Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Dear Me. 

September 26, 2017

If someone had told 15 year old me who I would be 22 years later I would laughed or more than likely punched them for suggesting I would be something I wasn’t right at that moment. 

Dear 15 year old me,

Be you. Just you. Simple as that. You are  enough. And one day people will realize that, most of all you will! One day you will know that you are fine, just the way you are. You will embrace and accept that you are unique, feel deeply, and your giving a shit is actually ok. That you are good enough. 
Let it go. Let the worlds expectations of you go. Let the anger about them go. Ignore the comparisons to others. Don’t let them consume you and make you bitter. Let go of the idea you must fit into a mould or a box. Smash the damn box and stand up tall.

Use your voice. Not your fists. Settle down with the punches. You have voice, a strong one, use it instead. Use it with kindness and acceptance and grace. Your voice will serve you well. Better than your fists.

You are not dumb! I know, I know you feel stupid, alot of the time. You are deemed lazy and blah blah blah. You are not! You are smarter than almost anyone has given you credit for. Don’t carry the burden of that stereotype with you, or any of the other ones either. One day you will realize just how smart you are. It may be when you turn 40 or 50 or 70, but you are not dumb. Not now, not before and not in the future. Don’t ever doubt yourself. 

Accept the bad, the good and the ugly. Life is going to throw you curve balls. Lots of them. You are going to scream and cry and feel completely lost. You are going to question if it’s worth it, I promise you it is. All of those tears, frustrating and make no sense times will be a part of your story, they will help you become a better person and show you that life is hard but beautiful. The bad and the ugly often bring the most beautiful.

Smile. Smile a bit more. Life will give you plenty to frown about, so remember to smile at the little things, because even those little smiles are important, somewhere along the way you will realize they’re actually the most important. Life will bring you tears, but oh will it bring you joy. So much joy. 

Hang in there. Life is about to get crazy. Hang in there. Lean on your parents, and family. They are there. Always. You are going to be ok. You are going to be more than ok. You are going to be just fine.

Sincerely,

Kind of an adult you. 

Advertisements

Take me to sesame street! 

September 1, 2017

I remember when my biggest question was how do I get to sesame street? That and who the hell was that creep pokaroo?

Years later I have a far bigger question :

How did we get here?

*How did I end up with 2 teenagers?  How did we survive and persevere the years gone by and land on our feet?  How did we navigate health issues that appeared insurmountable of our son as young parents? How did we manage to turn out better than we would have imagined. I don’t remember getting here. 

*How did our world turn into what it is? Full of so so much good, but mixed with a hate I’d wished to never see in my lifetime, and certainly did not expect to witness a rising of. What the hell happened doesn’t begin to cover my feelings on current events. I had hoped certain human rights issues would continue to evolve in a positive way, instead I find myself dumbfounded by the opposite. When and why did this all happen? Why is it remotely acceptable?

* When did I become a freaking adult? I won’t say responsible because that’s dependent on the day. But seriously. When did I grow up? 9 years into running a business, 16 years into being a mom and 17 years into being a wife and I can’t help question the sanity of actual responsible adults in my life trusting me with this stuff. It’s almost like I have a clue. And I almost feel like I have them all tricked. Me, in charge of anything? Ha! I suppose maybe I am smarter than I or the majority of people give me credit for? None the less I still can’t figure out how I got here. Tome warp possibly? 

Obviously I need to turn off my brain but most of all I still need to figure out how to get to sesame street! 

It matters to me.

July 26, 2017

I haven’t written in a while.  Partly because I am busy in my florist role, partly because I try to enjoy  every piece of what little summer we have. And partly because I wonder, does it even matter?

In the last year I have been disheartened and discouraged by the ignorance and lack of education I have witnessed  (often online because that seems to be the safe place to post ignorant things) and I have found myself wondering why I even bother trying to make a dent in lessening ignorance, stigmas and stereotypes surouning so many things but mostly mental illness.

I find myself shocked. Shocked by the lack of compassion, understanding or even willingness to understand or accept difference. And I wonder how my one little voice can help.

Because I am well aware of how many people on my friends list find my awareness and posts around mental health annoying.  I am well aware of the people who think I am over talking,looking for attention or have no idea what I am talking about because I don’t have a PhD behind my name or I am not peddling some miracle cure. That old saying “walk a mile in my shoes…” comes mind….

Then I realize those people are exactly who need to be “bothered”. Either they don’t understand mental illness on a raw personal level (congratulations) or they think it’s better to not speak of  such things out loud. Both are part of the problem. Sorry but they are. Instead of being annoyed take a minute to read instead of complaining about being annoyed. Instead of being quiet, make a  comment online or in person to show others they are not alone.

In my world openness and being vocal is crucial.  Not only for my loved ones but for others – I  have had frantic messages, visits and phone calls from those I don’t know well reaching out for support,advice or an ear. Had I not shared our journey on a regular basis, they wouldn’t have. Not saying they wouldn’t have found those things elsewhere but would they have felt comfortable or even known they could ask questions without judgements or gossip if I just sat quietly?  probably not. And I like to think maybe I was able to bring a bit of comfort. A bit of guidance.

I have been brought back recently that stigmas and stereotypes and ignorance around mental illness isn’t going anywhere soon, like a big ol kick in the face.

And I am committed; that as long as those who suffer feel judged or inclined to suffer alone or end it all, that I will be a voice for them.

Be it a little voice.  For the more little voices there are, the bigger the roar. And how I wish there were more little voices.

January 24, 2017


I need a time out. 

I need a time out from the negative. The ignorance. The hate. The stigmas and the stereotypes. I need a time out from the mean and the cruel and the closed minds. From closed off bubbles. 

I try to be vocal. To use my voice, against those things. But right now I am tired. I’m tired of it all.  I am exhausted from the online bombardment of them. It’s sad. It’s disheartening  and it’s exhausting. And I need my bubble desperately. 

I don’t get it. I don’t understand. I can’t imagine how people  can so vehemently be against something they don’t understand or know, let alone a person or people they don’t.  (I suppose that some don’t understand why I’m not.  I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, that’s okay.  I do expect kindness. I do expect when disagreeing with me or others you not be ignorant or an asshole.)

 I suppose I actually do. Fear is often rooted in change. Change is scary. Being pushed out of your comfort zone or to actually think about others is tough. It’s easier to stay in the bubble we create for ourselves. To fit in with those around you, with similar bubbles.  But somethings need to change. And if you don’t consider anything other than what’s in your bubble. That bubble needs to pop. 

I asked the other day if your child was one of those who you deemed wrong or not acceptable, outside of your bubble, would you still speak the same? Would you continue to belittle, bash and hate?if your child didn’t fit what you deem acceptable. Would it still be they don’t deserve the same rights? Just because they don’t fit what’s in your bubble? Your children are listening. I feel for the kids on the fringes who will possibly fear sharing with their parents because of this.  They share our bubbles for a moment in time, they are though allowed to have their own, dont burst it because its different from yours. I fear one day parents may not have those children one way or another because they are so stuck in their own bubble. Let’s remember every person is someone’s child) could be your child.

No one answered. I am not surprised. However, I hope it made some think . 

I know I am not alone in my thoughts. I know that the world is full of us. I know that there’s troops of kind,caring,empathetic and open humans. Yet some days I feel like a minority in my thoughts and views. That’s okay.  

I am okay with being outside the bubble.

I’ll just make my own.  And it will be a bubble full of acceptance. 

Suicide silence. 

September 19, 2016

Candid post warning. 

September is always one of reflection, being suicide awareness month. 

Suicide sucks. Period. End of story. 

As any death does. 

I think it’s harder to understand because we don’t all feel so lost or weighed down by the pain that those who die of suicide do. Often we can’t fathom how death would ever be an ideal option. Most victims are loved, and love after all. I assure you those who pass of suicide don’t die because they don’t love us,or think of us. They do. A lot. 

They aren’t as selfish as society makes them out to be.  

Some churches still refuse funerals for those lost or consider it a mortal sin,  some won’t pay respects because of archaic beliefs or stigmas attached.  And that is just plain sad. These are people. Amazing, strong and courageous people who succumbed to an illness. 

The loss due to suicide doesn’t hurt less than other deaths.  Albeit they may leave us more confused, likely questioning and carrying guilt.  It’s something that crushes us to the core, yet we still stay quiet, we don’t speak of the pain leading up to the passing, often we’re left in shock. We stay silent because it’s easier than discussing such a taboo subject. 

I speak often of doing all we can to prevent our son from dieing of suicide.  It’s a daily thought in our minds, have we done enough? We just don’t know. 
 What I don’t speak so much about is that I am a survivor of being on that brink. I wasn’t there because I was selfish. I was there because the pain was unbearable.  Putting my family through my pain was unbearable. Thankfully with help and support I survived. I am here, where the thought no longer creeps in, where I am living a full life. I survived. 


I also don’t speak of the double digits of childhood friends lost due to suicide. Their stories aren’t mine to share. But with every one I’m brought back to the others. With every one my voice gets a little louder for those who are silent or can’t find their voice. 

We must remember suicide is not our fault. Suicide is not their fault. 

Many don’t know where to go,many don’t get treatment or help, especially boys and men, because of stereotypes. That needs to stop. 

Shame and embarrassment is often piled on top of the already agonizing pain, to the point death truly does seem to be the only way to help. There is no shame, or there shouldn’t be. 

 There is support,and help and often stability if we just open our minds and hearts enough. Sometimes, as heart breaking as it is, those aren’t enough. I truly believe that less lives would be lost if there wasn’t the added stigmas and shame of asking for help however. 

I am not promoting suicide, quite the opposite, I am promoting support, help, ridding of stigmas and stereotypes. Most of all I am promoting love and compassion for those who are lost.  
Remembering and hoping ❤

I’m just his mother. 

August 20, 2016

Well it would appear that summer is coming to a close.  It would appear I completely missed it. 

I’ve spent a busy summer working and trying desperately to figure out this new phase of life.

One which finds my Dude growing in Independence and more stable and level then we’ve seen in 10 years. It’s wonderful and odd all at once. 

One in which finds my Punk just growing into this amazingly independent, open minded and compassionate young woman. 

I have spent a lot of time looking back and reflecting on where we started, our journey so far, and how we reached a point of not wandering through everyday with a deep seeded fear of not knowing if our child would make another day. 

I’ve come to realize that the journey so far most certainly was not easy.

 For years we attended 3 weekly appointments with the closest being 40 minutes away. We had to make heart wrenching decisions to admit our little boy to the hospital. Unlike if he was hospitalized for a physical illness where we could sleep beside him, we left standing and breaking on the opposite side of a locked door. This was necessary 3 times before he was 10. Nothing, I mean nothing, is worse than leaving your baby in what you hope are capable hands and trying to carry-on for weeks filled with your own tears and cracking heart.

  We spent years trying meds,tweaking meds. We walked on eggshells.  We watched our child every moment of many days trying anything to ease the pain.  We hid every sharp object to prevent the only way he could think to ease it. And we held on for dear life. Our child’s dear life. 

I’ve also come to realize that the journey so far has been SO worth it. 

It didn’t happen overnight. In fact it’s been so gradual I hadn’t really even noticed. He’s stable and level and I have the child I knew was in there, back.  Of course we don’t know for how long, we don’t know what tomorrow holds. But if this journey has taught me one thing,it’s to be in and embrace and celebrate the good moments. 

 It’s taught me that I am strong and fierce when it comes to my children.  It’s taught me that for my children i will do anything. It’s taught me that no two people are alike. It’s taught me to judge less and accept more. It’s taught me that little things,things we take for granted, are in fact big and life living moments. Its taught me that working your ass off does make a difference. It does pay off. 

We can listen to him ramble about all things random for hours, for he is talking full of joy. We can listen to his eclectic mix of music for days,because he’s sharing a passion. We can’t hear his laughter enough, because we hadn’t heard it for so long. We can breathe a little bit more, because we held our breaths for so long. 

We are here. Now. In this incredible moment. We are not looking ahead. We are though looking back the odd time, to remind us of where we started. 

This child of ours is a warrior. A fighter. A survivor.  He is why we are where we are. He is the one who has the determination and the courage to live. He is the one who fought and fights the hardest battles. He is the one who has battled and likely will again the trenches of illness and worked hard to get to today. He is empathic, compassionate, caring, kind, open, funny, sincere and loyal. He is my son. 

I am just lucky enough to be his mother.

Be you.

June 13, 2016

image

Once upon a time I tried to fit what everyone around me thought I should be. Be it an athlete, horse lover,or anything in between. And it was maddening.
We all at some point try to fit a mould that doesn’t make quite fit us. Breaking that mould and making your own is not only freeing, but life changing.

I also had a pretty good idea of what kind of parent I was going to be and what kind of children I would have.

And then I had children.

They had a different plan.

The eldest brought differences, and acceptance of such, to the forefront of our lives.
We have witnessed judgement, criticism, stigma and stereotypes. Simply because he has an illness others can’t see. We’ve fought for 12 years to save his life. Not only from his illness, but from others cruelty.
He’s not alone. In his illness or simply by not being what society deems the norm.
Different is not bad.

Because of that I refuse to groom my children to March to anyone’s drum but their own, and I have learned to lead by example.  I am me, they are them and you are you.
 
We are allowed to be ourselves. We are allowed to be different. We are not less because of.

Because of the child I was blessed with,  I see the world a bit differently, I firmly believe that different is good. I believe that being the same is not all its cracked up to be. That the world is a much more beautiful place when you just accept differences. Others and our own.

I honestly don’t care if you understand others or not. I just don’t.  You don’t need to.
What do I care about?  Empathy.
It seems to be lacking to often.

No one, ever, deserves to be harmed, physically, mentally or emotionally because another doesn’t understand them. Someone marching to a different beat does not give others the right to burn them over the coals.

I am really not concerned with your religion, your race, your sexuality or status.  What I am concerned about is kindness towards others. Non of the above give others the right to persecute. We are not God, and sorry we are not so important in our ways that others ways are wrong.  Race,religion, sexuality,  status or any other difference are not  reasons to be hurtful or harmful. And using them as a reason to be so,is a damn poor excuse.

I do believe if we all thought the same thoughts, felt the same way and liked the same things; or world would be a very robotic, bleak and scary place.

I do believe in the right to personal opinions.  However I struggle to understand them being used to hurt others. Again difference in opinions doesn’t allow cruelty.

I know I see the world differently.
I know not everyone agrees.
I know our world can’t be all sunshade and rainbows.
I know though that kindness is far better than hatred.
I know that love and compassion is a nicer feeling than fear or hate .
I also know that different can be amazing.

Be brave enough to be you.  And be brave enough to let others be them.

Lessons from grandpa

January 5, 2015

image

My grandpa was my hero and I his little  angel.
12 years have passed since I lost one of the most influential people in my life. My grandpa would be celebrating his 100 th birthday this month, one special occasion we shared. 

The man should have never made it to where he did (being highly premature in 1915 was not what it is today, fighting the front lines of the entire second world war was almost unheard of) but in doing so he brought so much to so many. My Grandpa taught me many many lessons.  Most of which can be transferred to all parts of life.

1. Humour : laugh. ALOT. At funny things but also yourself.  Laughing at yourself, your mistakes, your comical errors will lessen the load.  Life can be funny,make it so.

2.  Tell your story: The only thing my grandpa didn’t speak of often was his war years.  Otherwise the man told stories and shared memories, always! Those stories and memories gave me a huge appreciation for years passed, what hard times really mean, and that everyone has a story to share, everyone has been through tragedies, and we are not here to lessen them, judge or criticize.
We all have a voice, use it and use it wisely.

3.   Friendliness/kindness :One of my fondest memories is morning coffee at the local coffee shop every morning to enjoy a hot chocolate with the farmers and the wives, and the trips tucked in the back seat to the nearest city for Sunday trips during my visits.  Both entailed meeting friends and strangers alike. And strangers become friends. Smile at people, start a conversation, it may just be the best thing you’ve done in a while. I never heard the man dismiss someone or be rude.  He taught me to be kind, to everyone until proven otherwise, then still be kind.

4. Commitment.  This is from both grandpa and grandma.  Don’t just walk away from a marriage, home, friendship because this moment is tough.  When you make a commitment, follow through. My grandpa returned from war, married grandma and brought baggage like most of us would turn away from.  She stood by him, loved him and truly was his better half.  He was the oldest home dialysis patient in Canada.  Three times a day those two would sit down for the treatment, grandma administrating, grandpa talking.  They taught me perseverance and strength, that even during the bad there can be wonderful.  All because of a commitment they took seriously.

5. Hard work: the man worked hard. I often sat in his workshop while he tinkered.  The smell of sawdust still tears me up.  Sure by this time he was retired, but his hands were never idle.  He taught me to take pride in my work and in myself.  He taught me I was good enough, smart enough and determined enough to do whatever I wanted to do. The quiet moments we shared puttering were some of the best and carried the biggest lessons of all.  He believed in me, trusted me and showed me that giving up was never an option.

6. Take time for yourself : grandpa loved his naps, his cartoons and his wood shop.  I believe that those moments were his and his alone.  Time to think, ponder, reflect. He genuinely liked his own company. I watched and learned that no matter what is going on, it is perfectly acceptable to take that myself moment.  To say no, to rest when you need and to enjoy your own company, so you can be the best you. Heck if you don’t like yourself it’s kind of hard for others to!

7. Be you : my grandpa taught me that being me was enough.  Even if it took me a while to get it.  He always always accepted not only me for me, but others as well just the way we were.  He didn’t care what colour you were, what size you wore, how many degrees you held, or how much money you had.  He only cared if you were decent and kind. And when you messed that up, he still liked ya! He loved me enough to prove to me that I was loved, unconditionally, for always.

Yes lessons learned from grandpa are some of life’s best lessons.

image

2014 in review

December 30, 2014

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,300 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 38 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Tip your hat to the Alberta outlaw.

November 19, 2014

image

https://www.canadahelps.org/en/pages/the-alberta-outlaw-raising-awareness-for-mental-he /

If you happen to live anywhere between grandprarie, Alberta and Nashville Tennessee and you happen to spot a cowboy on a horse named drifter.  Say thank you. Share some food, some hay and make a donation, but most of all say thank you!

This Alberta outlaw is taking on quite a feat to raise awareness and money for a cause near and dear to so many.  If your a rider you know just how daunting this road will be.  Travelling that distance on horse back is a journey in itself, doing so without food, money and a place to lay ones head makes the journey damn near impossible.

But those that are in the midst of a mental illness journey know just how

isolated and impossible surviving can feel.  It blows my mind that a single person is willing to ,  on horse back, in the worst months to travel through Alberta, step up and make a noise for such an incredibly important cause. It gives me hope

that maybe, just maybe peoples eyes will be opened to the illnesses and the stigmas.  As I told my boy about this Alberta outlaw this morning, he stood tall. He was amazed that someone would do something so unique and difficult to raise awareness and funds for something he battles daily.  I believe it made him feel a bit proud and a bit happy to hear that people care. Perhaps we don’t always see it, but people (one person at a time)  are making a difference in the world of mental health.

So if you see a lone cowboy travelling on his trusted horse, tip your hat. Tip your hat and say thank you.