Where Freedom Truly Comes In

This post is by our guest blogger and A Little Peace of Mind graduate, Amie Joof.

Here Amie shares her story of change…..

A lot of my posts have been about me going out, being so happy and feeling at peace. Today’s post is actually the opposite, but, where the freedom TRULY comes in.

I’ve shared with you all my journey being in The Priory psychiatric ward when I was 17, just 3 years ago. I met the funniest girl I’d ever met, her name is Charlotte. We got on so well from the minute I met her and she was in the room next door. I saw her every day for 7 months.

Every morning she knocked on my door bright and early and asked if I was coming down for breakfast. She was 16 but seemed much young and I looked at her like a little sister. We’ve stayed in touch the whole time, we spoke last week actually.

A few mornings ago I woke up, I was about to get ready to go out and I saw a dozen missed calls. I was told Charlotte had taken her own life the night before.

My heart felt like it actually broke. I felt the pain in my chest. I cancelled my plans. I felt every single symptom you can think of. I couldn’t believe it. I stayed in bed for 2 days straight, I didn’t want to see or speak to anyone. I was getting really frustrated with myself, thinking why do I feel like this? I thought I was better so I wouldn’t feel things so much now? I thought because I’m so much happier now it wouldn’t affect me like this, what’s going wrong?

Then today, on the 3rd day, it’s hit me. Oh. I’m a human, like everybody else. I’ve lost someone that I adored, my friend has passed away. Wouldn’t it be weirder if I wasn’t down? The second I thought this, I just breathed. Relaxed. I still feel down, why wouldn’t I?

But the freedom here is, I know I can experience feelings like this whether it’s for this week, this month or the rest of my life. I’m allowed to feel upset and anxious and shocked. Let it all come in fact, I welcome it. These are the seasons of life, this is life. We are human. We feel. We laugh and we cry.

Have I been depressed for three days straight? No. I read my book last night and thought shifted and I never felt depressed. Thought shifts and moves. Experience follows. I washed my hair this morning and all I could think about was how much I disliked the smell of the new shampoo. My mum knows I hate coconut I thought to myself. In that moment, once again, thought had shifted. Yes it comes and goes, so what..

My point is, life isn’t all sunshine & rainbows, not for me, not for anyone. But knowing that it’s okay for the rain to come is what frees us from the illusion. It’s what changes “I need help right now, there’s something wrong with me” to “I’m sad, I’m grieving, I’m going to cry for a while and that’s okay.”