Or the adventures of the Summer Solstice Girl in the Great White North

Such an SSG thing to do

It was about mid-January when I realized Valentine’s Day was coming up.

I set up to make some valentines card to sell. Got my computer and designed something close to 20 cards. I was on a roll. I spent about a week designing them and I have to say I was very happy with the results.

Then it was time to get to the actual paper cutting, die-cutting, glueing, etc.  That’s when I realized I was out of glue.

Went to the one and only craft store here and they didn’t have it. So I ordered online.

It finally arrived on February 1.

I had hoped to have the cards ready to sell by that date but okay. I said to myself, “Myself, it’ll be ok. You’ll have the cards ready in a couple of days and then you can start selling them”.

Ha! Continue reading

My life as a Russian Roulette

My comeback post on A Canvas of the Minds.

Please hop on there to read it. As usual, it is not an easy read but as with everything else I write, it is an honest account of what goes on inside the Summer Solstice Girl’s mind

Source: My life as a Russian Roulette

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Doodles

Well, I was so tired and weakened yesterday that I fell asleep in the afternoon and it all happened again. The nightmares, the sleep paralysis, the hallucinations.

As a result, I refused to sleep last night.

Haven’t slept yet.

So I decided to make digital doodles instead.

Cat doodles, of course.

After all, I am a bona fide Crazy Cat Lady.

 

The one where I want to throw a tantrum

Here is something I am currently struggling with.

Well, struggling is a bit of an understatement.

As I grow old-er, I am learning to make peace with my health issues and the limitations they impose on me.

The chronic physical pain has been inexorably taking me away from all the activities I love, all the physical activities that had made me happy since childhood, such as cycling, skating, rock climbing, hiking, working out, dancing. Some days I am more successful than others in not resenting it but in general I have come to terms with it.

Same -more or less- for the chronic emotional pain.

A few years ago, I was fortunate to be referred to a four-week long day hospital program where I was trained in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Best thing that could have happened to me, mental health related.

I find CBT tremendously useful in my daily life. I have internalized and incorporated CBT in my coping mechanisms and my life is more balanced and happier as a result. It is not an “and she lived happily ever after” story, of course, but I am very grateful for it. Continue reading

Let’s Talk

For the third year in a row, I have been asked to join the Healthy Minds Canada Team for the Let’s Talk Day campaign Needless to say, I consider it an honour.

Last year’s Bell Let’s Talk Day raised $6,107,538 for mental health initiatives in Canada. Not a bad figure, if you ask me.

Today’s Bell Let’s Talk Day finds me in an almost non-stop 24 hours streak of nightmares and their aftermath of hypnopompic hallucinations and sleep paralysis.

I am writing this blog post with shaky hands and the room is not quite still yet. It is slowly expanding and contracting in a seemingly endless cycle.

When I was first diagnosed with a mental illness, I felt my world fall apart.

As a person, I was afraid I’d be the laughing stock of society at large and pitied by my community.

As a mother, I was afraid that should my children eventually display symptoms of mental illness, they would be unceremoniously discarded as learned behaviours displayed by their crazy mother.

As a woman, I was afraid of being labelled as simply screaming for attention. Which did happen, by the way. Of course it happened. Especially among the medical community, my professors, who were mostly men, of course.

As a physician, I was afraid of being ostracized by the medical community for being unprofessional and hysterical. In the original sense of the word, not in the sense of being ludicrously funny.

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Professor Jean-Martin Charcot of Paris Salpêtrière demonstrates hypnosis on a “hysterical” patient

 

All those things happened in one way or the other, so I learned to keep it to myself and instead come up with societally valid excuses for my absences.  Continue reading

Impossible Musings

I recently finished a series called The Atlantis Gene. Overall, a good read. The first book was excellent. The second was good. The third drove me up the wall.

The author’s favourite word: Impossible. He has every character in the book say it every other page. By the time I got to the third book, I was ready to take said book and hit him in the head with it.

I can understand one character having a crush with a word. Hell, if you have been following me for a while, you know I have a long time affair with the word awesome. To me, everything is awesome. Good luck reading that last sentence and not getting stuck the the earworm song from the Lego movie. You’re welcome.

But most, if not all, characters in the book? Including all the aliens? Please.

All impossible means is that you don’t know how to do it.
That’s it. Or that no one has done it yet. Which effectively means you don’t know how to do it.

Every single thing humankind has done so far was impossible until someone did it. That is why we have the Guinness World Record thingy.

In fact, the best way to get something done, is to tell a nerd that it is impossible. See how long it takes them to achieve it.

So yeah. As I am sure you all have inferred by now, saying something is impossible is one of my pet peeves.

When people say impossible, what they really mean is “highly improbable”. Or “not feasible at the moment”. If you understand probability law, you know that the odds of something happening may be tiny, tiny. But there is always a chance, however small, that it will happen.

On the other hand, I suppose once could say there is always the chance, however small of something never happening. I’ll leave that one to the mathematicians. 

So, there.

Also,

 

Another little victory 

I feel like I need to give myself a sticker or something. 

Are you ready for this?

I swept and mopped the whole place! Mind you, it is a one bedroom apartment but still. 

And then… and then, I showered, got dressed and went for a walk!  

I banged my knee against a door and I have a bump and an ugly bruise but I don’t care. 

My mood improved almost all the way up to a 100% just by seeing how clean and tidy the place was. 

I must not let it get that messy. That’s another bloody vicious cycle: The more depressed I get, the less I am inclined to clean and tidy up ==> the messier and dust-bunnier the place becomes, the more depressed and/or anxious I get. 

The good news is that my bloody OCD prevents me from letting accumulate dishes in the sink so at least the dishes are always done. I just want to shoot myself if I go to the kitchen for whatever and see dirty dishes in the sink. I don’t even want to think of dirty dishes on the table or worse, littering the floor. It’s like having creepy crawlers all over me… gaaaaaaaah

*Take a deep breath* Oy! That was close….

Anyway, Meatless Monday. All my days are meatless, but on Mondays, all items in the menu are 10% off at my favourite vegetarian/vegan restaurant.

   

 Soy meat rice noodle. It tastes as good as it looks. Yum!

I think I smiled all the way back home :)

What do you know?

soooooooo

Today, I took a shower for the first time in a week.

I also went out for a little walk.

Yay, me.

First, I went to the Asian store at the end of the block and got my favourite filipino bread, the one that tastes just like Colombian bread. It is called Pan de Leche and it is delicious.

Continue reading

Bloody Vicious Cycles

Here I am, stuck in another one of those bloody vicious cycles we all know so well:

I’m in pain therefore I don’t exercise ==> I don’t exercise therefore I am in pain.

Throw a funny funk (aka depression) in and it just makes for a lovely recipe for another vicious cycle:

The more depressed I get, the less I am inclined to get out of bed, shower and go out ==> the less I go out, the more I get depressed.

In summary:

Vicious Cycle

Losing this particular battle at the moment, I’m afraid.

And it is not that I necessarily need human contact. I am quite happy on my own. But I do need nature contact. I need to feel the wind in my face, hear the birds sing, smell the grass, take the view in.

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy meeting with friends over coffee and cake. Mmmm cake. I love hearing about what’s going on in their lives. I love laughing with them and even crying with them. And I love coffee and cake. Mmmm cake.

But I enjoy solitude, quietness, stillness. I don’t go insane over not talking to anyone for extended periods of time like some people tell me they do.

Nature, on the other hand, nature I can’t do without. Watching goofy squirrels work and play. Birds fly. The sound of water. The sight of threes. That I can’t can’t do without.

I could certainly do without ze physical pain, though. For sure.

That, however, won’t happen unless I go out and walk. Or exercise otherwise. Which is not happening. Because I am stuck in that bloody vicious cycle right now.

Need to break free somehow.

Quotable Quotes by MLK

Lately, I am late with everything.

Okay, fine. I am always late with everything. In fact, the only thing I was early for was my own birthday. And the only reason I am [almost] never late with rent is because of the multiple alarms I have set on my phone. ADHD much? You all know the answer to that one.

But, I am late with reading emails of late. More than usual.

So, I just opened this one from Mashable and it gave me pause. It was about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. For the full article go here.

Reading like these make me angry[er]. Because after all these years, very little has changed. The lynching, maybe. But we are still fighting most of the same social justice issues.

MLK - Freedom must be demanded.jpg

Continue reading


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