Journeying Through Discomfort

Journeying Through Discomfort | Libero Magazine

Before you start reading...

Please Support our Nonprofit Magazine!

There has never been a time when our community and content was needed more. As a nonprofit online community and magazine, we provide FREE articles, videos, and other content that is available worldwide, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Due to the global pandemic, we’ve had to put events, collaborations and business sponsorships on hold, leaving us to rely exclusively on online donations from our community (aka YOU!) We want to be here to support you all through this pandemic and beyond, which is why we are asking you to consider donating whatever you are able. A single (or monthly) donation of just $5 will make a difference and will help keep our nonprofit running so we can continue supporting you and others.
Select Payment Method
Personal Info

Credit Card Info
This is a secure SSL encrypted payment.

Donation Total: $5 One Time

The worst day of my life was a Sunday morning. It was the Sunday morning I tried to admit myself to the psychiatric ward of Maudsley Hospital in London. In the end, I wasn’t admitted but I spoke to a psychiatric nurse for two hours about what I was experiencing. I remember I asked the nurse how I could ever be “right” again. How could I ever move on from the discomfort after the traumatic, distressing, intrusive thoughts I was having felt like they had permanently damaged me?


She told me I would look back on it all as just a bad time. Those words stuck with me because they were a glimmer of hope; a point in the future to look forward to even though at the time it seemed so unlikely to me.

So here I am a year later looking back on that time. And yes, it was bad.

I’ve been traveling the last few weeks and as I write I am sitting in an apartment in Paris. About a week ago I was in London. I had been nervous about revisiting that time, of entering into it again, but I thought that I’d have the strength to face it. There was a certain poetic closure for me in returning to this place of shadows.

It was tough. My brain has not easily forgotten the trauma of a year ago and many of the sights and sounds threw me back into those awful moments. But this time they were more like vapours. I could feel them as I walked through the different places but they couldn’t grab hold as they did then.

Are you enjoying this article? We are a nonprofit and rely on donations to run our magazine and community. If you are enjoying this article, would you consider making a $2 donation?

Give $2 towards this Article


Custom Amount

Select Payment Method
Personal Info

Credit Card Info
This is a secure SSL encrypted payment.

Donation Total: $2 One Time

Something about London causes me anxiety. Whether the crowds of people or perhaps just the culture shock of a place familiar yet “just not.” I don’t get that anxiety in Paris and perhaps that is because it is just so different to my usual experience.

I am certain of one thing though, returning to London was important.

I don’t think I fully know why yet but it is interesting to note that a year ago I didn’t think I had any future at all.

So to return to a place where I felt completely broken, this time a bit more whole, and stand in those spots where I stood before in fear, this time with a little more peace, was a testament to the resilience of the human spirit.

It was a testament to hope.

Stepping out of my comfort zone meant stepping into a place where I could fall again, but it also meant stepping into a place where I could grow.

It hasn’t been easy, but that’s okay. Expecting it to be easy undermines the pain and distress which was my reality then.

An important lesson over the last few weeks of traveling has been wherever I go, I come with. I can never hide from myself, and so sooner or later I have to face those things I am afraid to face.

Perhaps all anxiety stems from this. A fear of something. Something we don’t want to face and so we avoid it. Yes, this is what anxiety is on a symptomatic level, but I am talking more about an emotional level. I feel we tend to shelve things from the past, we put them in a box and lock them away hoping we’ll never have to bother with them again. But they always come back, and I believe that is what anxiety is. Our suppressed emotions trying to fight their way out.

Dealing with these emotions is easier said than done and this is why therapy is so important.

A good therapist will help us traverse these painful pathways in safety.

I think in recovery we can make the mistake of settling; of thinking I am better than I was and so I don’t have to worry anymore. But we need to acknowledge truthfully where we are and this can be difficult. When we do this, we have to encounter ourselves and our pain but I believe this is the first step to freedom.

Tweet this post:

Support our nonprofit by shopping from our NEW Giving Shop!

Click Here to visit the shop!

Sebastian is learning life by living it. Born in Zimbabwe, High Schooled in Zambia, and living in Cape Town, he isn’t really sure what to say when people ask, “Where are you from?” Seb went to Film School in Cape Town and has worked as a video editor for the last four years. He has battled with anxiety his whole life and has been through two severe episodes, experiencing intrusive thoughts and depression. He is on the road of recovery and has found that peace and a life free of fear is possible.


Become a patron!

Become a Monthly Patron

$ 5

You have chosen to donate $5 monthly.

Select Payment Method
Personal Info

Credit Card Info
This is a secure SSL encrypted payment.

Donation Total: $5 Monthly

Support our work through our NEW Giving Shop!

libero mental health nonprofit giving shop preview

Do you blog about mental health?

Follow us on Instagram!

Instagram has returned empty data. Please authorize your Instagram account in the plugin settings .
Micaela: Free from Shame | Libero Magazine 1 Send us your story! [click here] or post your “Free from___” photo on Instagram and tag us: @liberomagazine!


The opinions and information shared in this article or any other Content on our site may not represent that of Libero Network Society. We hold no liability for any harm that may incur from reading content on our site. Please always consult your own medical professionals before making any changes to your medication, activities, or recovery process. Libero does not provide emergency support. If you are in crisis, please call 1-800-784-2433 or another helpline or 911.