This is painfully true.

Sometimes saying I have a headache is simply easier than:

“You know what? I’m not OK. I feel so, so low and nothing is working. I hate myself. I feel stupid, nobody loves me, nobody understands and at this moment in time, it doesn’t feel like anything will ever get better. I feel guilty for feeling like this. I feel so alone.”

Why It’s Easier to Say I Have a ‘Headache’ Than Say I’m Depressed

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. More than 2 months. It’s not like there has been much going on to keep me busy. More that I’m struggling with a very serious lack of motivation. Even though the worst of my severe depressive episode has long passed, my “regular” depression has been fighting, hard, to keep me down. I’m not prepared to go into details right now but I’ve got a bunch of things I shared on Facebook (links, mostly) that I want to share here, so there’s going to be a bunch of posts coming over the next little while.

This image is one thing that seemed fitting to right now for a different reason than it did when I originally shared it on Facebook several weeks ago.

Just because I don't always share my troubles doesn't mean I don't have them. At times, I may be fighting battles you know nothing about.
Here’s what I felt when I saw this image on May 30, 2017:

People think they know me but no one knows everything about me.

People have told me I share too much [on Facebook]. In truth, there is enormous amounts of pain and constant struggle that I have never told a single person, things I have never even put into writing, simply because people judge me for really stupid shit. It makes me feel worse any time I slip up and accidentally mention one of my deep dark thoughts and people will tell me I’m crazy, overdramatic, or they try to give me a million different ways to “fix” my problems.

Occasionally, I will intentionally try to talk to someone close to me about specific things, or maybe about stuff in a broader sense, and I always end up regretting it because people can’t simply listen. They have to either try to fix it or invalidate how I feel, when it’s now I feel and has nothing to do with them. This is why I don’t open up to you, even when you tell me you’re here to talk whenever I need to. You say that now, but trust me, you’re not. You’re lying to me and yourself.

My depression is not caused by anything in particular. It just is. It’s a thing that is a part of me, no matter what. Most of the time there really just isn’t anything to talk about. Sometimes there is. My depression comes with feelings that have no explanation. It comes with dark, intrusive thoughts. Too dark to share with anyone without causing them to think I belong locked up. (I do know there are some people out there who do truly understand this, but you are very difficult to find.) It comes with anxiety which shows itself as irritability and agitation for no reason. And it comes with stigma. Self stigma. Your stigma. The world’s stigma. Even people who have been there themselves can have their own stigma towards what I’m going through because it’s different than their experience and they don’t realize how different everyone’s own, personal experience is. There are people I thought I could talk to, people I thought I could trust, who turned out to have their own stigma that invalidates what I’m going through.

It’s extremely frustrating when people make assumptions about me, think they know everything there is to know, or just put me into their little stereotyped boxes. You don’t know me at all. You don’t know the battle I’m fighting inside my own mind every single day.

I know I’m going to feel really guilty if I let #BellLetsTalk day go by without actually talking about my current state of mental health.

Last year, I had no problem being open about my experiences and where I was at because, this time last year, I was feeling pretty okay. I wasn’t great. I’m not really even sure what great feels like. Although, in comparison to whew I am now, I was pretty close to good, of not great.

That’s kind of a errors way to say it I guess, but this time last year, I was writing lots about how I watched feeling and it came pretty easily. Right now, in this particular moment, it is not easy. Not even a little bit.

Back in about May or June of 2016, something changed. It happened so gradually though that I didn’t realize it was happening until sometime in July. I kept thinking, oh, its just one of those down periods they always say happens, even after you’ve been on antidepressants for a whole. It’ll pass. I’d had days where that was totally the case and it always did pass. But this time it didn’t.

This time, there was no trigger. This time, nothing I did could bring me joy. This time, I find myself not having emotional reactions to anything. This time, I was legitimately scared that I really might try to kill myself because I didn’t feel like there was anything to live for. I was a failure at everything I touched. I began driving recklessly because I literally didn’t give a shit about my life anymore, and I secretly hoped singing bad would happen, but I couldn’t bring myself to cause it intentionally.

The peak hit in September, the night before World Suicide Prevention Day. I began actually believing there was no way out and I need to go to the hospital. But I still had trouble admitting it to myself, let alone to anyone else, to asking my parents took take care of my dog so I could check in to treatment somewhere was out of the question.

Thankfully I trust my doctor enough that I tried to get in to see him right away. I had to wait because he was on vacation. That was probably the first two weeks of my life, doing to get in to work and stay focused and pretend like nothing was wrong.

A few months and several medication changes later, I am feeling a lot better, but still not where I was this time last year. I’m still finding my emotions are very numbed out, but some of the things that normally bring me joy are beginning to feel good again. Not every day, but most days. Yesterday actually happened to be a pretty decent day. But today I feel like shit again. I’m not suicidal like I was s few months ago, but I still find myself wishing, sometimes, that I could just die so I wouldn’t have to deal with this anymore, but I’m thinking significantly less often about different ways to kill myself. So there’s that.

I still feel hopeless most days but not too the extreme that I had been.

My doctor and I are currently exploring the idea that I might had Attention Deficit Disorder. We bit 190% sure yet, but I’ve been taking s stimulant for over a week now and have experienced significant improvement in my choice function and my ability to stay focused at work. Only problem is, he started me of on a low dose, short acting drug that wears off after 5 hours. But if it helps, he’ll give me a longer lasting one.

Anyway, I’m literally falling asleep on my phone right now and sooner or later there’s going to be a bunch of randon characters across the screen and I don’t think I want that since this post is probably already horribly written because I’m struggling so hard to form my thoughts into different sentences, on top of dosing of every few seconds.

Maybe I’ll add to and edit this post later when I’m more awake. I guess that’s all for now.

What we already feel in the midst of an anxiety attack is a loss of control of our emotions, our thoughts, our being. Every word that wants to come out cyclones into a monstrous torrent of incoherent thoughts. Only a few words ring clear through that garbled mess, and for me, they’re not pretty. Dramatic, stupid, monster, b*itch. Those are the only words I can make out when an attack comes on me.

It is not an understatement for me to say in those moments when my mind shuts down and my emotions break loose that I genuinely feel like I’d rather die than for the person on the receiving end of this meltdown to see me like this.

The other element to my panic is imagining situations that aren’t real. I mean, that is usually what causes the outburst in the first place, am I right fellow anxious friends? For me it is an imagined situation where I have disappointed someone again, and I am getting ready to receive an onslaught of hateful speech from a loved one for how insignificant I am and how I just can’t get anything right. They don’t love me anymore so what the heck, just leave already.

I did not wake up asking the universe to flip on its axis and catapult an ocean of emotions down my throat. I too am trying to figure out how to understand what is happening.

So what do you say to your loved one with anxiety when they scream, “I can’t take this anymore!” A hug. The best thing you can do is hold them in a tight embrace and say, “Everything is going to be OK. I am here for you. We will get through this.” Because really, the reason all of this is happening is because your loved one is feeling immense pressure to measure up. Whether it be your standards or ones they have placed upon themselves (usually the latter), all they need to hear from you is that they do measure up, there is nothing to worry about, and things are going to be just fine.

Read the full article: The One Word Your Partner With Anxiety Doesn’t Need to Hear by Sarah Wallace, Contributor, on The Mighty

This is something I can definitely relate to.

Growing up, I had meltdowns exactly like this at least once a week. They were less frequent during the summer, but during the school year it happened all the time. Thankfully, it was usually only at home and my parents, usually my dad, were on the other side of it. Because at that time we didn’t know I had anxiety, it was usually made worse by my dad’s agitated, angry response to my irrational thought processes.

The good news is, now that I know this is caused by my anxiety and depression, I am usually able to feel when it’s coming and can work my way out of it. Sometimes it does still get the better of me, but most of the time I can take control of it.

Depression Kills, by B.L. Acker, Contributor, The Mighty

People are struggling through life, feeling completely lost and alone, feeling like they have nobody to turn to, no one who understands. People are struggling in silence because we’ve made them too afraid to speak up. They’re afraid of being labeled or seen as weak, a danger to themselves or others or as a joke. We’ve told them too often to suck it up and reminded them that others have it worse rather than acknowledging and addressing their pain.

Silence kills.

We need to stop treating mental illness like a dirty secret that we can’t talk about. Depression is killing people. Silence is killing people.

Why me? Why do I not want to be around anyone? Why does everyone annoy me? Why does everyone sound so loud? Why am I so stressed all the time? Why don’t I have patience anymore? Why am I going through all this? Why do I feel alone? Just why? Why?

This article expresses it so well! It’s long and a little scattered, but it’s perfect because it’s exactly how it is.

I go online, see posts about depression and anxiety. Maybe the more I post and share, the more they will understand this illness and then I will not have to explain it.

I did this, for almost two years straight. When I hit my worst, I realized no one was reading or responding to anything I shared. So I stopped. I weren’t I whole months without a single post. The last one being on World Shocks Prevention Day, talking about suicide. One person noticed. One.

I shared one blog post I wrote, a months later.

After another month, and some serious struggles, I posted that I was in my wrist depressive episode ever. There likes/reactions on Facebook. One private message. One text message (from one of the three people who liked the post). That’s all. And those responses were all from people I expected some sort of interaction with. It makes me feel like no one cares.

I learned years ago to not rely on Facebook as a source of support. The problem is, 99% of the communication I get from my family members happens through Facebook. Not because I want it to, but because they rely on it. I hate Facebook! But I can’t get rid of it (also partly because I’m a web developer and I use the API at work).

I do not want to have this illness. I know I am loved. But I feel so alone. I know other people struggle like I do, but I feel I am the only one. I know it’s an illness, but I feel like I am just crazy and fucked up. I know people are aware of mental illness, but they really do not understand the struggle and day-to-day challenges of this illness. It is real.

A Look Into the Head of Someone With Depression and Anxiety By Alana Willis, Contributor, The Mighty

This week was Mental Illness Awareness Week, and to spread awareness, the Niagara Branch of the CMHA shared the following myths and truths about mental illness.

Statistically speaking, it is highly likely that we all know someone who has experienced a mental illness at some point in their life, yet there are still harmful attitudes around mental illnesses that fuel the stigma and make it harder for people to reach out for help.

Statistically speaking, it is highly likely that we all know someone who has experienced a mental illness at some point in their life, yet there are still harmful attitudes around mental illnesses that fuel the stigma and make it harder for people to reach out for help.Continue reading

Language is powerful.

How Language Impacts The Stigma Against Mental Health (And What We Must Do To Change It)

I’m surprised by how well this article was written, because I had just read one, right before reading this, on the same site (in fact this one was in the recommended section at the end of the other one) that was absolutely terrible.

This one caught my attention though because it’s something I’ve been struggling with lately. Not so much saying the things mentioned — I think I’ve done pretty good at eliminating them from my vocabulary over the passed couple years — but hearing others say them and having an anxiety attack because I want so badly to correct them, but my social anxiety gets the best of me, every time. It’s so frustrating.

I’ve had people say things to me, in the most casual way, about killing themselves, or wanting to die, because something isn’t going their way. While I understand the frustration behind the comment, it hurts every time I hear it because I have been suicidal. In fact, one particular time these comments were made during a time when I actually was suicidal. It hurt so bad that someone who had never struggled a day in their life with mental illness would say that they wanted to kill themselves over a client who was being super annoying. I was annoyed by the client too, but it had absolutely nothing to do with why I was suicidal at the time, and the person who said it, was most definitely not suicidal. That was not the only time that happened with the same person, but my anxiety and depression diagnosis was still very fresh and I hadn’t come out about it yet.

I’m the past few months alone, I’ve heard the people say, “I have, like, OCD,” referring to a pile of boxes in our office and wanting to organize them. Twice. Because of the way it was said both times, I’m not 100% convinced that this person was just saying it. It is possible they do legitimately have OCD, but I’m not entirely sure. It is probably unlikely though, because the boxes are still there any the only time clearing them up is mentioned by that same person is when someone is asking about the boxes.

Both times, it was not said directly to me, I just happened to be right there, so it didn’t feel appropriate to say anything, but the first time, it was bring said to someone who has previously used the phrase, “you’re OCD,” referring to someone’s pickiness about something specific.

If my social anxiety wasn’t so bad I probably would say something, but I am so terrified of coming off as bitchy that I end up bringing myself almost to tears every time this happens. The logical part of my brain keeps telling me that I’ve only ever been called a bitch once, by someone with their own attitude problems (she called the cops on one of my friends, twice, for the dumbest reasons, the cop actually thought she was a teenager, and was shocked when my friend told him she was 27) and didn’t even have the guts to say it to my face. In fact, I was in a different province at the time, over 3000km away. But no matter how many times I remind myself of that fact, I still think on going to be called a bitch.

Another one that happened recently, was a co-worker said to me, “I’m getting PTSD,” referring to some poorly written code we were trying to debug. I was already stressed out to begin with, and when I saw that (it was in a chat message) I started to panic. I went back and forth in my head about what I could say and whether or not to bother. As soon as I stated to tear up, I knew I had to stop. I minimized the window and tried to calm myself down and distract myself with something else, which was hard because I didn’t have anything unrelated to work on at the time.

So, again, I didn’t say anything. It got me thinking though, maybe I need to be the one to start talking about this stuff in the office. I can’t do it by bringing it up to everyone, and I certainly don’t want to single anyone out (because I know it would make me uncomfortable) for saying these things, but how will anyone learn how harmful these seemingly innocent phrase are of no one tells them.

Because I’m also struggling a lot with my depression right now, it makes it even harder to bring this stuff up, so I’m not sure what I’m going to do yet. For now, I’m sticking to spreading awareness online.

October 2-8, 2016 is Mental Illness Awareness WeekSpreading Awareness, Reducing Stigma.

I saw an article talking about this tweet on Facebook just now. I realize it’s almost a year old, but the article, for some reason, was only written a few days ago.

The date is irrelevant though. It’s still a very important topic.

If you are aware of what OCD actually is, then you will understand why the girl was offended by this sweater. And to be honest I am too.

Two years ago, I probably would have laughed at it, but that was before I knew what OCD truly was. I admit, I was previously guilty of making OCD jokes, but now that I know what it is, I do not make them anymore, and I actually find them quite upsetting.

Reading some of the responses to @ReignMurphy‘s tweet, reminded me, yet again, how clueless people really are.

One insensitive tweet (I am not giving credit to the author!) read:

@ReignMurphy you’d think someone with OCD wouldn’t dress & look as stupid as u, I don’t have OCD but looking @ u would drive me nuts #growup

Yeah, because OCD means you can’t go out with short died hair and a sweater…? What?! That makes no sense.

There were also several responses telling her to lighten up and laugh it off and whatnot. Sure, it’s great to joke about our mental illnesses. In fact it often makes it easier to deal, especially when joking with people who can relate.

I have a friend with cerebral palsy and she often jokes about how it effects her daily life and has plenty of funny stories to go with it. She has several friends with cerebral palsy as well (some of who I have met) and when they get together they can make fund of themselves and have no problem with it. I can’t say I can relate to them in that sense, and I certainly wouldn’t go around making jokes about it, but they see the lighter side of it. At the same time, they will also stand up to people who do say inappropriate things about their disabilities.

The problem isn’t the jokes themselves. The problem is when uneducated people make these jokes, they are contributing to the stigma and misunderstanding of mental illness or disabilities or other illnesses and conditions (it’s not only mental illness that has this problem) and this often causes people who are suffering to continue to suffer in silence.

Because of society’s views on mental illness, we see these disorders as a weakness or character flaw, when in truth they are real, treatable conditions that many people struggle with. Most are manageable, and some people can even reach complete recovery from their mental illness. Yet, we are often afraid to open up and talk about them for fear of being judged or stigmatized. While logic tells us that we shouldn’t be afraid or ashamed, many of us have experienced the stigma and in a lot of ways that is harder to deal with than the illness itself. So we don’t speak up. And that’s a huge problem.

It was the stigmatization I experienced before I had any idea that I had anxiety and depression that prevented me from getting the help I needed. I remember as early as the first grade, right up through high school and college, several occasions where I was having a hard time with various things. I had very obvious signs of anxiety and depression, but being a child and having no education in the area of mental health, I had no idea what was going on.

As a child I relied on my parents and the adults in my life to support me, but I was told, countless times, to suck it up, get over it, stop being over dramatic or sensitive, etc. I was even told flat out, by my parents, that I didn’t have depression, when I mentioned symptoms from a commercial for That was about 5 years after I started exhibiting signs of depression, 4 years after one of my teachers called them in to my school to tell me I wasn’t as happy as the other kids in my class, and about 8 years before I was actually diagnosed. It was that experience, along with several others that stopped me from talking to anyone, including my doctor, about what was going on in my head, because I was convinced that I would, once again, be told I was making it up.

I’m not going to get into an argument with some random on the internet about this stuff, because it’s just not worth it, however, I do firmly believe that the general public’s language around mental health needs to change. People need to be more educated.

It’s still less than two years since I was initially diagnosed (the anniversary is getting close though) and it’s been a rough journey, but I am learning to pick my battles. I’m trying to be less sensitive, but I still feel very passionate about awareness and ending the stigma, so I am not going to stop talking about it any time soon.

October 2-8, 2016 is Mental Illness Awareness WeekSpreading Awareness, Reducing Stigma.

I didn’t realize the stats on this, but it kind of makes sense. Men are taught that feelings make you weak, or “girly” and you have to be macho. So it’s no wonder that people are more shocked when men attempt or commit suicide, because they think they can’t talk about it.

Being a woman with depression, it’s hard enough talking about it simply because of the stigma of depression alone, without the added pressure of gender expectations. But what’s even worse, is the stigma from the people closest to me.

Even though I’m a girl, I grew up thinking that my feelings were wrong and felt invalidated by the people who were supposed to love, protect, and support me. This led to me bottling everything up and not expressing my feelings and is the main reason I was not diagnosed until I was 26, when I easily could have been diagnosed with depression by the time I was 14, and anxiety by 6 or 7.

My counsellor has told me multiple time that I’m very good at hiding it. It’s not that I’m intentionally trying to hide it, I’ve just been doing it for so long that I do it without even thinking. I may appear functional on the outside, while inside I looking for ways to give up and escape.

Even the people closest to me often don’t see when I’m at my worst. If they do, they may not realize what they’re really seeing, because it often comes out as agitation and irritability. It’s often combined with my anxiety as well. The two definitely feed off each other, but as my doctor pointed out a couple weeks ago, one always seems to be more prominent than the other.

Over the past two years, my anxiety was quite severe, and my depression was more of a byproduct of my anxiety. Once I started CBT for my anxiety, it got better. Once the things going on in my life (mostly with work) improved, so did my anxiety. Because I still hadn’t found the right antidepressant for me, my depression symptoms started to become quite severe a few months ago, which is why I’ve now started my 4th antidepressant.

The biggest, and hardest part about my depression at the moment, is that it was not triggered by anything specific. Work is going really well. In general, my anxiety is basically under control. Or more accurately, I’m able to process through it better than I used to. It’s definitely not gone, but I’ve gotten better at listening to the logical part of my brain. Yet for some reason, I couldn’t stop feeling unhappy, hopeless, and worthless, and thinking about suicide. Did I tell anyone? Of course not. I don’t feel safe telling anyone except my doctor. So, I finally did.

But no one seemed to notice how down I was. I was struggling to concentrate at work, and really wanted to call in sick on several occasions. The only reason I didn’t, is because what scared me more than calling in sick to work was answering to my parents as to why I was staying home. I didn’t want to tell them I was feeling suicidal. So I kept going to work.

I’ve been on my new antidepressant for 3 weeks now. I am starting to notice some smaller mood changes. I saw my counsellor yesterday, and he said I seemed happier than the last time I saw him, two weeks ago. I told him I didn’t want to get my hopes up though because I’ve had had several that seemed to work for a bit, and then they stopped. It’s too soon still. So we’ll see.

But anyway, back to the initial topic here. As hard as it is, we do need to talk about this stuff. That’s why I started this blog.

I just came across this article and related to it so much, so I wanted to share it.

Aside from the having a baby part, this was basically me. I went my entire life feeling the exact same way as this woman did. Believing that it was just part of my personality or that it was normal or all in my head.

Even though I was incredibly stressed out about the way I felt, I thought it was normal. As an adult, I became convinced that I was simply incapable of coping with the shit life throws at you where everyone else always managed to get through it. I didn’t know that I could get help.

“You’re just shy, you will get over it,” and, “Once you get up there you will be fine!” is what I was told.  Another gem was, “Everyone has some degree of social anxiety ― it’s normal.” Or my all-time favorite, “Nobody likes public speaking. You just do it.”

People told me all the same things. I grew up convinced that I was shy. And I was, to an extent. I’ve realized in the past year that I don’t actually think I’m shy at all. Well, a little, but not nearly as much as I thought.

I silently suffered for years and years and never even realized what I was feeling was more than just being shy. I just thought that was how life was, and what I felt and the reactions I had to situations were normal. People would always tell me to “calm down” and “relax,” “everything will be fine,” and so I just brushed it off as irrational worries.

I am mostly an introvert, in the sense that being around people is extremely exhausting for me and I need my alone time to rebuild my energy. But my actual personality (among many other things) has been held back by my irrational fears, particularly in my social life.

I don’t enjoy interacting with people, unless it’s in a meaningful manor. I prefer deep conversation over small talk. I prefer hanging out, doing something low key, rather than going out to events. Sitting on my friend’s couch talking is far more appealing than going shopping or to a bar or whatever. I can handle going out for dinner but it’s not my favourite thing either.

I tend to not express feelings and opinions mostly out of fear. So many people have made me feel inadequate so many times when I have opened up in the past. In addition to fearing what they will think or say, I also feel extremely uncomfortable having all eyes on me. That’s the main reason why I hate celebrating my birthday. I don’t like the attention.

Paranoid, frustrated, always on edge, and angry had become MY normal.

I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember. It continued to get worse the older I got because I was constantly hurt by others whenever I tried to explain how something made me feel. From the simple “suck it up” or “get over it” to the “don’t be over dramatic” or the guilt trip of “other people have it so much worse, you have nothing to complain about.” I’ve heard it all. And I’ve heard it from the people who are supposed to love and support me. I remember these things being said to me as early as six years old. That can be extremely damaging to a child.

I finally realized maybe being mad and frustrated and annoyed at the world all the time wasn’t normal. Maybe feeling like the rug is being ripped out from under you, or that you are running from a giant wave that is constantly nipping at your heels, ready to crash over you and drown you at any second, isn’t normal.

The year leading up to finally being diagnosed with anxiety, I was so incredibly overwhelmed and stressed that I was beginning to show outward symptoms. In the past, it had only really happened around my family (yet they still wouldn’t acknowledge that something was wrong). But it was happening at work. At that point in time, work was the greatest stressor in my life. There was a lot going on. But I did have a coworker bring up the fact that I was sometimes a bit hard or short with other coworkers. At that point, I thought I simply had an anger problem. I was always pissed off about something, and for the most part, I kept it to myself. It would build up inside me to the point where I was completely incapable of thinking about anything else. I couldn’t get any work done, and at that point in time, I was essentially doing the jobs of three people. Although everyone else was stressed, none of them seemed to be stressed to the extent that I was. The reason I didn’t quit my job them is because I had convinced myself I was terrible at everything and would never be hired by anyone else. I felt like a complete failure at life.

I know now that all of that was a very obvious sign of anxiety and depression, but at that time, I didn’t know what anxiety was and I didn’t have enough of an understanding of depression to recognize that either, even though I was sure I’d experienced it in the past, I really didn’t know.

I can now see that it is obviously not normal to be mad at the world all the time, paranoid everyone is against me, freaking out over the littlest thing, like someone putting the groceries away in the wrong place, or coming home from the market with the wrong type of milk. I know I cannot undo the past, and although sometimes I look back at that time and feel embarrassed, ashamed and angry at myself for not recognizing my irrational behavior sooner, I know now that because I suffered unknowingly with anxiety for such a long time, I could not have been able to recognize it any sooner, even if I wanted to.

It’s now been about a year and 8 months since I was first diagnosed. I’ve had a lot of ups and downs. I’m still dealing with it. I’m still struggling. I’ve had periods where I’ve had more good days and I’ve had periods where I’ve had more bad days. Right now, I’m having more bad days, even though things are going really well (more depression than anxiety right now). I just have to keep reminding myself that it’s ok.

I still feel very angry and misunderstood. I know that piece has nothing to do with me, but at the same time, it has everything to do with me.

It’s strange. I actually saw a link to the article that this writer is talking about. It showed up in my Facebook feed as a related link to something else is clicked on.

I often fall victim to those links. I mean, I like to think I’m pretty smart when it comes to the internet, you know, being a web developer and all. The tech side of it and the cautiousness about where the links are taking me comes very naturally to me.

The actual written content on the other side of those links, however, is a different story. I have found myself triggered, just like this writer, by things I’ve read that I randomly find myself reading.

When I saw this link, I wanted to see what it was that this person thought was a blessing. I was very curious. Most of the time, that curiosity would get the better of me and I’d click it. For some reason, this time I didn’t. I don’t know why, but I scrolled past it. I kept thinking about it for a while, but I never went back to find it.

This morning, when I saw this in my feed, I was curious again, and quickly realized what article the writer was talking about. At first I was wishing I had clicked that link the other day so I would know what she was talking about it, but the further I got, the more I realized I was not meant to read that article. Especially since this writer did not link to it and she even mentioned it been taken down. It probably would have triggered me in much the same way, so I guess in glad I didn’t read it.

The good news is, the writer of this article did an excellent job expressing the problems with that article and how it proves that the signs still hasn’t gone away. People are still ignorant and judgmental about mental illness. We need to change that!

I thought maybe I would start logging what I’m doing to keep myself awake. So far, my plan is to catch up on some shows on my PVR and probably stream some Netflix and/or CraveTV.

I’ve been watching Smallville on CraveTV over the past couple weeks. I’ve got two seasons left. But because I’ve been so into that show, I’ve been neglecting my regular cable shows, so my PVR has been accumulating a lot of stuff.

After I got home from dinner with my parents, I started on my PVR. Here’s what I’ve watched so far:

  • Last night’s episode of The Big Bang TheoryThe Convergence Convergence.

I’ve got a few episodes of Arrow and The Flash to catch up on…

  • ArrowCanary Cry (April 27)
  • The FlashRupture (May 3)
  • Now I’m on Arrow, Genesis (May 4)

Once I’m caught up on Arrow and The Flash, I’ve got a couple movies on Google Play I’ll probably watch, and I’m going to catch up on Orphan Black. I’m very sad to admit that I’ve fallen behind on it. Before this season, the only episodes I ever missed were because I was away at Calgary Expo two years in a row when the show aired on Saturdays.

To be honest, I think the reason I’ve fallen behind this season of Orphan Black, and all my other favourite shows, is because I’ve sort of lost interest in a lot of things lately. I’m not entirely sure if it’s been due to stress or my depression acting up. It’s hard to say because my antidepressants are helping. Getting into Smallville was kind of the only thing I had any desire to do.

On top of that, this week has been especially stressful.

The company I currently work for, puts on a big industry conference every year, and that took place this Monday and Tuesday. However, late last week, my uncle Ted (technically my dad’s uncle) passed away after a 2 year battle with cancer. His funeral was this week. So, after helping with setup and the start of the event on Monday in Niagara Falls, I drove 8 hours to Kirkland Lake on Tuesday. Attended the second visitation that evening.

The funeral was Wednesday morning. The afternoon and evening  was spent hanging out with family. Thursday, I left to come back home to Niagara. On the drive back, I got stuck in traffic at Gravenhurst, where there were several grass fires.

Eventually, I did get home, and went back to work, completely exhausted, today. So, I may need some help staying awake tonight. I’ve stocked up on coffee and snacks, and I think I have enough stuff to keep me occupied, so we’ll see how it goes.

If I’m awake enough come morning, I might go on an early morning drive to take my sunrise selfie in a special spot. I’ve got a couple in mind, but I think one of them might be too long of a drive if I’m not awake enough. I’ll play it by ear.

CAMH One Brave Night for Mental Health

The other day, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and came across a post about a fundraising  event that CAMH is running called One Brave Night for Mental Health. There’s less than 2 weeks left, but I felt like it was a very important thing, and I had no choice but to participate.

What is ‘One Brave Night’?

People living with mental illness tell us nighttime is the hardest for them. It is in the darkness that they feel most alone and have the least amount of hope.

CAMH One Brave Night for Mental Health asks Canadians to bravely share one night to inspire hope for the 1 in 5 people who will experience a mental illness in their lifetime.

We challenge the country to stay up all night and fundraise in order to defeat mental illness. You can create your own all-night challenge and get together with friends and family to marathon-watch your favourite series, host a board game tournament, or go camping and stay up wishing on stars.

At dawn, participants will post their #sunriseselfies to stand in support of those living with mental illness.

See more info on the One Brave Night website.

It’s kind of funny that I haven’t actually heard this about people with mental illness finding nighttime the hardest part of the day, but now that I think about it, it really is. I find a certain amount of calm to it.

When I want to get things done, it’s easiest for me to do when the rest of the world is quiet. But at the same time, it’s also when my mind is the loudest. The times when my pain has been the worst has always been at night. Or simply when I’m alone. I think the reason for that is because when I’m around people, I have a distraction from my own mind. I can be enjoying myself one moment, and the second everyone leaves, I get sucked into the dark abyss of my thoughts. Worries. Regrets.

Support Me & CAMH

One Brave Night occurs on May 13th, which isn’t very far away. I, along with many others across Canada, will be staying up all night. I haven’t decided what I’m going to do during that time yet, but I’ll more than likely be on Twitter all night. And then in the morning, I will be taking a sunrise selfie. (The one part I’m not looking forward to, but I’m going to do it!)

My initial goal, which was the default set when I created my account was $150. In two days I’m already at $200, so I’ve increased my goal to $350.

Even if you can only help a small amount, $5 would be wonderful! It’s going towards a great cause. And as someone who deals with mental health issues on a daily basis, it would mean the world to me personally to see support going to all kinds of mental health initiatives in Canada.

If you would like to contribute, and help me reach my fundraising goal, please donate by going to my One Brave Night for Mental Health page:

Mental Health Week

Finding out about CAMH One Brave Night for Mental Health also comes at the perfect time, because this coming week, May 2-8, is the CMHA’s 65th Annual Mental Health Week.

Last year I had planned to post several articles talking about different mental illnesses, in attempt to spread awareness, but ended up putting so much pressure on myself that I couldn’t do it at all. This year, I’ve been so busy with my new job that I’ve found it very difficult to make time for myself, let alone time to actually sit down and write coherent posts on my blog. May snuck up on me really quickly.

I’ll try to post a few things this week, but I’m not making any guarantees, and I am certainly not putting pressure on myself to do it either.