I’m not gonna lie.
The last few weeks have been ‘bleep’ ‘bleep’ ‘bleepin’ awful. Due a medication mix up I now find myself back in a psychiatric hospital but thankfully I still have access to my writing!
Sometimes you really wonder how you can get past the next second, let alone minute and when people ask about your future your mind goes blank. How when facing an immediate crisis can you think past its resolution and what you face ahead? It’s too far away and too impossible to fathom.
My recent article talked about finding strength and resilience within yourself when you find yourself in difficulty and it’s impossible to compare this from one person to another as feelings and thoughts are so, so personal. However, today I thought I would let you into one of the experiences where I found my strength and the ability to look to my future and continue to do so today.
A long time ago I dreamt of music, sunshine and peace. I could hear the beats of the music but they weren’t intrusive – there was something calming about them as though I could turn away from the music and drift into the afternoon sunshine with the warmth on my back, sauntering off into the silence, dragging my feet through the sand.
After what I called my ‘major breakdown’ in 2008 my life changed forever like a smash in my lifetime line – seemingly irreparable. In my hospital admission I remember suddenly motivated to make a change. I grabbed three big pieces of paper. In big letters I wrote ‘Past’ on the first, ‘Present’ on the second and then ‘Future’ on the third then scribbled my life in terms of where it sat on my timelines. I stood back and looked at my life. Its insanity had clarity. I was working through the past whilst surviving the present so what did that mean? What was my future? I sat and thought about something that would give me hope. I had always wanted to go to Ibiza, which to me, indicated sunshine, music, sea, warmth and freedom. And once I was well, there was no reason why it couldn’t be mine for the taking.
Well I did it.
After being discharged from hospital in 2009 I thought ‘come on Fliss, make some new memories now’. The world of recovery can feel forever but after taking medical advice, I booked my trip.
A few months later I stood on the balcony of the beautiful, spacy apartment I had rented for a month and family and friends came to share. I absorbed the sunshine from the moment it rose to the time is set and the colours of the bright yellows, oranges and deep reds sank before me, while I stared. I had never felt so safe and so glad to be alive.
I sunbathed on the beach and spoke to people who knew nothing about my past. They shared silly stories with me and told me about night time parties that seemed to be unmissable. I knew I wasn’t ready for that but it was lovely being treated as a 27 year old girl with no past history. My brother and I met The Editor of a DJ Magazine and found ourselves in Space, the world renowned nightclub. I stood staring at my feet with an escape plan in case everything became too overwhelming but it never happened. I felt each beat of the music and remembered myself from years ago, never wanting to leave and just dancing and dancing, smiling and looking around at the happy faces dancing with vigour and excitement. Forget drugs and stimulants. I had focus, awareness and could absorb the moment for what it was. For me, living this experience was an achievement. I felt the luckiest girl alive and every time I looked over at my brother he knew exactly what I was thinking.
I stayed on the island for a month and my skin colour turned golden brown. Everyone came to knew me. I was the smiling English girl who bought the English paper from the same café every day and read it whilst sipping a cappuccino. I spoke little Spanish but the maintenance man from our Spanish apartment block tried to teach me basic. I laughed at myself for I could hear the awful English accent attempting to use Spanish terminology. It didn’t stop me trying though. I still can’t speak Spanish!
It was literally the best thing in my life that led me through a door to an unbelievable music scene where I felt I was absorbing new trends, interests and opinions and was being educated on one of my favourite subjects! I even bleached my hair! Six years later and I have now gained long term friendships, enjoy lazing on the beach, watching the tourist masses go by, eating in the delicious restaurants and watching the beautiful sunsets. Ibiza is so misunderstood as an island due to detrimental TV programmes focusing on young, binge-drinking related small areas. The magical elements of the island are often forgotten and they are they clusters of the goodness for me.
The island is now in my past, present and is my hope once more for my future. In the moments I need to pick myself up and I look on and think ‘I’ll be there again soon’. It’s good for everyone to have something on their ‘Future’ page that is realistic and something they can achieve. It worked wonders for me and that way of thinking is helping me now.
Don’t grin and bear it. Share it.
The Samaritans are a non-judgemental ear where you can talk confidentially about anything