"I can perform in front of a number of people, but in fact being in a crowded room makes me anxious... It’s like having two extreme personalities fighting with each other. Scared and introverted, confident and extroverted"
I’m a Mother, I’m a child. But sometimes I forget to smile.
I’m a lover, I’m a friend. But not always to myself.
I’m a teacher, I am free. But still learning to release the chains around me.
I’m an actor, I’m an artist. I’m still creating my final scene.
Some days I forget my worth, and my walls come crashing down.
But I am Human. I’m allowed to cry.”
At one of my most vulnerable moments, I wrote this song.
These are not just lyrics from “I Am Human”. This is me.
My name is Czarina and I’m an only child with supportive parents. I’ve been married, I’ve been divorced. I have two wonderful children whom I amicably co-parent.
And though I have been in a number of relationships, I can confidently and happily say that I’m in the best one now with my partner of 2 years. I have an amazing network of friends, and I enjoy my day job. But most people know me for being a singer and songwriter. It sounds pretty sweet and simple when I explain it like that. It is definitely sweet, but life is far from simple.
Along with all this, I have a high functioning form of anxiety and have suffered situational depression. It’s difficult to see because I smile often and show positivity, trying to balance the sadness and negativity in the world, and in my head. I overthink things and worry a lot, sometimes for no reason except for the fact that my brain has thought up the worst case scenario. I can perform in front of a number of people, but in fact being in a crowded room makes me anxious. So, I must mentally prepare myself. It’s like having two extreme personalities fighting with each other. Scared and introverted, confident and extroverted.
"I realised I didn’t have to “find” myself, I just had to change that view on myself first."
I have been through a lot. From being teased, bullied, feeling rejection, betrayal, to being assaulted, verbally and emotionally abused. I have been used, mistreated. I have hurt people too. And I have felt loss. Friendships, relationships, work, passion. Regardless of the trigger, the impact can be the same. Hurt. Pain. Sadness.
I would want to cry. I would want to curl up into a little ball and make it all go away. I would feel so low. So lost. I have had dark moments, and I’m sure there will be others. But my lowest point was about 2 and a half years ago.
After a build up of heartache and loss, harboured by an internal lack of self-belief, I called my work in tears, due to depressive thoughts, saying that I needed to take a week off for my mental health. I stayed at a bed and breakfast near nature. I wandered around every day. I cried every day. But ultimately, I wanted to make sure I was ok being alone.
After my time away, when I felt I could face life again, I sought professional help and spoke to people closest to me. I found I had been self-sabotaging my relationships. Allowing myself to be mistreated because of what I believed I deserved, feeling guilt and forgetting my self-worth.
I realised I didn’t have to “find” myself, I just had to change that view on myself first. I had to learn to understand, trust, accept and love myself. Flaws and all. I wrote a personal mantra and stuck it on my wall and read it every day. I surrounded myself with people who really cared about my well-being - those who had a positive influence on me. Anyone or anything else that didn’t fit that, any toxic influences, I stopped making time for.
"But that’s life, it isn’t perfect, but it is pretty sweet."
As time went on, I noticed more clarity, more happiness within myself. I started to feel better. I felt and appreciated the love from family and friends. That was the point where I strengthened the right friendships, and more importantly made friends with myself. In turn this attracted the right kind of relationship. I also learnt that it was ok to feel sad sometimes, just like any emotion. We’re allowed to smile. We’re also allowed to cry.
I accept that I’m still going to be a bit lost sometimes and sometimes I will doubt myself, but other times I will be filled with determination. It’s a cycle. I am human. I’m always going to meet people that will influence me in some way. I’m always learning and experiencing things. But how I pick myself up after I fall, and get back up to do it all over again; how I make changes and better choices for myself; that is what allows me to have the strength and skills to tackle whatever life throws at me and remain resilient.
I still occasionally have dark moments where I feel self-conscious. Am I good enough? Am I strong enough? Sometimes I just want to hide. My brain still thinks up the worst-case scenarios. I still have monsters that lurk in the shadows. But on the flip side I am so lucky and blessed. I am loved and give love. I may have sad moments, but man do I have happy moments. I enjoy what I do, and everyone I spend time with. I am currently going through some heavy stuff that leaves me anxious and sad at times. But that’s life, it isn’t perfect, but it is pretty sweet. And because of the changes I made and the choices I make, being in a non-toxic environment surrounded by the right people, and believing in and caring for me as I would a friend, that has made all the difference.
I challenge the idea of ever truly being found. In my opinion, we don’t really “find” ourselves. We just learn a few extra things while we wander around. So when facing life’s challenges, I look back on things I’ve personally gone through, and think, I’ve survived.