My Personal Mental Health Story

Zorana Spasojevic



I want to share my personal story of ups and downs with you.

It aims to raise awareness and remove social stigma from emotional, mental and psychological struggle most of us face at some point in life.

My intention is to remind us to put love and effort into accepting, understanding and being compassionate to people who are suffering and coping, temporarily or permanently, and to support you who might be facing these issues right now.

On 3 occasions in my life I have experienced deep emotional suffering that had a harmful impact on my mental and physical health.

The worst such condition happened almost 6 years ago. It completely knocked me down.

Grief, loss, injustice, self-abandonment, shame, guilt, loss of self-esteem and confidence, feeling alone in hardship and thick fog, not knowing where to start from, where to go, how to get up in the morning, how to dress or even pick up the phone… Panic attacks when I’d be left by myself, restless and upset when someone was around.

Inability to think clearly and constructively.
Fog in head, hole in heart.

All of that lasted for almost two years, with a couple of “bearable”, lighter periods. Just to take a shallow inhale above the surface.


How did that all happen?

Our sons were little. As devoted, change-making and proactive parents, my husband Srdjan and I wanted better solutions for all the children in Belgrade, and we came up with an idea to create a place where they will learn through play and interaction.

So, after 15 years of successful entrepreneurship, we enthusiastically opened the most wonderful experiential venue for kids, Minicity, and employed 50 young people.




All was perfect except 1 thing: my inner voice was screaming not to sign the rent for that space, and not with those people.

I let “logic”, projections and other’s advice win over my intuition, and that was my crucial mistake.

Soon after the opening, Minicity became a unique regional attraction. We poured our heart and soul in it…. and invested all we ever learned and earned in the past.

On the other hand, severe problems have started with our landlord and the facility itself, and we were slowly, unstoppably pulled into bankruptcy. We believed we could save it. The struggle lasted for 2 long years, 24/7, until we finally gave up and moved out.

We lost all of our material possessions, we ended up with a huge debt. Total financial breakdown. We were threatened and laughed at.

Our kids needed stability, attention, gentleness and shelter we were rarely capable to provide.

Even worse, our marriage had almost ended, we fought each other out of bitter frustration, both lonely and crawling in our own misery.

Torn inside, scared and restless, we were radiating horror and pain. Just a few people remained by our side.

If I could measure the level of horror we were experiencing, on a scale from -10 to 10, I would pick -100.



My wake-up call happened when doctors, obviously very upset by my blood test results, gathered to announce that my vital organs were just about to shut down. Severe anemia prevented body to be fed by oxygen. I was dizzy, nauseated, disoriented. I fainted quite often.

I knew it wasn’t my diet. No beetroot juice or horse meat could help me. I knew it wasn’t physical.
It was the result of the vicious circle of my thoughts. My body was trying to stop my brain work, because that horror was unbearable. My condition served as a brain anesthetic.


How the hell did I let this happen?

Where was my self-love and respect?

Where was my faith and gratitude?

How dared I do this to my children and family!?

I was so much better than that! There really was SO MUCH to be proud of, how could I forget that?

I started seeking for HELP. Who has helped me, and who has not – that is a subject of another story.


What I have learned


– I am a vulnerable, gentle human being. I am not a fighter and hustler: those are all stories that I’ve picked over the years that needed to be unlearned.

– By accepting, embracing and healing my emotions I help everyone around me and improve the circumstances for all of us.

– It has to start from me because I gained the awareness, which leads to responsibility.

– If I cannot change the circumstances, I can change my point of view.

– I can redirect my thoughts if I find myself in an unproductive spin of negativity.

– I cannot change other people, but I can change how I perceive them. Only then the damaged relationship has a chance to grow.

– What had happened was a great and necessary learning point that made me a better person.

– Struggle is a blessing if you perceive it as a wonderful opportunity for growth.




Life can completely knock you down, that is true! I believe everyone has encountered very painful situations in life. However, struggle and pain can, more than any other trigger, push us into a transformation, positive resolution and new amazing direction. Like being reset and starting anew.

After all, this is how our misery turned around in our favor:


You are not alone!


My message to you:


All this will be called “yesterday”.
And I promise, you will be ok.


Please leave me your comment, experience, observation, thought. Share if you believe someone might find this article useful.

And don’t forget to check out my free guided meditation “Immediate Balance” that will help you calm down and center whenever you feel upset, stressed out, disconnected. Just sign up for my newsletter at the bottom of the page, confirm your email address when you get email from me, and follow simple downloading instructions. Cheers!




If there is anything you believe I could help you with by sharing my knowledge, please write to me. I invite you to suggest topics you would like me to cover and I will give my best to do so!

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