Monday, August 25, 2014


Today was a "-less" day. Because that's how I felt. Let me list all the adjectives that describe how I felt today, or that the voice in my head named me as today and you will understand why.

  • hope-less
  • use-less
  • list-less
  • worth-less
  • love-less
  • heart-less
  • point-less

You get the was a bleak day in my head. I didn't want to leave the safety of my fortress (also known as my bed) where my guardians (also known as my pets and my stuffed animals) kept watch over me, until I absolutely had to get up to do what I needed to do (not anything nerve-wracking, just something simple) today. I took a cold shower but it didn't do much to restore my spirits. I probably shouldn't have been driving as I hadn't eaten more than a few bites in a couple days. I was on autopilot to get the few things done that I had to do. I cut my list short so I could get back home as soon as possible. I can finish my list off tomorrow, maybe...

It's frustrating having days like today. I know it will pass and sometimes I just have to let it pass. No amount of anything will help. Ride out the black wave of utter despair in the hopes that tomorrow will bring a new wave of hope and happiness. It's the despair that gets to me, worries me, makes me feel so close to slipping into a pit of depression. It's not far from the wave of despair into the pit of depression.

Surprisingly, all the "-less" things running rampant through my head today didn't get me as down as they normally do. I mostly just felt numb and nauseated. When I had to leave the house I was always just on the verge of tears. Stop thinking, focus on the task at hand, blink back the hot stinging tears. You can do this. Not long now until you are home. Eat something. Anything, even cereal. Drink water, cold water.

I feel used and broken, not even worthy of being in the slightly irregular/half off bin today. I am broken. I will never be fixed but I know that things can and will get better. Days like today remind me of how things used to be. The fact that I can sit down at the end of the day and type this, reflecting on what I felt and the fact that I'm still here to tell you how I felt today...well that's a giant leap forward at the end of a day like today.

Take it as it comes. Some days it's two steps forward and one step back onto that wave. Other days it's a slide down the slippery slope into the pit and then a giant leap forward. At the end of it all I need to have faith that I am where I'm supposed to be and that things are exactly as they should be. No matter what the hours, minutes or seconds previous to right now felt like.

set yourself free one step at a time
one step at a time set yourself free

Sunday, August 24, 2014


Who knew that someone would have a tragic story about sprinkles? I thought sprinkles made everything better. Well, they do, but in this sad story the sprinkles were forgotten and things turned bad.

I love birthday cake. The flavour, the actual item, the vodka, you name it. Birthday Cake anything makes me happy. :) Earlier this week I visited my friend's new cafe and the special of the month was Birthday Cake Latte. They also had Birthday Party ice cream. So, since I just had a wax (you don't need to know what I had waxed) I thought I would treat myself. I ordered a Birthday Cake latte and a Birthday Party ice cream cone. The latte actually came with whipped cream and sprinkles.  I was so excited about the sprinkles. Sprinkles can even make a pile of shit look enticing!

At the roller derby after party tonight I met someone who had a (sad but interesting) story about sprinkles. I won't go into detail but it involves biting, blood, a stab-like scar and a trip to the hospital for one party and a trip to the psych ward for the other party. All because the sprinkles were forgotten.

The lesson here is don't ever forget the sprinkles. They may seem like a small after thought but if you drop the ball on the sprinkles, it could be dangerous. For you and everyone else involved. I think that we often forget the sprinkles in our lives. Sometimes we totally forget to put them on top of our everyday lives or overlook the sprinkles that are already there. Maybe this is just another euphemism for "stop and smell the roses" or maybe the sprinkles are something totally different. Whatever the case, don't forget the sprinkles - sometimes the sprinkles make everything else in the day seem tolerable and enjoyable.

Friday, August 22, 2014

My First "Low/No Tech Day"

Upon hearing about a friend's "no cell phone" family reunion it made me think about how much I rely on my devices to be "connected" to the world and my friends. Sometime ago I enrolled in Debbie Ford's book study called "21 Day Consciousness Cleanse" which requires that you limit your electronic connection to the world. I have yet to complete the study but I intend to during my next hiatus since this one is almost over. Also, in the event that I need to attend the one month intake program with CAMH next summer, I will be required to go one month without the use of any electronics/internet connection. This worried me at the beginning of the summer when I found this out and it was possible that I would need to attend CAMH this summer.

I decided to challenge myself to go 24 hours without accessing any electronics (radio, iPad, iPhone, Mac, Apple TV, etc.). I sometimes have "no TV days" and "no driving days" but this one was new for me. So I did it. Beginning at midnight August 21 I turned off all my electronics and went "Low/No Tech" for 24 hours. Instead of starting every sentence with "I have to admit..." I'm just going to make a list.

I have to admit that:

  • Within 5 minutes of shutting off my laptop, iPhone and iPad, I felt some anxiety, which lasted for about half an hour
  • Upon waking I felt the same anxiety for a bit
  • It was difficult at first but it got easier as the day went on
  • I got a lot accomplished without needing to be "connected" to the rest of the world (my landline was still available and my friends could contact me that way if they chose to)
  • I did use an iPhone but it wasn't mine and I was trying to help a friend figure out something on her iPhone (was this cheating?)
  • I did get distracted by TV at my friend's house even though it was on mute (is THIS cheating?)
  • The following day when I was back "online" I got really frustrated with my electronics
This challenge really made me think about how I have become so reliant on technology and how it seems to rule my life. I become obsessed with checking my phone for emails, texts, notifications, etc. What did I miss in those 24 hours? Not a hell of a lot actually. Facebook continued on without me and there were no emergency emails or text that needed to be addressed. I actually enjoyed having 24 hours without access to technology. I have decided to do this once a week - disconnect to reconnect as one of my friends said. And it's true. In order to reconnect with ourselves we must disconnect with other things sometimes.

I challenge you to disconnect for 24 hours. See what it brings out in you. See what you discover within yourself. :)


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Layers of Depression (no, not onion)

The more I learn about myself and how my brain processes things and how I handle my thoughts, the less I feel that I know. I've been struggling with a few things this summer and it has come to my attention that as soon as I get in tune with one layer of my depression, another layer comes galloping out, guns blazing as I stand frozen in a stupefied mental state. One step forward, two steps back.

Since I started my "new" medication two and a half years ago (and had another medication added to it in the meantime), have been taking part in an outpatient program and seeing a psychiatrist regularly, the layers are slowly being revealed to me. First, it was the depression itself: how to manage it, what my triggers were and how to change my thought process. Once that seemed to be as much under control as possible, anxiety reared its ugly head and wanted to be centre stage. So again I learned, this time Anxiety 101: again, how to manage it, what my triggers were and how to change my thought process. Now that my anxiety issues seem to be manageable, for the most part, I'm realizing that behind the curtains there are obsessive thoughts. Almost OCD, but not quite. Maybe borderline? But I haven't brought this up with my psychiatrist nor have I been diagnosed; I'm just poking around in there myself to see what's happening.

It's these obsessive thoughts that contribute to the anxiety and depression but now that the latter two are relatively quiet, the former is more audible, more noticeable, more dizzying, more distracting, more ANNOYING than ever!!! And to make it worse, I sometimes act on these obsessive thoughts, speak/text/email before analyzing these thoughts to determine the validity of them. These thoughts are getting in the way. This train needs to be derailed. It has been ruining, and will continue to ruin, relationships, friendships and anything else on the track to happiness.

The question is HOW do I derail these thoughts? Yes be aware, yes do my best to quiet them, yes do my best to turn them around. But if all that fails? Everyone get the *bleep* off the track. Consider yourself warned. ;)

I told you so...


Started March 28/14

Razor blades, purple haze
It's my lucky day in hell.
I finally wrote a song for you
I guess we stop trying now.
It's a long drive
To somewhere only we know.
Say something,
I'm giving up on you.

Don't you want to go
To the time when we were bored and happy?
Don't you want to go
To the time when all the plans we'd make
Were laws we had yet to break?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

On the Death of a Star

On August 11, 2014, actor Robin Williams, 63, was discovered deceased, an apparent suicide. The following day news stories were saying it could have been accidental but they weren't saying anything definitive either way. Today, I'm not sure what the news says because I stopped listening. It's unfortunate that, no matter how far we seem to advance in so many areas, mental illness - an invisible disease like diabetes, among others - is still overlooked, misunderstood and has a stigma attached to it. I'm glad people are talking about mental illness and sharing. I'm not glad that it took the death of another person, a famous person who brought so much joy and laughter into our lives, to start the talk.

Many people have taken their own life in the throes of depression. Many teenagers, many adults, many non-famous people. They don't get the notoriety that those in the spotlight receive. It's understandable. We are but mere mortals compared to stars and starlets in the Hollywood skies. What's not understandable though is the commentary that follows the death of a "mere mortal" - "she was a troubled teen" or "he had issues with alcohol" or "everything was such a struggle for her." Even comments such as how selfish suicide is or how good the person had things are a blow to those of us that have stepped out on that proverbial ledge.

Now all of a sudden things are coming out about bipolar and depression and how mental illness is linked, in a round about way, to comedians that want to save the world. I find this interesting, purely on a selfish level of course. I don't write a blog to talk about other people, necessarily. I blog to talk about myself and how the world affects me, how I see the world, on good days and bad days and those in-between days. So how does all of THIS affect me? How do I see it? I will tell you. Because that's why you are here and still reading, right? :)

When I leave a place of employment to move on to new adventures I am always told by others that they will miss my laughter the most. Always a positive attitude and smiling face. I'm such a good faker. Not that I don't enjoy being with my colleagues or the work that I do/have done. That's not it at all. They just don't have any idea what is really going on in my head. I mean REALLY going on in there. It's a side that I don't show to anyone, at least not on purpose. My close dear friends know about my dark thoughts, but even then, I do my best not to share those dark thoughts too often or too much lest I scare my friends into thinking I'm a danger to myself. It's not like I'm going to act on those irrational thoughts in my head trying to bully me into doing something, well, irrational.

This past year I had to reveal to my employer about my mental illness. After some time of working together to try to accommodate me he came right out and asked me "When you say you are having a bad day, what does that mean? Because to me you look fine. You came to work, maybe a little bit late, but you're not angry or grumpy; you're smiling and doing your job." How do you explain to someone that when you have a mental illness and you have a "bad day" it's a bad day INSIDE your head, not a bad day on the outside. It's not like a bad hair day or a bad clothing day (you know, when all your favourite clothes that make you look smoking hot are in the dirty laundry that you just didn't have time to get to over the weekend or during off-peak hydro times).

A bad day in my head for me means that I actually am grumpy and angry and frustrated and so many other things all at once. Making otherwise simple decisions is a difficult process and the last thing that I want to do is go to work and make decisions that will affect other people. The last place I want to be is around other people. But I get out of bed, shower, get dressed, (sometimes) eat breakfast and take care of the pets before I take an anti-anxiety pill or do my breathing exercises in order to make my way out the door to work.

When I get to work and it's a bad day in my head, one of two things can happen: I could be manic or I could be stone cold quiet. Either way I'm faking it. If I'm manic, everyone thinks I'm happy and in a great mood. I keep them laughing at coffee break and at lunch and it takes a lot of effort and energy to fake it this way. If I'm quiet everyone thinks I'm hard at work and, for the most part, they leave me alone. But I'm still faking it because I'm not really working very hard because I can't focus or remember things or think clearly. This is called "presenteeism" and statistically it accounts for more lost time and productivity in the work place than absenteeism does. We're there but we're not really there. And it's a horrible feeling, on top of what I'm already feeling and thinking inside. Faker, liar, loser, slacker, the list goes on.

Knowing what I know about myself, I can't even imagine what Robin Williams struggled with on his bad days, being in the spotlight and being such a noted actor and comedian. He wanted to make the world a better place through laughter but no amount of laughter on the outside could change or help what was going on inside. At the end of the day when we lay our head on the pillow to go to sleep the laughter is gone and all we are left with are the voices in our heads, the irrational thoughts trying to hard to bully us into doing something, well, irrational. Please join me and hold in your thoughts those that have lost the struggle to fight this irrational never ending battle. And reach out to those that you know of that continue to struggle, even if it looks like they are having a good day.

Peace and love to all.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Strong Enough

I know it's been awhile but things have been going on and off and on and off. Tonight, things are off; off so badly.

Do you ever feel that your heart is going to burst because you care about someone so much? Not even that you are in love with them but just that you love them. You want good things for them but part of you wants those goods things to be with you and not with someone else. But still. In the end you want good things for them: happiness, love, abundance, even if it isn't with you.

My heart exploded tonight. Not with love. He smashed it. I let him...again. I keep trying so hard to have a friendship but every single effing time it's me that gets hurt. He doesn't do it to hurt me on purpose. He doesn't even know that it hurts me. But if he thought about it and cared like I thought he cared, he wouldn't do it. Or he at least wouldn't do it the way he does. I appreciate his brutal honesty and I can't say that he hasn't been honest. But the signals are mixed and I get confused. Got confused. I won't be confused anymore. I know where I am in his books. I'm a footnote, or an end note, even. He's a tough guy. He broke me. He broke me into a million pieces, a million times over. And I kept letting him. I kept giving him my heart because I thought he would one day do something good with it. But he just kept breaking it. No more. It ends tonight.

I've come so close to the edge so many times over him. No person is worth this pain. No person is worth ending my life over. I am in control of myself and what I feel and how I allow others to treat me. I will cry...a lot. And I will be sad. But I will not let the sadness turn into the deep, dark depression that I am so familiar with. I will not let my lost love for him overpower my ever present love for myself. I may not be strong enough to handle a friendship with him but I am strong enough to get through this. I will be okay. I always am.

Tonight's tidal wave of emotion only reiterates that I am not ready for a relationship...still. Maybe I never will be but I hope that isn't true. I want to be ready. I want to be strong enough, to be strong for that person that is strong enough for me.