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Showing posts from May, 2013

"Tomorrow"

“Tomorrow will be better.”
“But what if it’s not?” I asked.
“Then you say it again tomorrow. Because it might be. You never know, right? At some point, tomorrow will be better.”
~ Morgan Matson, Amy and Roger's Epic Detour It seems to be tomorrow already. Funny how it can sneak up on you. Time flies and all that. In truth, it took about a month of darkness to get to tomorrow, to get to the light. Yes, I am "back" -  I feel like me again. What a wonderful feeling to do normal, mundane, everyday things like go to work, walk down a sidewalk, and have conversation with people that doesn't centre around how I am feeling. Phew! Who knew boring could be so wonderful. My biggest lesson after all these years fighting my nemesis is this: things always get better. Sometimes it takes longer than other times. Sometimes there is more pain. Sometimes hope seems to be more fleeting. But the end result is that I always seem to find my way back. The gift in having gone through more t…

"Making a Molehill out of a Mountain"

 “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”  ~ Margaret Mead
When you think about a work environment that is healthy and safe, what first comes to mind? Do you think about the first aid kit in the office lunch room? Maybe it's the annual fire drill. What about those steel-toed boots that are required for construction workers? You would be correct - these are examples of things that are covered under occupational health and safety legislation.

Did you know that Canada has recently introduced a similar voluntary standard for psychologically healthy workplaces?

I know what you are probably thinking: Wow. Um, that sounds like kind of a big thing. A lot of responsibility on Canadian employers. Hmm. What does this mean and how the heck are we going to even approach this? And what is a psychologically healthy work environment anyway?!

I am certain that workplaces across this country are asking th…

"This is Not Me"

"My heart is like a broken cup
I only feel right on my knees...
Who are you
Who are you
Who who who who"
Who Are You lyrics by The Who This is not me. The sadness, the listlessness, the bland personality, the moments of almost uncontrollable irritability. It's just not me. I have to keep reminding myself of this. It's hard to keep sight of the person that you really are when mental illness has you in it's grip. My friend Ashley recently posted a picture on facebook. The photo was one she took of a tabloid magazine at a store checkout. It grabbed her attention, as a fellow mental health advocate, because it said, 'Carrie Fisher: Coping With Being Bipolar.' BEING bipolar. Hmm. How do you "be" an illness?

We don't say someone is coping with being cancer or being emphysema or being the flu. We don't because you cannot be an illness. You can be yourself and you can have an illness. But you can't BE an illness. Simple, right? Apparently no…

"Oysters and Life"

"The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all." from Mulan, Walt Disney Corporation In my last post I wrote that the recovery from mental illness is rarely a straight line. You don't wake up one day and everything is all better. Done. Finished. Chapter closed. Moving on.

Yes, some days you wake up and you feel much better. Some days, perhaps just a little bit better. Then, sometimes, you feel like you are back where you started. I have had a few days of the latter recently. Yes, I have been reminded of the very words that I wrote just last week. It feels frustrating, infuriating, maddening, tear-inducing - all of that. But that is the reality of depression. It doesn't mean that I am not getting better, it just means that I have to remember a few things. Like how I need to put less pressure on myself to "hurry up and get better, already!" (my own words to myself in my low moments) and just take things one day at a time. Someho…

"You Can Change the World"

"Change your thoughts and you change your world." ~ Norman Vincent Peale
Today is the day. It's the start of Partners for Mental Health's new campaign, Not Myself Today. It's also the week that I returned to work after a very short leave due to a recurrence of depression and anxiety. Oh, and it's National Mental Health Awareness Month.Timing, as they say, is everything.

This week has been interesting, to say the least. I was welcomed back with open arms and encouraging words by so many wonderful colleagues (and friends) - it was a bit emotional at times, in a really good way, to feel the support. I was reminded how lucky I am to work for such a great employer and with good people. This is not the case, unfortunately, for so many others who fight mental illness.

But, as always, there is the other side of the story - the people who still don't really understand my battle, and the reality of mental illness, how it manifests itself, how it's not like hav…

"Brand New Day"

When all the dark clouds roll away
And the sun begins to shine
I see my freedom from across the way
And it comes right in on time
Well it shines so bright and it gives so much light
And it comes from the sky above
Makes me feel so free makes me feel like me
And lights my life with love

Brand New Day by Van Morrison (lyrics by Annie Lennox & Dave Stewart)
Do you ever feel like things are going your way, things just feel right in your life, even if just for a moment or two? Do you feel content just by looking up at the blue sky or hearing the gravel crunch under your feet as you walk a forest trail? I kinda feel like that right now. The clouds have parted. The darkness has lifted.

Why is that? Well, I don't think it's luck. In fact, I know it's not luck. I have been working hard for the last month or so at getting my depression and anxiety to a manageable state. What is a manageable state? Thankfully, right now it means that it's not all encompassing. It has receded to the b…