This is the 70th story of the Mental Illness Recovery Series. Maruša is a strong young lady who gained control of her mental disorders after going down the wrong road. This is her story:
Maruša is from Slovenia and she is a 22 year old animal lover. She loves music, books, writing, blogging, nature and fitness. Her goal is to be happy, she said, “My top goal is to be healthy and happy. First, I want to finish school, hopefully in 5 years I’ll be able to work with animals and in a fitness or wellness industry. I also want to write books and help other people.”
Maruša was diagnosed with depression, anxiety disorder and emetophobia (fear of vomiting). She didn’t noticed she had emetophobia till she was 16, but thankfully she doesn’t have it anymore. Maruša is dealing with her depression really well, but is having problems with her anxiety disorder. She believes he disorders were caused by various events in her life. Maruša said, “I had a bad experience with stomach bug when I was 8 and since then I was always afraid of being sick and vomiting and I avoid EVERYTHING AND ANYONE. I felt so weird when I was 14, like I don’t belong or fit anywhere…my dad is an alcoholic and I lived in violent environment. I don’t want to blame anyone but my home, my family caused my depression. I never felt safe or loved.”
Because of this Maruša started using drugs and alcohol to feel normal. Unfortunately her anxiety developed after she quit using drugs and her depression sky rocketed after her dog passed away 2 years ago. She said, “She was everything to me, I never felt so much love and connection to any living creature. She made me happy no matter how awful I felt. Losing her was by far the hardest experience and part of me died with her.” At the current moment Maruša is visiting a psychologist every two weeks and is planning to stick with therapy. She is not on medication, but is willing to take them if it helps improve her life.
Maruša has dealt with many symptoms, such as, extreme fear, feeling sick everyday, no motivation, low self-esteem, feeling worthless. Not only that, but she also manifested physical symptoms like stomach problems, dizziness, shaking, sweating, weak legs, light headedness, vision problems and ringing in her head. She felt like she was losing control. Due to this Maruša’s life was completely affected, and she couldn’t live the life she wanted. She said, “In my worst times, I couldn’t even sleep because I was too afraid. I was too afraid to leave my bad, let alone to go out. A simple walk felt like hell to me. I missed so much and I regret it, I regret the fact that I let my mental illness control my life.”
Maruša thinks about suicide, not because she is suicidal, but because of intrusive thoughts. She started to avoid everyone and lost connections with most of her friends because the felt worthless and ashamed. She said, “I thought they were better without me. I wanted to be alone, I felt better when I was alone and invisible.” Due to this Maruša felt trapped, angry, sad and desperate. Her turning point to gain control of her life again, was meeting a person that inspired her to get healthy and after her 17th birthday she decided enough was enough.
Maruša decided to quit high school, although she feels it was a mistake, but she had to put her health first. She said, “I started eating healthy and clean, working out, reading self-help books, listening to music. I had support from my family and friends. The combination of that was positive for me. It was a long and slow process and no matter if I have anxiety disorder now, I can live quite normal.”
This experience change Maruša’s view in life, she said, “I think different. I feel different and I understand people more. I know whats really important in life and I don’t waste energy on useless and stupid things. I want to live – as simple as that. I want to make something out of my life, something meaningful.” She also said “I believe in healthy lifestyle and I experienced it by myself. I think it’s important to take care of yourself, nothing can destroy a healthy body and a healthy mind.”
This is Maruša advice for those struggling with similar situations:
“Take your time. It’s a slow process. Don’t feel guilty or ashamed because you’re having a bad day again or you had anxiety attack in a store (again). In fact I had one just one hour ago and it was awful but nothing lasts forever. It will pass and it will come back and I know it’s not what you would like to hear, but don’t let this feelings control your life. Don’t give it that power. Write down when you don’t feel like yourself, write whatever is on your mind, even if you delete it afterwards. You will feel better. I’m not 100% cured but I’m going in the right direction and if I can do it, you can do it too.”
It’s amazing Maruša has the strong will to continue her fight to get better. Help me make a difference by sharing your story. If you or anyone you know needs a safe place to vent out and recieve advice feel free to become a member of the Mental Illness Recovery Series Group on Facebook.