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.”

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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!

Anxiety, GAD, Linkin Park, Mental Health, PTSD

Losing my Shit Over a Sweater (The Red Flag I Ignored)

If you’re a person who changes their outfit five times before heading out the door, raise your hand.

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Now before anyone starts pointing fingers, I’m not judging. I am also picky about the clothes I wear, despite always reverting back to ol’ faithful (a tee-shirt and skinny jeans). As an adult woman, there is nothing wrong with this. Sometimes it depends on the occasion, sometimes it depends on my mood, and sometimes it depends on the weather pouring out of the heavens. (It’s hard to wear skits and dresses in a place where it can get up to -30°C without freezing to death.)

And while I have the potential to throw on five to ten different outfits before heading out the door – ignoring the eye rolls and the endless “You’re beautiful no matter what you wear!” from my fiancé – is not always warranted from being “just picky”. It sometimes stems from something greater, something more profound.

Sometimes my PTSD is the demon lurking in my closet (and in my fashion choices).

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Anxiety, Mental Health, PTSD

On the Days I Need Someone to Advocate For Me

I love being a mental health advocate.

Putting my own story out there was both the scariest and greatest thing I could have ever done. Opening up about my battle with PTSD and GAD has been both a solace and a therapeutic experience for me.

And while I am proud to stand up and fight for all those out there still suffering in silence, I realize there are days where I need the same support. There are days where I need someone to advocate for me.

I take a great deal of pride in being the first line of defence, someone brave enough to put their own pain in the spotlight to help make a difference, to help someone suffering in silence. It is a heavy burden and the ultimate reward to voice my opinions and to turn my own suffering into something positive. Being this vulnerable (and exposed) while walking this path has been humbling, but there is a price to be paid for putting my pain on display. There are sacrifices to be made in order to help someone else.

But the bigger question is this: Would someone else do it for me? 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

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!

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!

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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!