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A Journey Into The Abyss

I am so happy to anyone that has someone reached my website. I have created it to document my personal journey with mental health, spirituality and self love. I am passionate about showing people the power in believing in themselves and honoring their struggles.

I have lived a turbulent, rollercoaster life. It was not the life I had always destined to live, but it was the life I was given. Eventually my nightmares turned into my dreams, and my pains into my power and my struggles into my victories. Here is the story of a girl, a diamond, who was sharpened through the fire.

Let me tell you a little bit about me today. So, this is me! My name is Sara and I am 30 years old. I currently work as a public speaker telling my story in schools to kids anywhere from k-12. I have even spoken in Universities, addiction centres, shelters, and many other community events. I am so passionate about my work and I truly feel blessed and grateful for being given this opportunity. I have been doing this for about 2 years, and being able to openly talk about my struggles and experiences has been so therapeutic. I wish for my blog to become a safe space where people feel free to express themselves with no judgement. I had a lot of fear of judgement growing up. It was a big reason why I did not seek help or really even open up to anyone about how bad I was struggling. I used to tell myself that I will seem weak, or weird or outright ridiculous If I ask for help. I went through years of emotional turmoil, heartbreaking losses and horrible decisions. Toxic relationships, substance use and a whole lot of low self esteem. I felt like a complete basket case at times. It wasn’t until I was 28 years old..after years and years of pain and suffering and confusion..I was formerly diagnosed with Bipolar disorder.

Ah, Bipolar. That terrifying word.

Damnitt! I thought. I AM fucking crazy. The period of time I had got diagnosed I was in a psychotic episode. Yup, it’s just as terrifying as it sounds. PSY-CHO-TIC. That will have to be its own blog post and I will write it soon. My whole journey through psychosis, it will really be something.

Anyways. Following my manic psychotic episode, I fell into the worst state of suicidal depression I have ever experienced. This was truly a terrifying experience, more so maybe than the psychosis, as I lost ALL will to live. I had made quite a few big mistakes during my psychotic break, and the reality set in first and then the depression. Who the hell was that?! The difference between manic me and depressed me is something else. Like 2 different people. But its not, they are both me. Just at different chemical frequencies? I don’t know, something like that. And my psychiatrist said the higher you go, the lower you go. That made sense. I had never been so high, nor so low ever, although I had experienced the bipolar mood instability my whole life.

Right, so back to the suicidal depression. That state lasted for 6 months or so, and it was brutal. My dominant thought, sometimes my only thought, was how do I die? How do I get the fuck out of here?! Help!! Im suffocating help!!! I have no clue whats going on it just needs to stop and I need out this will never stop I need out! If you have experienced depression, you know the void I am talking about. The never impending doom. The complete loss of motivation to even get out of bed, or shower, or just move. Death is all you crave. And you cry because it is not fair you have to live, while being told that life is a gift. You feel utterly guilty for all your own pessimism, but it won’t go away.

I could not speak to people because I had nothing to add to the conversation. The only thing on my mind was death, and I would obsess over it. I did not thankfully take my life(obviously)I had a good friend take his life years ago, and I was so heartbroken and never truly healed from that. I imagined me causing my family that pain, but also me being free as well. I held on for as long as I could, through the darkness, clinging to whatever was left of me. I became closer to God during this time, although the beginning of my depression I questioned his existence. I don’t want to ever do that again, I believe in a God and I believe I am here for a purpose he created me for.

I had changed medications a few times. Most sucked and made me feel horrible and like a non functioning zombie. They fueled my depressions by zapping my energy. I also gained a lot of weight on these meds. The one I am on now, Lamictal, is good. It is a mood stabilizer and I really noticed it lifted my depression when I was at an all time low.

When I had gotten out of the hospital for my manic episode(hospitalized for 3 weeks) I was put into a day program. It was also run out of the hospital I stayed at. The program was to teach you about mental illness, emotions, feelings, coping strategies ect. It was a good program. It was 2 months though and then it was over. My dad and my sister decided I needed more help(Because I really did) and I ended up seeing a caseworker weekly. She was kind of just like my friend we would talk I would tell her what I have been doing, my goals, and was good to get me moving and out of the house. Well one day she suggested to me a job, where I get to share my story with kids in schools. I was like uh you mean get up in front of assemblies and talk? I don’t think so! But then I thought about it a bit more and I thought sure you know what I can do this. So I wrote up a speech, went to my first assembly, shaking and nervous with cue cards in my hand, and absolutely loved it. I have been sharing my story and inspiring others ever since.

I made this website so that I can reach an even bigger audience of people, thus helping more people to realize they are not alone! I will answer any questions anyone has and truly enjoy helping people.

The moment I realized we don’t attract what we want, we attract what we are, I became my greatest version.

Sara Kay

A memoir of my Psychosis

Psychosis…pretty scared word. Psychotic break.. scary words..but there I was, completely detached from reality, and living on a heightened aura in a magic realm. Alice has nothing on me.

But seriously, mental illness is weird. Now, I am not sure if its “bad” to say this, but I will always remember my psychosis as one of the best times of my life. BUT also the scariest .. plus I made some terrible terrible decisions. But it was life changing and whether it was just a surge of brain chemicals all out of wack or something more, it was a spiritual experience.

This was my first manic episode(thus leading to my Bipolar diagnosis). It went so high that it broke off into psychosis. This my friends, is where life got really strange.

I should start by going over a few of the events leading up to my breakdown. I had Just moved out of my parents home that I had lived in for over 25 years to move to Toronto with my boyfriend. I had just left my serving job, lost 5000$ gamling, and got diagnosed with celiac disease. Me and my boyfriend lasted not even 3 months before I realized he was hiding things from me and most likely cheating, and I snapped. My brain literally snapped. It was too much to handle, too much stress and I was also smoking a whole lot of Pot. I will write another article soon about marijuana being linked to psychosis.

Anyways, so I got on a trip to North Bay with my sisters and I was losing it the whole ride up. Me and my sister Ang drove in my car, and my sister Sofie and the boys went in her car. I had to get Ang to drive, or well she basically said she is driving because something is wrong with me. I was soooo paranoid!! My ipad was speaking to me, the bible was speaking to me, the animals were all speaking to me and I felt this intense feeling of running out of time and urgently needing to do something. It was almost like anxiety x 10000000 but different. The world around me had a completely different feel and I started feeling like I was in the twiilight zone. Things just felt weird and I was terrifed something bad was about to happen. A black raven came and landed on a tree on my front porch before we left my house, and I thought it meant someone was going to die that weekend. I really truly thought this.

After that strange, scary ride that lasted 6 hours of me being deluded, we got to North Bay. I don’t remember much of the details once we arrived, but I do remember the grande finale. Basically at the end of the trip, or maybe it was the middle, I thought I was in the spirit realm. I was fighting demons, going out into the forest alone in the middle of the night, sitting on a rock in the water and staring at the moon for 3 hours. I was non stop communicating with God, and I had to save the world and bring everyone to Jesus! It was such an intense surreal feeling of needing to save people. The last thing I remember was being in the water with my nephew Noah, thinking the Rapture was about to happen..and in stead, an ambulance showed up.

So at this point, I’m like I knew it! I knew they were coming for me! The government knew everything I knew and they are trying to shut me up! So now I am being told I am crazy and getting locked up. The ambulance put me in the back and tried to tranquilize me which I immediately freaked when I seen the needle, and broke out the back and RAN. LIKE RAN FOR MY LIFE. My sister was chasing me at first and I just kept running. I thought everyone was a demon and was out to get me. All of a sudden I see the police and panic even more. For some reason my eyes zereod in on one of the officers guns, and I lost it. I thought he was going to shoot me. So I do the whole run from the cops thing and eventually im captured, or actually I think I surrendered. They handcuffed me threw me on the cop car which was a horrible experience as my sisters watched crying. My nephew looked so scared. It was probably a horrific experience for everyone involved. Anyways I pleaded with the cop in the car to believe in Jesus or they would kill him too. I thought he was taking me to my ressurection. I was right then and there willing to die for my faith, and to this day I still think that was quite noble.

Okay sooooo. Once I get to the hospital. Mind you, I am in North Bay, 6 hours from my hometown in Brampton. So they put me in a room, where they tell me to lay down and goto sleep. I was soaking wet and in a friggen bathing suit and I remember them giving me a bunch of blankets. A cop stayed with me in the room who was super nice to me. I guess I passed out, and woke up in such a weird trance. I couldn’t see clearly, I wasn’t even sure if my eyes were open, but I could hear voices all around me. I could hear my nephews, my sisters, my friends, everyone.. I didn’t know where they were, but they were all there. It was weird. I kept getting up to go see the voices and someone kept stopping me (security) But it was like the voices were calling me so I kept getting up to see them. The security guard said something to someone and they I seen a different secuirty guard and maybe a nurse? She asked me a bunch of questions.. no clue what she asked me but I remember she told me I’m a healer. I always remember that because I have always wanted to heal others and have always found comfort in the art of healing.In my psychosis I believed this girl was my sister Sofie and the security was my brother George. They looked so much like them.

Anyways I get moved to a different section of the hospital. Now there are other patients there and there is more stuff going on. I meet some people, think they are all people they aren’t, have crazy talk with people, braid peoples hair and yeah thats most of what I remember there. Then I go up another level in the hospital. Now I am in an even more “exciting” place. I am out of my mind manic and everything is fun and interesting and magical. I believe at this point God is keeping me in here because the tribulation is going on outside in the “Real world”. So I meet some other interesting people, have more very weird and strange conversations that all made sense, and am high as a kite the whole time. They have me medicated but it’s not doing much at this point, I’m still in la la land.

So at some point it hits me how far away from home I am, and that it would takes 6 hours for people to visit me. While my sisters were still in North Bay they came to see me, but then they went back home and I was left in the psych ward. I remember demanding they send me to Brampton so I could be with my family and I don’t know if that was really even a possibility but all of a sudden one of the nurses told me I would be going. Somehow I got to take a private Jet from North Bay to Brampton. It was awesome! I felt like a movie star in my grandiose manic state and I was literally on cloud 9. They let me take pictures on the plane and I entertained everyone around me. Fun.

So now I am in Brampton Civic Hospital. NOOOOOO omg this place is SO different from North Bay! It was not as friendly or welcoming and I remember still going on and on that its the end of the world and the government is going to kill us all. Funny things though, all the “crazy people” get what other “crazy people” mean about everything and we all had like some weird secret code language and the whole thing was bizarre. But fascinating.

I haven’t even mentioned that I called my ex boyfriend. Who ruined my life and I think triggered this bipolar disorder to begin with. He had hurt me years prior and I had never truly forgiven or gotten over him. Something was weighing on my heart telling me I needed to forgive him to find peace. So I called him. Big mistake. I was in the depths of my psychosis during this call, and I remember going on to him that the rapture was going to happen and that I forgave him for everything in the past because God would want me to forgive him. So that is what I was doing but then it just went somewhere it should not have. He was visiting me at the hospital and bringing me food (oh all while he had a pregnant gf). In this state I thought nothing was wrong with this ?? And by the end of my hospital stint I was moving back in with him and we were together again. Now this had been the love of my life and we had a lot of history that should have stayed as just history. He had moved on with his life but here he was with me while I have gone mad, and somehow convinced me he always loved me, never got over me and still wanted us to be together. He told me he didn’t want to be with his gf just that she was pregnant. If I had been in a right state of mind, this whole scenario would not have happened. But as I was in psychosis and detached from reality, somehow thinking this is what God wanted me to do. Lol, more like the devil. Oh yeah, my ex is a psychopath. The whole experience felt like spiritual warfare and at some points I believed I was possessed and other points I believed I was an Angel of the Lord. A lot of people believe psychosis is actually a spiritual awakening. It really does feel that way and I was praying and fasting a lot before it began as well. Sometimes I do still wonder if it is all illness, or there is something more to it. What do you guys think?

So I got diagnosed bipolar, they let me out, and I continued in a heightened state for at least 2 more weeks before the meds really brought me down. Psychosis was a truly out of world experience, a place I believe no drug could ever take you, and I am still quite puzzled and curious about what it all meant. I had a deep connection with numbers, patterns and synchronicities, and saw connections others could not. I believe it may have even opened up a deeper psychic ability. I have always had psychic abilities, or strong intution, but this seemed to have intensified all that. I learned through it my intense need to help people(save them I should say) and my capacity to love. I felt so much pure love and joy, that I know exists on another plane. I believe one day, that is the place we will all be, in a blissful happy reality based on love.

There is so much more just small details and i’m sure stuff I don’t remember.. but it truly was a trip down the rabbit hole. I would love to hear others experiences with Psychosis and mental illness in general .

Sara Kay xx

Awake Conference

Hey Everyone! Here in Brampton, Ontario it is 7:11pm. I am utterly exhausted, but now finally relaxed. Today was great at work! We had our annual Awake conference and I got to MC the event as well as share my story. The conference was for different high schools throughout York region, and students participated in workshops such as breakdancing, belly dancing, graffiti, knitting and poetry. It was a busy busy day and I have been up since about 5:30am. The conference was held at a church in Newmarket and there were also different agency booths and cool stuff. We had a band of cops perform called ‘Rock for Cops’ lol they were really good and Lots of good stuff around harm reduction. It is unreal how therapeutic my job is for me. I remember one time feeling so purposeless, and now I see purpose all around me. I feel God and feel guided in the right direction. To help others through my own experience with hardships makes me feel happy. It shows there is a silver lining, and that there is always hope.

Always remember you are not stuck, and you are stronger than you think you are.

Signs and Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

Recognizing the Signs of Bipolar Disorder

The signs of bipolar disorder can vary, but are often a combination of extreme highs and extreme lows.

People with bipolar disorder can have a range of symptoms.

Many experience dramatic mood swings, going from emotional highs to emotional lows with more normal moods in between, while others have much milder changes in mood.

Bipolar Mania

Mania is a term that describes an emotional “high,” one of the hallmark symptoms of bipolar disorder.

Mania, or a manic episode, is usually characterized by feelings of extreme energy, restlessness, or irritability.

In general, signs of a manic episode may include:

  • High energy and excessive activity
  • Overly good mood
  • Irritability or impatience
  • Fast, erratic talking
  • Racing thoughts
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Little need for sleep
  • Feelings of power
  • Poor judgment
  • Reckless spending
  • High sex drive
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Aggression
  • Refusal to admit that there is a problem

The severity of manic symptoms can vary in bipolar disorder, and most people will not experience all symptoms.

In some forms of bipolar disorder, people will experience hypomania, a milder form of mania that usually feels good. People who are experiencing hypomania often can function well and be more productive than usual.

But if left untreated, hypomania can develop into severe mania or can change to depression.

If your elevated or irritable mood is accompanied by manic symptoms most of the day, nearly every day, for at least one week, your doctor may diagnose a manic episode.

Bipolar Depression

In bipolar disorder, manic episodes alternate with periods of emotional lows, which are known as depressive episodes.

Signs of a depressive episode may include:

  • Sadness, anxiety, or a feeling of emptiness
  • Hopelessness
  • Feelings of guilt, feeling worthless, or feeling helpless
  • Lack of interest in activities that were once enjoyable, such as sex
  • Low energy
  • Trouble with concentration or memory
  • Restlessness or irritability
  • Excessive sleeping or insomnia
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Pain or other physical symptoms not explained by an illness or injury
  • Thoughts of death, or suicidal thoughts or attempts

A diagnosis of depressive episodes is made if at least five of these symptoms are present for most of the day, nearly every day, for two weeks or longer.

Bipolar Mood Swings

Symptoms of mania and depression can vary dramatically among people with bipolar disorder.

All people with bipolar disorder experience mood swings, but the severity of these mood swings can vary.

In the form of bipolar disorder known as bipolar I, there are recurrent episodes of mania and depression.

In bipolar II, severe mania never develops, but periods of hypomania alternate with depressive episodes.

The severity and symptoms of bipolar disorder can change over time, and your bipolar disorder treatment may need to change as well.

If you are experiencing mood swings that are disrupting your life, speak with your doctor, who can recommend a mental health professional.

Mental health professionals can talk with you about your bipolar disorder symptoms, and diagnose and treat the condition if that’s necessary.

Medication and other therapies can help you manage the bipolar symptoms and smooth out the highs and lows that interfere with living a normal, productive life.

Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety

Experiencing occasional anxiety is a normal part of life. However, people with anxiety disorders frequently have intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. Often, anxiety disorders involve repeated episodes of sudden feelings of intense anxiety and fear or terror that reach a peak within minutes (panic attacks).

These feelings of anxiety and panic interfere with daily activities, are difficult to control, are out of proportion to the actual danger and can last a long time. You may avoid places or situations to prevent these feelings. Symptoms may start during childhood or the teen years and continue into adulthood.

Examples of anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder (social phobia), specific phobias and separation anxiety disorder. You can have more than one anxiety disorder. Sometimes anxiety results from a medical condition that needs treatment.

Whatever form of anxiety you have, treatment can help.

anxiety

Symptoms

Common anxiety signs and symptoms include:

  • Feeling nervous, restless or tense
  • Having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom
  • Having an increased heart rate
  • Breathing rapidly (hyperventilation)
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Feeling weak or tired
  • Trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present worry
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Experiencing gastrointestinal (GI) problems
  • Having difficulty controlling worry
  • Having the urge to avoid things that trigger anxiety

Several types of anxiety disorders exist:

  • Agoraphobia (ag-uh-ruh-FOE-be-uh) is a type of anxiety disorder in which you fear and often avoid places or situations that might cause you to panic and make you feel trapped, helpless or embarrassed.
  • Anxiety disorder due to a medical condition includes symptoms of intense anxiety or panic that are directly caused by a physical health problem.
  • Generalized anxiety disorder includes persistent and excessive anxiety and worry about activities or events — even ordinary, routine issues. The worry is out of proportion to the actual circumstance, is difficult to control and affects how you feel physically. It often occurs along with other anxiety disorders or depression.
  • Panic disorder involves repeated episodes of sudden feelings of intense anxiety and fear or terror that reach a peak within minutes (panic attacks). You may have feelings of impending doom, shortness of breath, chest pain, or a rapid, fluttering or pounding heart (heart palpitations). These panic attacks may lead to worrying about them happening again or avoiding situations in which they’ve occurred.
  • Selective mutism is a consistent failure of children to speak in certain situations, such as school, even when they can speak in other situations, such as at home with close family members. This can interfere with school, work and social functioning.
  • Separation anxiety disorder is a childhood disorder characterized by anxiety that’s excessive for the child’s developmental level and related to separation from parents or others who have parental roles.
  • Social anxiety disorder (social phobia) involves high levels of anxiety, fear and avoidance of social situations due to feelings of embarrassment, self-consciousness and concern about being judged or viewed negatively by others.
  • Specific phobias are characterized by major anxiety when you’re exposed to a specific object or situation and a desire to avoid it. Phobias provoke panic attacks in some people.
  • Substance-induced anxiety disorder is characterized by symptoms of intense anxiety or panic that are a direct result of misusing drugs, taking medications, being exposed to a toxic substance or withdrawal from drugs.
  • Other specified anxiety disorder and unspecified anxiety disorder are terms for anxiety or phobias that don’t meet the exact criteria for any other anxiety disorders but are significant enough to be distressing and disruptive.

When to see a doctor

See your doctor if:

  • You feel like you’re worrying too much and it’s interfering with your work, relationships or other parts of your life
  • Your fear, worry or anxiety is upsetting to you and difficult to control
  • You feel depressed, have trouble with alcohol or drug use, or have other mental health concerns along with anxiety
  • You think your anxiety could be linked to a physical health problem
  • You have suicidal thoughts or behaviors — if this is the case, seek emergency treatment immediately

Your worries may not go away on their own, and they may get worse over time if you don’t seek help. See your doctor or a mental health provider before your anxiety gets worse. It’s easier to treat if you get help early.

Signs of Depression

Sadness is a normal feeling to experience. Sometimes it is hard to distinguish regular sadness from true depression. Here are some signs that you or a loved one may be depressed.

Recognizing the symptoms is key. Unfortunately, about half the people who have depression never get it diagnosed or treated.

Symptoms

They can include:

  • Trouble concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
  • Fatigue
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and helplessness
  • Pessimism and hopelessness
  • Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or sleeping too much
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Loss of interest in things once pleasurable, including sex
  • Overeating, or appetite loss
  • Aches, pains, headaches, or cramps that won’t go away
  • Digestive problems that don’t get better, even with treatment
  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts

Diagnosis

There isn’t a “depression test” a doctor can use to see if you have it, so figuring that out often starts with a thorough history and physical exam.

Your doctor will want to know:

  • When your symptoms started
  • How long they’ve lasted
  • How severe they are
  • If depression or other mental illnesses run in your family
  • If you have a history of drug or alcohol abuse

You’ll also be asked if you’ve had similar symptoms of depression before, and if so, how it was treated.

Treatment

If your doctor rules out a physical cause for your symptoms, he may start you on a treatment or refer you to a mental health professional. This specialist will figure out the best course of treatment. That may include medicines (such as antidepressants), a type of therapy called psychotherapy, or both.

Signs of Depression

Sadness is a normal feeling to experience. Sometimes it is hard to distinguish regular sadness from true depression. Here are some signs that you or a loved one may be depressed.

Recognizing the symptoms is key. Unfortunately, about half the people who have depression never get it diagnosed or treated.

Symptoms

They can include:

  • Trouble concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
  • Fatigue
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and helplessness
  • Pessimism and hopelessness
  • Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or sleeping too much
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Loss of interest in things once pleasurable, including sex
  • Overeating, or appetite loss
  • Aches, pains, headaches, or cramps that won’t go away
  • Digestive problems that don’t get better, even with treatment
  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts

Diagnosis

There isn’t a “depression test” a doctor can use to see if you have it, so figuring that out often starts with a thorough history and physical exam.

Your doctor will want to know:

  • When your symptoms started
  • How long they’ve lasted
  • How severe they are
  • If depression or other mental illnesses run in your family
  • If you have a history of drug or alcohol abuse

You’ll also be asked if you’ve had similar symptoms of depression before, and if so, how it was treated.

Treatment

If your doctor rules out a physical cause for your symptoms, he may start you on a treatment or refer you to a mental health professional. This specialist will figure out the best course of treatment. That may include medicines (such as antidepressants), a type of therapy called psychotherapy, or both.