mental illness

Things I've Learned During My Healing Month in August 2017

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I don't know if you’ve noticed, but I’ve been pretty low-key this month. I didn’t write any blog post. I missed my usual #FridayFreebies and #TarotTuesday last week. I also didn't post that many updates for COVEN. I'm so so so sorry! That's because August is my healing month. It's a time for me to recuperate, or at least to stabilize myself from the bipolar disorder.

In July, I spent the entire month traveling to two different places; Jakarta and Singapore. Trying to adjust with the vibe of each city while continuing my spiritual work took a toll on me, particularly on my mental health. I was starting to lose the grasp of stability. And sometimes, I admit that I pushed myself too hard to meet the demands of having a consistent online presence when I’m supposed to enjoy my holiday. I’m a workaholic and a perfectionist with bipolar disorder. I can’t be satisfied with mediocre work. But at the same time, keeping up with perfection is what exactly brings me down.

But August is an entirely different month than July. As usual, before I start each month, I will look at the ephemeris, and do a reading to know what to look out. What is the lesson that I need to learn by the end of the month? Has there been any sign that leads me to the lesson? This month, it came in the form of mildew that filled my entire bedroom, including the surface of every single item I own, such as clothes and cosmetics. Imagine coming home after a night flight and seeing the horror when all you want is to lie down and rest. I had a breakdown right then and there. I started taking antidepressant medication to cope with the stress of house cleaning; which I continue to take until now. Even as I’m writing this blog post, my mood is still unstable enough to get back to work as usual (or clean up the house thoroughly, for that matter).

Astrologically, August is meant to be a healing month for me. This month we are blessed with two eclipses, Lunar Eclipse in Aquarius on August 7th and Solar Eclipse in Leo on August 22nd. Unluckily for me, the first eclipse affects my sixth house (House of Health), while the second eclipse makes its mark on my twelfth house (House of Unconscious). Generally, when there’s an eclipse in the axis of your sixth or twelfth house, you will become more sensitive mentally and physically. There may be a major change relating to physical illness or spiritual healing that you need to focus on – which is exactly what’s happening to me.

The Lunar Eclipse in Aquarius sheds light on the darkest feature of my life and the breakthrough required to accept it, and eventually strip myself from the suffering. In the morning of the eclipse day, I went for a monthly psychiatric check up. The doctor told me that my mood swing had worsened, meaning that I had both hypomania and depression at the same time. The depression manifested in suicidal thoughts, while the hypomania messed with my sleeping pattern. She prescribed a new medication called Seroquel to reduce the hypomania. The medicine thankfully worked wonder. I was actually worried that I might have to adjust with new side effects because god knows what will happen to my brain next. 

Generally, when there’s an eclipse in the axis of your sixth or twelfth house, you will become more sensitive mentally and physically. There may be a major change relating to physical illness or spiritual healing that you need to focus on – which is exactly what’s happening to me.
My Bipolar Disorder Medication

My Bipolar Disorder Medication

But so far it’s been pretty manageable. I did have a few breakdowns a week ago to the point where I felt like a total failure for being unable to leave the bed/house or for not being able to post #TarotTuesday, which I’m really sorry about. The thing with keeping up with online presence while struggling with depression is that every single interaction drains your energy so much. I would rather disappear and then come back with an explanation rather than having to force myself to reply to every single comment on my Instagram photo. I couldn't. It would be another recipe for disaster to me. So I decided to spend the day in bed, not thinking much about my illness while receiving the healing Reiki energy from the Divine White Light Youtube channel. Up until now, I've been going through different reactions to the new medication, such as breakdown/depressive episode, irritability, feeling anti-social, but at least my mood has slowly gone better.

The thing with keeping up with online presence while struggling with depression is that every single interaction drains your energy so much.

I have also started to notice the triggers that will lead to an episode. The first one is the thought of losing stability. It doesn’t matter if I'm losing it or not. If my brain thinks so, it will feel so. It’s easier to crash when the thought is looming over my head, even though logically I know it’s not true. Some friends even asked me if that means I can’t deal with changes. I can. It’s just harder to deal with changes if you think you don’t have a safety net to catch you when you fall.

The second one is alcohol. Since the first day, I took mental health medication, I have never been fully drunk. I’ve been trying to limit my consumption because I don’t want it to interfere with my medication. However, a few weeks ago I was meeting some friends. And, since I was hypomanic I decided to let loose for once only to find myself suffering from a heavy hangover and major depressive episode for the next two days. I couldn’t function at all. All I wanted was to stay in bed, feel sorry for myself, and refuse to take care of myself. That’s when I decided that I will no longer do heavy drinking. Social drinking is fine, but I shouldn’t do it for more than one day in a week. Also because my doctor agrees with me.

12/08/17: My first day going out and enjoying some me time at the beach after suffering from depression for 2,5 weeks

12/08/17: My first day going out and enjoying some me time at the beach after suffering from depression for 2,5 weeks

If you’re also struggling with a lifelong mental illness like me, here are a few tips that I’ve learned during my two weeks depression phase. Please understand that stability is temporary. Depression, much like cancer, is a silent killer. They can strike anytime, often without any trigger. It is critical for you to continue to track your mood, so you know when it’s going to strike. Sometimes it follows a monthly cycle. Like for example, I’m more prone to depression during Pre-Menstrual Syndrome period. Or sometimes, there’s no cycle at all. Either way, always try to log your mood and certain triggers in the past that may prompt the episode.

You also need to know certain habits or symptoms that are likely to show up when you’re about to experience depression. For instance, I know when I’m about to have one if I can’t focus on the road when I’m driving. My mind seems to be blank. I’m not thinking about anything, but I’m not focused on what’s in front of me as well. These small, minor symptoms are often lead to more debilitating symptoms in the end. Do not underestimate it.

Another thing that I’d like to emphasize is for you to take things slow. It’s okay to take some time off from the real world to recuperate from your mental illness. Don’t force yourself too hard when you’re not ready. This is why I've only taken two in-person sessions within three weeks. I also haven't posted a lot of updates on my social media. I want to make sure I’m not self-sabotaging myself from my healing period. But it doesn’t mean that you should give up. Take your meds, do your therapy, do anything you need to do to get well. But take a proper rest when it’s time to rest. That said, do not binge watch Game of Thrones at 3 AM in the morning (personal experience lol).

It’s okay to take some time off from the real world to recuperate from your mental illness. Don’t force yourself too hard when you’re not ready.

Check out the photos below to see my recovery progress! They are not edited (well maybe for the one that has me in it hahahah) because I want to be honest with you about the real effect of depression in my life. And to celebrate little victories too! (because it's really important)

Day 1 of Depression: The mildew phase

Day 1 of Depression: The mildew phase

The mildew is everywhere on my items

The mildew is everywhere on my items

Early sleeping situation. I had to sleep on the floor because there's mildew on my bed too.

Early sleeping situation. I had to sleep on the floor because there's mildew on my bed too.

11/08/17: Finally finished cleaning up the mildew and getting the clothes washed at the laundromat.

11/08/17: Finally finished cleaning up the mildew and getting the clothes washed at the laundromat.

11/08/17: Finally finished cleaning up the mildew and wiping every single item that I have in my wardrobe.

11/08/17: Finally finished cleaning up the mildew and wiping every single item that I have in my wardrobe.

The kind of situation I lived in when I was struggling with depression. Sleeping in my study because my bedroom is humid af.

The kind of situation I lived in when I was struggling with depression. Sleeping in my study because my bedroom is humid af.

12/08/17: Day 6 adjusting to Seroquel - Meeting the first in-person client in Ubud, Bali. I'm finally passionate about my work again. Thanks, Renata for meeting me and trusting me to help you.

12/08/17: Day 6 adjusting to Seroquel - Meeting the first in-person client in Ubud, Bali. I'm finally passionate about my work again. Thanks, Renata for meeting me and trusting me to help you.

12/08/17: Day 6 adjusting to Seroquel - Meeting a friend after the session in Ubud and watching the sunset at Batu Belig beach, Seminyak. This is when I know that everything's going to be alright. 

12/08/17: Day 6 adjusting to Seroquel - Meeting a friend after the session in Ubud and watching the sunset at Batu Belig beach, Seminyak. This is when I know that everything's going to be alright. 

The most important takeaway from all of this is that please please please try to get to know yourself better. Despite my experience of battling depression for years, I am still not familiar enough with my cycle and triggers. There’s always something new coming up every month. I’m not sure how my brain continues to find ways to go haywire. But I always try to note down any new symptoms or triggers whenever I can to prevent the same one from happening in the future. And I think you should too. It'll be so much easier to stay stable if you know what's been triggering you. 😇

If you need someone to talk to about mental health issue, I'm here for you. You can either book a reading if you need my help to perform a reading on your problems, or you can share your story with me in the comments below. You can also ask me any questions about mental illness and different ways to get better through my Twitter. Or if you're not feeling comfortable sharing it publicly, you can always contact me here. Stay healthy and stay stable, everyone! ❤️


Foxglove Tarot Bali - Tarot Reader in Bali.jpeg

Hello, I'm Canti!

I am a tarot reader and an eclectic witch living in Bali, providing online tarot reading and blessing service for the mindful soul-searchers. Contact me at www.foxglovetarot.com to book a private counseling session with me.

What does it feel like to turn 26? PS: It's awesome!

foxglove tarot reader reading bali indonesia

Thank you for the birthday wishes, Witchlings!

So sorry if I haven’t gotten the chance to reply to everyone but hopefully this new blog post can help to pardon my laziness hahah.

So I’m turning 26 years old a few days ago on 24th September 2016, and a lot of things had happened since last year. Time flies so fast, I still feel like I'm 23 years old now. To be honest, I used to think that I would have my own house or my own babies by now, but I guess we are all just struggling with our millennial dreams. Sigh.

I’m not sure if I have written this anywhere else, but my 2015th birthday was spent worrying on whether I’m going to get a job in Singapore. Each year, I am convinced that my birthday is always going to be miserable. In 2014, I had a really amazing party with my good friends in Singapore, but I ended up crying with one of my friends when she told me that she had been raped by her relative. In 2013, my ex broke up with me a few days before and decided to throw a fit during my birthday party. I ended up cutting my hands in my room when everyone else was partying outside. I couldn’t seem to remember what happened before 2012 since my memory is pretty short term so I guess it’s pretty fucked up too. In short, I have experienced this misfortune and birthday drama way too often that I have set my happiness bar really low whenever September arrives.

But enough with the sad stories, every year can be a hopeful year too! I always look forward to experiencing “first times”, you know, new things that you encounter or learn every year. And so far, 2016 has been really kind to me, kinder than any of my birthdays before that. Here are the “first times” that I have experienced so far: 

1. I started Foxglove Tarot. 🔮 ✨

Highlight of the year! Here’s to many more years working as an online tarot reader in Bali. 😇

2. I moved to Bali + with my boyfriend. 🌴

I’ve written here earlier about the reason why I moved to Bali, and I still can’t believe that I’ve been living that dream for the past 7 months. We were like a couple who eloped to escape the hustle and bustle of the city life. But our life here is perfect, and it’s probably the happiest state that I have ever experienced in my usual sad and sour life. Thank you, Gods and Goddesses. 😃 

3. I started writing weekly astrology column. ♎️

Again, dreams come true! I’ve always wanted to be able to work as an astrology writer and this year I have pushed my limit to start learning astrology. It was really hard at first. I kept on having crazy headache because my intuition is forced to seek information beyond the usual comfort zone. But I got there, and it’s been easy peasy since. 😉 I've actually written for a few medias before, but now I’m only writing for one. Read my Tarotscope column in Magdalene here.

4. I learned to surf. 🏄

Hahahah this sounds really lame, but I am honestly scared of death by drowning. It seems more painful than car crash and shooting bullets to your brain to be honest. But my boyfriend learned to surf recently so I was convinced that surfing seems pretty doable. I had two runs and honestly, I think with more practice I’ll be able to master this so my boyfriend won’t hangout with other surfer girls. #relationshipgoals #dontmesswithscorpiomoon

5. I started my first silver jewelry line - COVEN

I was about to launch this a few weeks ago but I got in a bike accident which injured my hands pretty bad so I kind of have to postpone it. Ugh. But anyway, COVEN is basically a spell-crafted silver jewelry with various manifests depending on your needs. Our first collection is a 5 element charm bracelet - Earth, Fire, Water, Wind, and Spirit. It was my first time designing my own line and it was a really fun project despite the lack of experience. Check the full collection here: ✨  www.covencurio.com ✨

6. I had my first bike accident. 🤕

A week before my birthday I accidentally crashed my bike with another bike. I didn’t get heavily injured, but my trigger finger is still swollen and it took me two weeks until I am able to drive. Bummer. But anyway, lesson learned. Next time I would be a lot more patient on the road and not rushing too much.

8. I went to a psychiatrist for the first time and I finally got diagnosed. 😇

I’ve always known that there’s something wrong with my psyche but just the thought of going to a psychologist or psychiatrist freaks me out. This year, I gave myself a personal birthday present: a visit to a psychiatrist to get myself diagnosed. And apparently, I have Bipolar Disorder type 2. So what is it exactly? Don’t worry, I will write more about it and how I’ve survived it so far without meds despite the constant rush of hypomanic state and suicidal thoughts. And now, I’ve been taking mood stabiliser meds ever since in the hopes of getting better. Wish me luck, guys!

9. Surprisingly, I had a very awesome birthday party! 👯

🎧  Cue: Celebrate by Kool & The Gang 🎉

Thanks to my Ubudian buddies, Kintan & Feby, my birthday this year has become one of my favourite birthdays ever! Thanks for spending amazing 2 days with me on amazing lunch, dinner, going to abandoned place, and dance. I love you guys so so so much! 

10. I've learned to be grateful and to go with the flow. 

In my opinion, this is probably the best thing I've learned so far in 2016. 2014 and 2015 was filled with so many exciting things, I got to travel to Japan, Australia, house party hopping every weekend, meeting new exciting friends, but I wasn't really content with what I had. In Bali, me and my boyfriend are trying our best to live humbly and to spend as less as possible. We gave up our flashy big city life for a rural life simplicity. We learned, that the best way to be happy is to accept who you are and what you have without complaints. It's great to stay hopeful, but if things don't happen exactly the way you want it to be, adapt. I've learned this the hard way on 2015, and still I am grateful for the experience.


And now, after the gratitude list, I’d like to make a wish for 2017. Next year I’ll look back at this list and hopefully I’ll get to cross some of them! 

Things that I’d like to happen before my next birthday:

1. Save enough money to buy a property 🏡

I’m a little bit tired of moving around, honestly. I want to find my own home somewhere, whether it’s Jakarta, Bali, or Singapore, I just want to save enough money to buy a space that I can call as my own. Please please Universe, make this happen.

2. Get married, BUT NO BABIES YET PLEASE 👫 ❤️

After so many trials and errors, I am happy to say that I have found my perfect match (omg this sounds like I’m shopping for a liquid foundation lol). I love him, and I love how happy I am around him. Hopefully we’ll get to plan something out next year. Hopefullyyyyy.

3. Just staying stable. ☺️

My mood has been pretty stable the past one year. Sure, I have one of those depressive moments but I barely have episodes. And I only cut my wrist like what, twice only? Every year I’m getting more and more stable and I am hopeful that I can be a lot more stable than this year. You can do this Canti! 😃


Foxglove Tarot Bali.jpg

Hello, I'm Canti!

I am a tarot reader and an eclectic witch living in Bali, providing online tarot reading and blessing service for the mindful soul-searchers. Contact me at www.foxglovetarot.com to book a private counseling session with me.