Saturday, July 30, 2016

Letting the Light Back In

"Ring the bells that can still ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack, a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in. 
 - Leonard Cohen

So yeah, I've still got this broken leg. 

I fucked it up pretty bad.

And I was just starting to feel better!

Me, earlier in the day, before I broke my leg.

And then my depression and anxiety kinda took a back seat.

At first. 

It was strange. First all I could focus on was the physical pain. 

Then I was completely bedridden - and I am talking no going to the bathroom beyond the commode beside my bed. I was sexy.

And that was strangely novel and comforting at times because it was like I was given permission to stay inside my little cocoon - my bed - in which I had escaped my depression and anxiety for the 2 months prior. I could sleep and hide and escape whenever I wanted to during the day.

It's like I was a butterfly coming out out to spread her wings and then being suddenly shoved back inside her little home.

Me trying to be my hilarious self on my massive, fibreglass cast.

And that lasted pretty much all of June until the doctors decided I had healed enough that I could actually move enough to go to the bathroom. Then go down the stairs on my butt to go to the living room with my leg raised. 

And that is when it got difficult again.

I was in my safe, little bed-cocoon and then I suddenly did not feel like leaving.

I felt like my wings had shrunk even though I wanted so badly to fly.

It was like a giant oxymoron.

I was going stir crazy and had cabin fever like mad but going downstairs and sitting outside on my terrace just seemed like too much. 

Yeah…that was pretty much me.

I had bad days. I was back to crying. 

Then a good friend of mine passed away from cancer. 

She was wonderful and positive and was a mother of three children.

That both knocked me down and lifted me with perspective at the same time.

Another oxymoron.

Life is short. 

Life is precious.

Life is not a bowl of cherries lying in bed all day - but depression is very real and despite the perspective that I know I will get better - it was difficult.

But if Liz could fight…so could I.

I have done this before and I can do it again.

And so I did. I started to go downstairs - and not just for the kids. First an hour. Then two. Then three at a time. 

I found it exhausting - but ultimately good for me.

This is how much my right leg muscles atrophied. Lots of work ahead. 

And I am at the stage now where enough is enough of this bullshit. I now have a brace that allows me to bend my bad knee. I have a physiotherapy routine that I need to follow in order to slowly rehab my leg.

This week has been pretty huge for me. I actually got outside crutch-walking with only feather weight-bearing on my leg (touching the ground with the foot of my bad leg but all weight on crutches) - just in front of my house for a short bit.

My first walk outside since the accident trying unsuccessfully to look ravishing.

Then yesterday I actually went out for lunch at a restaurant. Wha-What?

Perhaps not a big deal for you but a big step for me.

It was the first time I had left the house and gone anywhere other than for hospital appointments and a funeral home visit since the accident. 

Afterwards I was exhausted but glad I did it. I was pushing myself because I felt like pushing myself. 

I wanted to be back in the world again.

This is a good sign people.

It has been a long Spring and Summer.

It will probably not be my easiest Fall either as I continue to rehab my leg and also (hopefully - and I have confidence that I will) - be well enough physically to walk and drive again come the start of the school year. 

My plan is to go back to work. I'm going to try my very best. It will be a transition - but I need and want my life back. My kids need things to go back to normal. My parents (who are helping take care of me and my boys since the accident - my mom has been living here) want their normal lives back. 

Am I scared of a depression relapse? Well…one always is - but I'm feeling confident. 

I got all this. With my support system, great kids, great parents and great friends I will tough this out.

It's just a really strange combo suffering from depression and then being starting to feel like the cloud is lifting and then to be sent back to my bed. Back to staying in my house for the most part. Back to sleeping…even when not tired - because hey…what else is there to do except watch copious amounts of TV or read? 

But I feel like I have turned a few corners of late. 

I can feel the fighter in me.

I can feel the laughter and my sense of humour more often - and I'm not just trying to make the people around me feel better. 

Is it still two steps forward, one step back? Yes. It will probably be for a while. 

But I'm on guard for that. I know that with ever corner comes the possibility of a hill to climb or bump to stumble over. 

That's life people

But as C. S. Lewis said, "There are far, far better things ahead than anything we leave behind."

So I'm gonna run with that thought. 

Or at least walk. Sort of. With crutches.

And then eventually, those wings will work.



Thursday, July 14, 2016

Black Lives Do Matter

"What a sad era when it is easier to smash an atom than a prejudice."
- Albert Einstein

I can't stay quiet on this anymore. 
Is it a complex, multifaceted issue? 
I would say of course that all lives matter...but that is not the point of Black Lives Matter.

What happened in Dallas or the Toronto Pride Parade (less serious obviously but related) - were not cool - I don't care who the minority group in question is. 
HOWEVER - this does not change the fact that Black Lives Matter is a movement that I support. 

Is "Black Lives Matter" a confusing name for this movement? Apparently it is for some. Context in language is sometimes just that. 
But has this controversy brought attention to their important issue?
Answer me that. 
I would think so. 
And I think it is good that people are having more conversations.

Just don't stop a parade and insist on police officers - many of them gay - from participating in said parade (my opinion) and certainly - and much more importantly - don't resort to violence - especially the horrible gun massacre that happened in Texas. 

Evil exists everywhere. There are evil white people. There are evil heterosexuals. There are evil muslims. There are evil Jews. There are evil people with disabilities. There are evil black people. There are evil homosexuals. There are evil people from Iceland. 
I could go on and on and on for the love of what you find sacred. 
But the majority of anyone included in any or some of these "groups" are not filled with hate.

Do I make my point?

I understand (as much as I can as a white, Canadian woman), that police violence against people of colour is a serious issue not to be ignored and that there is a lot of very justified anger. 

In short - what I understand Black Lives Matters' main message is, is that the racism - specifically between the police and people of colour in America - MUST STOP. 
They are not saying that people of other races don't matter. 
We just need to figure out a more peaceful way dealing with the root issues. 

Sadly, with all that has gone on, this is a very convoluted matter and a sad commentary on bigotry in this world - especially in America - today. 

Gun violence and bigotry related to many minority groups are both alive and well - look at Orlando as another example. 
It makes me angry and very sad. 

And as much as we need to continue the conversations - what we really need is American Congress to step up and take some meaningful action because all this talk without doing anything means nothing.

And the optimist and perhaps idealist in me will end this post as I usually do, even though this is nothing to be happy about.
But I think it is obvious that our world needs positivity more than ever.