The Mushroom Cloud: Writing a book about mental health, stigmas and raising awareness

*Seriously I love this photo, I just don’t know what it is. Awesome*

It’s Sunday and it feels so good. I feel like this has been the first day in weeks, I CAN genuinely relax. Knowing myself like I do, I probably won’t relax and do something far too intense today, but yeah that’s me I guess. Anyway, this is a great opportunity to tell you about my little project: writing a book about my mental health journey.


First of all I need to update you on my novel. Yeah, sorry about that pals. I parked that idea and concept for a later stage in my life, perhaps next year. I’m not sure when or how, but at the moment my mental health is so unstable and unpredictable. I don’t want to commit to something hard and intense, and being distraught because I can’t keep my own promises. That’s why I decided to leave it be, for the time being.

So I hear you thinking; why start a new bookproject Marc, you mad boy? Well yeah, obviously. But I discussed this with my therapist and she noticed my love for writing & the fact that writing helps me with my anxious feelings. We decided it would be a good idea to create a book telling about my mental health issues and mental illnesses.


The most important reasons for writing this book is creating awareness,  for mental health and mental illnesses in particular, educating people and giving sufferers a sense of understanding. Especially the understanding part is vital for people who suffer from mental health issues, because they often feel they are the only ones feeling this. By publishing my story, I hope to give everyone the reassurance that their feelings are valid and that they matter.

I know it’s hard to open up about mental illnesses, especially to the people you love and appreciate in life. I won’t pretend it’s all going to be easy and everyone will react in a manner you would like, but it’s very important that we speak more about it. We live in a world where more and more opinions are accepted and we can talk about any given subject. Or at least that is what we think. But still, in this growing society of different thoughts, our mental health seems to be suffering from it. A lot.
My aim is to talk about anything mental health related that popped in my head and I will ‘guide’ you through my own mental health struggle. I will try to give you a look inside my bloody abnormal head and tell you as detailed as possible why it’s important to create some sort of understanding of the situations mental health sufferers live in. I think it’s very important to say, that I’m at the beginning of my journey. That I’m just a Dutch lad, going through everything at the moment and want to be very transparent about it. In the hope that people could relate to it or learn more about dealing with mental health problems or issues.

For me personally, it’s very therapeutic. I love writing and it’s one of my coping techniques to deal with my anxiety, so basically I’m killing two birds with one stone. Oh look at me getting all colloquial. Oh god.

I really hope you enjoy reading this and perhaps it’s not always as good as a real book from real authors. But this is my experience, my journey, my therapy, my recovery, my mental illnesses. This is real, valid and relevant.

There is one aspect what I want to introduce in my book. Well introduce is not the right word. Sod it. I just want to have people involved, basically. I want personal stories about mental illnesses and more specifically: positive/motivational stories & experiences with the stigma. If you want to be involved in any capacity, please let me know! You can always hit me up on twitter @lambertmarc or email me at buggerallblog@gmail.com!

Thank you for reading again people, it means the world!



Marc

Volg:

“Now is the winter of our discontent…”

Mental Illnesses are a bloody pain the arse. They restrict my life and make it so difficult to function. I’m done with it, proper done with it. And I will tell you why. I got tears. Tears from anger, sadness and joy. I have no idea what the fuck is going on and it frightens me like hell. Please bear with me.

My depression is like fucking me up and that’s why I want to talk to you about it. Because I have noticed  how ignorant people can react and it’s hurtful. I hope I can clear some things up and educate you a bit. Having a mental illness is not something that is ‘fashion’ or awesome to have. It fucks your life up. It prevents you from living the life you want and it takes so much away from you.

As I’m writing this I’m still curled up in bed, feeling sad, crying and lost sense of reality. It’s physically impossible to get out of bed and it feels like the world, my world is covered with only clouds. There’s no sky, no sun, only clouds. Dark clouds.

It’s been a rollercoaster ride these past few months. Being diagnosed with several mental illnesses took its toll and has left my with despair, sadness, anger, mixed feelings and restlessness. Every time I feel things are getting better, they tend to become even worse. I hate this. I really detest this and I ask myself the question: Why can’t I be normal?

People say: “You have a fantastic girlfriend, great group of friends and family. You have amazing things in life happening. You are smiling all the time. There’s absolutely no reason for you to feel that way.” That’s the point. There is no reason, but still I feel like this. It’s very frustrating to be honest. What really bugs me is the fact that people say that I don’t suffer from mental illnesses, because I don’t look like that. That’s painful to hear, because from the inside I’m walking on broken glass. I’m struggling to stay above the water, whilst something is pulling me down.

I genuinely like to laugh, but that doesn’t mean I don’t suffer from depression. It doesn’t mean I don’t cry a lot. It doesn’t mean I don’t struggle with myself every day. Yes, I make jokes a lot. It’s not because I’m the funniest lad around. No. It’s because I want to make people laugh and smile, because I know what it’s to feel depressed every single day. And that, no one deserves.

I want you all to know, it’s nobody’s fault that I feel like this. Nobody is underachieving or not doing things right. It’s me. I love my girlfriend, friends and family with all my heart. They are the real MVP’s and keep me going every day. They give my life meaning, where my depression tries to fight that. No, the real problem is me. Correction: my brain. It fucks me up and it is a chemical unbalance that makes me the way I’m now.

These are a few youtube videos that try to explain or educate you about what depression is or can be. I hope it makes it more clear for some of you or give sufferers a feeling like they are understood. I really have a difficult time explaining this to people IRL lately and I don’t know what to do. I want people to understand, but it’s really difficult to explain when that person never has experienced it.

Last monday something happened at uni, that has made my situation only more sad. I don’t even know if my words come out correctly at this stage, but yeah whatever right? The things was that people were saying things about foreigners and coloured people a lot. With passion and such hate, kept attacking me. I felt and feel inferior. I don’t know what to do or how to act, because I’m scared I will be seen as a inferior human. It’s is really shit right now.

This is why I’m doubting of telling people about my mental illnesses. They attack me more because of it and I don’t what to do. I’m genuinely lost. It’s the support and love from my girlfriend that keeps going and not giving up on anything, but I must admit; it’s bloody hard.

I realise that the weather is changing and I guess I’m a bit ‘under the weather’, so to speak. But I’m struggling and it is causing me difficulties in maintaining the relationship with my friends. I don’t see them as much as I used to do and I’m so scared of losing them in the end.

I know everything will be fine in the end. That there’s light at the end of the tunnel, I just can’t see it yet.

“That’s the thing about depression: A human being can survive almost anything, as long as he sees the end in sight. But depression is so insidious, and it compounds daily, that it’s impossible to see the end. The fog is like a cage without a key.”
Love you all,

Marc
Volg:

What does depression feel like: a story in 20 quotes

I’m usually quite good with words to be honest, but lately it feels like I have lost all touch. Well that is not completely true, but I have definitely lost the way of telling of how I feel mental health wise. That is really bugging me. Because it is needed. So I found Some quotes that might explain what depression feels like to me.

These quotes are filled with emotions. Emotions I feel right now or have felt in the recent past. I think it’s important to let people know how it can feel for sufferers, because in all honesty we need people. People who reassure us, let us know we are loved.

1. “There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds” – Laurell K. Hamilton

2. “And I knew it was bad when I woke up in the mornings and the only think I looked forward to was going back to bed”

3. “The only things more exhausted than being depressed, is pretending you’re not”

4. “He was drowning, but nobody saw his struggle”

5. “My silence is just another word for my pain”

6. “Sometimes I get so sad. So sad that I completely shut down. I stare blankly at the wall and it doesn’t matter what you say to me. Because in that moment I don’t exist.”

7. “That feeling when you are not necessarily sad, but you just feel really empty”

8. “I’m exhausted from trying to be stronger than I feel”

9. “I can’t describe what I’m feeling. I’m not happy, and I know that. But I’m also not exactly sad either. I’m just caught right in between all these emotions and I feel so empty”

10. “The worst kind of pain is when you’re smiling to stop the tears from falling”

11. “It’s a bit like walking down a long corridor, never knowing when the light will go on”

12. “Depression is feeling like you’ve lost something, but having no clue when or where you last had it. Then one day you realise what you lost is yourself”

13. “Sometimes the thought of facing the day, feels like broken glass in my soul”

14. “Saying “I’m tired” when you’re actually sad”

15. “Sometimes you just need someone to tell you you’re not as terrible as you think you are”

16. “You hate when people see you cry because you want to be that strong person. At the same time though, you hate how nobody notices how torn apart and broken you are”

17. “That’s the thing about depression: A human being can survive almost anything, as long as he sees the end in sight. But depression is son insidious, and it compounds daily, that it’s impossible to see the end. The fog is like a cage without a key.”

18. “Depression is a prison where you are both the suffering prisoner and the cruel jailer.”

19. “Every day begins with an act of courage and hope: getting out of bed”

20. “There’s nothing more depressing than having it all and still feeling sad.”

Marc

Volg:

Life update: I have a girlfriend!

Well I suppose the title reveals something, right? But yeah, I have a girlfriend! SURPRISE!! Okay, I know what you are thinking, I can hear you think it right now. Don’t bother hiding it. ‘What in the world do you do, that someone is willing to have a relationship with you?’ Fair enough, I’m quite a weird lad, but that is not the point. I have a girlfriend and she makes me feel complete. So lads and lassies, I’m going to introduce you to my lovely girlfriend, Anne.
As you all know I suffer from various mental illnesses and I always thought this would consequently lead to more negative things or events. But it’s not all doom and gloom, I think it’s very important to say that. Of course experiencing mental health problems is not a positive thing in my opinion, but it has also brought me new people in my life, whom I’m forever grateful for.

So when I was at the worst I’ve felt, I met the most inspiring, incredible, beautiful and lovely person on this planet. Little did I then know, that this lovely individual would become my girlfriend. I couldn’t have predicted that a tweet would lead to talking every day. That it would lead to texting and meeting. That it would lead to that day that I fell in love. But I’m so happy it did and yes, ‘happy’. It’s weird to use that word in relation to the emotion. I can’t really remember what feeling happy felt like, but this is the closest I’ve felt in a very long time.

The first thing you should know about her, is that she is a fellow blogger and ‘Dutchie’ (Okay, I really hate that word). I found her blog and it blew my mind. It’s really unique and it doesn’t bore you at all. There is so many to find on the blog and every time I read a blogpost I think: She’s saying this to me, yes say it. I feel so good reading those posts, you should definitely follow her – All the links are below fam – and make her day.

I’m not going to talk more about what she does etcetera, because that is something you should find out my exploring her blog. But I will talk to you about how she has made my life better and will make my life better everyday. The wonderful personality and cute smile, everything that has made me fall in love with her.

She literally has the kindest soul I have ever experienced. I always thought kindness was something everyone had or could put on, but this isn’t the case. She is so kind, the purest form of it and really wants me to feel good, genuinely good. She wil literally do anything to cheer me up and make me laugh. I’m a lucky man (The Verve reference intended)

Two things I think are really important in a relationship: Make each other laugh and have proper & transparant conversations. I am fortunate to have both in my relationship. Anne not only makes me smile, but is very funny and can make my dark days turn in days of sunshine. That is so so so incredibly difficult and she can do it. Again, it does make me feel like a very lucky person indeed.
Just as important is the ability to have a good conversation. Obviously food is very important to talk about, but my girlfriend is a very intelligent person. I can talk about literally anything and she will not only express her own opinion, but she will listen to what I have to say. Again and again and again, I’m so fortunate to have her.

One thing I’m grateful for in particular, is the way she deals with my mental health problems. She is so openminded, supportive and educated. She listens to what I say and tries to do everything in her power to make me feel safe, comfortable and better. After hearing so many negative reactions, this is just what I need and will need.

She made me realise the world is worth it, I’m worth it. I’m relevant. I’m awesome. I’m a warrior and I can fight these demons within me. I know I’m just at the beginning of my therapy and recovery, but I would like to thank Anne for being there for me. Stimulating me. Supporting me. Helping me. Caring.

She’s the best.

Follow Anne on everythaaaaaaaang

Lost in Translation (Blog)
Twitter
Instagram

P.S. SHE WANTS TO TALK FOOTBALL AND VISIT A MATCH WITH ME. KEEPER, INNIT?!

‘Ave a good one, fam!

Marc

Volg:

Why I still am a Livestrong Ambassador

This is a topic that is rather personal and perhaps a bit tough to talk about for me. But I’m going to do it anyway. I feel like it’s time to talk to you guys about it and why it motivates me to keep on going with this particular foundation: the LIVESTRONG Foundation.


After the big scandal with Lance Armstrong, a lot of persons quit the foundation and that is one of the most logical consequences of the actions of Armstrong. The actions of Armstrong himself, well I’m not going to talk about that. That’s for everyone else to judge, but I remained strong with the foundation he set up. And I want to tell you why I’m still involved with it.

I became involved in the summer of 2010 and have been involved ever since. The reason for my joining was the pain I felt from loved ones who had suffered from cancer and had sadly died. But also the pain of lack of guiding and motivating the people who survived the terrible disease called cancer. I took it upon myself to get involved and do more for the people.
To be honest, I heard about the organization because of Lance Armstrong, but as soon as I read into it, I started really to believe in the concept of it all and I was really enthusiastic about their approach. It felt right and it was at the end of 2010, I decided to be an ambassador.

What does that mean Marc? Well It means that I donate regularly and  that I help the organization with promoting. It’s mostly focused on the USA, but there is an Europe movement as well and that’s where I come in. I try to keep the people within the organisation motivated and help at events. I speak in front of people and tell them what LIVESTRONG is all about.

Since the scandal has occurred, the organisation has had very difficult times. A lot of people leaving the foundation, as well as declining donations. It has hit hard to be honest.


Livestrong isn’t about one person. It’s about the millions of people facing cancer who need support as they fight the toughest battle of their lives.


I also got this question a lot: Armstrong has cheated on the whole world, why would you want to be involved in a foundation that does that? I always say the same thing. A) Armstrong isn’t involved anymore, but his work for the organization and for the help of cancer patients or survivors is just very great. B) It’s a splendid organisation, which does good work and focuses on the positive. That’s one of the things in life that I find very important: Positive thinking.

I think it has grown bigger than just a foundation for cancer survivors or for people in the cycling industry. It’s an ideology and it has grown. People not only join because of the cause, but also for the positivity that it has.

I wanted to talk to you guys about it, because it’s very important to me. If you want to know more about it, just ask me in the comments or hit me up on twitter.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Marc

Volg: