You’re braver than you believe. Stronger than you seem. Smarter than you think.

‘Lost connections’ — the book you need to pick up next.

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This weeks notes are completely different. Its about something that nobody likes to talk.I got this book from Petra couple of weeks ago ‘Lost connections’. It was a really good read. Basically it explains depression. And it gives an idea where to find ‘hope’. With chemicals in your head probably everything is ok! So why are we still depressed? Well. To answer that and get help is not easy. Its a nasty way of going trough your life and everything and everyone that happened, accepting that and wanting to move on. In my opinion beating up depression is a full time job. And sometimes you can get tired and frustrated. There isn’t a way that suddenly everything is fine and you never even remember what it feels to be down. But if you want to be happy — you need to work hard. If only I had this book when I was younger. It gave good suggestions where to start. I don’t really believe in meditation and all that purely because I never really did it. I tried and I gave up of course, but there is other things you can do. The most important I find — learn to disconnect from society who makes you feel like you need to reach some kind of standard and be like someone and learn to connect with things and people that makes you happy.You are perfect the way you are. Be strong. Stand by your own believes. There will be people or social media who will make you feel as little as they can. But that is the time when you need to be the strongest. Talk about it. To be depressed is not a shame. To accept that — is the biggest strength.

It was a beautiful November morning in 2001 when my dad took me to school. We been late. He overslept. He was back home for a very short time (he was working for past few years in Spain to make sure we all have enough money to live back home). When we stopped near the school, he started to cry and told me that everything will be ok and kept looking at me. I kissed him on his cheek and said bye and left the car and didn’t even look back. This was the very first time that I didn’t cry and very first time when he wept so much. 6 months later I saw my brother and mum outside in the garden crying. My brother came up to see me, sat me down and told me that dad had a pain in his tummy so mum needed to go and look after him in Spain. They thought I was stupid. I knew something terrible happened. My mum came back alone from Spain. My father died that June 2002. This all was becoming bigger and bigger mystery and no one was allowed to talk about it. My mum would spend time with her friends crying. My brother barely spent any time at home. I was alone. Few months later I found pictures from my dads funeral in Spain. It was awful. When I asked my mum oh so mum did those pictures ever arrived? I was told that no it got lost. Silly her. Again. Everyone thought I was stupid. All I wanted to do was to kill myself.

Probably like most of the kids I got bullied at school. We didn’t have much money so my clothes didn’t shout ‘Madonna’! I would have to choose if I needed boots or new pair of jeans or a winter jacket. Choice had to be wise! Kids at school use to call me beast, you know from ‘Beauty and the Beast’, but I thought I improved when they started to call me Grinch! That wasn’t as bad. When I went to speak to schools psychologist, she told me I am imagining things.

To try and improve things I started to get involved in school shows, organising it and being always around stage. I loved it. That is when I thought I would like to take this further and work on it and study something to do with acting/improvising and enjoy every single day. Well. Was it my mistake to tell this out loud at family dinner? I was accused of being stupid and that I will never get anywhere with it and will never have money and basically the end of the world even if I will just try.

So my application was done by my brother who knew ‘better’ what I can do with my life and that is how I ended up studding ‘Public Administration’ which was such a waste of my time!

To add to my beautiful life, first time I’ve got drunk I was 13 years old. And I pretty much then started to smoke as well. My brother saw pictures so he called me straight away and told me that if I will keep smoking I will be in trouble. All I knew as a kid — if you smoke you die, so I carried on.

All I heard was that we do not have money. We can’t share our feelings, because we will upset other people and we can’t talk about dad, because that upsets everybody else.

I was confused and angry and lonely and all sorts. I paid for my first year at university and then tried to find a job so I could keep paying for it. I couldn’t find anything apart from giving away leaflets for 5 pounds a week. Anyway. So there was a plan to send me to London, to my brothers wife’s family so I could earn some money during summer.

I was excited! Flying for the very first time, having job in London! Who could complain? So I arrived to Stansted airport and I was told to get a bus and go to Stratford. Good job by mistake I’ve got onto London Stratford bus and not the city thing! Two guys came to meet me and walked me to this council flat near by (well it was Playstow area in London, after 5PM there would be barely anyone on the streets just someone who was selling drugs and someone who was using). So I had no food since flight and went to sleep on the chair. There was you see no space there. It was a man and two guys and sometimes grandma living there in one bedroom flat. So every night this man would sit next to me and tell me how stupid I was to come to this country and ‘sit’ on his neck so he needs to care about me. Everyone would be always drunk and they would send me to ‘find’ job on the bus to city centre, 25 I think it was. During that week I bought bounty chocolate bar and some coffee from Subway (I know! horrible!) So I sent an email to my mum that I will walk back home if no one will help me. My aunt from Lithuania found her cousin whose son came to pick me up the same evening, took me to McDonalds and I thought that that was the best burger I ever had!

Things changed. People who I never seen in my life they saved me, gave me a roof over my head and helped me to find a job. I was amassed. I will never be able to thank them all enough for everything they’ve done to help me. Support without asking for anything back, that was something unbelievable.

Many many more little things happened which always dragged me very much down. I always been paranoid what others think of me, because back home everyone would comment how you look, how you walk, what you do. My mums sister was teacher so her kids obviously were the best and I would be always compared to them, my grades, everything. Basically all that made me sick. I always wanted to do things opposite to what was ‘expected’. When by the end of that summer my mum asked me when is my flight back to Lithuania, I told her I am never coming back.

Things did not improve straight away. I didn’t speak in english. Had no friends. But slowly was building step by step my ‘future’. Had no idea how it should look like. Just wanted something steady and nice. I worked in food factory and I was cleaning hotel rooms I even tried gardening. But then I ended up in the place called ‘Photobox’ for next 8 years. It was good place to learn language and to start somewhere. Even though after few years I started to feel depressed again, because it became routine and I felt like I am the smallest of all, I stayed.

In 2014 I met this guy called Matthew. He was new supervisor at my work. In 2015 we decided to stop mess around and became a couple. In 2016 we been expecting our son. He was born in October, didn’t breath for first 9 minutes and when I was already loosing hope, my husband kept saying that he loves me and that everything will be ok. Everything was ok. Although for first half year I barely slept because I was paranoid that my son is not breathing. I was tired and I thought I am the worst mother in the world because he had colic and he would just basically scream every day all day. I would only leave home to go to shop. Just after 6 months I heard about ‘mums group’ where mums from around area gather together to spend some time and bring in kids and all that. I thought its awful idea and I don’t want that somebody would look at me how I can’t manage my own child. But I did it and it was the best thing I ever done. We all been the same. We all shared our misery. We all cried and laughed at each other and silly situations where we felt down about such a simple stuff. Hormones you see. They may damage you for quite a while!

Today is different from 17 years ago. Even though I fight every day depression, I am not alone. I never went to doctors because I didn’t want to have this stamp on my records — ‘depressed’. I know I am not like everybody else. Maybe I am not the strongest one and therefore many small things upsets me and makes me think more and overthink and overcomplicate things. I am definitely not the best person to be a friend. Because I do have my bad days and I just want to close myself so nobody could reach me. But I am trying and it got loads better. Its not easy to change and forget everything. I was surrounded by sad paths for most fo my life, my childhood the crucial time when kids suppose to be happy and enjoy playing, learning and spending time with family. I spent time with myself between 4 walls. I believed that I am ugliest person in the world and I still don’t have that confidence which I would love to have…

My husband and my son are the best things that ever happened in my life and their support I can’t explain in any words. I am aware is not easy to be around person like me, but they manage it every day.

No matter what social media tells you today — you are perfect the way you are. I feel free as soon as I deleted my Facebook account So much rubbish there, fake emotions and lies and ‘standards’ that everybody needs to reach. Nobody can bully you and tell you how to live your life. You deserve to have your own path and try your own things and make your own mistakes. Be yourself, talk out loud. These days there is help and hope, you just need to try very hard to find it. Forgive yourself. Its not your fault that others lives in misery. Forgive them all who made you feel so small, they are even smaller and most likely have bigger problems than you have. Live and enjoy life, because its worth it. Reconnect.

To raise 2 children of course wasn’t easy. Even though we been very self organised and we started to work basically straight after fathers death so we could chip in it wasn’t the biggest help. She did a really good job by working hard and providing to children. Although sometimes I just wanted to have mum just like everybody else. Today I still wonder what exactly happened to my dad. When he knew that he is sick and why this all story has to be covered in lies. Today I speak to my mum once a week because of my son and I don’t speak to my brother at all. Decision was hard, but it made me free. It made me want to live a DIFFERENT life. I don’t want that my son would listen to me crying about money and how I don’t like how I look and that everything is wrong in the world. Everything is fine. We can make it even better. He did not deserve to grow up too early. He deserve to have a childhood and I will try very hard to make it happen.

If you are still in the place where you feel really lost — read that book. It does help to look at things from different angle. Make a start. Its the hardest thing to do.

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