Hurting and Healing and moving the fuck on…

So here’s the thing…

When you are crazy (and I am, and it’s mine and I fucking claim the word), you question everything about yourself.

Some questions that have actually occurred:

I know my throat is raw and I can’t breathe but seriously depression does that right?

Did I really make plans to go out tonight or did I just make that up in my head?

Who am I?

Where am I?

I can’t believe I said that.. is she going to hate me forever?

Am I the only person in this world and everyone else a part of my imagination?

Why am I the ugliest person in the world?

So when you are in the here and now.. wanting and working your fucking ass off to be better.. (day by day) you really have to figure your damn head out in order to function like a human.

The problem lies in your ability to be ok with yourself.  When you question everything around you, you forget how to understand yourself as a thinking thing,  a human, a valid voice. You forget (in fact may have never known) that how you think and feel is ok.

When you are sick. . You are sick. .fucking period. You didn’t make up the 103 degree fever or the constant stream of…well you get the point. You did not make this up because you are not some superhuman with the ability to inflict imaginary germs on yourself.

When you are upset.. you are upset. Your set of okness values were not met.. you’re sad, angry, frustrated. To feel that is ok.. more than ok. When you close off your heart for long periods of time to avoid potential cataclysmic events that most people call life (you just can’t deal) and have the fucking courage to open your heart up and it be stomped on by all means.. MOTHER FUCKING CRY! Cry for your delicate yet powerful heart for its ache but also for its courage to open itself up to possibility. . To beautiful life! You have become a part of the majority (but are so happy that your still a little weird).

When you question your set of values.. just stop. Your values are your own. When a girlfriend (now ex) tells you that you are ‘too gay’ (she was the one with the mullet) or another one tells you that ‘you are just too much to handle’.. fuck ’em. Fuck them and their bullshit attack on who you are. Fuck them for not embracing the everything that is you. You earned this badge  .. you fucking earned it.

When you think you are not good enough and feel like you have to hide so you won’t be hurt.. go out! Test yourself, force yourself. Not everyone is going to like you and even if you go on some manic tangent (because you are after all deliciously crazy) don’t fucking worry about it. Not everyone is going to like you, but those that do are yours for life.

When your girlfriend (s), now ex (exes) cheat on you once,  twice,  three fucking times.. get out. Don’t hate yourself because you went back… you went back because you believe (and still do) in the sanctity of commitment and love. You were willing to fight for it even when it wasn’t pretty. You loved and loved hard and were willing to try… but don’t lose faith in your potential to love and be loved back. Your person(s) are out there.

When you look in the mirror and seriously fucking hate what you are looking at (and may go for days without ever looking) don’t beat yourself up. Just live.. maybe without looking for a while until your ready.. (baby steps). You hate what you see because you are not looking at yourself.  That person is not you. That is the sad, beaten down, and exhausted you. You are hiding in there.. you will come out.. (still working on that). Remember that this reflection is what is holding you back from doing things .. being alive. . Drinking with drag queens, protesting bullshit homophobes,  dancing until you forget that there is gravity, loving and being loved by your people, finding those people you desperately yearn for.

The problem lies with the fact that you have not been to be ok because some ridiculous piece of shit chemical in your brain is tearing you apart. You have been fighting for so long just to walk out the door and survive.. you’ve gotta fight. You have to fight for yourself.. for your rightful place in the world. No one is going to do this for you.. but if you let them,  the good ones will help you along the way, but you have to let them in. You have to trust the process. You have to live. You have to fight.

And if you feel like your whole world is going to crumble.. because it will.. we aren’t immune..fucking cry.. Cry alone, cry with friends, just cry with every ounce of you. And than take a breath… and get up..

Hurting and Healing and moving the fuck on…

…..

When I don’t know what to say… i say it with dots. When I don’t know what to say, I write it here. When I don’t what to say, I write. I want to be heard, I just don’t know how to say it with my shaky and uncertain voice.

I have been perusing through my posts lately, trying to figure out where and what I am trying to say. There is a direction there.. and it is so glaringly clear.

The thing is.. I have never felt so vulnerable as I do now. Never.

And I want to be heard. I want to do everything… I want more.. so much more than I have ever allowed myself to do.

This past month has challenged me in so many ways. So many perfect, and scary, and amazing ways. It has taught me patience and a will to fight for what I believe in.. wholeheartedly, without my somewhat selfish and terrified soul in consideration. My fear and extreme self doubt has taken second place. And this has never happened before. And it is good. It is what I have been fighting for my whole life. A belief in something greater than me.

These recent chaotic, brilliant moments have allowed me to practice my authenticity. To declare loudly that I am vulnerable and strong and worthy of love. That I am not afraid to say with the written word that I am ok.. I am better than I ever was because I am not afraid to fail.. or to try. That I have had moments that have made me melt in so many delicious ways.. and I am not afraid to talk about it or feel like I am not deserving of it.

So with this, I am going to continue to just go… go forward and hope and fight for all things deserving. I will continue to take the needs of others close to my heart and welcome them, because we are all the same really… just looking for love and acceptance and meaning in this world. I will practice patience and above all else respect for those that I simply adore.

And, above all else.. I will write.. unashamed, unafraid.

…….

 

 

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The Reasons Why I am Returning Home

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I have decided to return home – home being Calgary. This has been a very tough decision and one not come upon lightly. I am going to touch on the reasons why it was difficult first.

My Toronto friends. You all know who you are. You and you alone are the reasons that I had such a hard time leaving. You have all seen me through the good and the bad and kept by me throughout. Thank you. I will be forever grateful and I will be back to visit, I promise.

Now, to reflect on why I am leaving (and a brief history of Dallas in her thirties). A few years back…say 2006? I met a girl. When I say we met, I mean we chatted online, MSN Messenger to be exact! I had just come out and was really getting along with her. In fact, I was falling hard. Here I am in the throes of my new found identity.

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That particular romance did not last, however a spark in me did. I needed to get out of Vancouver and broaden my horizons. I figured that Calgary would be a good place to start. So I gathered my buddy Erin and my two cats to move with me and recruited two other friends to help us load up the UHaul and drive with us to Calgary.

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Once I arrived it didn’t take me long to flourish. I joined everything, I volunteered, I made amazing friends. I discovered I wanted to write. I felt at home. I met this weirdo.

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I had never been in a space where I felt pretty fantastic. This was my home. This was my Calgary. And than I met a girl.

I fell in love, and I fell hard. I wanted to be her everything and I became someone I was not to try and be that everything to her. I lost myself in the process. This was not her fault. It was how I chose to do things. She wanted me to follow her to Toronto. I did.

In the back of my mind I was telling myself no, don’t go. But my stubborn mind was made up. I went. Our relationship did not work out, but I do not regret going. These are some of the reasons why.

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After we split up, my mom got sick so I came to Vancouver. Before she passed away she told me that I always seemed so happy in Calgary. I was happy, she was right.

I decided to return to Toronto in September with full intentions to make a go at it on my own. I found a great place with great roommates, I reconnected with friends, I went to yoga religiously, and I went back to school for creative writing. I even began working on my mental health by going to groups. But something was missing.

My mental health was at an all time low. I was alone. I was away from heart and soul – my home. I was starting to rediscover myself and with this I realized that I needed to return.

So here I am. Two weeks from my departure. I want to thank Toronto for taking me in, for bashing me around, and for helping me rediscover myself.

I also want to thank Calgary for always being there, even when I left you. Thank you for letting me back.

 

The Reasons Why I am Returning Home

The Summer Morning Routine

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My enormous, sleep encrusted brown eyes quickly opened. I jumped out of bed. I dashed to my bedroom door, forcing it open with the might of a 9 year-old on a mission with some seriously unfortunate bedhead.

“I’m awake!” I cried, waiting for some sort of commendation.

Silence. The dog didn’t even stir.

My mom was on the couch with her legs curled underneath her. Her lit cigarette was making billowing silvery-grey smoke figures while resting in the grooves of the pea green, rotund glass ashtray on the side table. Her coffee cup was half full, and it would stay that way, as she never finished a full cup of anything.

“Can I have Cheerios for breakfast?” I requested, adjusting the wedgy that happened every time I wore that 100% polyester floor length, sea foam green nighty from Zellers. Somehow all of the static that was ever accumulated in one summer evening found its way into my fast asleep ass.

“I guess,” she stated glumly while looking through her burgundy coupon container that used to be a recipe container in anticipation of her grocery shopping trip that day. She hated grocery shopping and she wasn’t afraid to tell us as much “If I didn’t ever have to go grocery shopping again I would be happy,” she would say on an almost weekly basis.

Domesticity was not her cup of tea, and in later years I realized she had passed this trait down to me.

“Don’t make a mess, and see what your brother wants.”

Of course I had to find out what my brother wanted. Wade, in my eyes, was only born to make my life miserable. He was the thorn in my side, the Gargamel to my Papa Smurf, the Ghost to my PacMan. Wade, my younger brother, was the barrier in my life’s pursuit as the coolest kid of the 10 kid wolf-pack living on my block.

I lurched past his room which wreaked of old food and pee with hopes of catching him doing something wrong. And there he was, sitting on his bed, sucking his thumb, staring blankly at his X-Wing Fighter poster with his enormous sleep encrusted brown eyes.

“Mom wants to know what you want for breakfast.”

“I want toast.”

“Then you should make some.”

“I’m not allowed”

“Because you’re dumb.”

“I’m telling Mom.”

“Go ahead, I don’t care.”

“Maaaaaaaaaammmmmmm!!! Dallas called me dumb!”

“Dallas don’t call your brother dumb.”

Typical.

I made my brother toast.

After breakfast which included both toasting and buttering for two people and making sure that the dishes were brought back to the sink, I brushed my teeth and ran to my room to find something to wear. My brown bell bottom corduroys that were worn out in the thighs and knees from both excessive bike riding and attempting wheelies and Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader T-shirt, and ode to my Dad’s favorite football team/cheerleading squad, were my go-to outfit so I slipped them on quickly

“I am going out to play” I said as I struggled to fit my white wooden clogs over my thick white socks.

“Not until you clean your room,” my Mom countered.

“My room is clean,” I disputed.

“Ha! It’s a pig-stye!” clinched my Mom.

“Maaaammmmm…. can’t I clean it when I get home?”

“No. Now. You told me you would do it this weekend.”

Knowing that I had lost the battle, as I always did, I kicked my clogs against the wood panelled wall and ran to my room. I slammed the door.

“Don’t slam your door.”

Utter defeat.

I quickly hurled all of my toys in the closet. I made my bed. I ran a sticky Kool-Aid encrusted plastic cup to the kitchen. I was done.

I threw my clogs back on. “K, I’m going out to play.”

“Take your brother with you.”

“What? I hate taking him, he always cries.” He did really cry a lot. It was embarrassing.

“You don’t spend enough time with him. He is your brother for crying out loud.”

“He’s stupid, that’s why I don’t play with him.”

“Dallas”

“Mom”

“Don’t be smart.”

“OK, I will be dumb than.”

“Take him or you are not going out.”

“Fine, but if I lose all of my friends because of him it’s your fault.”

I kicked off my clogs and stopped for a second to marvel at my accuracy skills. I happened to hit the same spot on the wall as I had ten minutes earlier. Not bad.

I went to Wade’s room to get him. He was sitting on his bed with his thumb in his mouth crying. Of course. I felt bad a little but I didn’t know why.

“Mom wants you to go out and play with me.”

“I don’t want to.”

“Oh my God. Just come outside.”

He wiped his nose with his thread barren yellow blankie and stood up. He was still in his blue Snoopy pyjamas.

“Mom he is still in his pyjamas!”

“Wade, put your clothes on and brush your teeth.”

“I don’t want to go outside with dumb head.”

“Fine, stay home than.”

Summer was exhausting.

I once again put on my clogs.

“I am going outside now.”

“Not until you clean the mark on the wall where you kicked your clogs.”

Unbelievable.

The Summer Morning Routine

Uniform

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It was the uniforms that I thought would make it all better. Once the uniform took charge, the burrowing under the cotton sheets would subside. The dreams of banging into the wall over and over again would end. That inevitable fear of death and the ache of eternity would no longer be winning. It was the uniform that was supposed to save me.

Visions of controlled environments make that sense of despair turn 180 degrees and bring hope to the forefront, excitement even. Excitement for the future. For the future of the remainder of my days. The future even when I am no longer in this body. Visions of pets I have lost, Grandma, Andrew, and maybe a celebrity here and there to greet me would be a reality. There would be a sense of order and a lack of the absurd, an understanding of how it all makes sense. The controlled space filled with uniforms. The cloth of clarity. The crisp cotton that would save my life.

Tap, tap, tap. My internal demon was awoken. “This is the police, and we would like you to let us in.” The uniform. The demon flew out the window. If I was being saved why did I feel so ridiculous? Why did I not feel like I was going to be saved? The blood, the scars, the yelling, the sleep, the heartache, and the sublime all seemed like yesterday’s news. This wasn’t real.

“She is worried about you.”

“She shouldn’t have left than.”

There were ashes from 100 cigarettes scattered on the table. The razor was still there. The pills were gone, she took them. The cat was sleeping at my feet oblivious to the pain and chaos and the unreality of her home. I wanted to trade places with her. I am not really here.

I opened the door.

“There is the razor!” Flashlights in the home that was once ours. The uniform swooshed, creating a new sound. Was it the sound of my saviour? Was there really a heaven? Would I be like everyone else? This is not how I imagined it. I was scared. Embarrassed. I was not like everyone else.

The neighbours will know. I am not ready to let it be known.

Quick! Tell them you are fine!

“Get in the car please.”

“You have a lot to live for.”

Stares. Everyone was staring. The police, the nurses, the doctors, the paramedics. The uniforms. This where the saving happens. Why was I not feeling safe?

“You are fine.”

You are not crazy enough. You are an idiot. You shouldn’t be here. Stop wasting my time. Here is a list of more uniforms to help you. Get out.

Uniform

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