Life, Mental Illness, PTSD

Why Thoughts and Prayers Don’t Make Me “Better”

I’ve been told my whole life that there are two things you should never talk about openly: religion and politics.

And while I have a very liberal-minded attitude and I live more of a spiritual life rather than be devoted to a specific belief system, there is one thing that annoys the hell outta me as someone who lives with a mental health issue. There is one thing that makes me cringe a little on the inside, and that is when I’m told this:

“Thoughts and prayers are going to make [your PTSD] better.”

Keep Reading!

Anime, Mental Illness, PTSD

The “Two Faces” of my PTSD

Image result for sailor moon symbol

There’s an old belief that everyone wears different masks.

If you’re lucky enough to have zero qualms about the skin you live in and are 100% living your best self behind no walls and no masks, then I extend a “Bravo!” to you. Loving and accepting yourself for who you really are must be a freeing experience; to live your life regardless of what other people think and loving all the flaws and quirks that make you, uniquely you.

But for the rest of us who still struggle with appreciating our flaws and being comfortable in our own skin, sometimes we put on masks to present an “ideal” version of ourselves in order to save face (no pun intended). We present these “faces” to the world for many different reasons. To display a sense of confidence, to hide anxieties or worries, to “mask” qualities in ourselves that may seem “undesirable” or “annoying” according to societal standards. Even though we are moving into an age where differences are uniting us and quirkiness is admired, many of us are still too afraid to reveal our real faces, to show our true selves.

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By wearing these masks, we create two different versions of ourselves, two different faces: the ideal person we want to be perceived as and the “real” us who we think doesn’t deserve gratification.

And just as we separate ourselves into who we think we should be and who we really are, my PTSD also presents itself as two faces. Keep Reading!

Bell Let's Talk Day, Mental Health, Mental Illness, PTSD, Uncategorized

Bell’s Let’s Talk Day is Back Tomorrow!

Bell’s Let’s Talk Day 2018 is TOMORROW, and I’m preparing for an all-day event of sharing, promoting, and offering good and positive mental health advocacy!

It’s truly the best day of the year! 😀

Join me tomorrow for all the excitement and let’s raise money to support national mental health initiatives!

And as always,

Fight the good fight!

-A xo

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!

Linkin Park, Mental Illness, Music and Therapy

Why I’m Grieving a Man I’ve Never Met

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 1-888-7374668.

It took me a week to finally put words on paper.

It took me days to finally come to terms with the fact that one of my biggest role models and idols is gone. I spent several nights this week crying myself to sleep at the thought that I lost one of my favourite people to listen to on repeat.

Chester Bennington’s death struck me so hard I felt (and still feel) devastated.

In learning of his death, I was thrown right back to a time in my life where I too had contemplated taking my own life. Chester’s death brought back memories that I didn’t want to remember. Famous or not, when someone dies so tragically, it’s easy for my own hurt to resurface –  a painful reminder that it could have been me. I was physically and emotionally distressed Thursday evening. I had so much of my own pain wrecking havoc on my mind, and then trying to fully grasp that Chester had died, I honestly didn’t know what to do with myself. I spent hours curled up on my couch, crying hysterically because I was so upset. Keep Reading!

Mental Health, Mental Illness, Music and Therapy

Why I Can’t Stop Listening to Linkin Park’s New Song “Heavy”

I’ve been a Linkin Park fan for over ten years now.

And let’s be honest, I go on..and on…and on about how their music has helped me through some of the most difficult moments in my life.

I’m a firm believer that music can heal just as well as medication and therapy. For me, blaring LP in my ear buds and screaming  into my pillow has been just as therapeutic as crying to my therapist during a counselling session.

A lot of LP’s songs have provided me with comfort and a lot of reflection through the years, especially early on in my diagnosis with PTSD.

So of course, when Mike Shinoda’s teased a video of him playing a somber piano tune, I was STOKED! Keep Reading!

Mental Illness, PTSD

A Blogger’s Year In Review

Hello beautiful humans!!

I must apologize again for being so late in posting another article!

I could list excuses (‘Cause I have lots!) but honestly, between working 12-15 hour shifts at work and trying to survive the Christmas season without too many panic attacks or triggers is tough work for a mental health blogger.

Once again, I do say I am sorry! Keep Reading!

Mental Illness, PTSD

To The Cashier Who Realized I Was Having a Panic Attack

To the cashier who realized I was having a panic attack,

First off, let me say this. Bravo!

While I understand working retail can be a crazy and fast-paced job (because I have worked retail jobs before too), I can only image the obscene things people must say to you, or the jaw-dropping scenes you must witness from time to time. Nobody is perfect, but sometimes shopping, especially Christmas shopping, can bring out the worst in us.

It’s hard enough for anyone shopping in big box realtor stores with cramped aisles and crowds of people, it’s even worse when you have social anxiety that stems from your PTSD. Keep Reading!

Mental Illness, PTSD

A Word of Advice on the Good Days

If it there has been something I have been grateful for lately, it has been the beautiful days I have experienced over these last several months.

And no, I am not referring to the balmy summer weather that we were lucky enough to experience for more than one month this season or the fact there is a hint of autumn in the air, signalling the start of a new season. As much as I do love this time of the year, this is not what I am grateful for. Keep Reading!