My momma didn’t tell me

Having one of those Why The Fuck Did I Get Out Of Bed In The First Place? days.

I detest that blasted “fuck my life” expression as I am well aware that my life, when you think about it, is pretty good. I am not homeless. I am not starving. I am a citizen of – and live in- a safe and beautiful country. I know I am loved by family and friends.

That, by any account, is a blesses life in all the true sense of the word, religion notwithstanding.

But right now I am mighty tempted to scream fuck my life at the top of my lungs.

But most of all, and really, this is what it all comes down to, FUCK MENTAL ILLNESS.

You know what I mean?

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.

Charcot_experience_histeric-hipnotic

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

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 :)

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.

The Darkness whitin

In the darkness I commune
with the dark thoughts I emane
in the darkness I dwell
with the dark energy I create

A child of the light I’m not
the darkness I prefer
it doesnt hurt my eyes
the darkness suits me well

In the darkness I forever walk
In the dark recesses of my soul I live
forever destined to be dark
radiating darkness as I breathe

inward my thoughts go
into the vastness of the void
inward lies the comfort
of the ever numbing cold

But why can’t the rest of me follow?
oh, how wonderful it’d be
to exist where time is nonessential
where only cold and darkness live

A life accursed. Split
demanding light that hurts
welcoming cold, unlit

The choice is easy, friend
no need to even think
if offered, I’d stay
for all the time complete

body, soul and mind
here in the darkness within

Sticks and Stones

Sticks and stones will break my bones But words will never harm me.

From Wikipedia:

“Sticks and Stones” is an English language children’s rhyme. It persuades the child victim of name-calling to ignore the taunt, to refrain from physical retaliation, and to remain calm and good-natured.

Sensible advice that, to remain calm and good-natured.

I have no problem with remaining calm.

But the truth is – as any person who’s ever been bullied can tell you, words can and do harm you.

Words can and do hurt you.

Words can and do cause you great pain.

Words can even lead you to suicide. Continue reading

You win

I hate life.

There I said it.

I have spent decades finding gratefulness for what little I had. No parents? oh, who needs parents anyway, I can totally fend for myself. Pain? Oh, at least I have a roof under my head and I have food on my belly. Being told that everything is in my head? Oh at least I have my books and a great imagination. I can always escape to better worlds in my mind when nobody is looking.

I have tried to find strength and peace in the beauty of the little things. The birds coming to my balcony. My cats. Later on, when I finally made it to Canada, the falling leaves, the snow. The squirrels and chipmunks. The groundhogs. The Rideau canal. Swing Dancing.

But the truth is my life has been crap since day one. I was born extreme premature and spent the first months of my life in an incubator. The doctors told my mother not to get too attached to me because I most likely wouldn’t make it. And yet I did. I am pretty sure some god(s) with a lot of time in their hands and a very twisted and sick sense of humour had something to do with that. Perhaps they even made bets on how long I was going to last after all the things they had in store for me.

I spent my the first two years of my life in and out of the hospital and after that in an out of the pediatrician’s office with recurrent ear and throat infections which are the cause of my bilateral hearing loss.

I had no friends, as it is so common for children from very dysfunctional family environments.

Nonetheless, I puttered along. Hating every minute of it. Continue reading