I have been keeping a secret from most of the people in my life for years now, and I have decided it is time to release my fears and bring my story into the light. My story is a memoir intended to help people heal. I have been living the fine line between psychiatric mental illness and spiritual awakening for the past 11 years. For many of those years, I have been living a normal life as a married mother of a wonderful son, working as a full time professional, following the advice of psychiatric experts, taking medication, attending therapy, and doing my very best to accept my experiences as chronic mental illness. In the past year or so, I have met those who are experts in the spiritual world who connect to the divine realms with ease. I explained to my psychiatrist, family, and friends, it’s like an analogy of skyscrapers and bridges. I wouldn’t believe such things were possible had I not seen them with my own eyes and experienced them first-hand, as I cannot fathom how to build them! It is similar to the concept that people can connect to the spiritual realms.

At first, it seems crazy and unreal, but I have now met several teachers and mentors who regularly make contact with the “unseen,” and they have explained to me that it is quite possible for anyone to do the same with the right guidance and practice.  I always thought those who had such gifts were born with them, and I had no idea that these are skills that can actually be learned.  One of my teachers describes it as like learning to read.  You first start with your letters, then you put together short sentences, and eventually, with education and practice, you can go on to earn advanced degrees. Another teacher explains it much like Alexander Graham Bell when he was first inventing the telephone. It started out with a lot of static, but over time and with enhancements, the process became crisp and clear and it seemed like magic! I also read something recently about learning to drive.  At first, it seems so scary and daunting, but as you practice and learn, it can be done with ease and becomes like second nature. I have come to believe that much of my experience was actually a spiritual awakening…me connecting with the divine but feeling like I must be crazy, not believing what was happening, and not understanding how to process these experiences. I feel most people are entrenched in the idea of mental illness as the only explanation and the psychiatric medical approach as the only answer. Others believe in “spiritual emergence,” and that the psychiatric field damages people. I agree that, sadly, many people have had truly terrible experiences with psychiatric care, and I absolutely agree that there is much to be improved in this field. At the same time, I am grateful for the care I did receive.

I sincerely believe that my story gives legitimacy to both worlds, the psychiatric and the spiritual.  I choose to take the risk and share my story in the hopes that it could help people who suffer from mental illness and those who aim to heal them.  In addition, I feel my story could be beneficial to those yearning to have a more spiritually inspired and guided life. I am taking a big risk by putting my true self out there.  There is still such stigma with mental illness, and also I think much doubt about the spiritual realms, and that many may not approve of my sharings. I feel like I’m being called to share my story and am finally willing to take the risk of disapproval or judgment for the rewards that I think wait.  Specifically, my hope is that my willingness to be transparent and vulnerable will help me live my authentic life and inspire others that it is okay to do the same.

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.” – Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

Thank you so much for reading!