Part Time Jobs, Crazy Classes, a Flu/Cold, and memories of Tofino

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I chose this page today because I think that it really portrays how I am feeling today. A little psychotic, thrilled because I have a coffee, a little dishevelled, and holding a napkin to wipe up my mess.

This photos was taken this summer on Long Beach in Tofino, BC. Sam (my best friend) and I took a road trip around Vancouver Island. We stopped here at my urging. I came here when I was a kid with my family. I remember the soft, sweat, squishy sand in my pudgy little toes. I remember my dog Susie running through the waves. I had to go back and relive what I remembered.

As soon as I heard the ocean I felt at peace. I ran through the sand and than waited to see Sam’s reaction at the entirety of it. It was a good reaction. Here are some photos, however they do not at all capture the immense beauty of it all.

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I guess these photos make feel good because this place and space and feeling exists. I am happy in nature. I am happy surrounded by those that know me inside and out. This is when I am at my best.

So, in order to find this place and feeling without being in Tofino 24/7 needs to be sought.

Is It A Cold Or The Flu

For the past couple of days I have been fighting a cold/flu. My ears hurt, all I want to do is sleep, I sweat profusely and than freeze, and my head feels like it is stuffed with cotton. It is difficult for me to tell if I am sick. I only know if I have the voice of a baritone and the nose of sandpaper. It is hard for me to tell if I am in fact sick or if it is just my brain telling me not get up because there is no point. With this being said, when I do succumb to sickness I don’t rest. I cant rest because I feel guilty about me doing absolutely nothing. That is almost worse than being sick.

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“How about when you sleep in until noon. You wake up and get angry at yourself for sleeping in. Everything you wanted to do today is not going to happen.”

This was said yesterday by the lead of my new Crazy Class. It is actually named the Depression and Anxiety Group held at CAMH. I was referred to this group by a psychiatrist at CAMH who I was referred to by my doctor. It has taken almost a year to come to fruition (free healthcare everyone!).

Anyways, during orientation yesterday my group lead said this. It was like she was talking to me. She wasn’t. She was talking to depression. My group is interesting. Lots of folks who I would definitely categorize as worse of than me (or I hide it better) and a lot of folks that look better than me (or they hide it better).

This is a long program that I have to attend once a week for  many weeks. I am not sure what to expect, but I am looking forward to it. It runs a few hours before my crazy group so Monday’s should be interesting.

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I got a part-time job. Not just for money sakes (although it does help). but also for my sanity, and some structure. For the past few months I have not worked. I have kept busy, which I am thankful for because I was afraid I would allow myself to rot in front of the t.v. But I have not had that structure. I don’t do well with not structure.

I am the kind of person that makes lists of my week, What I will do each day, and what times I will do it. I can not wake up without some kind of plan or I lose my shit.

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So I got a job. I am working part-time (seasonally) at Indigo in this massive upscale mall called Yorkdale. It really is a beautiful store, and it is surrounded by every overpriced thing that I love. I get a discount. This could be dangerous.

I have worked at Indigo before. When I first moved to Toronto a couple of years ago I worked at the Mt. Sinai location. I really did enjoy it as it was so different from ‘retail’. I saw little babies, the elderly, the sick, the grieving. Hell, I even saw Brian Mulroney and his wife (not sure how awesome that is).

This time around I had reservations about working at Indigo. For some reason I thought I deserved a better job, a job with some clout. Why I thought that I don’t know. A job is a job. I would be surrounded by books, my favorite thing ever! There was even a Starbucks there.. like come on!

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I think I think that because I have endured numerous amount of hours in school, volunteering, and work I deserve more. For some reason, I believe that my dream jobs should always be open to me. That I, of course, deserve the job before anyone else.

A counsellor once told me ‘you know you are not the centre of the world.’ I know that sounds harsh but she was right. I was constantly feeling guilty for letting people down. I was feeling sad and desolate because I was never getting what I want.

By understanding that in fact, I am not the centre of the world, the guilt, anger, and desolation subsided.

So I have a job. The fact that I am able to carry a job right now is tremendous. It is only part time, and that is what I want. I want to enjoy my days. I want to go to yoga, walk, eat well, and write. I want to learn how to write well. I want a bit of structure. This is where Indigo comes in. Tonight I work a graveyard tasking shift. Wish me luck..

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Part Time Jobs, Crazy Classes, a Flu/Cold, and memories of Tofino

Yoga and the art of being broken

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So, here I am doing a kick-ass handstand. I am really good at it. Kidding… this is by no means me. In fact handstands don’t even happen in my dreams. I have been able to do them though. I think I was about ten and my brother and I used to whip ourselves into handstands in the basement against my Dad’s workshop door. I can’t imagine that they were graceful, but I do remember them being fun.
Truth is, I have been frequenting yoga for some time now. I did it a bit in Vancouver, but I was more concerned with losing weight and figuring out why I hated boys than I was about the phenomenal and life changing internal benefits.
While here in Toronto, I have been going to Kula Yoga in the Annex. Wow, I can not even tell you what a welcoming place it is. First of all, they offer classes that are only $8.00. Yoga is expensive, and this break in the wallet is welcomed by me and I am sure that multitude of students that live close to here.
Then, as soon as you walk in the door  there is a sign that says something along these lines. “We aim to be a welcoming space and welcome all sizes and shapes. We aim to be Fat-Positive, Trans and Queer Positive, and welcome folks with all abilities.”

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I try not to do the hard classes like Power and Hot Yoga. I feel I may resent yoga if I do. Instead I try to do Gentle Yoga, Restorative Yoga, and Queer Yoga…. Yes that is right there is a yoga for us queer folk (not like the others aren’t welcoming, but this one is our own).
Today I went to Gentle Yoga. As always I felt great. My sciatica screamed in pain, but it was the kind of pain that hurt so good. I still don’t say Namaste because I feel it is culturally not mine, but the rest is great.
What was remarkable about today was the end. I can’t remember what the actual pose name is, but in English it is called the corpse pose. You are basically lying on the ground, breathing well, and trying to tap in to the inner soul we all have.

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I felt good, relaxed, more relaxed than I have for a very long time. My mind started to drift off. I thought about random things. I turned my head to the side and immediately it reminded me of my mom. It reminded me of when I sat with her as she lay dying. I watched her breathe for 10 hours with the help of a machine. Near the end I noticed that her breath was slowing. Everyone that was there with me had left the room about 5 minutes before this. She looked peaceful. I grabbed her hand and told her that it was ok. We would all be ok. She stopped breathing. Her head tilted to the right, just like mine did. Her colour drained from her face but her hands were still warm. She looked like my mom, but she was gone. I knew that she knew that I was there. She opened her eyes about two hours before that and stared at me. I said hi. She closed her eyes soon after that. She would never open them again.
This memory made me start crying while I was in corpse pose (strange irony I know). It was a sad cry, but it was also a cry of release. I felt ok. I felt a bit like my mom was now telling me that it would all be ok.
I continued to think about why I was crying. Why this practice of yoga was doing this to me. This practice of yoga was in fact healing me. I barely cried when my mom died. I stayed strong. I grieved, but I didn’t let go. Today I was letting go. Yoga was breaking me open. It was allowing all the bad to leave. It was opening to allow me to heal again. All the shit (and I mean shit) that had happened this year is finally leaving. I am allowing myself to heal. I am raw, and sad, and hopeful. I have been gaining clarity. Things are really starting to make sense. Thank you yoga for allowing me to do that.

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Yoga and the art of being broken

Some things to get your through the night

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F.Lux Software

f.lux makes your computer screen look like the room you’re in, all the time. When the sun sets, it makes your computer look like your indoor lights. In the morning, it makes things look like sunlight again.

Tell f.lux what kind of lighting you have, and where you live. Then forget about it. f.lux will do the rest, automatically.

Today I will get a little technical. I went to my Mental Health Peer Support Group tonight. During a point in the evening we discuss whatever it is we want to discuss. I have been having extreme issues with falling asleep. When I close my eyes a multitude of nonsense and bullshit cloud my brain. Some of it is logical, and some of it is not.

What is for dinner? I love Guns N Roses. I miss Wyatt. Rachel is a bitch. I hate this. Go the fuck to sleep. I miss my mom. Closing time… one last call for alcohol.

Panic ensues and I have to either open my eyes and stare at the ceiling fan to try and calm down or envision a stop sign (as my BFF told me once to do). I than wake up a groggy mess at a ridiculously late hour. Than I get mad that I slept in. Anxiety ensues. My day is shot.

It was suggested to me that I try a few things:

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1. Nature Music

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2. A pad and paper next to my bed to write down ideas that come into my head.

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3. F-Lux

I have placed a pad and paper next to my bed.

I have Googled “music to put you to sleep”

I have installed F.Lux. I am typing with it on now.

Wish me luck and I will post the results.

Some things to get your through the night

Yesterday’s News… Part One

home I was tired yesterday, I admit it. But, I posted. Yay Dallas! I had a lot of things that were on my mind, but when it came down to writing them, I was too tired. Maybe that was an excuse. Maybe I just didn’t want to write. I often think that my writing is bad, boring, sentences to short. But, sometimes I read over my words and think to myself, “That was pretty fucking good!”

I went to a book launch last night. A guy that I attended an intensive writing workshop with (taught by the awesome Sarah Schulman, dyke extraordinaire) had his first book published. It was a collection of short stories. Most of the room (the cabaret at Buddies) was filled with his friends (or so I guessed), considering most of them were of the queer bear sort like him. I thought about my book launch, because there will be one, and who I would want to be there. I thought of my mom immediately.. and well that isn’t going to happen because she died. I wanted to cry than. But, that is another blog post. I than thought of my BFF Sam. She would be there. And all of my Calgary friends. And Erin. And my family. Than I thought, where would this be? Buddies? No. Too pretentious. So much of the Toronto literati there. I know I am supposed to care about them, but I don’t. I hate elitism. Like seriously fuck off. I just want those I love there. And they aren’t in Toronto. Ok, that isn’t true, some of them are here… There is Rachel and Hope and Felicia and Laura… but that is it.

So what does that mean? Well that got me to thinking about my definition of home. Where was it? Half this summer I couldn’t remember where I was. Was it Calgary? Was it Toronto? I have been so consumed with running towards something or away these last few years that I have forgotten to stand still. I have no home base. Or I do and I deserted it. I have learned through this process that I am not good without a home base. I can travel the world but I need a home to come to when I am done. I don’t have one. I am lost. My head and heart are heavy. When I walk around I feel like this dream I had where I was homeless in the streets of Vancouver and I was trying to sleep in the rain… behind a grid. It was terrifying and so lonely. This is my depression trying to deal with my sporadic nature. I need my home. I know where it is but I am afraid to say it. But I crave it. I need it.

My mom said to me just before she died, “You seemed so happy there.”

I was…

 

 

 

Yesterday’s News… Part One

A Better Day With Lots of Weirdness… in tiny form

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Today will be a short post.. but a post like I promised myself nonetheless. Do not fret however as I will go into long detail tomorrow about the weirdness that was today.

Point form: got up early, did laundry next to a very smelly gentleman, walked to a book launch and entered BY MYSELF! I almost walked away and had sushi alone. I saw my EX who I have not seen since May. I went to yoga. I tried to figure out what the definition of home is. All these may not seem that life altering, but give me a good nights sleep and I will have you reading and rereading tomorrows post.

Good night all…

Today will be a short post.. but a post like I promised myself nonetheless. Do not fret however as I will go into long detail tomorrow about the weirdness that was today.

Point form: got up early, did laundry next to a very smelly gentleman, walked to a book launch and entered BY MYSELF! I almost walked away and had sushi alone. I saw my EX who I have not seen since May. I went to yoga. I tried to figure out what the definition of home is. All these may not seem that life altering, but give me a good nights sleep and I will have you reading and rereading tomorrows post.

Good night all…

 

A Better Day With Lots of Weirdness… in tiny form

Soooo… I’m Crazy! :)

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So, I’m crazy. For real. I have a DIAGNOSIS. I have clinical depression and anxiety disorder. For those that are unsure of what that really means consider yourself lucky. Imagine if you will experiencing the following scenarios:

1. You barely remember the last three years of your life.

2. You wake up in the middle of the night and you don’t know who you are.

3. You look in the mirror and don’t recognize yourself.

4. The thought of the Universe and infinity drives you to feel hollow and absolutely terrified.

5. You wake up and are afraid of what the day will bring.

6. You cut your arms with a razor because it stops the thoughts from overtaking your mind.

7. You forget where you live.

8. Your back aches continually and all you want to eat are triscuits.

9. A marathon of Breaking Bad is the only thing keeping you somewhat coherent.

10. Nothing makes sense anymore.

These are a few of the hundreds of examples of what depression and anxiety are like for me. I understand it is a chemical imbalance, but for those that suffer…. it is complete hell. It sucks. It isn’t fair. I really just want to be normal.

So tonight, in my crusade to do something about it, I went to a Mental Health Peer Support Group. There were 21 of us in the small, poorly lit room at a hospital in Roncesvalles. The last time I went to a hospital, my mom died so this was a hard place for me to enter. But I did.

It was a lively bunch of folks that greeted me at the door. I was scared, and a little taken aback. Young and old, short and tall, these folks were a bunch of strangers that may save my life one day, or at least give me a reason to get out of bed in the morning.

Because what we say in this group is confidential, there is not much I can disclose, but that is not the moral of this post. The moral is this. I have a glimmer of hope that someday I will be ok. I have a will to continue. I made it to the Mental Health Support Group. I may have no idea what I am doing half of the time as of late, and am still coming to terms that I have returned to Toronto after a long stay in Vancouver, but regardless I did something proactive.

And with this, the one thing that I got out of the meeting is this… wait for it… I am better with a schedule. Chaos and nothingness freak me out. I need a purpose… always. So as of now, my one thing that I will commit to is writing in this blog. Every day. I have to..

Please join me on my journey….

Soooo… I’m Crazy! :)