A Story I wanted to share with you today.
This story was given to me by a friend.
It’s a true story although to be clear, it is not my story.
This story is about a young woman named Molly who fell into the trap of believing that she was sick – seriously sick – with a mental illness that she would have to struggle with “for life”.
The good news?
She found her way out of the maze of “mental illness” to a life of mental wellness.
She found that she was not broken at all.
It’s a bit of a read but well worth the time 🙂
You’re Not So Broken..
A Semi Fairy Tale by.. Molly Raudenbush
My name is Molly and I wrote this to share my experience and journey from mental illness to well being.
I hope you will learn something from my experience or maybe find the whole experience amusing! Like every good fairy tale, this starts with a tragic beginning.
Once upon a time I was a psychiatric patient hospitalized for suicidal ideations, bipolar disorder, anxiety attacks, and severe depression. I was actually hospitalized several times—5 times in six months-but who’s counting?
I had always suffered from emotional problems- depression, anxiety attacks, and bulimia nervosa. At one point in my life, I was hopeless. I was unable to care for my son, attend school, and work. I had given up on life. I was told I would never get better. I was suicidal, broken, and a lost cause.
I believed, and my health care providers believed, I would be in and out of psychiatric hospitals for the rest of my life.
I was told by a psychiatrist that I should apply for disability because I would not be able to work and live a productive life. P.S. Psychiatrists are not always right- don’t always believe what they tell you- but I am getting ahead of myself. Back to the fairy tale…
Today I am a completely different person. I am a proud nurse, a single mom to the most beautiful 8 year old son, a graduate student at Wheeling Jesuit University in the Family Nurse Practitioner Program, and a normal twenty eight year old with big dreams and plans for the future.
I juggle night shifts as a R.N. with parenting responsibilities, and school work. I have lots of stress but no depression or anxiety. I have lots of demands and pressure in my life but I am thriving because I was given a second chance.
In the darkest moments of my life, I learned the keys to mental and physical well being. Today I live a life of peace, gratitude, and wonder at what the future will bring.
I know when you are diagnosed with a mental illness or you are suffering the hell of mental breakdown, somehow you feel like you are the only one. You feel like you have the plague. You are so different from everyone else. Something is wrong with you. You are damaged, alone, and broken.
I believe everyone has the ability to be free of mental illness, spiritual distress, and psychological dysfunction. I am not a miracle, a special circumstance..well maybe just a bit!!! I believe everyone has hope! Everyone can be at peace!
This is my journey and I hope what I have learned can help you uncover your own inner resilience and spiritual well being. After-all, you’re not so broken!!
Love and Enjoy the Read!!!
Not Just Another Doctor…
My life change in one moment. Every princess has a fairy god mother who with a whoosh of the magic wand makes everything better. My “fairy god mother moment” came in the form of a very special Doctor!
I was in the psychiatric hospital and I was asked to see the doctor on call. It was the holidays and the normal people were celebrating with their families at home. I was unfortunately in the midst of a psychotic break- and thus explains being hospitalized. And this unfortunate Doctor was the poor guy stuck on call making his rounds.
If you have ever been a mental patient in a mental hospital you know that what is worse than death itself is being depressed and suicidal and having to talk to psychiatrist after psychiatrist! If you didn’t already want to die, the process of being hospitalized will make you hate life!
So I sit down with a very tall and gentle looking man. I think, “here we go again.” I have to talk to another person who can’t help me and who doesn’t really care.
I don’t remember the conversation but I remember the warm feeling I felt when I first met Dr. Pettit. He waved his magic wand and blessed me with the thought that I was not sick.
If you have ever been hospitalized or sought treatment for any type of mental unrest, you know For Sure! that most mental health specialist don’t really care. And they know for a fact that you are beyond help. Some get off on telling you that you are really, really sick! (Well not everyone- but this is my story and my book so..that is my take on it.)
Once again back to the fairy tale.. One thought in one second changed my whole entire world forever. You are not sick. You are not hopeless. I learned in that whoosh of the magic wand that mental health can be realized in a moment!
About a Girl….
So I get to be the main character in this fairy tale. I was born in God-Bless West Virginia and I still live in the Mountain State. I have bleach blonde hair, bright blue eyes, the cheesiest smile you have ever seen, and a heart bigger than Texas. I am an orphan and I grew up poorer than Welfare Poor.
My mom had six kids and lots and lots of problems. She died of cancer when I was ten. My dad died tragically of a sudden heart attack when I was seventeen. My grandparents-who were not independently wealthy by any means-helped raise me. They were good county people and did their best.
I went to college at seventeen-yes independence at last! That fateful summer I found that I could take care of myself and I fell head over heals in love! At nineteen I married my prince and at twenty years old I welcome the most beautiful baby boy the world had ever seen.
Life was really, really perfect. I earned my B.A. in psychology and we bought a townhouse. We are talking story book perfect. Life was really beautiful. Except…underneath all that perfection was a really scary secret. I was not so perfect after all.
I struggled with my own demons and my wonderful husband jumped through hoops to heal my sorrow. I was the happiest person on earth and the saddest individual sorry enough to be alive. I was at twenty-five BIPOLAR!
Manic Depression is Killing My Soul…
Manic depression. Bipolar disorder. There I had a label and clinical diagnosis. I was a hot mess but my symptoms fit into a chapter in the Diagnostic and Statistics Manual- the bible of psychiatry! My life completely fell apart but I was text book bipolar disorder.
My marriage was ruined because my husband could not fix me. I was hospitalized and hospitalized and hospitalized. I tried every medication that was supposed to sedate the mind. I saw too many psychiatrists and therapists to count. I was struggling to stay alive. Who would save my soul?
SOS..Please Someone Help Me…
My life changed the moment I met Dr. Pettit. He told me I was not a sick person but I was lost. He spoke of hope. I thought he was crazier than I was because I was so far gone. He invited me to attend his Innate Health groups.
My mental well being was restored literally overnight when I learned how mind, thought, and consciousness work together to create our reality from moment to moment.
Train wreck No More! Goodbye Hopeless!
Understanding the three principles of mind, thought, and consciousness restored my peace and allowed me to regain my life. Those who had deemed me hopeless and a lost cause were proved really, really wrong!
I was once told I would never be able to go to nursing school because it would be too much stress. Well I fast tracked my way to a BSN in 18 months and now I am a R.N. (Real Nurse!).
The journey to wellbeing and stability was not easy. I went through a divorce and cried my heart out. I got through so many tough times with love and understanding from my friends. But I was able to find my way back from mental illness and psychosis because I had an understanding of mind, thought, and consciousness. (emphasis mine)
Mind, Thought, and What???
Understanding these three principles restored my peace and allowed me to regain my life.
Achieving mental well being is not a matter of will power, psychotherapy, medication levels, cognitive therapy or process groups. Mental wellness is accessible to anyone, at anytime, through the understanding of the use of the gifts of mind, thought , and consciousness.
Keep reading and I will try to explain these principles and how they helped me make sense of this mad world.
These three principles helped me let go of the demons in my head. As you read, don’t worry about logically figuring it out. Pay attention to how the words make you feel.
I did not invent these three principles. I am a princess not a genius! They are universal principles like the laws of gravity. They were gratefully shared with me by an amazing man and friend Sydney Banks.
Sydney Banks is the author of many inspirational books including The Missing Link and The Enlightened Gardner.
The Beautiful World of Innate Health
Innate health/health realization is a paradigm based on the work of Sydney Banks.
Innate health/health realization believes all people have an innate “wellspring” of psychological wellness from which to draw and anyone can access this pool of wisdom and psychological wellbeing regardless of circumstance or stress.
We can all experience peace in our lives no matter what is happening in the world around us! Life is really beautiful when you understand how your reality is created.
Innate health means that we are all lovely, peaceful, and beautiful creatures that function based on our level of understanding and our use of the gifts of mind, thought, and consciousness.
What is Mind?
According to Sydney Banks, “Mind is universal intelligence.” It is the universal force behind all things.
Mind is a spiritual concept. Mind is the energy of all creation- form and formless.
We are all connected by the spiritual energy of the universal mind.
There is a oneness to life when we use the gift of the universal mind.
Personal mind is our own individual thought system. Our own perceptions of reality are mostly a delusion created by the personal mind.
Problems are created in the personal mind and the solutions lie in the universal mind.
What is Thought?
Thought is the power to create form from formless. Thought is the ability to know.
We use the gift of universal mind to create thoughts. The gift of thought guides us through the world.
Personal thought determines how we feel and how we relate to others around us. Syndey Banks calls thought the “missing link” and says,
“Thought is not reality; yet it is through Thought that our realities are created. It is what we as humans put into our thoughts dictates what we think of life.”
Problems are created by the misuse of personal thought.
You really are what you think! If you think you are a failure and life will never get better, you will feel depressed and feel discouraged. You are the creator of your own reality.
You use thought to give form to the universal energy of mind. Be very careful how you use the gift of thought. If you can see that you are creating your own reality, life will be much gentler.
I have learned to find peace by letting my personal thoughts flow.
Thought naturally flows much like a river. Being present is the ability to not get stuck in your own thoughts. You can really get lost in your own thinking. Your thoughts can overwhelm you and cause a great deal of emotional distress. Do not try to change your thoughts-this never works. Just let your thinking be for a bit and your mood will naturally improve.
Many of the problems in life are created by the innocent misuse of personal thought.
We innocently create problems in our lives by over thinking. One of my friends says, “I don’t think too much, it hurts!” This could not be more true.
Overanalyzing creates emotional pain and insecurity. If you can understand many problems are mere delusions created by your use of personal thought, the world become a less scary place.
Peace is really just one thought away. If you can understand this powerful concept, you really are in amazing shape!
What is Consciousness
Consciousness is our ability to have awareness of human experience. Consciousness allows us to realize the existence of life.
Consciousness is knowing that we are the thinkers creating our own experience from moment to moment. According to Sydney Banks,
“Mental health lies within the Consciousness of all human beings, but it is shrouded and held prisoner by our own erroneous thoughts. This is why we must look past our contaminated thoughts to find the purity and wisdom that lies inside our own Consciousness.”
Emotional pain and mental distress are experienced in a low level of consciousness. Consciousness has an infinite level.
The greater our understanding, the higher level of consciousness we experience. Many people-myself included!-seek a higher level of being. Happiness and a loving feeling are found inside ourselves. Look inside for the answers.
Everyone’s Doing It!!
At this very moment, every living, breathing, being with a pulse is using the gifts of mind, thought, and consciousness to create their own individual reality. That is what makes life so complicated, exciting, frustrating, and confusing.
Your boss who can be so demanding, your children who are grating on your last nerve, that cute boy who makes you weak in the knees, your teacher who gave you a big fat F on your last paper, your neighbor who just brought you great news, and your date who is thirty minutes late for dinner.
Everyone uses the same three principles to create their own realities.
And the fabulous thing is it is moment to moment.
So whatever you were experiencing in this moment can be completely different two seconds later.
How would you feel if you thought you were going to loose your job tomorrow?
How would you feel if you just won the lottery?
How would you feel if you were thinking about someone who loves you?
How would you feel after an angry fight with your significant other?
How does it feel to get lost in the beauty of an early morning sunrise?
Feeling is Really the Key!
Your feelings are the compass to life. They put up big red flags when you have lost your bearings.
If you are feeling depressed or insecure, most likely you are thinking sad and insecure thoughts. Or maybe you are just stuck in your personal thoughts.
When you are feeling unpleasant, use this as cue to be present. Let go of your personal thoughts and quiet your mind. I’m not talking about meditating or doing yoga. Let go of what ever is in your personal mind. Be present.
When you are present in the moment, you will access universal mind, thought, and consciousness and you will experience a warm feeling. You will find peace in a quiet mind.
Do not try to think you way out of a bad mood. As humans we only use about ten percent of our brain. Do you really think you are going to solve the world’s problems using only ten percent of your brain hahaha?
Let it go and gently find a warm feeling. This will guide you back to a peaceful state.
You can literally change your mood from suicidal depressed to peaceful and grateful in one moment.
I Don’t Make Up the Rules!
Yes you definitely do make up the rules!
When you don’t understand the three principles of how reality is created, you rely on your own rules for living. This is where we all innocently get lost.
When you can not find the peaceful feeling, you rely on your own rules to make yourself feel better. Human beings are really creative! Give yourself some credit!
Before I learned how my own feelings and (that my) reality are created by mind, thought, and consciousness I found my own ways to sooth myself.
Have you ever been in a bad mood and turned to alcohol to make yourself feel better?
Or maybe you sleep too much or eat too much.
Some people use drugs to heal the pain.
Some people abuse their loved ones.
Some people starve themselves.
Some cut themselves to find relief from emotional pain.
This is where mental illness comes in. I do not believe anyone on this beautiful planet is really mentally ill, crazy, psychotic, a lost cause, or a hot mess!
We innocently get lost because we innocently misuse the gifts of mind, thought, and consciousness. If you can understand psychological innocence you are way ahead of the game.
The problems in our lives are the consequence of innocently following our own rules.
When we learn and apply the universal truths of mind, thought, and consciousness, the problems in our lives naturally resolve.
This is a simple principle but there really is beauty in simplicity. When in doubt take the simple route and look for that positive feeling.
The Oneness of Life..
The Oneness of Life is the most powerful idea.
When you accept and see that everyone is uniquely applying the three principles to the best degree of their individual understanding, life becomes very beautiful and simple.
The oneness of life means we all have access to universal wisdom.
When you understand there is a oneness to this world, we all become connected by spiritual energy. When you look at life this way, we all have more in common than we think.
The oneness of life creates compassion because we understand where each other are coming from.
You stop seeing your boss as hateful and demanding. You see him or her as gentle and stuck in insecure thinking.
Your children are not as bratty as you think. They are energetic and well meaning.
You see that each person is doing the best they can with what the know how to do.
We each have the gifts to of the three principles and are connected spiritually by universal mind, thought, and consciousness. When you understand this, you feel compassion, connected, and more loving toward everyone around you.
Feel the oneness of life because I believe life is a spiritual journey. No matter what religion you practice- or maybe you practice none at all- we are all bonded by spiritual energy.
What do You Really Want?
We all have goals and ambitions for the future.
I want to find a prince, get married, finish my Masters degree, travel the world, loose ten pounds, and send my son to a great college some day! There is no harm in planning for the future. But what do you really want? What is life really about?
My ultimate goal is to be at peace with this moment. I want to experience a good feeling and have peace of mind.
This means letting go of being right or having my way. Sure I am disappointed when things don’t work out the way I planned.
But ultimately I want to be at peace with whatever circumstances life throws my way.
My goal is to have a great understanding and to enjoy this moment. Life is really about sharing love and the gifts you have been given.
How do You Know?
I truly believe you should always follow your gut feeling. Your instincts do not lie.
Your feelings are always a guide to how you are using the gifts of mind, thought, and consciousness.
Those who experience inner peace are spontaneous and do not act out of fear. They rely on their feelings instead of past experiences.
When you have a beautiful feeling, you loose interest in judging other people and you loose interest in interpreting the actions of other people.
You don’t worry as much. You have contented feelings and feel connected with other people and nature.
Those who follow a positive feeling let things happen instead of trying to make things happen.
They live, love, and laugh.
When you are present in the moment, you are grateful and content to just be!
Because this is supposed to be a fairy tale! I truly feel that I live a semi-charmed life.
Understanding the three principles has allowed me to live my life with gratitude.
I see the world as a gentle place.
I can ride out the ups and downs.
I am able to be present in my life.
Life is easier when you understand that it is a spiritual journey.
I am still seeking a higher level of self-awareness and understanding of the universe.
More than anything, I want inner peace-and a prince charming, and a happily ever after!
Did you enjoy this story? Please share it 🙂
Have you or someone you loved struggled and suffered with what society has come to call “mental illness”? You can learn more about this issue here.
If you’d like more information on how to learn and apply the 3 Principles to your life you can visit the global website of the 3 Principles organization here.
For more on finding your own Empowering Solutions to create your life on purpose click here.
Originally published January 15, 2015
Formatting edited for clarity November 26, 2017