About me written by: padhia

This page used to be all neatly polished. It  started of with “I am an artist and a writer” and it babbled on about all of the things that I thought would be appropriate through the eyes of judgement.  Truth is, I don’t know what the hell I am anymore. And for the first time in my life I am just living instead of caring about details that work themselves out when you dive into life head first, get tossed around in the currents and learn to float.  I’m terrified of sharing all of this. I feel ashamed.  Exposed. Paralyzed with fear and nausea when I think about putting all of this out there, but what is the point in suffering immensely unless you use it to help others? I believe in speaking up when things are wrong, defending people who can’t defend themselves. That has come to outweigh my fear and shame. I decided a long time ago to somehow live my life in a way that one day I would be able to look back on all my struggles and suffering and feel nothing but pure gratitude.  It turns out that one day doesn’t exist. Instead it’s a whole new life that I just kind of lived my way into through this attitude, each day more beautiful than the last.

I am an artist and a writer. I have always had an overabundance of creative energy and determination. This is what helped me to force myself to accomplish things in the face of my inner adversity. I have 2 college degrees, have co-authored a couple text books, &  had a small high-end design firm before leaving my life and moving 3,000 miles away to create a life, this time with intention, that I truly wanted to be alive inside of. All of this despite suffering from unrelenting and debilitating depression and anxiety. Up until a few years ago, I spent most of my life silently begging for death.

I grew up in an isolated environment with a mother who was not only very cruel, but who was a strange cocktail of components of pure brilliance, schizophrenia, bipolar, manic depression, and narcissistic personality disorder.  She tortured me in ways I still can’t speak about. My father left me with her at a young age. She was mentally and often physically ill, suffering from horrendous bouts of ulcerative colitis where she almost died in front of me many times.  She isolated me from the world, hid from her family and withdrew from society. I had a front row seat to watching her be digested by drug addiction and mental illness and I grew up suffering enormously in a world that I would one day realize was purely delusion.  I left home at an early age, and my depression and anxiety worsened to the point where it became my only identity. After a few years, I left the state where I grew up to try to separate myself further, but over the years the depression and anxiety continued to worsen to the point where I could do nothing except obsess over dying.  I have been diagnosed with PTSD  and all kinds of fancy sounding depression and anxiety disorders. I have been hospitalized, and for years, continuously pursued treatment through medications and therapy. What I know now is that all of my internal conflict came from the fact that I wanted to have a certain life and felt in my heart I was a certain person, but I had not one tool to help me reconcile that gap.

I may have moved far away from where I grew up, but that was only half the journey. I never separated myself from how I had come to define myself and the potential of my  life based on experiences I had when I was most vulnerable. I just kept trying to move forward and I beat myself constantly with the thought that I was lucky to have gotten away, I had all my limbs, and I should be grateful and just work hard towards building a future. I ignored my pain, because after all, others had it much worse.

I noticed pretty early on as an adult, that I created situations for myself  that were unbearably painful emotionally. I began to wonder… if these things were not in my life, what would fill the void? Who was I even, without this identity of suffering? When I was kid, my mom owned my life. As an adult, depression owned my life. What would my life look like if I belonged to me? The thought both terrified and fascinated me.

After years of suffering, I could not bear the depression and anxiety any longer, all the ups and down with the medications. I stopped pretending and just started being honest about wanting to die. I no longer had the energy for the façade I had been desperate to keep up all these years.  My husband at the time took me to new doctor. He was a little younger and cooler and for the first time I felt an ember of hope that someone could help me.  Instead, he repeated the same bullshit about how depression is not about being cured, it’s about coping. Adjusting medications constantly and trying “new technology”; taking life down a notch and accepting my “handicap”. He said not only did he not believe I would never be off the meds, but he didn’t think I was on nearly enough meds. He wanted me on high dosages of antidepressants, anxiety meds, sleeping pills, and a whole new class of drug that I had never been put on before, antipsychotics. I cried and said that since I started taking less medication I was feeling slightly better. Then he drew a picture of a bipolar person’s sine wave of high and low moods. He made a baseline across the middle of it. And then he drew my sine wave of mood way below it, and explained that he believed I suffered from a rare type of bipolar disorder where instead of cycling from high to low, I cycle from low to lower. And he marked part of the curve and told me right now I felt a little better because I was on “an upswing towards down”.

And so that is going to be the title of my book: The Upswing Towards Down”.  Instead of going on antipsychotics and accepting the fate he handed me so professionally that day, I got the fuck off of everything and faced everything that lurked inside me. I built a new operating system within myself  instead of shutting down because I didn’t know how to deal with my own destructive thoughts and learned patterns. When I began to explore the things that haunted me all these years, I fell in love with myself for the first time. Instead of the intense hatred I had for myself for never being able to get a handle on the depression and anxiety, instead of being so frustrated with myself because my mind did things I couldn’t control- I realized how much I had endured, how brave I had been, and how affected I had been by circumstances that were not my fault. I began to have mercy on myself, which started me on the path to healing. I had the profound realization that feeling so unbearably suicidal for most of my life was not about wanting to die, it was about wanting to be free.

I want to change the way depression is viewed and treated. It is not some random chemical imbalance that traps you and you have to live within its cage in some kind of half life existence.  The more you get to know about yourself the more you will discover it makes sense, and the more power you gain to take steps in resolving it. It is completely curable.

 

“Peace and happiness isn’t a mood or a high, it’s a state of living that is completely achievable when you work hard to clear off all the crap that blocks the sun from shining inside of you.”

 

It has been five years since I got off everything and began healing instead of covering deep bleeding wounds with tiny band aids. I’ve learned to wear my scars without shame. I wake up every single day inside of a dream. The dream I held on to for so many years of having complete peace in my head, a song in my heart and a smile on my face.  I am sharing my story in hopes that it can inspire & comfort the  millions of people in the world who are suffering in similar ways.

-padhia avocado

padhia avocado

contact info:
padeeyah@gmail {dot} com
www.padeeyah.com
www.lovemeanyways.com
www.unfukyourself.com
www.baltobunny.com