Blog Awards, Mental Health

The 2017 Liebster Award – Thank You!

Hello beautiful humans.

If there is one thing I am trying to improve on, it is checking my blog mail. Seriously, I know procrastination is an arch nemesis of mine, but as dedicated and loyal I try to be to my blog, I tend to forget to filter through my emails. Sometimes I overlook them, sometimes I open them when I’m scrolling through my phone in the morning – before the caffeine has kicked in yet – and completely forget to reply. I know, it’s no excuse, but I’m working on it. Let’s just say I have lots of “Oh Crap!” moments several days later when I realize how stunned I have been.

But I’m working on being more diligent with my blog mail, I promise!

Why do I bring this up you may ask? Keep Reading!

Books, Mental Health, Writing

A Whole Lot of Lemonade (And a Whole Lot of Love)

Life can be pretty bitter.

Sometimes we experience events or go through circumstances that chip away parts of us, moments that change us forever, sometimes for the worse. When trying times come, the results can leave us wounded or sour – bitter.

Though difficult circumstances may change us or leave behind scars unhealed, sometimes through darkness we can see the light. Sometimes the events that make us bitter can have a silver lining after all.

Getting pelted with lemons isn’t necessary a bad thing. It’s what you do with the lemons after that defines you. Do you throw them away and let the bitterness eat away at you, or do you use the lemons and make something sweet – something good?

Would you rather reach for the tequila or make lemonade?

And boy is that a hard decision to make!

Keep Reading!

Mental Health, Mental Illness, PTSD

The One Question I Wish People Would Stop Asking Me

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I really started coming into my own since I started publicly sharing my story, my battles with PTSD, and my advocacy for better mental health rights and services.

The world threw lemons at me so I decided to make lemonade. (See what I did there?) *Insert shameless book promo here!*

I started advocating for mental health in 2015, and since then I have been given and have stumbled upon some of the greatest opportunities. These past three years have been the best in my life, not because my writing career has started to take off, but because I am also making a small difference for others like me. I started doing my part to help advocate for change, for the end of the stigma, for a better understanding. I fully believe I have found my calling and that has given me great joy.

But there is one thing that happens when you open yourself up to others. You also have to endure and entail all sorts of questions from other people. Keep Reading!

#suicide, Mental Health, World Suicide Prevention Day

A Note on World Suicide Prevention Day

Disclaimer: If you experience suicidal thoughts or have lost someone to suicide, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the NL 24 Hour Crisis Line at 1-888-737-4668.

Suicide is never selfish.

I know that is a bold statement to make, but I will say it again.

Suicide is never selfish. Keep Reading!

Mental Health, PTSD, Suicide

Six Years Ago

Six years ago my life changed.

Six years ago I had to make a heart-wrenching phone call to my boyfriend.

“I don’t want to live anymore.”

Six years ago I had to finally admit out loud that I wanted to take my own life, that I had spent two hours contemplating swallowing a bottle of pills and ending it all.

Six years ago my life had reached a breaking point; I had hit rock bottom and I didn’t know if I had the strength to get up. Everything hurt despite my heart being numb. Keep Reading!

Books, Mental Health, PTSD, Writing

Lemonade Stand (Official Author Debut)

(Author Note: If you would like to purchase a copy of Lemonade Stand, selling information can be found at the bottom of this post!)

A wise man once said, “A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work.”

And I am proud to announce that after many months of hard work, sleepless nights, a lot of tears and frustrations, I can officially say for the first time, “I am a published author”!! Keep Reading!

Mental Health

Why Anime (and Manga) Helps My Mental Health

(Author Note: Find my top favourite manga/anime series at the bottom of the post! 😉 )

“Babe, why is there an Amazon box in the garbage?”

I feel my cheeks burn as I hide in my writing den, feeling the sheepish grin stretch across my face, “Oh, something I ordered a while back came in the mail.”

My fiancé is not amused. “What did you buy?” he questions as he finally steps into the door way of my home office.

My eyes don’t leave my computer screen, “Oh, nothing of importance.”

I’m met with immediate silence. I feel my cheeks turn hot as I wait for the impending explosion of annoyance.

“You bought more anime stuff, didn’t you?” My finance’s voice is an octave higher, his eyes looking at me with disapproval.

“It’s called manga,” I muttered under my breath, but I don’t make an effort to fully correct him. He’s not a geek boy. Yes, he’s obsessed with Star Wars, but he’s not super geeky. Not like me. He doesn’t eat, live, and breath the geek life like I do. Keep Reading!

Mental Health, PTSD

The Symptoms No One Ever Talks About

Living with a mental health issue isn’t easy.

Having a mental illness is and remains a life-altering experience for people like me. It’s fighting a battle that is silent and invisible – struggling with something that you can’t physically grasp. A war raging against your own self is a war that is not easily fought – or easily won.

But by far, the hardest thing for me to accept was not just trying to come to terms with living with a mental illness, it was also having to learn and understand all the symptoms that came along with it.

The day I was “officially” diagnosed – meaning my psych evaluation was finally put on paper – I remember sitting in a cramped office space with a mental health counsellor and she looked at me and bluntly said, “You have Post-traumatic stress disorder and general anxiety disorder with OCD tendencies.”

My first thought was, That’s a freaking mouthful. Try saying that three times fast. Keep Reading!

Mental Health, PTSD

I Woke Up Happy Today

I woke up happy today.

And to you that may seem strange. You woke up happy? Why wouldn’t you wake up happy? Sure, everyone has their complaints in the morning – it’s raining, again? – the coffee hasn’t kicked in yet, you’re still trying to wipe the fog from your brain in the shower. Sure, not everyone wakes up happy as soon as they pop their eyelids open, but why wouldn’t you be happy?

Because the truth of the matter is I don’t wake up happy every day.

It’s not because I haven’t accepted the normality of my life and that I sometimes take for granted how precious each and every day is. It’s not because I sometimes just don’t see the beauty in the small things – a sunny day, a good morning kiss from my fiancé, a nightmare-free sleep, because I do appreciate all of those things. It’s just that sometimes, despite the weather, despite how long it takes my morning latte to kick in, despite the affection I get from my fur babies as I untangle myself from my bed sheets – sometimes I just don’t wake up happy.

Because sometimes my mental illness doesn’t let me wake up happy. Keep Reading!

LBGTQ2S, Mental Health, PTSD

How Owning my Bisexuality Helped my PTSD

It’s hard to believe we are already two weeks into the month of June!

The weather is getting sunnier (but a bit rainier here in NL), the days are getting longer, BBQ season is back (Hurray!), and the leaves are starting to bud on my Crabtree! I love this time of the year, especially after six months of grey skies and twelve-foot snowbanks. I’m born to love the cold, but I can’t help but appreciate the summer as well.

I love summer.

But June is also an amazing month for another reason.

It’s Pride Month! Keep Reading!