Recovery is by no means an ordinary occasion. Nor is it one which proceeds smoothly. Recovery requires soul, heart, energy, willingness, commitment and dedication towards ensuring one’s holistic health and well-being are restored.

For me, this meant no means of employment for numerous months, due to being too fragile and unwell physically, whilst not being mentally stable (think of mood swings, anxiety and panic attacks, bouts of endless depression, lacklustre appearance and possessing a dismal outlook on life). During this time, I openly accepted not working, as I simply was not prepared to embark on this venture, as stepping outside one’s comfort zone, albeit beneficial at times, would not have proven conducive to my health if accomplished – becoming too overwhelming.

(Side note, I do commend and admire others who adore stepping outside of their comfort zone often as such takes courage, tenacity and commitment to whole heartedly embrace moments of life; purity. Go you beautiful humans! I have and continue to learn much from you souls.).

Recovery involves understanding one’s capacity, limits, boundaries and how such steps, no matter how behemoth or minute, will affect one’s mindset, whether optimistically or detrimentally. Thus, I knew that I was not prepared and so took time for myself. Truly allocating time for oneself does and may, to some feel egocentric. I am a person who struggles arduously with caring for myself. Therefore, assigning time to do so, proves to be a confronting and vulnerable venture indeed as there is nowhere to escape or run to if the going gets tough. However, self-appreciation is a positive component of residing outside of one’s safe, comfort zone as one is compelled to be immersed in discomfort for change, growth and a returned zest for life to ultimately prevail.

Goodness! Such is easier said than done admittedly. However, I managed to take ownership of my existence when I withdrew from my Nutritional studies at the beginning of this year. I genuinely thought that I was ready to commence study once more, being the spirited go-getter, I am, until I was faced with the day to begin. Looming above my head like a rain cloud. Which was sign number one that I should have possessed an intuition for, as rain clouds are never grand, unless one thinks of these clouds as providing nutrients to develop into a blossoming flower? Possibly this is how I was considering study?

Amongst the tumult and furore of anxiety, thoughts, emotions, feelings, angst and displeasure of life, the day to begin did not eventuate as anticipated, with all of my login details not functioning to limit me access to the online portal. Additionally, no others were tending to my forms of frantic correspondence and me flailing about in a genuine fluster. As an outcome, I realised that I had accomplished all I could as tomorrow was another day (there is always another day, with new opportunities, fond moments in life and others to me introduced to. Not all is lost). Perhaps this was a sign from my Spiritual Guides and Guardian Angel to inform me NOT to study; to focus on myself more? The next day I was fortunately permitted entry into the online study portal. Being a perfectionist, having one day disadvantage meant that my anxiety was heightened, heart palpitations intensely and cold sweats occurring. Such sounds grotesque doesn’t it?

Welcome to the world of mental illness, for myself and numerous others globally.

Post perusal of the study content, I shut the cumbersome lid of my laptop computer (as I still adore my old school laptop ❤️) and inhaled a deep breath of pure fresh air. A breath which provided an essence of relief, as I made the decision to not study this year, possibly not ever. My reasons for not studying outweighed the reasons for, which I felt were sufficient to not study.

*Reasons for NOT studying:

– Questions of why? Why am I studying? Am I studying for me or for others? Will study make me a happy version of myself? Just because I adore nutrition, does that mean I must study nutrition? Will I enjoy study once more? Am I studying to compete with others or myself? How stressed and unwell will I become? Will I feel and be fulfilled? Do I require a degree to be successful in life? Does study ensure a future? Will I be able to balance life? Will I be able to study and endure recovery?

– Study shall always be an option and present when and if the time is appropriate.

– Being able to lead the desired and authentic life for me, by me.

– Success, intelligence and worth are not measured by the acquisition of a degree (or in my opinion, years of endless energy invested towards study to only receive a piece of paper with one’s name and degree printed on it – glorification of what one truly has done and deserves!. Whereby subsequent employment may not even be a possibility!).

– Often the most successful individuals do not have a qualification, becoming successful and happy through pure grit, authenticity, talent, humour, personality, etiquette and understanding others.

– Less money shall be added to my student loan…although I do not concern myself overtly with money issues, it is always a comforting feeling to know that less money is to be paid off incrementally.

– To understand life balance, balance and harmony within so to become one with myself which takes time and patience, as life is a journey not a race.

– To learn to embrace myself and life for everything that it is no more, no less.

– Appreciating the time to live in the current moment without guilt, frustration or overwhelming anxiety.

– To continue to bake, cook and create wholesome, nutritionally dense, healthy and delicious food and drink to nourish the body without the resentment of doing so. Keep my passion ignited in the absence of study – watch out loves for more food content and deliveries!!

Making this momentous decision, proved a shift in my mindset, not only to appreciate myself and the life I am traversing, but to accomplish in life what I wholesomely desire, not what society or others surrounding me deem to be acceptable for a young woman my age (this I scoff at as what is age? Purley a number which is insignificant as one can do whatever their heart desires at any age. You are the judge to your life, never forget that lovelies!).

I was and am exhausted of societal expectations causing us to feel belittled, smothered, uncapable, disheartened and dejected if we do not adhere to immersing ourselves into tasks, activities, study, work etc. etc. that is required of us at a certain age, as if life is linear!! Why follow the crowd whilst being dictated by an intangible societal master, when one can be their own effervescent, light filled and dynamic power source; their own individual; their own worthy, capable and brilliant director of life.

Since making the decision to be accountable for my life, I have never experienced such joy, clarity, soul, life, energy, happiness and empowerment. Doing so has led me to embrace every day, every breath, every object observed, every material felt, every smell detected, every opportunity possible and to never cease trying.

It is my hope and aspiration that one day all can have dominion over their life as opposed to the overarching, soulless pressures and expectations of society and others. Only one knows themselves best. Never discredit oneself as the seasons pass, the sun continues to rise, the world proceeds to spin on its axis, the grass will flourish and so do we!

Growth, transitions, lessons, understanding and gratitude are what make life worth living and of course, the number one reason for living is YOU!

Light, warmth, soul + heart,

Maddie x

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