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, 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, 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!

LBGTQ2S, Mental Health, PTSD

Why Lady Gaga’s Halftime Show Performance Matters (to Me)

Despite all the mixed reviews about Lady Gaga performing for the Super Bowl Halftime Show, I have to admit, I was pretty stoked when the blonde beauty posted on Instagram a few months ago that she was going to be headlining the show.

But Lady Gaga is popular (and sometimes criticized) for many things.

Is she eccentric? Maybe, a little. Is she unique? Definitely. Is she beautiful? She’s absolutely ga-ga-gorgeous (or I think so). Is she a great performer? Absolutely.

Am I a fan? Hell yes! But not just because of her music. Keep Reading!

PTSD

An Open Letter to the Girl I Was Before my PTSD

WARNING: This post contains graphic content, course language, and explicit and sensitive information that may not be suitable for all ages. Potential to trigger traumatic memories for those suffering with similar PTSD experiences. Viewer discretion is advised.

I am going to be brutally honest with you.

I was beyond fucking petrified writing this blog post, let alone sharing it to my followers, to the whole internet, to the world! Keep Reading!