When I was 19 and studying politics and economics at university in Southampton I had a dream that really inspired me at the time and I thought that the dream was so unusual and important and like a revelation that I still remember it to this day.
The dream started with me in a dark basement where I was then walked up the stairs out of the the dark basement by my brother into a beautiful and flourishing garden in daylight with a huge oak tree with green leaves on it at the centre of the garden. The oak tree had a small cat trying to catch leaves from the ground but the branches were too high up for the cat, so the cat could not attach the leaves like it wanted to.
Then there was also a very interesting sight on the grass of the garden where I saw 3 almost Aztec multi coloured lizards waking around in like a circle. I have always been interested in the meaning of dreams and their ability to be an interpretation of our present or a possible insight into the future.
From what I could decipher from the dream the dream was kind of reflecting on the fact that I was going to come out of a dark place where into a spiritually better place almost like an awakening.
Very soon after I had this dream I unfortunately experienced my first psychosis which was very upsetting and unsettling. I lost my home, many friends, a lot of money and had to move to a new place and move back in with my mum, while I came to terms with what had happened to me and tried to heal myself and prepare myself to be strong enough to make my way in the world again.
When I had my first psychosis I had no experience of mental health difficulties and no idea what was happening to me and it was a very scary moment in my life. But this dream gave me strength and comfort in that although I would be losing out and experiencing suffering in the short term I new I had the potential to hopefully come out of the experience stronger and wiser and be in a better place than where I had come from before.
Just like walking up the stairs out of the basement into the beautiful garden with the oak tree. But even in that garden there were still potential trials and tribulations as well as wonders and opportunities, with the threat of the cat trying in vain to attack the oak tree, and the wonder of the three multicoloured lizards walking around in a circle on the grass. This all took place in a beautiful setting of the oak tree in full bloom on what looked like a summer’s day. It felt that so long as I continued in life to walk up the stairs out of the basement to the garden that I would be ok and have my brother now in spirit around to assist me should I even need him to show me the way to walk.
This life is a lot harder than I ever thought it could be but at the same time I do have a feeling that my soul chose to be born now at this time in this place and face the life choices that I make and try to come to terms with and survive and thrive with regard to whatever comes my way. I do not know what is around the corner, but I do know that I will always try to do my best for god, life and those that I love.
Back in 2020 I expereince my first psychosis for nearly some 10 years. I am lucky in that I have good insight into when I become unwell I know when I am hallucinating and I know when I am delusional and with the help of medication and medical staff, friends and family I worked hard to hold down my job, keep a roof over my head and get well all at the same time. I know times like now are times when I risk becoming unwell again and I must be mindful of this happening to me now.
Symptoms of psychosis
The 2 main symptoms of psychosis are:
hallucinations – where a person hears, sees and, in some cases, feels, smells or tastes things that do not exist outside their mind but can feel very real to the person affected by them; a common hallucination is hearing voices, though my hallucinations manifest themselves as visual lights, on the rare occations that I see them I know I am very unwell.
delusions – where a person has strong beliefs that are not shared by others.
The combination of hallucinations and delusional thinking can cause severe distress and a change in behaviour.
I started this blog on 1st February 2020 nearly two years ago hoping to shed a skin or two of layers of my perception of life and write about my mental health experiences and my view on politics, loves and life. It’s such a good form of self expression having a blog and just as much fun reading and seeing what other people view and share too. I tend to go through phases of wanting to read others, wanting to look over my own and also wanting to write on my own or find new ones to follow.
But one thing I still have not had the ability to do yet on here is come out about my mental health (both past and present) and I am not sure if or when I ever will. The thing about publishing on the World Wide Web is although not many people do read this blog, it has the potential for anyone I know or even don’t know to read it and judge me. That judgment might then result in someone thinking less of me which is not a big deal, but if that judgement resulted in a work colleague or employee then making life difficult for me or even causing me to lose a job over then that would be a huge problem for me.
I work hard to pretend to be normal in a work environment and that hard work enables me the comfort of sleeping with a roof over my head in my own flat in a comfy bed and with relatively few nightmares. To come out about my mental health difficulties on here makes me feel that I risk all of that. So I don’t really discuss it or go into great detail about it really so as not to be at risk of being found out. Maybe my circumstances will change one day or something like that but I feel safe in my own skin leaving it as it is for now.
I take very few photos of myself although I have found one that a friend took in the most awesomely friendliest bar in Exeter called the Arcade that I was in recently.
Me, Will, Kev, and Nate (all legends on their own barstools)
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