10 Steps Behind

For a long time when I struggled with severe mental illness, I felt like I was 10 steps behind other people that didn’t have the same challenges as me. I spent years unable to function, completely isolated from people, socially anxious, in and out of episodes and hospitals, and struggling with negativity and self-hate.   I was unable to work for a number of years and had no career like most other people my age. People were in long term relationships, getting married and having children and had years of working in their careers under their belt… me zero. Their lives seemed to be amazing from the outside looking in and I was genuinely happy for them. But it also depressed me that I was not thriving, happy or successful. My life seemed to be a mess. I felt trapped in the aftermath of mental illness. 

What I didn’t appreciate or give myself credit for, is that during this time (and 10 years in therapy), I was working on me. Combing through some serious issue surrounding trauma, mental illness and self-hate. I realize now that it was a blessing that I had the space, time and support to deal with those things. Volunteered, went back to school and slowly started to reclaim my life. I got pieces of myself back bit by bit and found new strength  that I never knew existed! 

It’s cliché, but I am so much stronger as a result of everything I’ve fought my way back from. I have a career that I’m proud of working in the mental health field. I’m good at it and proud of it. I get to help people everyday which has been something Ive always loved doing. It was instilled in me by my grandmother who was a nurse. I’m proud to be able to honour her in that way. 

I had a full circle moment yesterday. I went to a studio for a photoshoot. My first one in almost 20 years. The pictures will be used for my website and promotional materials.. for my business! maiLIFE! It’s been an idea I’ve had in my head for so long and now it’s real! maiLIFE is a word I created when I was unwell and now other people are making reference to it. Using it. It’s a real thing! They’re excited to hear what it’s all about. Here I was standing chatting with a group of black business owners.. and it hit me! These are my peers! I too am a black business owner.  

It’s so interesting because so many of my friends and the people around me are where I am now. Starting their own business (or having recently started them). They’re at the same stage I am.  

I no longer feel like I’m 10 steps behind because I’m not. I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. A 9-5 that I love. Creating a business that I love. Love from amazing friends and family. Self-love like I’ve never known before. Life is amazing. So blessed and incredibly grateful. 

Peace Love & Dreams Actualized

Maïsha

maiLIFE

http://www.mailife.ca

Self-Love

What an amazing place to be! To walk through life filled with self-love is a phenomenal and awesome place to be. 

I’ve struggled with self-hate for almost 30 years. Almost 30 years with this horrible and sometimes nasty negative voice inside my head criticizing everything I do.. everything that I am. Telling me why I would never and could never accomplish the things I wanted to achieve. I tried to be good at things so I would like myself (track, music, art, university, being a good friend)but I hated myself even more. 

The self hate stemmed from having been a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. I internalized things my abuser had told  me. I didn’t remember the things he told me to make me believe it was my fault.. until recently. His words became my own words in my head. Tremendous guilt, shame and self-hate because I believed it was my fault. It’s like I had been given poison by my abusers. Even though they were no longer in my life, I continued to drink the poison. Filled with toxic, painful and destructive thoughts/feelings. I felt like my soul was tormented. 

After years of work and a decade of therapy I truly love myself! It feels so much lighter navigating through life without carrying 200 extra lbs of emotional baggage. I’m free from the persistent and nagging negative thoughts that used to cling to me like an unwanted intruder. 

Thoughts are incredibly powerful and just because you have a thought in your head about yourself, does not necessarily make it true! Be aware of your thoughts because they affect how you experience life. 

I made the decision 20 years ago that I would make pursuing self-love my mission.. my passion. A very long time but well worth it! I feel like the first chapter of my life has closed and now the new chapter has begun. I’m so excited to see what life has in store for me.  

If you’re in a place where you don’t love yourself. Acknowledge it. Fight to change it. You truly are worth it. You’re worth fighting for. It will change your life!

Peace Love & Dreams Actualized

Maïsha