This week I have been reading Feel the fear and do it anyway by Susan Jeffers. It has helped me have a more positive outlook on life along with the CBT that I have started having. The book states “to repeat to yourself at least twenty-five times each morning, noon and night: I AM POWERFUL AND I AM LOVED.” I found this a little excessive but I like the sentiment and it definitely helped saying it to myself when I was flagging yesterday at work. I was so tired and didn’t know how I was going to get through the day, but I managed it. The book draws a lot on affirmations and positive sayings so I decided to find some that work for me.
I found some great affirmations at louisehay.com. Here are just a few that I like:
“Every person, place and thing on this planet is interconnected with love. I am at home in the Universe.”
“All that I seek is already within me.”
“Every decision I make is the right one for me.”
I do appreciate the last chapter of the book entitled ‘There is plenty of time’ because it assures you that becoming a confident person is not something that will happen overnight and needs constant work to improve your self esteem. She talks about the inner voice or the ‘chatterbox’ which even as I sit here writing this, is telling me “Give up! You’re rubbish at writing. No one cares anyway!” .Telling yourself “I can do it” is hard but so important and it will take time to get used to it.
I used my free cinema tickets to see Jurassic World with Drew this week. We had both already seen it but loved it so much we had to see it again! I love the chemistry between Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard. There are some really good jokes in there too. I think I like it even more than the original although it’s pretty hard to beat Jeff Goldblum being chased by a T Rex. When I was psychotic I was obsessed with dinosaurs. I had some very strange ideas about how we have evolved. I even thought I had the answer to the chicken/egg long asked question! That all seems pretty ridiculous now. Another film I have watched this week is Jupiter Ascending with Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum. I originally saw only half this film when I was in Bangkok still very ill. Tam, Ellie and I went to see it in 4D. Which is basically like being on a rollercoaster. The fighting scenes are crazy, being kicked in the back and having water sprayed in your face! Not exactly a relaxing time. Ellie got motion sickness and I was completely overwhelmed, thinking that the film was real and about me. So we left just as Mila was being discovered by Sean Bean as Queen of the world. It’s a good job we left when we did because the next bit had them both talking about dinosaurs and how they really met their demise! Apparently I told Ellie it didn’t matter at the time as I already knew what was going to happen. I loved the film, even after waiting for six months to see the second half, it didn’t disappoint. Luckily I saw it from a sane point of view this time and did not think it was, in anyway, about me. In the end, (spoiler alert) she goes back to her job cleaning toilets and everything is right in the world again. I knew everything would be alright in the end.
This week I used my free cinema tickets to go and see Ted2 with Ellie. My favourite part is when they find a field of cannabis and Ted smokes it out of a cock shaped bong (spoiler alert). This film got me thinking about how much I miss smoking weed. I have smoked A LOT in my life and maybe this has led to my episode of psychosis. Its difficult to say but according to The Schizophrenia Society of Canada as stated in its article titled “What Do We Know about the Link between Cannabis and Psychosis?, “Several recent studies suggest that frequent cannabis use during adolescence is associated with a clinically significant increased risk of developing schizophrenia and other mental illnesses which feature psychosis.”
More specifically, skunk has been identified as the main perpetrator of causing psychosis according to Channel 4 who state that “25 per cent of all psychosis treated in Britain is associated with smoking skunk”. These are pretty frightening figures.
Channel 4 recently ran a drug trial that had Jon Snow partaking as a volunteer. He said: “I’ve worked in war zones, but I’ve never been as overwhelmingly frightened as I was when I was in the MRI scanner after taking skunk. I would never do it again.” I have to admit that skunk has not had a great effect on me but often it has been the only weed available to buy, in fact it accounts for 80% of the market. Skunk contains very high levels of the psychoactive ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) making it extremely potent and giving users a high that is similar to using LSD or Ecstasy.
There is a backlash to these trials for example; this video argues that a study done by the Kings College of London is flawed. Seeing as he’s only had 48 views and 3 likes I will reserve judgement on his opinion. This article in the leaf online, however, has 3,000 likes and states that skunk does not cause psychosis. There is a good debate to the pros and cons of this on medical marijuana but it’s all speculation, no one really has the answer. With cannabis becoming more accepted and being legalised in twenty three states in the US. I think this can only be a good thing, because whether it causes psychosis or not, it needs to be regulated so that those who choose to smoke do so safely. I don’t regret my past. I’ve had a great time and would do it all again. Although I might steer clear of the magic mushrooms next time. That being said I will also be avoiding weed altogether from now on. I have had a lot of fun smoking it in the past but that time is over now and I need to move on to a healthier lifestyle.
I got the job in the cinema! I’m so happy. I have already worked three shifts and on Saturday I did eleven and a half hours which was exhausting but I did it! So far I have been ushering; checking peoples tickets, cleaning the screens and making sure everything is in order. Today I will be kiosk training, selling tickets and popcorn. Its the perfect job for me; don’t have to get up too early, talking about films with the other staff and I get to see two films a week for free! The standing for long periods of time is hard but I’m hoping I will lose some weight especially as I am cycling there and back too. Not having to start early also means that I can still help out with taking Drew to school when Ellie is working early shifts. It feels so good to be working again. I actually got offered some volunteering work as a costumed Victorian sweet shop owner in Kirkgate. Its unfortunate that I had to turn it down but its really great to be earning money and all the staff I have met are really lovely.
Caroline sent me a link to this TED talk about vulnerability by Brene Brown. I really like TED talks so this one was interesting. I have felt a great deal of shame for the way I behaved when I was psychotic. I said and did some terrible things. I know that I was ill and I shouldn’t be so hard on myself but its really difficult. I still am yet to face the people that I offended back in Thailand so its still a worry for me even though I have emailed and skyped with alot of those people and they say they have forgiven me. This talk made me feel a bit better about myself. I’ve also had some good news – I have been put forward for Cognitive Behaviour Therapy which I will be doing next Monday. This should really help me to cope with anxiety and depression in the future.