Missing, not missed.

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Meh.

I just ate a hot, Italian sausage, 10 tiny potatoes, a cup of frozen brussel sprouts and a shit ton of fake, 25% less salt, brown gravy. I am not going to lie – it was fucking delicious. I was going to have some bread under the sausage to soak up the gravy, however I decided against it because of the carbs. The gravy was a great idea though.

Anyways…

I attended a wedding this weekend. I was super honoured to go, as I had not seen my friend (one of the brides) but once in three years. We used to be tight – like every weekend Dexter watching marathons tight. There were five of us on each of those nights. Five queers (two couples and me) crammed into a living room, super excited to watch Dexter’s latest moral kill, debriefing about it afterwards. My friend, the betrothed, always kept us sugar-filled with cakes and cookies she was testing recipes for. We ate a lot. I was happy. Happy with the sugar and companionship.

Betrothed and her girlfriend at the time broke up. The other couple also parted ways. There were harsh words and side taking. Betrothed was my only ally after the battle.

My heart hurt. There was so much that I missed about the sugar and companionship. There were misunderstandings and so many tears shed. I was broken.

But I let it go.

Without consideration.

Fast forward 8 years.

Marriage, breakups, and wrinkles.

There is only one other person at the wedding that I know. A remnant of a life I once knew. A one-nighter that intrigued me. She welcomed me with a smile and asked how things were.

‘The same.’

‘Me too.’

It is an awkward tension that only two beings that have seen and tasted parts of our bodies that not many have. I was happy to see her though. I had someone to sit with. I felt a bit of excitement, the kind that made me want to ferociously make out with someone other than my ex who I hate saying that I am not over.

I wondered though, at that exact moment, why I was so sad. Why I couldn’t say much. I was surrounded by love, but empty.

Why?

To be honest, I don’t know. I have thought about it over and over. I have mulled, contemplated, and mourned my happiness, my sense of belonging, my connection.

Where did it all go?

I have heard (don’t ask me where), that when one door closes, another one opens. My new door must be broken. I feel like a shell of myself, and it has taken me years and years of therapy, hospitalizations, food eating, and food avoiding to figure out where I went. This time at this wedding was an exact manifestation of where I was before – something – and where I am now.

I was a spectator of my life and what it could have been. Kind of like that Christmas movie that is really old and have never watched, where that guy sees what life would be like without him in it. This was what life was without me.

And I hate it.

I miss being a part of something. I miss connections. I miss having places to go. I hate that I can count my friends on one hand. I used to have another hand of friends. I love the friends I have.. I really do, but I feel like I have lost my happy. That time, that time with my friends, my family, is lost.

And I really don’t know why.

That’s a lie. I do know why.

As much as I want to blame everyone for my losses, I really have no one to blame but myself. And my crazy. But, really, the rest is me.

One can only use crazy as an excuse for so long. At some point you have to take accountability for yourself and your actions.

I didn’t have to listen to what others think, and what others wanted me to do.

I knew better.

I didn’t trust my gut.

This eternal search for my happy – the happy I knew, is still a search – but maybe not so eternal.

The only option I have is to rebuild, and I accept this challenge with courage and authenticity.

 

 

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Missing, not missed.

Uniform

Uniform

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

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! :)