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!

Pets, PTSD

Miesha and Me (and Battling PTSD)

They say good things come in small packages.

And rightfully so, I cannot argue against that logic. Good things do come in small packages – my university acceptance letters did, my engagement ring (hehe!), and the countless books I ordered off of Amazon.

Good things do come in small packages.

But, there is one thing in my life that came in a giant package. Or rather, a cute black leather carry-on bag.

My baby girl, my drool-bag, my giant-ass English mastiff, Miesha! 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!

Mental Health, Mental Health Week, PTSD

Mental Health Week Vlog Project: Day One

Today officially starts Canada’s Mental Health Week!

YAY! 😀

This year, I’ve decided to create a Mental Health Vlog Project, in which for the next seven days, I will be sharing a different video where I talk about mental health topics, discussions, debates, and of course, sharing my own experiences.

And today’s topic: The Medication Debate! Keep Reading!

Mental Health, PTSD

Don’t Mistake Maturity for Weakness

People can be terrible.

For as long as we have been on this planet, it seems like we can never learn to treat others with kindness and respect. We can move mountains and overcome milestones when it comes to big discoveries, and yet we still haven’t learned to master the concept of “loving thy neighbour as yourself,” a simple and fundamental concept that seems to fumble even the most brilliant of thinkers.

And in today’s world, you only have to turn on your TV, or listen to the radio, or go on FaceBook and see Joe Blow’s politically incorrect posts about ISIS or Trump or whatever, to see how cruel humans can be.

Because lets be honest. Humans are shitty. Keep Reading!

Mental Health, PTSD

Why We Need to Stop Comparing Types of Pain

Pain.

It is a simple, four-letter word that can have both simple and complex meanings.

It’s a word we use with everyday jargon. “Man, [insert task] is such a pain.” It’s a term we use to describe someone who is getting on our last nerve. “John is such a pain in the butt!” Or it’s a term to describe the tension that radiates from a wound or injury. Doctor: “Ok, where does it pain the most?” A simple, but complex word that holds so much value.

For me, living with a mental health issue, pain is a word that is reiterated frequently in my vocabulary. Physical pain, mental pain, emotional pain. It is a word that has many levels of  complex feelings and emotions; containing raw and “painful” memories, both past and present; a term that can be used so loosely yet can detonate a bomb within seconds. Keep Reading!

Mental Health, PTSD

When the Invisible Becomes Physical

Let’s get serious for a moment.

Over the last several months I have met some amazing and inspiring people as my blog and articles started to reach a wider audience. I’ve made friends with people from all around the globe who are fighters in their own right, for they too are battling the struggles of living with a mental illness. To connect with these people, to read their stories, to share in their fears and their greatest hopes has been both an inspiration and uplifting for myself, it encourages me to keep writing – to continue sharing my story.

And for myself, while I have been beyond fortunate to have been winning many battles against my PTSD, I too have had my losses. I have my bad days. Most days the battles are silent though, invisible – undetectable to the outside world. While over the last few years I have started to become more open about my bad days, I too have days where I retreat into my protective armour and let the war rage in my head. Keep Reading!

Mental Health, PTSD

To the Boss Who Kept Dismissing My Mental Illness

Conflict in the workplace is unavoidable.

Whether you work at a large corporation or a small local business, conflict is an issue every workplace faces. Whether it is between co-workers, between you and your boss, or between share holders and suppliers, sometimes even with clients and customers.

Workplace arguments are bound to happen. Whether you and a coworker disagree on a project, or you’re having issues with a disgruntled customer, or you’re just having a bad day yourself and you lose your nerve. It’s unfortunate but it happens.

The bottom line: Conflict happens, but most conflicts can be overcome. Keep Reading!