Friday, June 03, 2016

Sharing is Caring

"There is a surrendering to your story and then a knowing that you don't have to stay in your story."
 - Colette Baron Reid

OK. So that was a cheese-curd title to this post.

Sue me.

Moving on.

Some may wonder why I write so much about my personal struggle with depression and anxiety - especially now.

I have written about it before - but not in so much detail. Kinda skimming over it - not really digging deep to express what I am truly going though.

People tell me I am brave and courageous for being so open. Many of these people are suffering or have suffered in the past - be it from similar conditions or other "invisible" illnesses or disabilities and feel they can't speak out. Which sucks.

And I get that. It is hard to open up about something that still has some stigma attached to it. Things are better - but there is still work to be done.

I just feel that as much as this is a difficult time for me…and as much as I want to hide sometimes…that I am at an age where I feel a certain sense of responsibility to share.

Again, part of this comes with the passing of time. I read a great article about women in their 40s and how there are certain things we no longer have time to give a fuck about. Well…clearly…if you have been reading…I still have some personal work do do on the fucks I choose to give…but this is an area I excel at. Or at least I am told.

Helping people through the written word.

And so here I am. I have a blog. I have a fairly strong social media presence and readership…and so I am trying to be as open and honest as I can.

Just remember everyone is different. Mental illness is such a broad term. I would consider myself a high-functioning person - and so I am usually able to manage my condition(s) and carry on a busy, fulfilling and happy life.

Me looking happy and fulfilled.
And having a good hair day.
But as I write this my hair looks like shit if you must know.
I will return to work as soon as I can and I will continue to try to build my career and raise my children and grow my relationships and try new things.

I am also aware that part of that - a big part - has to do with my life circumstances and my amazing support system and I can't emphasize this enough.

My folks are amazingly supportive. As are my friends. My boyfriend - who has never really had to deal with someone he cares about so much going through this before - has and continues to prove himself to be someone who asks a lot of questions - seeking to understand- seeking to be as supportive as he can. And he is showing me that he is a real man. An intelligent man who understands life is not perfect and neither am I. And I love him for that.

My kids are healthy. I have a home and food and a job. Even their dad - my ex - is helping me so that I can get better (and he knows I will because he has seen it before) and so that his kids have a healthy mom.

Some people don't have the support - and that is why I feel I have a responsibility to reach out. I know I don't have to, but I feel that I can and that I have a platform. So why not do something positive with a shitty situation?

I am not brave. Well, I guess I am because I'm fighting a difficult battle.

But I mean in terms of sharing. I just have the tools, the people (my "village") and somewhere in me…still the confidence to speak.

And if you know me well enough…I'm a talker…and if I believe in something I will tell you. And I believe the stigma of mental illness needs to be shattered. So for those who can't speak…and that is totally OK…I will because I feel that I can.

Everyone has personal life challenges - be them health, work, family or otherwise related.

We need to be adults and understand this. We adults also need to educate our children. The schools are getting better - but for those of us who are parents - we need to do our part too.

So this is why I keep on going.

And I am trying to live in the present. I have written a lot about that too.

And this is my present.

It is not my favourite time…but I am doing what I can with it - and as I said I have family and friends who surround me with love and support.

This blog is morphing a bit - I know - because my older two boys are now 14 and 12. They really don't want me sharing major details of their life within the blogosphere - which I understand. My little guy Drew is only 5 - but I have written about parenting little boys for so long, I feel like I have already covered a lot by writing about my older two.

Just an excuse to share a cute photo of my boys.
Yup…they are getting older and bigger!
Single-motherhood is a topic I could go on about. But again…a lot of that is centred around my children, my ex and my long-term boyfriend - and much of that I choose to write about sparingly and more generally - mostly because of their tendencies to be more private. Also OK.

My blog will continue to morph and diversify as I get back to my best health and move on to other changes and challenges in my own life.

But I really do enjoy writing and I prefer to write as myself - not under some fake name. I am who I am and you can take me or leave me.

It's a fuck I choose not to give anymore.

But here you are reading…so thanks. Thanks for visiting. Thanks for listening to me repeat myself a few many times during this difficult period. It's therapeutic for me as well - and again - my main goal is to make others who struggle feel a little less alone.

We can all do our little part in making the world a better place. Many of you do already…for me. Even those of you who have reached out to me to offer encouragement and support. Please know you are making my world a better place. So thank you.

Thank you smooch!
And see…the sun shining. I know it's there.

And if you have another friend or loved one who is going through a difficult time - be it through illness, loss of a loved one, life transitions, whatever - don't hesitate to just let them know you are thinking of them even if from afar. It helps…and it will come back to you some day.


I have seen that the universe naturally sends you back what you give.

It's hard to lose that way.




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