"I believe I am worthy to heal" - Jazmin's story
After training as a holistic therapist and yoga teacher, Jazmin has been able to create her own toolkit for healing. She steps out of definitions created by traditional psychiatry, learning to treat her traumatic experiences with more self-compassion than before.
I used to think that I’d just started to hear voices when I was in my early twenties. I believed I was sick because there was something fundamentally wrong with me. I wanted to believe this: it was an easy way out. But I remember as a teenager under huge pressure, I used to listen to my own private radio. I would make voices sing my favourite songs in the wind. It has been said that childhood abuse can increase the risk of voice-hearing but I had no memories of my early experience with this. I was absolutely certain that nobody in my family would do this to me. I have learned that my lack of memory is irrelevant and that you cannot heal something you ignore.
In my late 20's, I trained as a holistic therapy and yoga teacher. I made contact with some of the world’s foremost in somatic therapy and mind-body medicine. I didn’t have money to spend on expensive therapy sessions and I didn’t trust anyone with my care. But I had the tools to learn and was signposted to the best techniques that I could practice at home.
This is a very slow recovery - it has been deeply painful, isolating and fantastical. The experiences people might consider as psychosis, or a result of an episode, are regular occurrences because of my spiritual practice. The full spectrum of the capacity to feel is the goal in yoga practice, learning to manage the emotions and meet them without distress. I realised my auditory hallucinations are triggered by extreme stress. Between different traumas, bad relationships with possessive exes, poor self-care and self-denial, I was in bad shape. Getting to where I am now has been a process of detangling memories, practicing a high degree of self-care and living to a standard of very low toxicity.
I believe that the body’s capacity to heal beyond all injuries and traumas is immense, if we give it the chance to do so.
My health is my number one priority. I believe that the body’s capacity to heal beyond all injuries and traumas is immense, if we give it the chance to do so. For me, this has meant giving up alcohol and self-medication, learning about human physiology, nutrition, Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine and eating as clean a diet as I can. I believe I am worthy to heal and deserve to be happy. I started to look into different holistic tools, such as the zodiac and i-ching, which use astrology to map out different aspects of your energy, personality and path. Everything was there: my propensity to self-medicate, my need for escapism, my low immune system, even my hernia. The pathway to healing for me was very clear.
I maximised my time to focus on the healing process. They say it’s better to be a Jack of all trades than a Master of none. The turning point in my recovery was definitely when I started to learn professionally about all the things I needed to give to myself. My first intention was to help others, but it became clear that I needed to be my first and most important client. So, I continue my learning professionally in experiential anatomy, somatic therapy, reiki, coaching and a lot more! When I start to work properly again, you can guarantee that mental healthcare is going to drastically change for people like me.
It’s learning to say: I feel okay today, I coped with that trigger well, I learned my limits and expressed a boundary, I kept the apartment clean even when I was feeling awful.
It’s frustrating as well to live like this. I’m a hard worker. I’m driven to success and I like to work. Sitting at home, working on myself isn’t always measurable in goals achieved and definitely not by money coming in. It’s learning to say: I feel okay today, I coped with that trigger well, I learned my limits and expressed a boundary, I kept the apartment clean even when I was feeling awful.
This really isn’t where I wanted to be in my 30's, but I’ve lived through suicidal depression and I didn’t think I would make it here alive. The whole story is yet to come, and I’m excited to see how rich, fulfilling and beautiful life could be in the rest of my 30's, 40's, 50's and beyond. I am planning and dreaming big so watch this space!
My story isn’t to say you have to take on all of your care yourself. You might have a great support network. When I started to turn inwards and work on myself, I realised that there were very few people on my side. My story is here to inspire people to realise that they are capable. If they can’t do it alone, there are others like me who have walked this path before, and will find ways of making that vital information for healing easier to find.