This guest post, submitted by Marikka Malm, is a part of the online advocacy efforts we are celebrating during Recovery Month 2018.

When I was diagnosed at the age of 26 as having experienced what some would call psychosis, I could never have imagined the road to transformation would lead me back to the place where I began this journey. I was told that I had experienced a psychotic break, but in my mind this had been the emergence of a beautiful spiritual awakening.

This awakening became out of balance and and left me in a dark, confusing place for many years since I had limited treatments available to me and there was a lack of understanding of such experiences.

At age 30, my symptoms had become so distressing that I was labeled with the term ‘serious mental illness’. I believed that something was wrong, but I didn’t like the resources and treatments I was given and I certainly didn’t like the sound of “serious mental illness” so I continued to search for new and more supportive avenues of care.

At the age of 42 I write this message with the new awareness of what that “illness“ means to me. Thankfully, though the years I have been able to work with pioneering mental health professionals who continue to support me towards optimal wellness.

I challenge the old paradigm of our mental healthcare system and I encourage people to search within for answers to their experiences. I don’t believe I actually live with a chemical imbalance defined by a psychiatric disease that will never go away. Through my journey of healing I have embraced a spiritual awareness of myself and my circumstances which has allowed me to transcended the limiting concept of that diagnosis.

This diagnosis may have served me in the past in regards to my behaviors and symptoms; however I believe these symptoms are completely absent from who I am today. The only gift that I take from this diagnosis is to maintain the understanding, awareness and memories of these experiences so that I can better support others.

I continue to evolve and learn through a new lens of perception and as I look within for answers I am guided towards the people, places and things that best serve my healing and my continual evolution.

I now work as a Peer Support Specialist, Spiritual Emergence Coach®, and Spiritual Life Coach. I am currently working on a fundraising project for a Docutraining called Mental Health Awakening about the concept of Spiritual Emergence.

My journey has shown me that by integrating a spiritual awareness into my mental health challenges I have found an authentic experience of healing. The beauty in this is that I am aligned with my Truth, I understand where I came from, I trust where I am going and I am no longer afraid of my own mind. I am free!

To find out more about the project and how to support Mental Health Awakening please go to: Much Love to all on your healing journey, Marikka Malm. You can also find Marikka on Facebook.

#livedexperience #peersupport #spirituality