blue to true


i don't know if i have ever in my life made a successful new year's resolution.  i probably have, but if i have it was an accident.  last year my resolution was to smile always. lololololol.

i don't know what wisdom i'll pull from this yet.  that's for a later post. for now i'm looking back on this year and seeing my life in a lot of different ways.

these are the things that i know.  this has been the scariest year of my life.  the past 6 months were only about 1/19340923th as bad as the first six, but i'm still here in an emotionally comatose state and i still haven't gotten to the place where i can get up on purpose, or exercise (ever. at all.) or focus on anything because i'm just not there yet.  all in all, i'm okay with that.  i can put on my obnoxious little mask and go through the motions.  i'm moving to ottawa on january 4th and leaving this wonderful rock behind me for a few years.  i want this move to change everything.  i want my body to ache from missing the sea and my heart beat to 'let me fish off cape st. mary's'.  i want to fill my mind with a new world and new place and new people to love.

this time last year i was so happy, and so ready for a year full of light, but my depression pulled me down and since then i've been crawling through mud.  so i'm pretty sure new years is a terrible time for people with depression. to have to judge ourselves against naive wishes made in wellness, and hope for something better, when maybe it just didn't come because the serotonin levels in our brains said "hey no way!" and that's really okay and maybe not our fault but it still feels sad.  i've been pretty sad today and yesterday thinking about it.  and so i'm going through the motions.  i'm smiling and being obnoxious and going through the motions, so i'll be okay.  this is the year that i finally admitted my sadness to everyone.  people had heard tidbits and snippets, but i would try to cut and paste around things to make them less scary before this year.  no one knew just how often i think about dying (which is just about every day) and how much darkness i hold.  i told my closest friends and family first with this post.  sending that e-mail was so scary.  writing this is scary.  i'm scared all of the time.  i'm scared if i show too much darkness people will turn away from me.  i'm scared i've already shown too much darkness, and people have already turned away from me.  the point is, i kept trying to make this post all happygogo but it just can't be.  i've had a really sad year.  but that's okay.  because that year is behind me.  even if i'm still sad, that year is behind me.  but the truth of my year is, i had so much support from people.  there were so many people who cried when they read my e-mail and had teary phone calls with me, or sent me long lovely rambly e-mails or short and lovely text messages or waited until they saw me to hug me and hug me and hug me.  so that is the background to my next point: celebrate the truth.  ring in the true.

these are the things that i know.  i have lots of goals and lots of things i want to be.  i want to be something good in the world.  i want to stop one heart from breaking.  i want my body to be healthy and my heart to be full.  i want to do all of the normal things like go to the gym or do more work with oxfam or start learning to be a normal person again or start biking everywhere when i live in a bikeworthy city.  these are all things that i can do, and things that i can do when i'm well.  and these things are what wellness means.  i want to smile like this:



remember my little "two worlds we live in a different world" thing?  my depressive self builds an entire depressive world around me.  this is a horrible thing about depression, because it twists and braids the people you love into demons as well.  this is a world without truth.  there is a huge shame i feel from this.  i hate that my mind finds demons within people and makes them my reality.  there is a nasty version of the world that is full of evil and evil versions of people and that world is my reality and where i live when i'm sad.  because your mind doesn't only find things to be sad about when you're depressed; it also creates them.  and so when i'm depressed, you hate me, strangers hate me, boyfriends hate me, people stew in their resentment for me, and most of all everyone thinks in a different way that i am worthless.  

seeker of truth
follow no path
all path lead where-
truth is here.
   (e.e. cummings)

so there is my second world.
again, that is in my mind.  the people around me are wonderful and supportive and just not like that.  but my mind collects demons and they don't just live in me they will live in anyone.  it is so hard to find truth when this is your reality: when your reality is so thoroughly unreal, but is real to you because every instinct you have is telling you this is truth.  and this is what i think about when i look back on my year.  and this is a truth and a trust and the hardest kind of love.  it is so hard to know and celebrate the truth, the love in the hearts all around.
so instead of looking back on last year and finding something i did wrong, which is just about everything, i'm looking back at messages people sent me and deciding that for the year to come, i'm going to try my best to ring in the true.  to celebrate the truth.  to not assume what is in people's hearts or minds and to celebrate the fact that even though i can't see or feel this world it is there, and there are people i trust to hold me here until i get better.  and i will be truth.  i will tell the people i love that i love them and they are fantastic, and try as hard as i can to ring in the true.  

i'm reading 'white teeth' by zadie smith, which is for the most part enjoyable, and then i came across this line which improved the book by about 78%:

Every moment happens twice: inside and outside, and they are two different histories.

so that is my new year's resolution.
ring in the true.
i want truth to ring like the boom of a bell with long full tones.  i want to know the truth in the world, in the real world that people share and isn't alone in my heart.  i want to find what is true in the hearts of everyone.  the universal language of everything.  the trust required for this is exhausting.  but this is what i want to be and this is who i need to be.  ring in the true.  i love you and will always love you all and i will try with my greatest soul to learn to find the truths of the world this year.  i want to hold the truth closely and i want to breathe the same air that everyone has and knows is true. but really, this is just a fancy way of saying i want to believe in a world made of love, and not the one made of my demon's shadows.  my new years resolution is to live in the world 
but please know.
this isn't easy.
but not only that.  i am opening myself up to the greatest kinds of hurt right now.  

please understand that this year has been the hardest year of my life.  i have spent so much of it with the sting of mascara in my eyes. i was so sad. i was just sooo sad.  but i was just living in a world with no truth.  and that's what depression and suicidal life is.  because as much as you can say people are greedy and selfish when they hurt themselves, i know that really they are just living in a world where their truth is that the world is a better place without them, and so is everyone they love.  so that is my small little resolution that might change everything.  to practice mindfulness and try to live in the real world, where my friends and family.    

a merry little christmas

hey friends merry christmas!
i love all of you so much.  merry christmas to the people who held me through the year, to the people i meet at parties who tell me they read my blog, and to the people who are too sad to go out a whole lot.

this time last year i was really happy.
this time last year my medication was working for the first time in months and i was just so happy to be with my family and friends.  this year i'm a little blue but i refuse to let that take away my little christmas cheer so i am going through the motions; going through the motions of happiness and joy that aren't always inside of me because that is how to let them in.  so here's to the depressed; merry christmas, and i am with you as we cry through beautiful moments because we don't think we deserve them, and fall on our knees and cry and smile and are surrounded by love.  it feels like this happiness doesn't belong to me; but the secret to smiling is that it does.

so here's to the depressed.
merry christmas!
here i am telling you, you are allowed to smile and cry because of love.  no matter what you feel, it is because of the love around you and that's okay.  let yourself smile, let your tears fall, and believe me when i tell you it is okay.  let yourself feel what you feel.  and then smile whether you feel like it or not because this is the time of year that it is okay to love, and love is what sadness is made of anyways.


and so i leave you with this, the christmas edition of my love for gordon pinsent aka babar.  because i was smiling and laughing so hard with victoria when this was taken, and because i have made him do this picture with me on three different occasions, and because it makes me believe in my smile.

merry christmas!
if you don't believe in santa you might as well believe in joy, mirite?
love to you, and everyone i know - xxxxxxxxxxx.

to be of beasts

this is a poem i wrote in high school about the darkness i was starting to feel inside of me.
it's pretty self-explanatory.

the faucets are leaking leaking leaking
but no one knows and no one's gonna fix it
still, there's got to be a smile that fits.
and with all the iron curtains spilling down
our hearts are spastic
and it's hard to breathe
the leaded air.
all tears are fine print
even with the sky falling
and the pieces won't fit
because the world is
broken.

and the sparks from friction
they are the demons
but don't worry cause
your heart, like hell, will freeze over
(and you won't feel it if it breaks)
so you will know
you are of us.

this is how you do it

a lot of people i find to be on the cusp of help don't really know how to do it, or who to go to.
so this is how you do it.  this is good for people who think they might be sick to know, but also good for everyone in case depression or bipolar or schizophrenia or any mental illness waltzes into the life of someone you love.
here is what you do. in canada.  or newfoundland at least.  a simple guide to navigating our own little mental healthcare universe.
these are just the small weird details of things that people seem to not know, and might help someone.
disclaimer: i am not a mental health professional in any way at all.  if you are experience a mental health crisis, call the mental health crisis line (737-4668).  this post is just about helping you get in touch with the people you need to be in touch with.  don't listen to anything else i say.  this is just letting you know how to find the people you need to find if you think you might be sick.

the more people that know these things, the better.  it is good to be able to tell your friends what they can do if they come to you and are sick.

1. go to your doctor
         this is a pretty unknown thing, oddly enough.  your gp can be your first step (if it isn't an emergency).  your family doctor.  or get a family doctor.  or go to a walk-in (i would recommend getting your own doctor though).  it helps to have a doctor who rules.  doctors can prescribe medication.  they don't need to be psychiatrists.  if you are anti-medication, you can still go to your doctor and they help you explore your other options. they will also help you find out what your best option is, and will walk through your options with you.  this is good because it is easy.  it's just another doctors appointment!  but it can feel strange.  just prepare yourself for that and know it's okay.  if sometimes you think you're sick, but you're not sure, go to the doctor anyways.  they will help you understand the symptoms and nuances and atypical tricks you might not find through internet sleuthing.  maybe you are teetering on the cusp of something. it's just always better to know.  if you feel uncomfortable in the waiting room just keep repeating 'it's always just better to know' in your head.

         oh, also.  don't lie to your doctor.  i know you might be scared that they will hospitalize you if you are hurting yourself, or not eating, or making yourself throw up, or if you're suicidal.  or you're afraid they will tell your family.  don't worry.  suicidal risk assessment and all of these things have broad scales, and a lot of doctors are actually pretty good at knowing when hospitalization will help and when it won't.  you will not automatically be hospitalized.  if your doctor does refer you to the hospital, just remember that they know how to help you.  it took me five years to admit to my doctor i was suicidal.  i can assure you that not telling your doctor these things is the wrong decision.  it just twisted up inside me and made everything a whole lot harder later.  and maybe someone will decide that hospitalization is your best bet - if so, that's cool.  that means they're going to help you figure this out.  you got this.  you go gurl.  it is better than recoiling within your own darkness.  it will help you.  hiding will not help. that is the long and short of it.  if they need to refer you to a psychiatrist they will, and they will help you get set up with everything you need.  it is a long wait for psychiatrists in newfoundland, but they will take care of you until then (if you go to MUN the counselling center has their own psychiatrist, which is AMAZING. it cuts down the wait time considerablyyyy.  not all doctors know this, so mention it to them).  so that's really just how you start.  make a doctor's appointment!

2. get a good therapist
          if therapy is your thing, get a good one.  if you go to MUN you have the luxury of the glorious counselling center, where you get to shop around a bit for someone who works best for you  (it is FREE. that is amazing).  learn about your therapist before you see them.  talk to them on the phone.  that is what you do if you do not go to MUN.  learn from their website (if they have a website.  a lot of psychologists in newfoundland don't.  but other places they do.  and in most provinces you can find some psychologists by their listing service.)  if you are worried about money, look into your insurance.  look into an insurance plan that might be better.  try to remember how important this is for your health.  don't be afraid to invest in your well-being, or even to ask your parents for help if that's an option for you. talk to your doctor about options you have that are less expensive; the START clinic, THINK at mun, different group therapies, and things like that.  don't write off therapy because it is a financial burden.  just try to find a way.  there are ways.  oh also, don't lie to your therapist either.  you can also find a therapist based on their gender, experience, areas of expertise, etc at this website: http://www.nlpsych.ca/FindAPsychologyProvider.aspx

3. learn about medication
           for me, medication rules.  some people aren't really into it, and that's okay.  but make sure you know true things about medication before you write it off, or before you leap into it.  there are some really lovely drugs and they help a ridiculous amount.  plus, there are some cases of depression that are better dealt with by therapy and medication rather than just therapy.  your doctor will probably let you know.  some people think anti-depressants are overused and overprescribed, and maybe they are right.  but just make sure you learn about things first.  talk about your options.  if you don't like medication, that's absolutely fine.  just make sure it isn't based on one horror story.  just talk to your doctor, read a little, and make your decision.  talk to people and listen to their experiences.  everyone has different experiences.  mine has been very positive.  i am very pro-medication (though i understand completely why some people are not).  most of all, don't judge people who opt to take medication, and don't judge people who decide not to take medication.  remember that everyone has a different relationship with their sadness.  oh also, if you do the medication tango, it might take awhile to find the right one.  that's ok.  just keep truckin'.  it's really annoying though.

         also if your insurance company is annoying and doesn't cover a certain medication... costco! medication is way cheaper at costco (i have only heard this through the grapevine, but it was a reliable source).

***
 all of the emergency things
           don't be afraid to go to the hospital if you need to.  i have often thought i needed to go to the hospital, but just never thought the structure of being hospitalized would be particularly good for me.   but they do take that slightly into account.  again, they have ways to do suicide risk assessment.  if you're just having a really intense urge that came from nowhere and you just need to wait it out but can't do it alone and you're scared, the hospital is a good place to go.  they won't necessarily hold you there forever.  again, there is suicide risk assessment that will help them help you.  if you are hospitalized for awhile, then it is probably for the best and that is absolutely ok.  don't wait.  don't wait until your next appointment.  don't wonder if it is serious enough to warrant intervention.  if you are scared, these people will help you.  go to them.

           if you need strength to do something like go to the hospital, call a friend.  text a friend.  etc.

and here is the number you need to know in case of an emergency:
 - the mental health crisis line: (709) 737-4668  709 777-3200 or toll free 18887374668
 - here is a list of emergency health services http://www.thrivecyn.ca/main.php?sid=204
 - check out the link above, even if you aren't sick.  there are things that are good to know about, like
   mobile crisis team that can come to you and help you in an emergency.  it is useful when pesky
   exboyfriends are trying to be responsible and call an ambulance (which is terrifying to you) because
   it is slightly less terrifying.

on my several resurrections

i.

this
is
my seventh birth.
my dismal resurrection with the
pseudoangelic masses
with love that is real and weary and relentless and old and
young.
while i sit and sing the glory of my thoughtful revolution and revival cause honey
i'm home.

ii.
(but then, housed hearts crumble too)
my heart she swells and crashes and breaks with the
open, translucent love of light
(and light is what darkness is made of)
but while light sifts through the drudge of a raw, black brain
daggers and knives have found homes in me.



iii.
the grace is in the fall
the grace is the dirt under nails clawing for reality
it is the sting in the eye from tears and old mascara
and the throb of the ache of the muscle tied in tight bows of total decimation.
god, don't wait for me to shine again.
find the glow of my darkness and the life in my
unbearable being
cause honey
    i'll be home again

food: sweet veggie sandwich

this isn't a cooking blog or anything.
i just made a delicious sandwich.
i've been a bit blue lately and cooking is one of those 'i don't really want to do this but i know i should because it is better for me than staying in bed.'  i can't always do that because sometimes i am too blue.  so when i do, i like to keep track of my genius creations.

sweet veggie sandwich
- baguette, cut around 6 inches off and then lengthwise, subway styleeeee
- mix some cranberry sauce or some kind of sweet jam with a bit of mayo and spread it.
- add a bit of the ole goat cheese
- cut up some delish sweet veggies: e.g. red pepper, cucumber, cherry tomatoes
- thinly slice some pear

voila.
now you have a sandwich.
g2g eat sandwich.

purple heart: erin


one of the main reasons i started writing this blog was to show and describe my deepest appreciation for my friends. my friends, for the most part, know i love them and my heart is always sate with gratitude.  but to me these people are heroes.  these are people who have taken knives from my hand, watched my food intake with hawk-like diligence, and sat next to me with careful eyes while my mind was spinning suicidal webs.  and so it is no exaggeration to say that these people have saved my life, because they have.  but i just want the world to see them like i do. and so that is what these posts will be.  they will be your purple hearts.  essentially where i get to embarrass my friends for being wonderful people. 
sorryi'mnotsorry.

(also, if you are my friend and you think you deserve a purple heart i probably agree.  but you will have to be patient so that i can surprise you with one.  i probably won't write these frequently, so you may have to wait awhile.  i will write them for other people too.  if you are depressed, and have a special little hero, let me honour them for you and tell me about it, because i will definitely do that for you.)

erin is wonderful and hilarious.
we are almost magically compatible.  sometimes i think that our hearts always beat at the same time.  our friendship feels like it grew from the earth.  and that is not something i take for granted.  when i think of erin i think of years of absolute tomfoolery, laughing to kill ourselves with laughing tears spilling everywhere.  and of course of a semester of shenanigans living together in cider house, with parties and cap'n crunch and hot dogs and the coming of nessie.  those are my immediate associations.  but the associations that flood just as readily but i hold safer are the ones with sad tears and aching hearts for me and my sadness and my scars and my eating habits.  






erin has always been bewildered by how readily i invested all of my life long secrets in her, especially considering how i usually guarded them rigidly and would emit involuntary growls when people got that close to my heart.  the reason is that erin is almost translucent with love.  erin opens her heart to love like i have never seen.  full of vulnerable light and so full of the most real compassion i have ever seen anywhere.  the truth is that i told erin about my sadness before anyone else because i knew it was safe with her.  i knew my whole self was safe.  in other words, i was able to trust erin because she was so obviously wonderful. duh.  i think it is because of this that erin has been the only person to wholly love both sides of me, which is to say happylaughingmeaggo and sadandwretchedmeaggo.  loving the depressed side of a depressed person isn't an easy thing to do.  the tricky part of depression is that it is smart and it is resistant.  if it were some kind of virus, it would be a very resistant strain.  depression not only rejects all of the possible cures (in that it makes it unbearably hard to do the things that help, like oh i don't know exercise, or go to therapy, or gather the courage to tell the truth to the doctor).  but it isn't just in those obvious ways.  depression will do anything to survive, which is why pretending that you can beat depression into submission is a silly little dream of geese.  depression will tell you your silence it noble; depression will tell you your suffering is deserved.  depression will tell you anything to survive.
and that is why you need people like erin to love the depressed part of you.
because love is something more that compassion and something made of truth and a no nonsense policy and way to know what i am and who i am but know my demons as well.  to know their tricks and have the strength to call me out when i am being foolish.  only one other person has really known my demons, and he spooked off.  but erin knows them well.  and more than that, she treats them with respect.  like even though i have this darkness, my darkness is made of something and there is love in there somewhere.  erin challenges my sadness to become light, and it is super effective (like a pokemon move).  more than this, it takes phenomenal strength to love someone's depressive self.  it takes a true heart with the most sincere and genuine vulnerability.  the strength is in the willingness and ability to be soft and let someone else's darkness flow through you.
that is a wonderful thing.

i love erin.
erin is my samwise gamgee.  she just is.  she is the real hero of my story.  there have been at least three times in my life where erin's heart and words have kept life in my veins.  anyone who is depressed will tell you that this is not an easy thing to do. but erin is my samwise gamgee.
anyways.
i love her.
you should too.
she is a hero, and here is her purple heart.

a heart so white

with tears or smiles or broken hearts
time was soft then.
to wish alone 11:11
to love once and breakheartsmile just forget
so shame is still.

but of all the hearts around me
no heart so white
so these are sad and sorry men
we would give the world to be.
and when our hearts collapse
just try to remember
we are not heroes.

the six things i have learned from unbearable sadness

there are things that come from sadness. one of them is knowledge. people spend a lot of time talking about the benefits of depressio...