Don’t believe everything you think

Margaret Trudeau was interviewed today for Bell Let’s Talk Day

Out of everything I read, heard and watched today

What she said resonated with me the most

I heard it straight through to my core

She said depression is a thief and an illness.

But it IS NOT a state of being

Even though some of us accept it as the way life is

Mind blown

Seriously though

This just clicked

Lightbulb on

Why do we accept it as just the way life is?

The way life has become?

The way it’s always going to be?

‘Life sucks’

‘Life is shitty’

‘There’s nothing you can do’

When did that become the rhetoric in my brain?

When I first started having panic attacks, I knew that ‘this’ wasn’t just the way life is

The way life would always be

I knew it was something that needed to be changed

And yet

Here I sit

Still

With sad empty thoughts

In my brain and on my tongue

Thinking that I’m alone in this obviously over populated world

Thinking I’m a shitty person despite solid evidence to the contrary

Allowing myself to continue in this way

And why?

All because I’ve put stock into thinking that my depression is real life

All because I’ve resigned myself to thinking that my depression is reality

When I know, so confidently and matter-of-factly that the anxious thoughts that run in my head are untrue

I know that I’m not crazy

I know that I won’t die from a panic attack

I know that the feelings will subside

And yet with depression, I’ve allowed myself to believe

That I’m unworthy

That the world is a cold dark place

That no one cares about me

And that is the very essence of depression

The very nature of the disease

Is that it creates this illusion that

Is just so damn realistic

It dupes you into thinking it will never get better

It forces you into seeing the world and yourself as enemies

It lies, manipulates, coerces, convinces…

And I’m not a psychiatrist so I don’t know why the fuck it does that

Why it wastes time doing this to people

Destroying lives

Families

Marriages

But I do know that the only way to change it

Is by changing life’s trajectory

You get off this path that is winding perilously close to a steep cliff

You stop the fucking train

You pull the fucking plug

Margaret Trudeau said you do it by finding a purpose in life

You do it by realizing that the life you’ve resigned yourself to living

Isn’t fucking good enough anymore

That doesn’t mean you should give in to the depression

To give in

To give up

It means

You find something that is worth getting up for in the morning

And maybe it’s just one small thing in the beginning

But you find another thing

Maybe every week

Maybe every month

Maybe slowly it becomes a life worth living

Little by little

Whatever it takes

After all you’re worth that second chance

Aren’t you?

Aren’t I?

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MS and the life I had

One day I would like to write about happy things

Rainbows and unicorns aren’t in my forecast though

I was called into a meeting by my employer to discuss my attendance and how it may be impacting the program

I felt a sense of dread

Who doesn’t when they get emails like those?

The meeting included my supervisor, her supervisor and HR who joined via phone bc she was sick. The irony wasn’t lost on me

Pleasantries exchanged

I felt the mood shift

HR stated that the school board had expressed concern over the attendance and how it is negatively impacting the class

I literally felt my haunches go up

Do I take days off? Yes

Have I noticed an impact on my youth?

No

And to be perfectly honest

If I had noticed such an impact

I’d of done something

Bc despite how HR made me feel by repetitively asking me to be honest with them

I have been

To a fault

I notify my supervisor and coworkers immediately

I tell them the truth

I don’t feel well

I’m tired

I have a sinus infection

Blah blah

HR says they want to support me

But can’t if I’m not being honest

I felt my head shake in puzzlement

She spoke words like systemic and pattern of absences

And I felt like I was on trial for something far greater

She asked me to commit to five days a week of attendance

I may have guffawed

I have MS I thought to myself

I recently underwent treatment to kill off my immune system

How the fuck do you expect me to commit to that?

Can anyone? Even a non-chronically ill person?

She said then I should speak to my family doctor to discuss my capabilities

Of which I’ve never been uncertain of

She made me uncertain

She said to get a letter

Absolving me of my absenteeism or giving me a stamp of healthy approval

I laughed when she said a month was too long to get an appointment with my doctor

She doubles as HR and a medical receptionist

In my bewildered state

I asked how the program had been negatively impacted

She said the relationship building was affected

I felt cold

I’m not certain of much

But my ability to engage the youth in the program

I’ve got that

The call with HR ended

I was left in a room with supervisor and management

I felt so fucking small

They asked if I had questions

I asked about the relationship building

They said it wasn’t about my relationship with the kids

But rather the one between the school board and agency

You know

The shit I don’t care about

I nodded absently

They said it wasn’t personal

They said my ability to engage with clients was top notch bar none

They said there is no question about how good I am with the youth

I hate this part

I cried

Stupidly

Embarrassingly

It hurt from the inside

And I couldn’t stop it

I cried because I felt like I was being held responsible

For something that I have no control over

I didn’t want to have MS

I didn’t want to be anxious and depressed

And generally broken

I cried because I would never want to do anything that would leave any negative impact on any of the youth I work with

Indirectly or not

On a side note

I’ve never had to take a break and stop writing once I’ve begun a post

It’s usually like a stream of consciousness

Flowing from brain to fingers

I’ve stopped once already in writing this last blog

Because the usually cathartic release I get from writing

Hasn’t been found in writing this time

It feels too raw

I need some time

Happy birthday to my better half

You have a light within you

That’s brilliant and warm

Just enough to make it cozy

Your light makes people want to be near you

To bask and enjoy its warmth

It makes me wish for things that aren’t meant for people like me

I used to wish you could take my darkness away and change me

But now I understand so much better

You can’t carry my darkness

It’s mine for a reason

But somehow

I can still see your brilliant light through my darkness

And that is enough for me

And that means more to me than you can ever know

Happy birthday to the guy that makes my life brighter ❤️

‘We are often at war with ourselves. You have to find that balance between your heart and mind.’

I feel like a total failure

Whenever my anxiety spikes or my depression rears it’s ugly head

Like it’s my fault

After all these years

That I still can’t control these demons

I feel the same when an MS symptom flares up

Like my eyes

Especially my eyes

When my eyes hurt

I feel it everywhere

I feel nauseous

My head hurts

I feel tired

And most of all

I feel it in my heart

I feel my heart drop

With discouragement and dismay

There’s commentary that goes along with it

It’s usually an ‘oh shit here we go again’

Then my mind follows suit

And says ‘It’s never gonna get better’

Then my heart and mind go back and forth

But sometimes my heart beats a different tune and thumps out that ‘wait, it’s gotten better before’

And my mind responds matter-of-factly ‘but it always comes back’

My heart and my mind go on like this

Warring with each other

Back and forth

Just like the way Multiple Sclerosis has on the rest of my body

Fighting with its own immune system

No wonder I’m so tired all of the time

My body

My mind

My heart

My chronic illness

My fucking lesions on my brain

Are all engaged in this never-ending back and forth

This eternal war

Where there is no end in sight

For this battle can’t be won

Not with guns or bombs

Not with peace treaty’s that are never kept

The only way to win

Is if one side finally gives in

How is it the same sky

I floated endlessly

On my back

Arms outstretched

Looking up at a sky

That seemed so close that I could reach out and touch its beauty

Looking up at clouds that looked so soft

That they would catch and soothe anyone’s fall

Even mine

All around me were people laughing and talking

Blissfully unaware

Of the moment I was having

Just me and that perfect fucking sky

I could feel the sun warming my skin all over me

Both weathering and rejuvenating me

I wish I could have stayed

Floating in that perfect moment

Forever

Just hitting the pause button on the story of my life

To revel in the beauty of the world around me

Above me

No pain of suffering

Only peacefulness

It was only out of the corner of my eye

That I could see a dark angry cloud inching closer

But it was in that moment of perfection that

I realized I could just close my eyes

And then

I could pretend that it wouldn’t take away my beautiful sky

And then

I could hold on to that feeling

Just a little while longer

Suspended in time

Baptized beneath a perfect sky

Floating weightlessly and without worry

Still me

But different

My soul; no longer restless

Just calm

Beneath my perfect infinite sky