[TW – suicide]

It’s hard staring death in the face, screaming for the life of a young girl you barely knew but can relate to. It’s hard. Seeing people you love grappling with the grief that comes from a permanent choice made to deal with a temporary problem… on the other hand, I know, those problems don’t feel temporary. They feel like 1000 ft concrete walls closing in on you every minute and you can decide to let the weight crush you or beat them to it.

It’s hard staring into the eyes of your mother and seeing the reflection of my own bounce back, knowing that I have been moments away from inflicting this exact pain on our family and my friends.
I get it.

But, I wish you could’ve seen the crowd that gathered in your name. The song that was sang and the words read, only for you. I wish you could’ve felt the outpouring of love coming from all directions, before you made your decision, because it was so real.
Your family walked with you in and out… I was counted as one of them, and despite being practically strangers I cried for you, for your pain. For the words and emotions you locked away and carried alone, when there were hundreds of people in the sidelines willing to take a bit of the weight. I know you couldn’t see them, but I promise you they were there.

I don’t know the demons you hid, but I feel the gnawing of my own, and my whole heart breaks for you – and while I’m not a big believer in heaven or hell, I hope that you found your peace somewhere between here and there, wherever there may be.
And to everyone else, I’ve said it before and I will continue to say it over and over. You are never alone. There is always someone who will listen. Always. Give yourself that chance, because despite what your demons may say, you are worth it.

it’s been a while – World Mental Health Day

I wish I could say that the reason for not writing was because I’ve been doing so well there was no need, but this isn’t the case. This summer has been less of a blur and more of a hurricane – I frequently found myself wishing for cold weather, in hopes that everything would (figuratively and literally) chill out.

It’s become so easy to wear a mask again, to be the wife/daughter/friend/employee that I’m expected to be – to nod my head, laugh and make conversation. It’s a defence mechanism, really, because I have very little to give in this moment in time. The moments I spend alone are silent, if I could find a pin to drop behind my eyes, I’m sure it would echo between each ear incessantly – but there is no pin. I turn on the metaphorical light and it’s just a cold cement room, nothing loose or out of place. Just nothing. I don’t even sit in this room, I watch it from above for hours, staring at an empty unchanging space. Imagine the worst boredom you’ve ever experienced, now imagine that nothing can make that boredom stop – no person to person interaction, no hobby, again nothing, can liven up this mental bunker.

This is how I know I’m burnt out.

It’s important for me to clarify that being burnt out, in this instance, isn’t the same as being depressed. In fact, I would almost guarantee that my depression throughout the past 5 months is a large factor in what has caused me to become burnt out in the first place. Any time I start to feel depressed or anxious my mind immediately goes in to auto pilot, lawful neutral, play the parts you need to play to get through the day, because my brain and body just can’t handle an episode right now… it needs order and stability – I imagine it being an emergency override mode and I’m locked out until systems return to normal, which I know is for my own good, but it is lonely; To not be able to take solace in your own thoughts and for all the old tricks to stop working.

I felt it was important to talk about this today, because it shows that even those of us who know our cues and have some understanding of how our mental illnesses work… we can still be thrown for a loop. You can’t always predict the next anxiety attack or depressive episode. Sometimes they come in new forms that you’ve never dealt with before and sometimes you are subject to something completely foreign. You may feel lost in a familiar maze that was once solvable, now impossible, taking days to decide whether to turn left or right.
You may be staring at a devoid space, from the outside in, recognizing the shapes but not the colours, slamming your fists against the walls to be let back inside.

I hope that soon I will be; that one day soon I’ll be ready.

I’m depressed

yes, it’s a bold, no bullshit title but it’s true.

The past month has been filled with the highest highs and lowest lows for many facets of my family and myself. There have, in fact, been multiple times where my husband and I just look at each other and laugh because we don’t have the emotional capacity to react in any other way… and now I’m at a point where the slightest thing can set me into a spiral of incessant negativity.
It’s like a fade filter has been applied to my reality and everything is getting more and more blurry and distorted. There’s a constant, uncomfortably wet, film coating my eyes, making them feel heavy and irritated. I feel like I’m constantly battling a headache that hasn’t quite arrived yet and I am barely functioning enough to comprehend how to handle tasks in my personal and work life.
Basically, I’m a mess.
And that’s it.
There are no pretty words for me to say to end this off… nothing inspirational or outwardly positive. And you know what? That’s okay.

Now I’m going to go to 7/11 and get myself a large cookies and cream mocha, put on some sweatpants and lay on my couch until I fall asleep.

self care

I’ve been in a bit of a depressive episode – waking up with headaches, constant nightmares, obsessively picking my skin and just generally not taking care of myself. I’m not outwardly depressed… I’m still having conversations, I’m going through my work days in stride, I’m streaming regularly, and I probably come off as completely normal to most people but I’m just not… and I can’t explain it.
I kind of just want to lay in bed, cover myself in 10 pounds of blankets and sleep until I don’t want to sleep anymore. I’ve started developing stress and anxiety hives/rashes again, which hasn’t happened in a few years now. I’ve caught myself craving old, self destructive habits that seem archaic and extraneous. I am constantly irritated by everything and everyone, while simultaneously giving zero fucks about anything.
So, starting last night I am on a 4 day self care mission, I have so many things coming up, in my professional and personal life, that I just can’t be down and out like this any longer.
The headaches need to stop. I need to get some real sleep. I need my body to relax as well as my mind. I need to look at myself and be okay. And not this “okay” mask I’ve been sporting, really, actually okay.

One year later…

Exactly a year ago today I made this blog public. It was an extremely large step for me, to be completely open about everything that rattles about in this skull of mine.
I’ve been writing less frequently lately, and I take that as a good thing. It means that I am making positive progress in my own mental health journey and I can definitely thank this blog for a part of that progress! Reading my own words was extremely eye opening – it showed me how I viewed myself and how I reacted to my brain and my body. It illuminated the dark parts of my life, whether it be past or present, and forced me to face them head on. It started conversations with other people I never would have had prior.
It started conversations.
I think that is the part that has stuck with me the most – talking with people myself, seeing other people talk with each other through threads and posts, feeling unashamed of what I can’t change and relating to others in a way that had rarely happened before.
Bell Let’s Talk Day 2017 is the day I decided to open up, and Bell Let’s Talk Day 2018 is right around the corner (January 31st), so I encourage you to join the conversation – you’d be surprised at how much good can be done, and the ripple effect that can occur, from a single voice.


I’m depressed, but I’m okay.

Winter is here, which means seasonal depression has officially settled in to it’s cozy holiday home at the front of my psyche. It was certainly jump started, a couple of weeks ago, by my own ignorance of small town health care (apparently walk in doctors do not exist) which had me accidentally withdrawing from my anti depressant – an experience I do not recommend for anyone. So far, I’ve gotten two tattoos and have buried myself in hobbies to try and combat the oncoming storm… and so far it’s going okay. I’m still depressed – there are multiple points in the day where I could cry, without reason – my sleep schedule is hectic at best – I am reliving conversations I’ve had throughout the year and berating myself for how I handled them – I am convinced that most people don’t like me, for one reason or another, and feel isolated in my relationships – but I am handling it on my own, and I guess that’s a start.

I’ve been thinking about going back to therapy. I believe being on medication has truly helped me get to a point with my anxiety where I can segregate what is making me feel anxious, and address it within myself. I have not gotten to that point with my depression – and while I may be okay, I could be and want to be, better. I’m hoping therapy will help provide me the tools I need to build myself up in times when I instinctually tear myself down. What made me really realize I wanted to go back was actually seeing a few people, whom I really look up to, talk about mental health on a livestream. It just goes to show that one open conversation about someone’s struggles can help shed light on another person’s path.
Patrick, Matt and Holly – thank you for being honest with those who look up to you and for helping me realize what next steps I need to take in my own mental health journey. I’m sure I would’ve gotten to it eventually, but sometimes even I need to be reminded that it’s okay to need professional help.
So, yes, I am depressed… but I’m okay, and am working on being better, the best I can.

On Emetophobia, Crohn’s and Striving for Health

I know this is, currently, a common theme in my writing, but it is the most immediate stressor in my environment these days – especially now that I’m working to try and get better.

I write this as I am sitting on my bathroom floor, after going to the gym for the first time in months. It’s not that I haven’t wanted to go to the gym, it’s more that I don’t trust my body in most situations… never mind a public situation, involving physical activity. My health has been a roller coaster ride at the best of times, but I’ve been doing my best to regulate it. I am frequently on white rice and broth diets to reset my digestion whenever I flare up, I’m seeing a kinesiologist who has me on a couple of supplements that seem to be helping – it’s a slow process, but I’m getting there – and now I’ve made the decision to start going to the gym.

You see, I want SO BADLY to be healthy. I want to be able to go to social events, eat food I enjoy, work out in public spaces, hang out with friends, without the constant nausea that accompanies me in all of those situations. Scratch that, in all situations. I would also like to be able to handle those situations without the crippling fear and embarrassment, that accompanies the nausea, that truly makes it worse. I’ve written about my fear of vomiting before, it is something I’ve been dealing with for as long as I can remember, and is, honestly, as debilitating as the initial pre-puke sweats and mouth watering that puts my brain there in the first place. Having a condition that amplifies my nausea, pain, and just overall “gross” feelings is truly the icing on a, quite literally, shitty cake. But, the last month has shown me snippets of what it is like to live normally and semi healthily, and those moments make me indescribably happy. The problem with those moments, is I let myself believe that I’m better, and push past my boundaries… which puts me right here, again, on the bathroom floor. It’s a real punch to morale to feel like you are right back at square one because of a single meal or because you are taking your first step to becoming more physically healthy.

The upside in this whole scene is that I’m still trying. I’m committed to the idea of me being able to live a, somewhat, normal life – no matter how terrible I feel throughout the steps to getting there. I am more determined than I have ever been to fight through all of this, despite how negative I might seem at times. I did something that I have been pushing aside, for a long time now, today… and I felt like shit afterwards. But I did it, and I plan on doing it again tomorrow and for the foreseeable future (I’ve also paid for a month’s membership, so, you know, I have no excuse to not get my butt to the gym) which will *hopefully* help create the end goal of a happier and healthier me.