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Fighting the mental illness…

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I am writing this post even though it is really personal as it comes from a personal experience. We live in a world where mental illness is spreading through the lives of many people around the world. It affects both the person with illness and all the family and friends that care about them. Despite tremendous advance in science of psychotherapy and psychology there are still many people suffering and there is still many unknown factors about causes of mental illness. Our brain is a fascinating organ and despite efforts of many scientists from different fields still it is the most mysterious organ in our body. Public awareness is slowly growing about the need to support and understand people who suffer of mental illness and unfortunately in many countries there is still a lot of stigma and misunderstanding of the illness. I have personally experienced good and bad reactions from my surroundings, but luckily I had more support then judgement. I also had different experience in different hospitals I have “visited” as a patient. My last experience was the most positive one and I think it is mostly due to a fact that I searched for help willingly and that I was lucky to be in one the best hospitals in this field in my country. The combination of talking with my psychiatrist, listening through group therapy other people’s experience and feeling connected sometimes to certain parts of their story, sharing my experience and my fears and doubts with them, just spending time with other patients talking or watching a movie, laughing, regular visits and phone calls from my friends and family, all helped me on my way to recovery. Also I believe medications helped me in a way to calm my negative pattern and to start thinking more about now and the future. I have gained lifelong friendships during my three months stay because it was a first time I really opened up in the hospital and I consciously decided to make the best of the opportunity for recovery that I was given. I have met there some wonderful sensitive people with tough stories behind them but with a strong will to hold on and to recover. After meeting there many people who keep coming back to hospital with same problems that are bothering them outside of the hospital, I realized that most of my problems I made myself by not observing myself, my thoughts , my feelings, my intuition. I was already deep in the crisis when I realized I need to ask for professional help. Now that I am out of the hospital since November, I am taking every day as it comes. I have surrounded myself with positive and encouraging people, I keep in touch with my close friends even if some of them are far away, I am in regular contact with my family.

I am grateful to everything that i have learned from my experience and for all the wonderful people that are part of my life.

When I think about the system we have in place for treatment of mental illness I like to envision a world where these types of illness will be seen through a different light and we will have hospital which will focus on reconnecting people back with nature, focusing on creative workshops, with lots of dancing, singing, just celebrating life. And the world in which we will not be afraid to teach our children about mental health and we will remove the stigma and the feel of shame that comes with mental illness.

To all of those who have suffered and are still suffering from some type of mental illness I would like to say be brave, be strong, be kind to yourself and open your heart so you can receive help, because there is always a hand eager to pull you out of the darkness and show you the light. No matter how hard it may seem and no matter how many dark thoughts you have to endure, don’t give up, because life is worth living even when the going gets tough. You will be rewarded for your persistence, for your courage, for your heart and for your trust.

For all of you who know someone who is suffering from mental illness, I would like to say stay strong, look after yourself, together with other friends and family make a support network for the person who is suffering and when you are really confused and hurt, understand that you to have felt down in your life and you needed helping hand. Maybe you managed not to go as deep in the darkness as your friend, but accept that we are all different and that our paths are different but we share a lot of crossings and many times we share parts of the path.

And finally as final message I would share a speech from one of my favorite comedians and heroes Bill Hicks:  “Life is just a ride…”

This post is dedicated to M.

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From Rijeka to Grenoble in 26 hours

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I decided to move to France, after visiting country and my friends for several times during past year and a half. Evelyn and I took another long trip to get to Grenoble from Rijeka, where we visited my sister :)

2014-02-15 11.57.342014-02-15 11.57.47So here is how the trip went.

We were gonna start by taking a train to Slovenia and then hitchhiking to Italy, but train was not going due to some issues with the lines, instead they had a bus taking us to our destination in Slovenia. We were lucky that they let Evelyn on as usually they wouldn’t allow dogs on board.
At that point I felt that the trip will go smoothly as it started so well :)

2014-02-15 15.01.21We met three interesting girls from France on the bus who fully enjoyed two days they spent in Rijeka and after an engaging conversation we went out in Postojna, where we walked to the hitchhiking spot I knew from on of my previous trips.

It took only ten minutes before a car picked us up, mum and her daughter who were taking a plane in few hours to go for a weekend in Paris, that’s what I would call synchronicity :)

2014-02-15 15.43.11They were kind and dropped us directly to the Slovenian-Italian border where we got another ride in a short time. This time we only went few kilometers to Trieste where I planned to board the train.

2014-02-15 16.33.022014-02-15 16.44.18We had a short break for food and beer :)

As I traveled this route before and I was very familiar with Italy’s train connections I decided to by a ticket for a train to Venice, but only to a place called Portogruaro to save some money. In my experience they check tickets after few stations and they wouldn’t ask again so we could safely stay on board until we get to Venice.

2014-02-15 16.58.342014-02-15 19.29.14Everything went smoothly and we came to Venice in early evening just in time to see a city full of people in carnival mode, we were traveling on a Valentine’s day :)2014-02-15 19.31.41

 

 

 

 

2014-02-15 22.42.51There we got another train, this time to Milano and I bought a ticket to Verona. I was hoping to maybe meet a friend in Verona, but as she didn’t answer I stayed on board and we arrived in Milano around 10pm.

2014-02-15 22.54.23I was really hungry at this time, so I searched for a place to eat and as there was no other options I went to McDonalds, which I usually would never do. After eating my first Big Mac meal in years, I was again surprised how they manage to taste exactly the same no matter where you by them :P

2014-02-15 23.30.58After a meal, we went back to Milano train station and bought a ticket for a train tomorrow morning to Torino. When you have a train ticket you are aloud to stay and sleep on a train station, so we went to the same spot we used on one of previous trips with a friend. I had a sleeping bag and after feeding Evelyn I lie down to read a book before falling asleep.

2014-02-16 06.40.042014-02-16 06.41.40We got up at 5am to catch a first train at 5:18, this time my ticket said we are going to Vercelli :) but the conductor came after this town so we had to leave the train in a place called Santhia. Never mind as we used this time to go for an early morning walk before taking a next train to Torino, but this time I bought a ticket to our final destination in Italy, Bardonecchia, a ski resort on Italian side of the Frejus tunnel.

2014-02-16 07.26.062014-02-16 10.54.51In Torino we took another short break as we waited for a regional train to our last Italian stop. As we were approaching it, it snowed and we had a beautiful view of the mountains around. When we got to Bardonecchia I quickly went to check if there is a TGV train passing on the way to Paris. And it was in 8 minutes :) I have used this train to cross in France through the Frejus tunnel, several times before and I never had to by a ticket. We boarded and next stop was Modane, but I decided to try my luck again and stay on till Chambery where I would catch a direct train to Grenoble.

2014-02-16 12.59.102014-02-16 13.11.32Again we were lucky and we got ourselves a free ride to Chambery as no one came to ask for a ticket. In a happy mode we waited our last train, for which I bought a full ticket :) I think Evelyn remembered that we were before in Chambery and that we slept on this train station when we went on our big trip around Europe in the beginning of 2013.2014-02-16 13.11.53

2014-02-16 13.47.462014-02-16 13.19.45It was 2pm when we arrived to Grenoble, no one checked our ticket and because I didn’t validate it I will be able to get some money back when I return it as unused ticket.

 

2014-02-16 14.06.58I was very happy to be in this city surrounded by beautiful, majestic mountains and a place where I have some really good friends.

2014-02-16 14.47.052014-02-16 14.50.57We took a tram and a bus to get to a house where my friend lives now, and surprisingly we found it without a problem. As we were approaching the house, my friend’s dog Aya noticed us and started wagging her tail excitingly and Evelyn responded in a same way. We were surprisingly quick in our arrival to my friend and I was happy after an enjoyable and easy going trip.

2014-02-16 16.12.13Nearby there is a big park so we went for a long walk that Aya and Evelyn fully enjoyed playing with each other.

That was a good start to our new adventure in France.

As I write this I am taking a break in my French lesson, expect me to start ecrit en francais a bientot :)

Greets from two of us to all our followers and virtual friends :)

Walking in the dark…

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Two of us share a room, we even sometimes share a bed, like just now.

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She is my best companion, always excited to see me; sometimes a bit too much :) but she taught me to calm down when I am nervous, to cheer up when I am depressed, to calm down when I am overly excited, to look one moment at a time and not to dwell on past but look forward to the future and all the little NOW’s that are coming… she is Evelyn, my one and a half year old dog and as a cliche says best friend…

IMGP3848We share walks as well and one of my favorite are in the night as I look at the stars and the moon, while she sniffs the ground and runs around…

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A Cure That Doesn’t Kill

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O'Muppet:

I know I haven’t posted anything in a long time, but I break the peace with this excellent post by a fellow blogger. She speaks the truth from the heart :) <3 <3 <3

Originally posted on Live simply, travel lightly, love passionately & don't forget to breathe:

door

Worried about gun control? Yes, of course, let’s demolish the Second Amendment and instead let the “Doctor”, hand us death, faster than any bullet…

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From GRAZ to ZAGREB and HOUSE of HOPE…DAY 34

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Back to the stories about our adventure from the beginning of this year.

Link to TIMELINE of our 62 days long journey :)

03.02.2013. GRAZ – MARIBOR – ZAGREB : DAY 34

Our short stay in Graz was lovely in a great company of our host.

Digital StillCameraAfter a quick breakfast she walked with us to the bus station where we  took a bus to the hitchhiking spot. We took a goodbye photo before leaving :)

Digital StillCameraOn the way to the bus I have seen a Bosnian food place with the name of my birth city :) Sarajevo was still a place to visit on our route and this reminded me how excited I am about it. I haven’t seen it for 9 years and I was looking forward to meet some family and friends.

Digital StillCameraHitchhiking spot was bad or we were just unlucky, so after more then two hours, I decided to go back to main train station center and hope on S-Bahn that would take me nearby Slovenian border where hopefully we will have more luck getting a ride.

Digital StillCameraWhile we were waiting Evelyn got a nice treat and she fully enjoyed it

Digital StillCameraWhen we got there, there wasn’t much traffic so we went on a another train for a short ride to Maribor. I had to ask a conducter to let us travel for free as I didn’t had enough money for ticket and I had to save some for food too.

Digital StillCameraShe wasn’t too happy, but she let us go to Maribor.

At this stage I was already getting very stressed about not making it on time to Zagreb and I am sure that this unnecessary stress affected our luck with hitching a ride that day.

This whole trip couldn’t be really planned in any details as I only had a route in mind but without any arragments in advance of how we will travel and where we will stay. And it was working great for us as I wasn’t stressing at all about when I will arrive to the next city, up until this day when I put a pressure on myself trying to get asap to Zagreb.

At the end I relaxed after exchanging few messages with my friend Danijel who was waiting for me.

Digital StillCamera Digital StillCameraAnother try to hitchike was not successful so eventuallyI got a ticket for a local train to Zidani most, where we got Intercity train to Zagreb. Another talk to the conducter and a little longer chat with Slovenian border police who were not happy that I stayed few days longer in EU over the limit of 3 months for tourists. But at then end they decided not to fine me. I didn’t even realized I broke some rule until they mentioned it.

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So finally after all day on the road we were in Zagreb and I was very happy to meet my dear friend Danijel at his workplace in “Dom nade” ( House of Hope) where I shared stories from the trip so far and got all the news about the project of DAILY CARE CENTER for homeless in Zagreb.

More about that project you can read on a blog of our non-profit association.

Please  have a look at the link  DOM NADE

For my DAD

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Dear Dad,

Your body is not anymore in this sometimes wonderful,sometimes crazy world, but your presence I still feel in my life.

I know you come to me through other people, through stories that I wish to share with you, through all the love that I receive daily.

I can feel you through emotions I experience.

I know your soul feels my smiles, my sorrows and it is there to lift me up when the stuff feels to heavy and its there to share the joy when the light is bright and the wings of life are fluffy and floating…

Thank you DAD for all that I have received from you ♥ ♥ ♥

Hope you are floating easily in the stars, like a Little prince :)

Love,

your son

I would like to say THANK YOU…

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liberte

I have been thinking about writing a special THANK you page for a long time and this post is an intro to that page.

When I started writing this blog  I was still living in Dublin,Ireland and I didn’t foresee that the road will take me to so many different places around Europe since then. The places can be special on their own but what makes them amazing are the people you meet there. And not just people, but animals too :) like my dear Evelyn <3

In 7 years of living in Ireland, that land and its people became a place which my heart and soul can call HOME.  But at the time when this blog came to life I was feeling a great need for a change and I started by quiting my job in a very good Dublin pub then I moved shortly to Galway, thinking maybe to stay there over the summer. That never happened as certain events and the people that I met triggered my move out of Ireland and I have started traveling around Europe, starting with Grenoble in France. There I was with someone who deserves very,very BIG THANK YOU for everything that our friendship has given to me. She is also a fellow blogger, so here I invite you to have a look at her blog.

She is one of many people that I am grateful for being part of my life. It doesn’t matter how long you know someone, but the quality of relationship with that person. We all have people in our lives that we don’t have to see very often but when we share time it is mutually enjoyed and we feel blessed for the connection.

It is important not to forget some connections that have might been lost as they have influenced our life at the time they were actual.

olivesSince that initial move, I have been living a life mostly following my intuition which meant I was probably confusing friends with changes of my plans. In my mind I was keeping the doors opened to many possible paths and I know that sometimes I made mistakes and took the wrong turns. I felt I needed to explore,make mistakes, learn and deal with all the guilt that sometimes comes with all the changes that you are experiencing. It takes time to accept yourself and not to feel guilty if some of your friends and family don’t understand your changes and what your path is about. Even I sometimes don’t understand it and that is why I am exploring and looking for the one that is closest to my heart and soul purpose.

Some connections have been broken in the proccess, some have changed, many new have been born.

There are many wonderful people that I wish to express my gratitude for being a part of my life.  That is why I am starting with a THANK YOU PAGE

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Thanks to all the followers, friends and secret admirers :P

Love from Muppetofaman

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