Spirituality is a curious thing. It’s not for everyone and it can really polarise people’s opinions. To me it’s like having a sense of faith and purpose, something to help guide you through life. To some it can prove a hindrance, but to others it can be something that is really beneficial and positive, helping them through some really dark moments when they need it.
I first met Sky Baby in a Facebook music group a couple of years ago. A while ago she started posting about the struggles she was having and how her spiritual approach was helping her get through it. I was always curious as to how it worked and what she did to get through. When I started writing these blogs Sky Baby would drop me the odd message of support so I thought it only natural to reach out to her and ask if she’d like to share her experiences. Again, it’s a hard read but a lot of times in life we need to realise that not everything is easy to sit through and understand. Guilt is a powerful feeling, it shows that deep down in our souls we’re good people at the core, even if sometimes we do things that hurt the ones we love around us.
When did you first notice signs of mental health issues? In what way did they start?
I first was diagnosed with post natal depression when my eldest son was born, although I had bouts of incandescent rage where I’d black out before I was diagnosed. I was desperately unhappy and my husband at the time was totally unsupportive, he refused to discuss it with me and would walk away whenever I tried to talk to him – this was back in the 80’s when it really wasn’t a thing. I was given Prothiaden and they turned me into a zombie, and didn’t stop the rages. I used to lock my stepson in his room for his own safety, and I couldn’t talk to anyone about it, I was completely isolated. I took myself off them after a couple of years, went cold turkey. I developed an alter ego to help me cope, I’d go out at the weekend and get smashed then come back and pretend to be a mother. I was functioning on the outside but inside I was in meltdown. I felt so guilty about my feelings towards my stepson, I still do, but we have a good relationship now.
I eventually got counselling when Alex was 2, in 1986. I started off seeing my counsellor once a month, then over the next three years it went up til I was seeing her twice a week. One day I had the revelation that I didn’t think my mother loved me, and my counsellor told me not to make any rash decisions as she was getting married and would be away for three weeks. I lost the plot, left my husband and the kids (I had a daughter as well by now, who was 2) and ran away. I remember Killer by Adamski was on the radio the morning I decided to leave.
Did you try to seek medical assistance at all?
After the disaster with the counselling I lost all faith in doctors. I took an overdose of some Prothiaden I’d saved just in case and drank a bottle of Southern Comfort. Put me off it for life ☺️ My family still don’t know about that. They’re not really good with it all. I don’t bother telling them anything, they simply don’t understand. My mum said she didn’t have time to have post natal depression 😳
How did your friends and family take to you? Did you find people supportive or did they struggle to understand what you were going through?
See above. Also, I didn’t want to bother my friends with it, I brushed it all under the carpet and got on with things.
How have you found trying to cope with them? Have you had any major effects from suffering with anxiety and depression?
I’ve spent my entire life running away from whatever presented itself as a problem. I’ve since realised that I was running away from my own painful emotions, so it’s led to a path of self discovery, eventually.
You’ve mentioned in the past that you’ve found a spiritual approach has helped you as you’ve had issues with medication. Was this something you were always aware of or was it something that you came across by chance?
I was always a little weirdo. I used to ask the moon for what I wanted, and I wanted to be a witch when I grew up, so it was always there. I think my first question was “what’s the universe?” No wonder my mum didn’t know how to deal with me.
My whole life I couldn’t make sense of the world I lived in, people didn’t make sense to me, I was convinced I was adopted because nobody thought the way I did. I got into tarot and spirituality when I was about 15 or 16, and then I started to feel like I wasn’t alone, that there were others like me in the world. I drifted in and out of it, trying constantly to fit in to normal life and never really managing it. Although I’ve managed to have a lot of adventures instead so I am not complaining 😂
Then in 2007 I was attuned to reiki and that started a domino effect that changed everything for me.
What is it that you do that helps you cope with things?
I learnt through various spiritual teachings that the only way out is in, and the thing that’s in the way is the way! Instead of running away from my emotions I started sitting with them and really feeling them, look on for the truth hidden underneath them. Through channeled material like Abraham Hicks and Bashar I learned that your beliefs create your reality, and, as a belief is just a thought you keep thinking, you can change them. Change your beliefs, change your life. It can be incredibly hard work. I virtually stayed in bed for two years just processing emotions, crying it all out, but I’m really seeing a difference now. I’m much more self aware, and I have so many fascinating insights about not just myself but emotions in general, and I know I’ve had this journey for a reason.
Obviously different things work for different people. What other alternative paths would you suggest?
Reiki is fantastic, it’s non intrusive, subtle but powerful. It works on all levels – emotional, spiritual, physical. And self enquiry is essential, that way you take responsibility for your own healing and you can do it as an ongoing thing, no need to rely on doctors or medication. And you always have someone to talk to and something to do 😂
I’m closing, is there anything else you’d like to add?
Well, I’m a work in progress, and I’m sure it’ll never get done, but it’s becoming fun now, it’s interesting, I’ve definitely turned a corner and I’m really proud of myself. The fact that it’s so much easier to talk about now is definitely helping, and blogs like this are just brilliant, thanks Scott x
About an hour later I also got this sent to me:
Also…… another way it’s impacted me is that when I ran away I left my kids with their dad, and then a few years later I did exactly the same thing with my second family. I was so terrified of being a bad mother I thought they’d be better off without me, and in doing so became a bad mother. I’m still working through it, and am completely baffled by the fact that my kids are totally forgiving of me. I know it’s why my youngest is having such a hard time, and it’s excruciating. I do believe tho that when the time is right we will be able to talk about it properly.
Whilst I was working on this blog I got another email from Sky Baby. She’d decided to take a step forward and starting talking to her eldest son about her depression. I’m sure it wasn’t an easy conversation to have but I sincerely hope they both feel better for it and continue moving onwards.
It’s never too late to open up and share with people.
As usual, if you want to talk further you can drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ve set up a closed support group on Facebook as well, also called The Order Of The Dog. Please search for it and request to join. It’s not just for people with mental health issues, it’s also there for people who want to support their loved ones through it. Finally, please feel free to share this blog wherever you’d like and particularly with anyone you think it might help.