Archive for the ‘When Life Isn't Too Great’ Category

Thinking…

November 20, 2010

A former hockey coach named Pat Burns passed away today (well, yesterday now) from cancer. I’m a hockey fan, not a HUGE hockey fan, but I had heard of this guy. I remember him best as a portly, mustached man, re-faced and yelling at his Toronto Maple Leafs players from behind the bench (not that it did them a heck of a lot of good! ;)).

Even though I didn’t follow his career, I knew his face very well, and I also knew that he was very ill. Tonight, on the news, I was utterly shocked to see footage of him at his last public appearance early last month. This was not the man I remembered; this was a man who looked like what I can best describe as death walking. He had wasted from what was probably 270lbs or so down to 100.

THIS is why, to this day, I am glad that my very last memory of my grandfather was of him sitting on a chair as I said goodbye to him after a Christmas visit. He, like Pat Burns, had cancer. If I had seen him in the hospital, obviously in pain, weighing next to nothing, I would probably be haunted for life (that’s just my personality; I tend to remember bad/negative things more than good things). I have no idea what I’ll do in the future if a loved one faces this situation again; I’ll deal with that when the time comes…

Cancer is a horrible, HORRIBLE disease…and I wouldn’t wish it on anybody. Just thinking of my grandfather, how much I miss him, an what a shame it is that hundreds of thousands of lives are cut short by cancer every year.

I miss you, Grampie  🙂  We remember you at every holiday, at every meal, and whenever someone pulls out their camera to take one of those unexpected shots when you’re in the middle of a mouthful of food. We all love you and miss you, and remember you with nothing but good thoughts. I’m glad I got to know you for as long as I did, and that you are no longer in pain. Thank you for the jaunts to fast food restaurants, the stories, building Legos, drives in the country, those special shopping trips, the trip to Pictou, and just for being a great man. Please know that I smile way, way more than I cry when I think of you, and that your legacy is being carried on with each and every one of us.

Oh, and yes, the water was wet today  😀

Realizations

October 27, 2010

Or, the alternate title: what NOT to say to a person with depression.

–>”You shouldn’t feel that way.” Gee, thanks. Thanks for asking me what you can do to help, and then when I tell you, completely dismiss my thoughts. I’ll definitely come to you with any of my future problems and/or difficulties in life.

–>” You need to get over what has happened in the past.” Yes, I do. I won’t argue with you there. The problem is with the ACTUAL GETTING OVER part. You need to realize that what happened in the past has an ENORMOUS impact on who I am today. Now that I think of it, I will never EVER get over what has happened in the past, but I really, really want to learn how to manage it better than I am now.

–>”Tell your therapist that XYZ is wrong with you.” Never, EVER tell me what I should be telling my therapist. YES, I am having trouble finding work. YES, I know why. YES, I’m going to bring it up with the therapist. I don’t need a laundry list of things to tell her…I KNOW I have a problem.

*sigh* can you tell it wasn’t the greatest of days? I hate, hate, HATE this dams illness. I don’t use it as an excuse, but it sure makes things harder. I would give ANYTHING not to suffer from it, but I do, and I have to make the best of it. My current living situation is neither conducive to me getting better nor ideal, but it’s all I have for now. After Christmas, I hope to be making a big life change…at least that’s something to look forward to  🙂

More on my thoughts on depression

October 22, 2010

First off, I want to admit something; I’m not a fan of the phrase “Unless you ***, then you can’t possibly ***”. I mean, a male OB/GYN has a heck of a greater understanding of my inner parts than I do, even if he doesn’t, and never will, have them himself!

However, with depression, I’m a great believer in the fact that you don’t really have a true idea what’s it’s like dealing with it on a day-to-day basis unless you’ve been there, or are there, yourself. I’m not saying that you can’t HELP someone with depression if you don’t suffer with it; I’ve had help from several professionals in dealing with my illness. While I’m not sure (and frankly, it doesn’t matter) whether or not they themselves have suffered from a mental illness, they’ve all helped me immensely in one way or another.

I have a person in my life who thinks they (side note: as a grammar geek, I know that using ‘they’ is incorrect. However, I’m using my artistic license here in order to conserve anonymity) are supporting and helping me deal with this illness. They tell me that they did the best they could, to forget things that happened in the past…what they don’t realize is that part of my getting better is trying to get over what happened in the past, so that I don’t let it affect what happens in the present and what will happen in the future. They criticize what I wear, what I eat how I look…all in the name of “trying to help”. I’m sorry, but I’ve made it clear to this person that bullying (or what I perceive as bullying) is NOT something that helps me. However, this person continues to do this.

Something I’ve been working on is realizing that you cannot control what and how other people feel about you, and you cannot change those who are not willing and who do not want to change. I’ll give this person credit; they are willing to help me, but the problem is that they are always going to be how they are, just as I am always going to be how I am. I may get thinner, or fatter, or smarter, or more successful but my personality is a static thing. This person’s personality just does NOT go with mine, and this is very, very difficult for me to deal with. However, they’re going to be in my life for awhile, and I’m just going to have to deal with the facts and move forward, which I am working on  🙂

This post was inspired because I’m not having a good day today. I know some reasons why, and they’re both in and out of my control. That’s why I hate, HATE this illness so much; I can be fine one day, and not want to get out of bed on others. However, today I got myself out of bed and out of the house despite how I was feeling, but I’m still a bit off. One step at a time…

Since I couldn’t find this song on Blipfm…

September 25, 2010

I thought I’d post it here! By the way, my eyes are hazel…

The song title says it all…

September 25, 2010

Online friendships

July 17, 2010

For the past year and a half (tomorrow, actually, will be 18 months), I have been in a relationship. For 18 of those months, things were never “right”. I knew it and he knew it, and he basically told me as much. I heard what I wanted to hear, not what he actually said, and I think I gave him a “free pass” of sorts in the relationship department. I know that I’m not innocent in the whole thing; some of the problems are definitely my fault. However, looking back, there are definitely things I would have done differently.

I am very, very grateful to a group of people on a certain message board (you know who you are!) who are helping me with this issue. It’s a process, and when you don’t have friends IRL to bounce things off of (yes, I have a therapist, but it’s not the same), it makes things difficult. So to all of you, thank you, and you haven’t seen the last of me. I’ll be bugging you til (Magic) kingdom come!  😉

Hot Topic: Mental Illness

July 13, 2010

Here’s the answer to yesterday’s question…Yes, I know, the title gives it away  🙂  All of the celebrities mentioned have a mental illness of some sort, whether it be depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia…there are many, MANY different mental illnesses out there. One thing that bothers me is the label “crazy”, as in “He just went crazy one day”. Oftentimes mental illnesses are always in the background, and certain words or events set them off. I do understand, though, that we are woefully undereducated on the subject and accept that sometimes people just use words that are familiar to them because they don’t know any better terminology. I’m going to take a big leap and tell my personal story…

I remember being nervous quite often as a young child. I was afraid to dive in swimming class; I didn’t mind jumping into deep water, but something about going in face-first really bothered me. I was TERRIFIED of playing team sports because trying to remember the rules made me worry so much that I couldn’t think of anything else. I didn’t want to join choir or the track team (or any other individual sport) because I didn’t think I was good enough, and that people would laugh at me or be disappointed when I let the “team”, or the rest of the group, down. I was what you would label “gifted”, and as a result teachers gave me more responsibilities than the other kids. I remember one incident where my Grade 1 teacher asked me to take a note to another teacher’s classroom; I was so nervous about knocking on her door and having all the kids staring at me that I went back and told my teacher that the other teacher wasn’t in her classroom.

Junior high is usually a wasteland of embarrassment, heartbreak and low self-esteem for most people, but to be honest, I really enjoyed it. I started to come out of my shell; I joined band and discovered I was a GOOD clarinet player!; and I had a great group of friends. Sure, there were spats, but we were always there for each other. My grades remained high, and I even had my very first date to my Grade 8 graduation dance.

High school is where things started to really go downhill. I went into an advanced program with dreams of going into medicine, and my grades plummeted. I was sick nearly every morning, and avoided studying because doing so would make me MORE nervous about the upcoming test. I did very well with essays because I could sit and take my time, writing at my own leisure. I simply didn’t know what was wrong with me, which is not a good feeling at all.

Fast forward 8 years. I was at my third university, having switched programs twice. I had taken dozens of courses, but did not yet have a degree. I took my father out to dessert for his birthday, and he broached the subject of depression, giving his personal experiences. With each word he spoke, describing situations and feelings he had experienced, I realized that I finally had an answer to what was wrong with me.

I’m doing much, MUCH better now. I’m taking medication: Effexor, which is part of the SNRI class of antidepressants. I have also found a wonderful therapist whom I call by her first name and who has given me a lot of encouragement. I’m still working on my problems with relationships, but things aren’t going to get better overnight. And, of course, the blog helps me get some of my feelings out too. If you’re still here, thanks for reading  🙂

Life…

July 10, 2010

Things are really tough right now, in pretty well all areas of my life. Nothing is turning out like I wanted it to or how I thought it would be, and before you say/think something stupid like “It never does turn out how you think it will”, “Life is so unpredictable”, “Things happen for a reason”…bullcrap. Those are just trite words that people use to make others feel better.

All I can say that truly comforts me is that I haven’t made any really dumb, life altering choices; getting married for the wrong reason, getting married too soon, spending money on a wedding when it could have been better spent elsewhere, settling, having kids in a rocky relationship…it seems that those are not unique choices. However, I’ve been spared having to make them, and for that I’m grateful.

I’m glad to have this blog to vent my feelings, and thanks to those who write comments  🙂  I know this is just a shitty little blog that no one reads (my stats have been at 0 views for the past 3 or 4 days; hey, maybe “Shitty Little Blog” would make a great new title!), but as those who blog know, it’s good to have SOMEWHERE to vent. I’m a pretty guarded person, and have less than a handful of friends I trust with personal and private information. I stopped writing in my journal because it became too sad to look back 5, 10 years ago and see what “was” and what “could have been”, if that makes sense *sigh*.

That felt good! Oh, and one more thing before I sign off for the night…

Bill McLeod is a world-class ASSHOLE!←

and I don’t care who knows it!!!

Thoughts for and about Haiti

January 14, 2010

Back in March 2006, I felt very privileged to be able to visit Haiti. I will add a disclaimer; I didn’t go to Port-Au-Prince or any of the other large cities, but rather to a private resort operated by Royal Caribbean International called Labadee.

However, any ideas I had that this stop would be just like any other was dispelled when I met my tour guide for our walking tour of the area. His name, unfortunately, escapes me now, but I’ll call him Daniel. Daniel was a young man in his early twenties, and he was entrusted with telling us about the history of Haiti in the span of just over an hour! We heard about how seriously Voodoo is taken there, how the unemployment rate in the country is eighty percent, and about how working in Labadee for Royal Caribbean is considered to be one of the best jobs you can get in the entire country. Daniel was one of the lucky ones; the mere fact that he could speak English attested to the fact that he had been given opportunities that the vast majority of Haitians do not get and never will.

When I heard about the devastating earthquake that shook the country, I immediately thought of Daniel and all that he had fought through to accomplish what he had done. I pray that he has gotten out of Haiti since 2006, but if not- Daniel, I hope you are all right and that your family is safe as well.

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If you would like to help Haitians affected by the recent earthquake:

This link will connect you to cbc.ca and a verified, registered, dependable list of charities that are accepting donations. Unfortunately, at time like this, there will be people that will try to scam you out of your money. Before you give to ANY organization, call their 1-800 number and verify that the information given to you is correct. Be VERY wary of any organization that contacts you by mass e-mail, phone, or any that does not have contact information readily available.

Protected: More feelings…

October 5, 2009

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