FROM LOTS OF LOVE KATIE TO THE AFFIRMATION ACADEMY

FROM LOTS OF LOVE KATIE TO THE AFFIRMATION ACADEMY

This blog used to be one of harrowing and horrific experiences in the clutches of psychiatric institutions. At fourteen I disappeared of the face of the earth and for four years I remained known as “the crazy girl who got sent away”.
At eighteen I was fighting the health service. I wanted to be discharged from my long monotonous years in psychiatric care and they wanted me to stay for another year/two. I did not back down even in the times most dim of hope. I continued to fight for a freedom robbed from me for so long. I wrote letters to the Minister of Health and I wrote poems and letters to the high court judge. I returned to Ireland on the 8th of July 2015. At this stage I had become a story headlining Irish newspapers. My life was exposed in the black font typed on the local newspapers. Since I had turned 18 my legal battles became public and news reporters and journals ran with this. The reports of my words once spoke in confidence to doctors were now escaping through the loophole in my age. I have suffered severe bullying in my young life. These incidents and attacks were something that had deeply traumatised me. I spoke about it continuously over the four years in hospital trying to put 2+2 together wondering why I always got the number six.
When I spoke of these incidents I was reminded by doctors and nurses who cared for me that I did not deserve what happened. That it said more about them than it did about me. That it was reason enough for anybody to want to escape this world. I needed to hear that. I needed to constantly hear the reassurance that I was not the most atrocious, fat, unworthy human alive. I was a teenager suffering indescribable trauma and post traumatic stress disorder and there was hope alive. This comforted me until my story became property of the public. One article in particular spoke in great detail about the bullying I experienced and all I could feel was terror. Felling like that victim again knowing that if the bullies happened to read that article, they could relish in the insufferable torture they brought to my life for so long. My life became a story for others to manipulate and sell while I was still suffering in the weight of the baggage.
When I finally left psychiatric care, I returned to my hometown for a period of three months. There was so much to catch up on and I felt the best way to do this was by binge drinking in the town nightclub with friends. Make myself look somewhat normal. On one of the first nights out in the nightclub I met with an ex-boyfriend. We have good time for each other, and we always did. He asked me when I came back from England. Shocked I replied, “How could you know I was in England?”. He told me he had read of it in the paper. While my name was kept private from the public an ex-boyfriend was still able to recognise the girl, they were speaking of was me. I secretly hoped nobody else would even look twice at the articles and pushed the paranoia down with a gulp of salvia.
The second incident was maybe my third or fourth night in the nightclub. My friend had her own friends in Ennis and while she was loyal to me, I suffered the backlash of my past once again. A house party was happening after the nightclub and said mutual friend tried to convince me into getting a taxi and going home alone. When my own friend told her that I was going where she went the said mutual friend got awkward and uncomfortable. Asking to speak to my friend alone they walked a short distance away from me. I stuck out like a plank of wood just hovering in silence. Said mutual friend spoke of how they could not bring me a long to the house party. They needed to ditch me. Everyone thought I was a weirdo and while she didn’t come out and directly say it, I knew what she meant was her social ranking would be lost if associated with the weirdo.
The third incident was in around the same time and with said mutual friend (S) again. Best friend had gone to the bar to get us drinks and I was sitting in the smoking area with (S) and she was drunk and blabbering. I was not at this stage of intoxication for I was still afraid of the consequences of losing my inhibitions. (S) spoke of how I was such a lovely girl.
“Katie like you are actually so nice. Like everyone says your crazy and a weirdo but your actually not.”
This was the catalyst that kicked off my journey as a writer. Coming home that night I decided to write a long and lengthy Facebook post on the stigma of mental illness and the sometimes-lost fact that our mental illness is not what defines us. Posting it public I went up to bed with my phone turned off. Afraid of what was to come when I switched on my phone the following morning but instead, I was floored with love and support and I found my voice that for so long had been buried deep within.
I have always been open and honest with my own battle with mental illness. If it had not been known to my peers at home before I returned maybe it would be different. I didn’t feel shame in telling my story. In fact, it felt good to tell it. Feeling empowered that my story was being wrote by the author and not unknown journalists I decided to start my own blog. I got my first tattoo permanently inking the words to my body. “THE REST IS STILL UNWRITTEN”.
Life was about to start from then and there and it was going to lead me to the darkest of places but also the most beautiful of places.
It has been a bit of a battle between falling to rock bottom and trying to make my way back uphill but it has been a growing process and I can now say that 2020 has been an incredibly successful year so far and I have decided to make this blog not about the struggles of living with mental illness but the positive side to finding yourself. Creating yourself and Owning it.
I intend on putting up posts to help others with self-care, love, and all-around wellness.
I hope to introduce some different concepts around self-care, and I can assure you that if I’m writing about it, I’m more than likely doing it.
I will not talk the talk unless I walk the walk and while this is my own journey, I do hope you join me on it. Finding your own purpose in your own journey along the way.
A blog worshiping healing, holistic health, and self-discovery.
Talk soon.

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