You may remember the lovely Anna Lipska from the #EmergingProud film…well Anna is certainly Emerging and we are so proud of her!
Once house- bound for a year due to the shame and stigma of being given a Psychiatric diagnosis, Anna has now published a book about her spiritual emergence journey, which took her in, and thankfully back out of, the world of mental health…
Hi, my name is Anna Lipska and my story is one of a million others.
In 2012 I got diagnosed with bipolar disorder with psychotic features, told I would never recover, and had to take psychiatric drugs for the rest of my life.
I was treated according to the biomedical model with pharmacotherapy. Mood stabilizers, antidepressants and finally antipsychotics had a disastrous effect on my health both mental and physical, but what in my case proved to have been most harmful was the label, which took away from me hope to live a life that had a meaning.
My life has changed in many ways and now I don’t feel like an alien on Earth as I describe it in the book. I know human life on Earth involves experiencing both beauty and sometimes immense suffering and there is no running from that. I know that I am not as special as I used to think – neither in the amount of my suffering nor in what I perceived as weirdness. I have found out that the diagnosis I heard when I was in my early 20s was both inaccurate and simplistic. Most of all it didnt explain anything – about me, other diagnosed individuals, or the nature of life.
I looked for alternative ways of understanding my experience and I have found it. I have found incredibly wise and strong people whom I am honored to call my friends and my tribe. They are giving me the reason to go on and with whom I share stength and hope when I have it. I shifted from the mentality of a patient convinced of having no impact on my life due to ”a chemical imbalance in the brain”, to an awareness that years of my depression, mania and psychosis were attempts to integrate experiences that were extremely hard to integrate and that I was constantly breaking down to finally break through.
My life is far from perfect, don’t get me wrong. Sometimes it’s simply a massive pain in the ass. But it is not a result of my ‘mental illness’. It’s because life is simply bloody hard. And now I don’t have an escape which my ‘insanity’ granted me.
But I am grateful.
I had the chance to get a degree in Clinical Psychology, recover (in terms of having no drastic episodes, being free of psychotropic drugs for over 4 years, being able to work full time and be a useful member of society), write this book, start a postgraduate training in Integral Psychotherapy and tell my story – something so many people are not given a chance to do. Not because their history is less interesting but because of difficult internal and external circumstances.
My story is one of million others and it is in no way unique.
”The Heavy Volume of Aliens” is a guide book about how all of that was possible in my life despite my morbid prognosis. I started writing it when I had some insight and at the same time a lot of my issues were still unresolved. It has its limitations and reading it now, I feel like I’d like to change a fair amount of it. Maybe it’s not the best recomendation, but I did not write this book having in mind it should become a best – seller, nor do I suffer from a delusion that I have it all figured out and I have discovered an ultimate cure for the so called Bipolar disorder or Schizophrenia. I am just sharing my experience. I started writing it when I was in a deep despair and I was looking for books which would guide me through the maze of my inner chaos. I didn’t find it and decided that meant I needed to write my own book.
The process of writing it helped me a great deal in integrating myself and so I thought maybe it could help someone too.
Although I come from Poland the book is written in English because from my observations the Peer Support movement is getting very strong in UK and US while in Poland it’s practically nonexistant. In the near future I will work on translating it to my original language to facilitate the change in mainstream mindset of Psychiatry in my country.
I hope some of you read it and find it helpful. And if you don’t, I’ll be grateful if you share your insights with me. I’m sure it will help me grow.
Thank you for your interest in my book and for your support. Coming out of my closet and showing more of who I really am, was, and still is, terrifying. But the alternative would be far worse…
As Maya Angelou brilliantly put it:
”There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you”.
Well, now the story is told. This chapter ends here. And I can move on.
THANK YOU ❤
Thank YOU Anna, with love from the #Emerging Proud community and all who we are sure will find your book an inspiration.
We’ll be interviewing Anna about her journey, the contents of her book AND the Polish Spiritual Emergence Network in a few weeks, but in the mean time, you can get hold of your copy of Anna’s book here: