Happy [belated] International Women’s Day

March is a momentous month for me.

Well, momentous might be a bit of an exaggeration.

But many things happen in March for me. The birthday of one of my oldest friends on the fifth. My grandmother’s birthday on the 20th. My daughter’s birthday on the 25th.

And then there is International Women’s Day on the 8th.

IWD is a bittersweet celebration. In fact, it is a celebration that shouldn’t be. Because women – and people- should be celebrated, appreciated, valued, etc, every day of the year, not just on March 8.

We all know that, right?

Well, not really. Many men haven’t got the memo yet. Continue reading

Canada, my adoptive land

You know, despite yesterday’s post -which was in jest, of course* – I do love it here. And by here, I mean Canada.

I am proud of being Canadian.

This country may not be perfect but it’s got many things right.

By far and large, Canadians are good people. They are nice, polite and welcoming.

Sure, there are douchebags. But douchebags can be found everywhere else in the world too. Not just in Windsor.

I have been able to be happy here in a way that could have never been possible for me in my country of origin.

Which is a sad thing to say, of course.

It is a tragedy when one can’t be happy in the land one was born, for more than one reason. Continue reading

When you get tired of drinking lemonade

*Warning* RANT ahead. Read at your own risk.

I am normally good about ignoring the bad things and focusing on the good things. Not in a “I-am-putting-all-in-a-pile-in-the-back-of-my-mind-and-OH-SHIT-WTF-is-this-monster-let’s-have-a-meltdown” kind but in a “If-I-have-to-do-this-at-least-I’ll-have-some-fun-while-I’m-at it” one.

In other words, I’ve spent all my life making [and drinking] lemonade. And that’s ok. I do have lots of fun as you all know. Sometimes I even make chocolate cake instead of lemonade.

Wish it were that easy

Continue reading

Join the conversation

Let's talk

if don’t, I’ll be contributing to the stigma


For every long-distance call and text message made by a Bell customer, for every share of our Bell Let’s Talk image on Facebook and for every tweet using the official #BellLetsTalk hashtag, Bell will donate 5¢ toward mental health initiatives. Participation is easy and every little bit helps!

I’ve been talking all day on Facebook and Twitter. And I am not the only one.

People are talking

This are the numbers so far. People are talking


Join the conversation!

Mental Illness: An Excuse for Bad Behaviour?

This is alarming. And angering.  And saddening.

Stats taken from Canadian Medical Association, 8th Annual National Report Card on Health Care, August 2008

As you know (well, at least I hope that you know) this week is Mental Illness Awareness Week for us Canucks.

I know I’ve been rather quiet this week. Work is been kinda insane so I feel bad for not starting more conversations here but I sure have on Facebook (by the way, for those of you who follow me there, I’d appreciate your input).

And I found this statistic very appalling.

To learn that almost half of Canadians think that I may be using my mental illness to excuse any kind of bad behaviour is overwhelming.  Do they think that if I (anyone) call in sick because an anxiety attack the real reason is because I went clubbing last night, got hammered and now I’m hung over? Do they think that if I can’t keep an appointment is because I am a juvenile brat who doesn’t care about other people’s time?

What on earth are they thinking?

This is my plea to all of you who have to struggle with mental illness: Be vocal about it. Start conversations. Write about your experiences. Support your local groups.

Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and let’s show them what living with a mental illness really is about!

Let’s fight the stigma!

I am wearing my MIAW wristband. Are you?

Mental Illness Awareness Week 2012

Ladies and Gentlemen, we interrupt this program for a special announcement:

This year’s Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) is on September 30 – October 6 for us, Canucks (and on Oct. 7-13, 2012 south of the border)

What the heck is MIAW about?

Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) is an annual national public education campaign designed to help open the eyes of Canadians to the reality of mental illness. The week was established in 1992 by the Canadian Psychiatric Association, and is now coordinated by the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) in cooperation with all its member organizations and many other supporters across Canada.

Campaign elements include: a grassroots public education initiative; a nationally-distributed poster and bookmark series; the Annual Champions of Mental Health Awards luncheon in Ottawa and an education initiative with federal Members of Parliament, both in their home ridings and on Parliament Hill.

As you know, Mental Illness runs deep in my family.  And after years decades of carrying the stigma, I decided to break free and become very vocal about Mental Illness and Mental Health.

Cool!  But MIAW is more than a month away, why are you telling me now?

Continue reading

Happy Canada Day

As most of you know, I wasn’t born in Canada.  I moved here in 2001 and was granted Citizenship in 2006.

Coming to Canada was one of childhood dreams.  I am very happy to be here and I am a PROUD CANADIAN.

I may not agree with all the politics in this country.  I may not agree on how the national budget is managed.  I may be even embarrassed by some of the things our politicians in general and our Prime Minister in particular do.

But I’m still a proud Canadian and I can say that MOST Canadians are good people.  This is a beautiful land and this is where I want to die when the time comes.

So I’ll be wearing red and white today and I’ll head to the Hill to enjoy the Canada Day celebrations.  And I’ll be dancing up a storm cause Swing Dynamite will be lindybombing the Jazz concerts too.


I’m a weirdo

Someone told me today I’m a weirdo.

Not even the first time it happens.  I get that all the time.  Variations of the same theme: Insane, crazy, weird, weirdo.

It all started because that person asked me today why I came to Canada.  And I only get that, oh I don’t know, about ten times a day.

Continue reading

The Summer Solstice Paradox

Once upon a time a baby girl was about to be born… she was due some time late August, early September. But something went wrong and the birth ended up happening in June. On the Summer Solstice, to be exact.

Of course the Stork was completely unprepared -which is only understandable given that it was not supposed to happen for another two months. She was drunk completely wasted.

She misread the directions or dropped the compass or something and the poor baby girl ended up being delivered in a tropical country. Not bad – some would say, for someone being born on the Summer Solstice. You know, Summer… tropical… kinda the same thing, temperature-wise.

25 degrees Celsius (plus humidex) all year round sounds like a dream come true for most people. Not for the Summer Solstice Girl. With a high sensitivity to sun in the form of both light and heat – translated into a great sensitivity to heat exhaustion and photophobia (perhaps the vestiges of prematurity or due to the fact that she was really intended to be born in a boreal country) this little girl grew up dreaming of snow and winter. Sweaters, jackets, scarves and gloves. Snowmen, hot chocolate (well, that she still had, but the Colombian kind) and sleigh rides. Winter sports. Those were he things she used to day-dream of….

Ah, the paradox of the Summer Solstice Girl.

Instead she had to deal humidex, frizzy hair and sunburn. She was not happy.

That’s not the SSG but that is how her hair used to look.  OK not really.  But you get the idea

It would be a very sad story -cruel really, were it not for the fact that finally the Summer Solstice Girl got to come to Canada!

The Great White North, strong and free.

It’s never too late, they say, to pursue one’s dreams. Well, let’s hope they were right.