Holidays, Mental Health, PTSD

Maybe This Year Will Be Better Than the Last

Well folks,

Here we are at the end. Somehow most of us managed to survive the Christmas season mostly intact and if you’re anything like me, you spent the last few days in a haze of confusion while filled up on too many sweets and too many home cooked meals. It didn’t even really occur to me how close New Years Eve was until my friend texted me and asked what she could bring to our NYE party.

Oops. Keep Reading!

Anxiety, Holidays, Life, Mental Health, PTSD

5 Tips to Help Your Mental Health This Christmas

This is it folks.

This time next week, the big man in the red suit will start making his rounds around the world, delivering treats and presents to everyone who was good this year. Kids will be leaving out milk and cookies (and maybe some carrots for the reindeer), and parents will be scrambling to wrap last minutes gifts and stock stuffers. (Ahem…I mean for the gifts that Santa won’t be bringing ;)!)

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These next seven days are probably going to bring around chaos, both at work, at home, and of course stores and malls will be jammed packed with people who leave their shopping to the last possible minute. Homes will be bustling with laughter and cheer, while kitchens bubble with aromas of Christmas baked goods and preparations for large holiday feasts.

And while there is enjoyment in the chaos, these last ditch-efforts to prepare for a perfect holiday experience can be overwhelming. And if you’re like me, living with a mental illness that prevents you from processing stress on a normal-functioning level, these chaotic moments are severely overwhelming. It only takes one little thing to go wrong, or too much noise, or sensing someone else’s frustrations or tension to make me waver. It takes virtually nothing to send my brain into overdrive and suddenly I’m an anxious mess. Keep Reading!

Mental Health, PTSD, Social Anxiety

Why the Holidays are Sometimes Difficult for Someone Like Me

Disclaimer: If you are really struggling during this time of the year, you can contact the NL Mental Health 24 Hour Crisis Line at 1-888-737-4668. Or if you’re not in crisis and just need to talk, call the CHANNAL Provincial Warm Line at 1-855-753-2560.

Remember to check in with loved ones who you know could be struggling.
It could mean the world to them.

Ah, December.

The one month of the year were suddenly everything turns from calm and relaxed into chaos and confusion. Where even the most organized and put-together person somehow manages to fall off the rails and suddenly there are gifts not bought, decorations not put up, and within the first week of December you’re already sick of hearing Michael Buble’s renditions of our favourite Christmas carols. (Sorry Michael Buble). In Canada, you just barely have the poppies off before Christmas is shoved in your face. 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!

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, 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!