December 2011

Interview With Toni Harris Speaks Success – Tough Talk Radio Network

Please visit the link below to listen to an on demand interview with Toni Harris on Toni Harris speaks success
As we once more reach out to those in need, aiding them with the knowledge they need to take that step towards the light and recovery.
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/toughtalkradionetwork/2012/01/06/toni-harris-speaks-succes-with-teresa-joyce-and-pamela-smith

Seasonal Depression

I am sitting here at my pc in the mix of the season about to arrive. I’ve been faced by the outward realisation, merely by the Christmas shoppers; the Christmas tree’s arriving in the shops. The length of the cues we are forced to stand in becoming longer. It’s a happy time a time for rejoicing while mixing with those that you love. As it draws nearer there is an excitement that seems to bubble over from the masses around you, as they plan that perfect time. Which house will we be spending Christmas Day at? What should you take as an addition to the menu? Let’s compare notes so that Christmas presents are not duplicated. It’s a time of love to all men where that silly argument recedes, ultimately reaching a place of no significance; you wonder how the hell you have let this continue on for so long without resolution. You imagine the smiles on the faces of the children, their excitement which becomes infectious. The parties you will be attending, that perfect outfit you just have to have.

The above statements are everything they should be: a happy time that should be shared by all as the time draws nearer. So why am I making an addition to my website with something that seems to have no place there? Am I not making statements about a place of happiness? Overwhelming, ultimately finding a place of peace within our hearts. The direct answer to that question is that for so many people out there it’s just not that harmonious. They are the reason I am here.

Today has been difficult for me personally, which for a time took me back to a place of not feeling in control of my emotions. My work is all about healing, growing in strength, and overcoming the odds. But it’s true to say that even after recovery, at times the world around us makes it mark. This brings us back to the starting point above, along with the realisation that every day is not like Christmas or the spirit of. I sit here today knowing that tomorrow will be a better day. A mindset that truly took me so long to find, at this point in my life I look forward to the tomorrows, and the promise they may bring.

Let’s return to Christmas and the reason I feel the need to add this piece to my website. For so long Christmas for me was a living hell, a time of dread coming ever closer as the days passed by. I was expected to embrace the festive season the same way that everyone else did. What was wrong with me? Why am I dragging everyone down with my negative thoughts? Why did I feel the need to spoil everything? For days during that time I had been fighting the need to retreat, to somewhere that had never even heard of Christmas. The more I struggled with it the worst it seems to get, bah humbug springs to mind.

So why is it that people like me during that time, try to run as fast as possible in the other direction? If I were to reply for myself it’s a time I feel deeply about. It was a period in which I had sat next to my mum’s hospital bed for thirty days, whilst she was fighting for her life in intensive care. For so many people whose life’s she touched, her loss was unbearable when her fight for life was not successful. So do I now sit here and blame that festive season for taking her from me? For so long the answer to that question would have been yes. I know I share that feeling with so many people, along with someone who is so very close to me, as she herself struggles to come to terms with her own loss. I am so sure we are not the only two people who this sentiment can be related to. The story of loss may differ it could be loss of life, maybe it’s a time where our abuser is more vividly remembered, because of the magnitude of happiness around us at that time. It could also be that Christmas is just like any other day spent in sadness, while everyone around you is touched by the wonder of it all. Whatever your reasons it amounts to the same thing, we feel we have no right to feel happiness.

To our minds Christmas had taken something so special from us or just reminds us of a dark place, not a reasonably thought but one firmly engraved into our very being. So what’s to be happy about? This is where we need to really understand the term Seasonal Depression. If you are a sufferer of abuse either now or in the past and before your journey to recovery, the fact is you feel as if you don’t deserve that happiness. There is a cocktail of emotions already erupting from your very being, now let’s throw Christmas into the mix . . . resulting in my own irrational, and completely off the wall thought process at that time. I needed to carry the blame for everything negative going on around me. That the loss I had suffered during that time was in some manner shape or form my fault. This was ingrained deeply in my mind since childhood. The abuse was my fault; everything I touched around me broke. Times of happiness were something I could never share. I can almost see you out there looking puzzled, none of that makes any sense right? Nevertheless it was a stark reality. Happiness was something I’d learned to dread. How could I even dare to think happy? If I did there would surely be a price to pay. Christmas was for others. For those of you out there reading this with a keen knowledge of my sentiments, these words are not falling on deaf ears.

The story for me has a happy ending, as I am without doubt that given time will be your story’s end. You see it’s not Christmas that you dread it’s the season of good will, allowing yourself to feel . . . That’s a big one. Happiness is out there just waiting to take you by the hand; it’s not structured by the time of the year. Christmas just brings it closer to mind, merely because of the overload of emotions going on all around us at that time. It’s not just Christmas that we need to reclaim, it’s every day that we awake with a storm cloud over our heads. Fight for the right to be happy – un-cloud your mind to unveil the truth, with clarity comes reality. Find your peace of mind, not one that’s linked or dictated to you by the date on a calendar. I found that Holy Grail – I’m no exception to the rule. You will also find yours in a place where you can let go of that misplaced guilt. Christmas will then become for you a day to be shared in complete happiness . . .