My Story with Mental Health // Rorie

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Dear readers,

may I represent you a friend I've met through the internet, we live on each side of the globe and still haven't met in real life, but that doesn't hold us back from connecting and sharing dreams.
Today she courageously shares her story. It's an honour to have her on A Wildflowers Home and I can't wait for you to read her heart.

Remember to show her some love in the comments below. I'll let you read on..

 

So first off, let’s get the basics down; what do you want me/us to call you?

“Rorie” (artist name, nickname) 😊

 

What decade were you born in & what do you love most about that decade?

I was born in the early 1990s. I love that I got the chance to have a social-media-free childhood. I spent hours in my room writing stories, listening to music, playing my instruments, dancing to cassette tapes and CDs (ha). Now that I’m an adult, I love using social media and feel that it’s such an amazing way to be creative and connect with people all over the world! I think it’s cool to have had a taste of both (even though there would have been benefits to having access a little earlier too).

 

Where/what do you call home?

Anywhere that family is. Sometimes this includes a few different places, but they all feel like home because it’s the people that matter most.

 

What are the things you do now, that you're the most passionate about?

I love to tell stories through music.

 

What was the last quote that really spoke to you?

“and when I sleep, let me dream all the time so that not one little piece of living is ever lost.” – Francie Nolan, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn // I recently read this book for the first time, and I really identified with the main character (especially because I have crazy dreams both while sleeping and awake). I was so surprised that I hadn’t read it before!

 

If you could change one thing in the world to make it a better place - what would it be and why?

There are so many things that would be great to change, but as someone who has worked in the anti-human trafficking realm in the past, I definitely want to see that completely eradicated. Modern-day slavery, sex-trafficking, and any time that a person is taken-advantage of is completely unacceptable.

 

What's your favourite season and why?

I am a typical fall girl. My favorite part of the season is actually the second half (Halloween-Christmas). This is usually when fall allergies start to go away, and everything is so nostalgic with deep shadows, crisp air, and so much beauty. I coined this time of year “deep autumn” both because it’s further into the season, and because it’s a great time to think deeply.

 

What's the last photo you took on your phone?

My handsome and adventurous husband Steven by the Potomac River.

 

What does your name mean?

This seems like a good place to tell the story of my stage name! Erin Rea Ochocki (my real name) is kind of hard to pronounce and look at – so I was trying to come up with an alias that would really fit the sound of my music. Growing up, friends and strangers alike used to tease me (or approach me out of nowhere) and say that I looked like Rory Gilmore from Gilmore Girls. This became a joke that prevailed to the point that groups of people called me Rory for fun. Not wanting to associate myself too closely with the TV character, I changed the spelling to “Rorie” – which ended up being a combo of the letters in my full name, and also a representation of the sound of my music!

 

So, we’ve gotten to know you a little more, now let’s take a dig deeper. How are you feeling right now? (let’s skip “I’m fine”)

I like the idea to skip “I’m fine.” 😊 I’m usually feeling multiple ways at once (guessing I’m not alone in this). Right now, I am hopeful because the season is changing – both literally and metaphorically. After a kind of rough season health-wise during this past fall and winter, I’ve been discovering new ways to be well and to embrace what I love to do. There is also some stress that goes into dealing with chronic health issues, so I have been navigating that and taking care of myself not only physically, but also mentally.

 

What's your "story” with mental health? 

During my late teenage years (about 7 years ago), I dealt with a lot of chronic asthma, headaches, and other related issues, which contributed to what became a season of depression. It’s not unusual for physical health problems to affect your mind, especially when you’re first dealing with them. I noticed that my emotions felt very out of control, which seemed strange to me because I was someone who always wanted to work hard and excel. There were days when I had trouble getting out of bed or looking at situations rationally. Sometimes I would leave class or wherever I was to try and get a moment alone and calm down. My “achiever” personality had created a lot of pressure within my mind to excel at everything, when in reality I needed to give myself some room to rest. I had also moved pretty far away from my family to go to school, and I didn’t realize how much the transition had affected me.

 

How was your process of finding out that you struggle? When and What made you realize that this was more than just a bad day?

I was blessed to have loving family and friends in my life who listened to me and made me feel understood. This was huge because I could approach the situation from a hopeful angle rather than one of complete despair. I knew that there were people around who I could talk to (and some who could even relate), and that they would help me find the right outlet to get help. It made me feel like these problems weren’t the end of the world, and that I would be able to feel free from them again. I know that it doesn’t always feel like there are people around who understand what you’re going through, but I am sharing this because I think it’s a real testimony to why opening up is important and can help so, so much. You never know who will in turn reach out to you when they are going through a difficult season, and your story can be an encouragement to them.

 

What was one of your biggest "relief" moments in your mental health journey?

In addition to some of the above (and without going into TMI), I discovered that my doctor could help me through the process. It made me realize that what I was dealing with wasn’t strange or abnormal, but that there were things I could do to feel better. Being able to find help in that way made the rest of the healing process more effective, and I could put less pressure on myself to “fix” things.

 

Has your life changed because of your mental health?
..if you don't struggle anymore: something you're aware of or do so you won't "struggle" again?

This is a really interesting thought, because something I used to say a lot was “what if this happens to me again!?” I think it’s important to realize how much strength you gain from moving through trials. As a Christian, I honestly can’t answer this question without saying that it is my faith that reminds me that I cannot worry about whether or not I’m going to struggle, because in reality it is through God’s grace that I’ll be able to find the strength to move through anything. There is always, always reason to hope. A few verses that were particularly important to me during this time are: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 1 Corinthians 12:9, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.’” 2 Corinthians 4:7-9 and “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6

From a medical standpoint, I still sometimes struggle with the physical/chronic illness that I did before. I am now really aware of what medicine I’m taking, and what kind of food I’m eating (balance is key). There are always going to be good days and bad days, so I find it important to remember that the low moments don’t last forever, and that they aren’t the end of the story. My song “Fall and Rise” talks about this in a general sense: “We rise and fall, we fall and rise.”

 

What things/experiences/memories etc do you feel like your missing out on or have lost because of your mental health?

I am super grateful for my life experiences, and don’t feel that I’ve missed out on anything in particular. I found this awesome (and yet very simple) quote on Pinterest that inspired me to keep being present when I just wanted to hide: “Show up, shine, let it go.” In the day to day, I’m often reminded that overthinking or doubting (something that I have a natural tendency to do) can really hold me back. So that is often something that I keep in mind!

 

What are some of the things you've gained from struggling mentally that you're thankful for?

My love for songwriting was initially a direct reaction to feeling things very deeply. I have been able to move through some of my lowest emotions by writing a song.

On the same note, I don’t choose to dwell in depression so that I can be a good writer. Honestly, a lot of my songs are about deciding to find hope and to believe truth over lies. Without the experiences that I’ve had, I wouldn’t have had that story to tell. And even on the good days, I still tend to feel things very deeply, so there’s always plenty to write about. 😊

I have also been able to have great conversations with friends, both new and old, about dealing with these issues in a healthy way. I remember having a Skype conversation with a childhood friend that I hadn’t really talked to in years. We realized that we had been dealing with very similar things, and ever since then we have reconnected and shared a lot of life together!

 

What tools, advice or help have you used to deal with and help your mental health? Anything you wish you knew sooner?

You don’t have to feel like crying makes you weak. Sometimes a good cry is exactly what I need to literally conquer the day. My mind is cleared and I’m suddenly way more rational than I was before. Sometimes: emotion means movement!

Also, something that my dad told me still rings true to this day: if you’re feeling really down, or crazy, or mixed up and it’s late at night…say a prayer and go to sleep. There is a huge chance that you will feel a lot better in the morning, and even if you don’t, you can find someone to talk to in the daylight and with a rested mind.

 

Something or someone you couldn't have done without in relation to your mental health and/or illness?

It sounds cliché, but family and friends! There are too many to call out individually, but we can all play such an important part in helping one another through the most difficult parts of life just by being present. Sometimes all you need is a completely unrelated hangout with a best friend, and/or a really good laugh.

 

What do you wish the world knew, did or didn't do or say?

That those who feel deeply are the weaker link. Being a quiet/thought-full (literally), and caring person can actually be your superpower! So often I think we’re led to believe that whoever is the loudest – or most entertaining - wins. Whether or not that is true, I hope that we can look at that through a different lens.

 

What would you say to someone who struggles with the same as you?

That there is always, always hope. It’s OK to see medical professionals, talk to someone, take a day off, challenge yourself, and to do what you need to do feel confident and restored. It’s when you are filled up that you are able to give the most to others. We’re all going through something, and you never know when you being you will help someone else feel less alone.

Also, in industries like the music industry, it can be really easy to get caught in a downward spiral of comparison. Constantly comparing yourself to others can prevent you from giving the beauty that you and only you can give to the world. Opening up to friends, cheering them on, and remembering that we are all a part of the same, larger story can give you confidence to shine so that others feel free to shine. I saw a good quote on the “A Wildflower’s Home” site: “A flower doesn’t think of competing to the flower next to it, it just blooms!”;)

 

What would you say to anyone who wanna help a friend who struggles with the same as you?

There is definitely a time and place for giving advice (and listening, and venting), but what a friend usually needs is someone who just wants to be present, whether it be making good food and watching a movie (especially when you just need to rest and not go out!), going on an adventure (hiking, day-trips to nearby towns, or exploring something new in your city are good ideas), working on a creative project together (my personal favorite), or laughing til it hurts.

 

Thank you for sharing! Before we wrap up, any last word of wisdom you wanna share?

I think it’s important to share our stories, because we not only realize that everyone has struggles, but that together they can be overcome. Also, thanks for the interview!

 

If people wanna reach out to you, follow you and/or know more about you where can they find you?

Rorie's Website
Rorie's Spotify
Rorie's Instagram
Rorie's
YouTube

 

If you wanna spread Rorie's story you can use these posters to pin it to Pinterest.

A Wildflower's Home // My Story with Mental Health // Erin Rea Ochocki aka Rorie Music
A Wildflower's Home // My Story with Mental Health // Erin Rea Ochocki aka Rorie Music
A Wildflower's Home // My Story with Mental Health // Erin Rea Ochocki aka Rorie Music
A Wildflowers Home // My Story with Mental Health // Rorie Music aka Erin Rea

 

That is all, I hope you enjoyed reading along as much as I did.

If you want to share your story here on A Wildflowers Home, you can read more about it here and/or shot me an mail. I'd love to hear from you!

 

// Line Xx

 

 

PS:
all the beautiful photos of Rorie are from her website. So I'm not the photographer behind it.

 

A little chat about looking through old photos and old memories

A Wildflowers Home // Journal // looking through old photos // Mariager 2012 // Line Thybo Møller

A small city called Mariager, in the northern parts of Jutland, Denmark around the year 2012.
That's when the photo is taken. I'm listening to nature.

I recently found an old hard drive with pretty much all of my old photos on. Most of them I thought was long gone. But there they were, so I took a look.. and sighed a little. I'm gonna have a lot of sorting to do. Thousands of photos from years and years, many unsorted, yay. But my heart also skipped a bit, because in there I knew, was a lot of hidden gems, I thought was lost and some I even forgot I had. Photos from my first photoshoots as a kid and afternoon walks in the woods with only the camera and I. There were photos I cringed at others I smiled at, some made me feel a sense of nostalgia and other times I'm just glad that time of my life is over. Others even made me grieve, grieve a little over the life I once had. Some made me proud of the person I am today. And even was then.

 This is defiantly one of my wilder looks. We were having a theme-party and I was dancing in my dorm room. I'm 16, whimsy and colourful!

This is defiantly one of my wilder looks. We were having a theme-party and I was dancing in my dorm room. I'm 16, whimsy and colourful!

It’s a bizarre thing going through old photos of my past self. It's like looking through a window into a past memory. Back at a time. Remembering how I dressed, who were my friends, which guys I fancied, how I was feeling and what was important to me at the time.

I've avoided looking back for a good while because it would put me in a weird mood and sometimes make me a little sad at what was lost or over, but looking through them now was actually kinda nice. A little emotional, but I guess nothing else could be expected. I actually smiled a whole lot, laughed a little and felt a little warmer around my heart. 

 I was 16 years young. 2011.

I was 16 years young. 2011.

It's weird how many memories and emotions a photo can bring up. But it's like they say: "a picture holds a thousand words" I think I'm gonna go ahead and add a couple of emotions too. 

Looking through the photos - especially from my teen years filled me with a mix of joy and sadness for what I knew was coming and what I was going through. My teen years were pretty hard on me, so I knew what was coming wasn't only chocolate and butterflies. But I also know that I was a strong girl. And eventually, I would and will come out stronger.

 Shorter hair. More colourful clothes. And way to people pleasing..

Shorter hair. More colourful clothes. And way to people pleasing..

If we take all the deep and emotional stuff aside, I also noticed to other things. 

One; I was a lot skinnier. I was almost a little underweight at one time. And I'm absolutely not anymore. And I'm actually okay with it.
I remember being 12-13-ish, crying, in the fitting room because I thought my butt looked too big in those cute jeans I so badly wanted. Looking back, I know something was disturbingly wrong with how I viewed myself, I was not as big or fat as I thought. And even if I was, I was still valuable and beautiful. I've also had to listen to family members telling me I've gained weight, but you know what? And telling me ways I could lose it again. But you know what? I have learned a lot about accepting my body. And loving it right now, in the state that it is now. No matter the amount of fat on it. In the beginning, it was quite frightening looking at the skinny girl I once was, but now I'm totally okay with it, because I'm okay with my body now too. Yay, for progress!

A Wildflowers Home // Journal // Blog // looking through old photos and old memories // Line Thybo Møller // Mariager Skoven // Alterna // Efterskole

Second; even though I was a shy girl, who did not like attention at all. And was never cool enough for the "cool kids", I still was always strong enough to be myself. (You go, girl!) I moved to a new city and school at 13, I came from a very small school with around 50 students to a school with over 200 students, straight into an environment with heavy pressures on wearing the right brands. I barely knew brands existed. That's how "innocent" I was. I even laughed when I saw a girl and a boy, in my class, wearing the same t-shirt, before "understanding" it was one of those "cool" brands. I remember it was a choice I had to make. Fall for the pressure.. or! just don't give in and be me. I chose the second. And it's one of those moments that I'm the proudest of in my whole life. And have shaped a lot of who I am today and how I look at myself. Daring to step out of my comfort zone and doing something no one else was doing, goes a lot deeper than what clothes I'm wearing or what brand I am or not wearing. Especially in those identity-building years.

There's a lot I probably wouldn't wear now, but I look at photos from back then and admire my bravery. Especially since I was not a big fan of attention - yet I dared to stand out. Being myself was more important than the fear of attention. My teenage self often inspire my now-self so! I don't wanna lose that bravery! I actually have to remind myself of what I fought for back then, and sometimes I even ask myself: what would the-teen me do?

 I moved to Norway by myself at 18, this is around a year after. I've grown a lot. More adult, but still a teen.

I moved to Norway by myself at 18, this is around a year after. I've grown a lot. More adult, but still a teen.

Anyways, I'd like to encourage you all to dare look at photos from your younger years. Whether it's dusty photo albums at your parent's loft or tagged facebook photos - it brings out some interesting memories, emotions, wonder and reflection. Enjoy!

Oh, and please do tell me about it! I'd love to know what gems you found or what you learned!

 

Until next time;
 don't let anyone steal your greatness!


// Line xX

thursday's 7 // things we need to stop glorifying

A Wildflowers Home // Journal // Blog // thursday's 7 // 7 things we need to stop glorifying // thinned, weightless, youth, body positivity, depression, anxiety, success, hollywood, getting drunk @bodyposipanda

I'm starting a little series called Thursday's 7. Every Thursday I'll share 7 things. To educate, entertain, help, wonder and love. I hope you'll enjoy it. If you've got some suggestion you'd like me to write about, leave them in the comments. Some will be short others will be a little longer like this. It'll be interesting to cover lots of subjects. Can't wait to begin!

I'll start the series with a rather heavy topic; 7 things we need to stop glorifying. 

  • youth - in the media, commercials, hollywood.. they all flood with young young people. I'm pretty sure over half the lotions we can buy nowadays advertise with being anti-wrinkle or anti-age. Why are we so afraid of getting old? Why do we take it as an insult if people think we look older than we are? Why do we take it as a compliment when people think we look younger than we are? Looking young or youthful isn't the only kind of beauty and it doesn't equal health nor success. We aren't outdated until we start acting like we are and letting it limit us. 
     
  • thinness and weight loss. (if you've struggled with ED; triggers may come, so if you're vulnerable in that area, proceed with caution or skip this part) Those times when I've lost weight enough for people to notice (compliment) it's usually because I had a period where I almost didn't eat. I remember one time, I was 17 and just started 1st year of gymnasium (the Danish school system is different from the US/UK, but it's a combo of high school and college) and I was crushing on this boy who mostly liked thin/"hot" girls. I never thought I'd measure up to his standards (turns out I didn't in the end, anyway, but that's another story), but a mix of wanting him to be attracted to me, falling in "love" and society's (stupid) beauty standards I managed to convince my mind and stomach that I didn't need to eat. I think I eat only around 25%-50% of what I normally eat and what probably should be healthy. Not. Healthy. At. All. I'm not gonna talk about how much I lost, but it was enough for people to start noticing - and complimenting me. I'm pretty sure the complimenters did it with their best intentions, but if you look at how and why I lost the weight (and I wasn't overweight btw) it wasn't healthy! And changing yourself for someone to like you. Then is it really you that they'll like? it's crazy that we live in a society and culture where not eating is considered culturally acceptable and not only that it's actually a great accomplishment. Not. Healthy. At. All. I've heard people losing a lot of weight during their chemo-treatment and receive compliments. I know people who live healthy normal lives and workout, but because they aren't thing enough for societies beauty standards they're considered "unhealthy".
    We weren't put on this earth to be attractive to everyone. As a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure that's pretty impossible. 
    Wuah, can you tell I'm passionate about this? I've already deleted half of it and started a new blog post with my body image story. (That'll be up shortly!) 
    If you're struggling yourself can I recommend Megan Jaybe Crabbe? She made a video with Grace called "why is everyone so obsessed with being thin?" She's @bodyposipanda on instagram and has a blog. She also wrote a book. You can get on Amazon right here. (affiliate link). In my August favourites, I also talk a little about another brilliant bopo-babe Allison.
     
  • depression + anxiety - it may be mostly in the teenage-culture and on Tumblr, but this needs to stop. Depression and anxiety are two very serious mental illnesses. Depression has killed people and anxiety have made people miserable for decades. It's not something to be glorified!
     
  • making Hollywood the only types of success - being in Hollywood and on every front paper does not equal success and it does not mean you're happy. Earning big money or singing to huge crowds isn't the only types of success. Celebrities, musicians, actors etc. aren't "perfect" human beings, so let's stop worshipping them just because *everyone* knows their name. There's nothing wrong with being famous, but the society we live in worships them and put them on sky-high pedestals. Which isn't fair to anyone. No one can live up to those "perfect" standards. Success looks different to each person. We can define our own success. Doing what you love surrounded by who you love is a pretty good definition of success for me.
     
  • getting wasted aka drunk -  I had a friend of mine who didn't drink any alcohol at all. His classmates didn't get it, neither respected it, so they tried to trick him into drinking by "jumping" on him from behind and putting a beer bottle into his mouth. That's not okay. If someone said they didn't want cake we wouldn't try to stuff their mouths with cake, would we?  Why is it so "glamorous" to drink yourself so drunk you barely have control over what you do? I've never really enjoyed alcohol and I've never been drunk. I've been stared at like I was crazy or being labelled as boring because I simply said "no thanks" when offered a beer. At a social event at my new school, we weren't allowed alcohol, one of my classmates argued he was a shy guy and couldn't open up and be social before he'd at least had a few beers. Really? So you're relying on alcohol to be social? For many people, fun & alcohol go hand in hand. I know people who can't have fun without alcohol. What a sad sad life. I've never been drunk and I've had plenty of fun. The best parties I've attended or hosted have been alcohol-free. And are the ones remembered! Bonus: no hangover.
    If this somehow made a reaction in you - good or bad, you want to learn more about it or you want a perspective from someone who actually enjoys alcohol I highly recommend listening to Lucy Moon chat about alcohol, her relationship with it, being an alcoholic and going totally sober. I'll link 2 videos here and here.
     
  • being busy - don't we all know that one person, who's always too busy. Or don't have time to meet up until the month after the next month *heavy eye roll*. I think this has so much to do with prioritizing. I don't get why people are busy. I understand there are seasons (i.g. having a newborn or preparing, preparing for a big exam etc.) where the resources and energy may not be on top, that's not what or when I'm talking about. Filling a schedule so full you don't have time to think or feel, just makes me wonder what you're running from? I wanna share I quote with you; "I don't say no because I'm busy, I say no because I don't want to be busy" (source). This is a quote I wanna live by. I also think this quote from Alice in Wonderland is brilliant: "the hurrier I go, the behinder I get". (source)
     
  •  numbers - whatever is in our bank account, the number of facebook "friends", the number on the weight scale or followers on social media. Numbers don't define us. No matter big or small. Someone isn't cooler or better just because they have 100 more friends on facebook or 10k more followers on instagram. Let's preach this to ourselves and our (future, at least for me though) kids!

 

I'd love to spark some conversation in the comments. What are your thoughts on this? Are there other things we as a society need to stop glorifying? Do you disagree with something I wrote? I'd love to hear your thoughts. Be kind, though!


That's all. Until next time..

// Line Thybo xx