The mind, body and soul is made up of so many unique pieces. Some are visible like a tattoo and some are within. I have many pieces that make up who I am and this story about is one of them.

There’s a collection of colorful crystals sitting on my desk, placed decoratively into a wooden holder. Each piece big or small has a story, they signify the different chapters I have gone through in my life.

I couldn’t decide which story to share, which one would be helpful or inspiring to read about, and then I remembered the first stone I ever fell in love with, a pink geode. This stone, I had left behind at the house I used to live in, it was agony to no longer have it with me.

The pink geode was a set of two pieces and when put together looked like a normal rock. When apart each one was like a little cave of pink crystals, with every shade of pink you can think of. To me it held the secrets I needed to change my life. I know it sounds a bit much but during this time I was in such a state of depression that I believed nothing in the world could help me. Everything planned had fallen apart. I failed university, started experimenting with substances I swore I would never touch and had ostracized myself from family and good friends.

I guess it’s a generic story in some cases but things took a turn for the worse very quickly. I began showing signs of a psychosis and coming from the Middle East this term wasn’t known to me or even the doctor that treated me once I was hospitalized. It would be 8 weeks of me behaving irrationally, disappearing for days at a time until my family started freaking out and sent for help. At the time I was living in another country, pretending to finish university.

By the time I was brought back home my family were shocked at the state of what I had become and immediately checked me into a hospital. The doctor ran tests and asked me questions but she had no clue what to do and so put me on more medication and suicide watch. In a state of psychosis the site of white coats and white walls is terrifying, it only feeds whatever paranoia is running in your mind. It was an impossible situation to free myself from. The more I cried and yelled, the more meds would be administered. Until one day at 6 am, the nurses came in and wheeled me down to the operating theatre. I was shaking and begged them not to hurt me. They put some rubber guard in my mouth and a tube in my hand, injecting me with something white. Before the anesthetic kicked in they forced me to sign what I assume now was a consent form. I prayed for my safety and my eyes closed.

I remember vaguely waking up being placed back into my bed and falling asleep again. A few hours later I woke up and I still don’t know how I knew but I was sure they had administered electric shock therapy. A rage welled up, I proceeded to change my clothes, call a taxi and then my father, crying about what they had done to me. I walked out and went straight downstairs to the lobby. The security were called and I was cornered, I calmly said if you touch me I will scream.

Eventually the situation had calmed down and my family arrived. The doctor was threatened with legal action and I was discharged the next day.

That scene replays in my mind sometimes, I was vulnerable, deemed insane and alone. Looking back now it’s hard to imagine how I got out of that situation and the strength it took for me to try and stay calm. I knew that the more erratic I behaved, the worse it would be. Everything that happened made me want to get better. Although I was still a long way away from fully recovering I knew I had to do whatever I could to live better.

I never wanted to experience being hospitalized like that again, without any rights. Things did get better for a while after that, I found a job and tried to be a normal adult. But that’s not why I’m writing this. What I did end up getting, after quitting that job and giving up on trying to be normal was actual help. I received proper therapy and took a year off focusing on my mental health. Finally I was given the tools on how to deal with everyday living. I was introduced to mediation, group therapy, yoga and counseling. It’s not happy go lucky everyday but I now appreciate everyday. It’s always going to be different, good or bad and sometimes I have to put in the effort to make those good days better, writing a daily gratitude list, using my crystals, these are some of the tools that help me everyday. It sounds simple but I’ve experienced complicated. This is my story and I’m grateful to be of sound body and mind to share it!

The pink geode I had, served it’s purpose and in losing it, I learnt that material things however useful they are are not what heals, it’s what actions I choose to take to help myself heal.