start crying uncontrollably and I learned to stop shaking as soon as I notice it. It is still as a war inside of my head when it happens but it is one that I feel like winning every time a bit more and a bit easier even when it’s almost overwhelming me. The panic attacks got shorter and I can put an end to it when I really focus on it. Concentrating on stopping it, telling myself over and over again that I do not have to be scared, telling myself over and over again that I am safe, telling myself over and over again that this person next to me is not the person that raped me or a stranger that molested me. Concentrating on positive things in my life. With all I’ve got I am pulling myself out of these negative emotions, out of this feeling of losing it.[…]”

Breaking my silence 

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My first book From the Ashes I Will Rise  is now available on amazon, my memoir written down in poetry and thoughts and that means

that today I’m forcing myself to speak openly and publicly about something that haunted me for almost 6 years now. Today I’m choosing to let the world in, into my fears, into my pain. Today I stop protecting the one who raped me and caused me this agony.

It took me almost 6 years to recover, to heal from wounds on my soul that can start bleeding again every single minute.

I myself chose to pick up my broken uncountable pieces to put them back together to a beautiful mosaic to show it to this actual beautiful place called earth.

I myself chose to turn something that ruined my soul and heart for almost 6 years into strength and hope, not only for myself but everybody else.

It took me all I’ve got to heal and I tell you one thing: I will not let anybody victim-blame me or anything. I will not let anybody put any kind of negativity into my life ever again.

I am good on my own and every single person from my surroundings that chooses to blame me for something that wasn’t in my control will be cut out of my life.

And if I can be hope for others and help people to find the strength to leave a toxic environment behind then I’ll feel highly honored and will have reached my goal and if I cannot do this then I’ll still be proud of myself for exactly doing that.

Today I’m speaking up not only for myself but for every single soul out there that suffers.

From the Ashes I’m rising today and so will you.

Get a copy of my book and let me inspire and strengthen you: From the Ashes I Will Rise

Love,

Soyadeba

10 things you should know when you date someone who was in an abusive relationship before

People who were in abusive relationships are often different than others and being with someone like this can be confusing at times.

Often people do not know how to react when their partners tell them that they were in an abusive relationship before.

1.Inform yourself                                            It is important to know that there are several different types of traumas and also that an abusive relationship does not necessarily mean that it was physically abusive as well. Toxic relationships often remain “just” psychical while these also leave deep scars on the survivor’s soul. Being put down, being felt unworthy and crazy is very common in those relationships.  The abusers first create a bond between them and the victim. Creating a deep attachment is what they’re good at. Abusers are mostly very charming and from the outside they seem like the “cool guy” or “cool nice girl”. It is mask; psychopaths, narcopaths, sociopaths and narcissists are perfect actors and are perfect at manipulating people. It is not easy to look behind that mask and unfortunately very often only the victims have to see their real face one day, normally when they’re already attached to that person. Those people are masters at pretending and lying and also at showing others that their partner is the crazy one. Most people who get out of a relationship like this have to fight trust issues and a low self-esteem thinking they’re unworthy and probably thinking they all deserved it. It is a long way to understand that nothing was the victim’s fault but the abuser’s. So inform yourself about psychopaths, narcopaths, narcissists and sociopaths. Those people normally do not feel as other people do. Often the only feeling they know is rage and anger. All other feelings are normally fake and with a close look at their behaviours you can sometimes spot the “fakeness”, everything they do often seems exaggerated.

2. Believe him/her                                            When your partner tells you about his/her history, believe him/her. It probably took him/her a lot to even talk about this, so appreciate his/her trust and believe him/her. The abuser probably gave him/her the feeling of being the crazy one and talking about this is a big step and believing that it he/she was not the crazy one is not simple after being in a manipulative relationship.

3.  Do not ask why he / she was involved with a person like that in the first place or stayed with that person                            Like I explained above, abusers are normally very manipulative and charming and do not seem bad at first glance, they create a deep attachment before showing their real face.

Keep in mind, every human being can be manipulated, just think of advertising; how often did you buy something because the advert was good? And this is just one simple example. Humans get manipulated almost daily and brain washing someone is possible. Some people are easier to manipulate than others but it can happen do every one. Is this attachment created it is hard to cut this person out of your life. The abuser has been lovely so why shouldn’t it just be a bad phase? If you’re in a toxic relationship then you often think of those good times you had, telling yourself that this is just a bad phase and you cannot just end everything because of a bad phase, right? If you’re in love with someone you do not want to see the ugly truth. It’s not that simple to see the ugly truth. It is everything but easy to accept the fact that the person you love can hurt you so deeply and to forgive yourself to let this person into your life. So do not ask your partner why he/she stayed, tell him/her that you think it’s brave and admirable that he/she made it out there alive.

4. Do not make him/her feel like a victim                                                                    Your partner went through hell and came out alive, your partner is a warrior and survivor, not a victim and on top of that your partner very probably felt like a victim for a long time and this is everything but a nice feeling. Your partner needs you to be strong for him/her because he/she feels vulnerable when he/she tells you about everything. Of course it’s hard to understand how someone could hurt him/her so wickedly and it might make you angry but do not react in an aggressive way, try to keep calm and tell him/her you believe him/her and that he/she is a survivor and that you are always there to talk to. Of course you can say things like you cannot understand how someone could hurt your partner so deeply but do it in a calmly way to not scare him/her. Be his/her rock.

5. Do understand his/her reactions            Going through a hell like this leaves deep wounds on one’s soul and one consequence is often having panic attacks or simply being more sensitive concerning some things. Try to talk to your partner about this and ask how he/she would like you to react if he/she ever has a panic attack or ask what might feel uncomfortable for him/her. Since every experience is different the reactions and traumas are different. But in every situation keeping calm is always a good reaction. Ask him/her if you can hold him/her, if he/she wants a tea or wants to be alone. When he/she panics remain calm! Do not panic or cry or anything like this. Talking during a panic attack or shortly after is very hard but talk to him/her anyway, even if you do not get a reply. Try to calm him/her in the best way thinkable and accept it if he/she does not want to talk about it in that moment, you can try it the next day again if you have questions but always keep in mind that your partner might feel exposed, weak and vulnerable in those situations. So be sensitive about it but not too much, as I said, do not make your partner feel like a victim.

6. Accept and respect his/her boundaries                                                        If your parner experienced sexual assault or rape then he/she might behave different than other people. They might want to stop during the act because they do not feel comfortable and you have to accept it and stop immediately. Keep in mind that everything can be a trigger that causes flashbacks and panic attacks. If your partner does not want to have sex with you yet then you need to accept it and if he / she is truly important to you then there is no need to rush things anyway. Your partner has to heal from those wounds and this is the most important thing. Your partner is not prude for not wanting to do everything in bed or to do anything for the moment. Your partner just went through a heartbreaking agony and needs time. But also do not make decisions for him/her. If he/she wants to sleep with you just make sure he/she really wants to but do not say no because you think it might be the best for him/her. It’s your partner’s decision if he himself/she herself wants it, so if you both want it it’s fine.

7. He/She won’t get over it soon                 Do never ask your partner to get over it already. He/she can’t get over something that changed his/her life forever. Telling your partner that it should be time to be over it is one of the biggest mistakes you can do. Do not ever rush your partner. Seriously.

8. Good and bad days                                       There are good and bad days. Some days are easier for your partner than others, it might even seem like he/she healed from those wounds but they will be days when he/she has the feeling as this whole thing swallows him/her. There might be days where it is hard to even get out of bed. So be patient. Try to understand him/her and be supportive as possible as you can be. Encourage your partner to take care of him-/herself but don’t be pushy. Encourage him/her to talk about his/her feelings, take him/her seriously and ask how you can help.

9. Recognize your partner’s strength       and help him/her to do so, too, as well as feeling better about himself/herself. Most survivors feel extremely guilty for what happened, help your partner to get rid of this feeling and support him/her by pointing out his/her strength. There will be days when your partner has the feeling as he/she can’t make it on her own or feels like giving up. Encourage her in all ways thinkable and give him/her a feeling of being safe and worthy. And help your partner to consider professional help.

10. Do not think you have to fix it all        Don’t think you have to be the one to fix it all. That’s impossible and to heal from those deep wounds is mostly impossible without professional help. Support your partner to find this and be there to talk to but keep in mind you cannot replace a therapist. Rather help your partner to find one without making him/her feeling crazy. Seeking professional help can be a big step since you have to face your own problems and some people feel ashamed of having to go to a therapist yet when people are physically sick they all go to see a doctor. A wound on your soul is as damaging for your whole being as a visible one and it often needs help to heal and this is nothing to be ashamed of.

Just make it clear that you will support your partner but that some things need a bit of extra help to be fixed. Also do not make your partner feel damaged. Your partner went to through hell and is wounded but your partner is not damaged, just deeply hurt and traumatized.
I know that these things can seem a lot to ask for but if you truly care for your partner then you have to think about this. It is probably  a big step that your partner even decided to be in a relationship again so appreciate his/her trust. Your partner will heal but you can be a big help or you can be a hurdle. Keep that in mind and in return you will get probably the deepest love that you have ever experienced. People with walls up normally love the deepest 😉

If you have any questions or whatever, feel free to leave a comment;)

Love,

Soyadeba