On Mental Illness and the Latest

I feel like I am moving through life at the pace of a snail. I think of all the things everybody is accomplishing and all the events happening with the beginning of school and busier times at work and I feel frustrated that I am not a part of that world. Or, I am only part of that world to such a minute degree. I use to love that world it filled me with exhilaration and I crammed every minute of it full that I could with people and events to go to. I was at the cusp of life and beginning to accomplish things that I had always dreamed I could accomplish, when I fell ill. You all know ( or most of you know) that story and my battle with mental illness and chronic fatigue.

This battle has forced me to slow down to a great degree. I look and see everyone else so busy and aware of so much around them that I feel lost. I try to get out but it’s not the same having goals now as it is having a job. I’m constantly reminded of that by the “why are you so tired” when people arrive home after a challenging day. As if, I can help the fact that I don’t work and can’t be around people all day accomplishing something and giving back to society. It doesn’t make my time any less valid or useful. But I do try to stay involved with the world to pick up little facts here and there and be aware of what’s going on in the news and in people’s lives. I’m not always able to listen as long as I like but I try to be on the same page as other people. But it’s difficult because explaining how much rest I need or that I am worn out after a couple of hours is frustrating for me and my friends and family.

Sometimes, I just need to be alone. I crave that time when the only noise I hear is the TV or the music from my Ipad. I like the soothing atmosphere I feel when people aren’t up and about doing everything around you, and I can just read my book or write what I need to write. I have always needed this alone time even when I was well but these days I just find I need more of it.

But frustratingly, I hate this alone time as much as I need it. I want to be where things are happening, where people are talking, and I want to be involved in life, not merely an observer. And it drives me crazy how when I finally get to be around people how irritated I feel lately. Irritated because they talk and talk about themselves and although I’m glad to listen, I don’t feel I have place to talk about me or I get this feeling I shouldn’t be talking about me because then I’m just feeling sorry for myself and talking about this horrible illness we call mental illness that people shy away from and stop talking about it when it is brought up in conversation.

Some people try, I know they do, but it is difficult for someone to understand mental illness without some experience of their own whether from themselves or a loved one. I think it’s very important that people with mental illness understand that you or your life is no less important because you can’t do things that other people can do. You are not invalid because you cannot work or socialize the way you’d like to. Also, it is vital to note that an incredibly large number of people with mental illness are extremely smart and/or creative. Why this happens especially to people with those personality traits I don’t know but I think it is good to note that just because someone acts differently then you or has the challenge of mental illness does not make them dumb or talentless.

Doing things with mental illness is often like performing tasks through a veil. If you have a mental illness you always have that problem in front of your face to work around and through as you are dealing with others and going about your daily life. Everybody has this problem to some extent with their own difficulties but it is an excellent way to understand what people mental illness go through each minute of their lives. Mental illness is like carrying all the packs of mountain on a hike while everyone else gets to hike up pack free.

My own difficulties these days are because of a medication I am on called Clozapine. I was actually doing okay and the bad side effects were starting to go away when my body became use to the drug and now I can no longer go to sleep just on that drug. I need some immuvane to help me fall asleep, and I am becoming use to the immuvane really fast. The alternative is to up the Clozapine does and that is about all my alternatives. I was so frustrated at my doctor’s office the other day that I began to cry. I didn’t mean to but it’s horrible to now I will have to experience bad side effects again in order that I may sleep. For now I am not upping the dose but I will have to do it if I want to sleep. But I can’t handle the side effects and take a course in Fall and go downtown when I need to pick up stuff, drop stuff off, or schedule an exam for in the day. But it has become very important to me to get this Residential Design Certificate. It’s like then I can say, I’ve accomplished something these past seven years.

After that life is pretty much, well, whatever I want it to be. I want to get debts paid off. But I also really want to try for a creative writing masters at UBC. I was thinking about applying in the Spring when application time is. I can receive some funding as a disabilities student and I’ll get to write so that won’t be so bad. I am also deciding on whether or not I might like to try some drawing courses in the day somewhere. I am talented in art but I haven’t done it in a while. So who knows where I will go.

After, a four-year relationship the idea of dating is daunting. I always feel as if my illness is a big mark against me. Although, I know some guys won’t care, I know a lot will and it stops me from getting back into the whole dating thing especially when it comes to be able to go out at night and date. I started some online chatting but I am wondering if I just need to deal with my health and school now and if that would be a better thing, then trying to find someone I would like to date. But my friends almost all have husbands and boyfriends and I feel as if I spent to long with A. But sometime I will meet the right person I want to date again. For now, I’m just moving along trying to deal with everything else.

Thanks for reading!


And One Week Became Another

I’m not a person who has the most exciting life. I spend a good amount of time curled up with a book or magazine as the world passes by. Lately, I find myself even bored of watching television with the exception of a few favourite shows and often the news. I’m trying to participate in society, in the world, but there is a cushy feeling going between what I am reading (blogs included), extra sleep while I wait for my sleeping medication to become more tolerable, and the activities I have planned. Sometimes there just isn’t time for everything and I’m finding that that is okay sometimes.
As of late I’ve been spending moments working on poetry for a Writing 201 course through WordPress. Poems just come to me I find but it is great review to practice pattern, meter, and terms such as anthropomorphism or consonance. I think it’s only a two week course but I have signed back up for Photography 101 afterwards to hopefully take more of my own photographs recently this time around. I’m also working on Fiction 600 through SFU, it starts this week and I will have to keep up with that for the next four months. But I’m excited to have the course be of some assistance on the book I am writing. Maybe I will learn more about how to structure it and resolve my plot.

I’m looking forward to having a busy week with a couple appointments early on and a weekend spent at my boyfriends. I have not seen him in two weeks he’s been so busy studying for Culinary school. Plus, I’ve been busy enough myself although it may not seem like it. I guess I’ll just wait and see what happens too.

Oh and if you’ve ever wanted to read a book where the heroine is actually a well built curvy woman and not some tiny thing I suggest The Raven by Sylvain Reynard. It is a pretty exciting read. Interesting and based around art and literature as his books always are. It’s a romance but I still really enjoyed it and look forward to his next book The Prince.

Take care

The Poem You Never Want to Hear or Believe

You forgot about me, I feared this day would come.
My best friends in the world and you didn’t make the time to make time for me.
I haven’t asked much, it wouldn’t matter if I did.
You’d just say:

I’m too busy, I want to do what I want to do.
I don’t have time to take the time for you, you require special effort.
I don’t have time to make myself think about everyone, I forgot about you, you probably wouldn’t have made it anyways.
Or would have wanted a ride, wouldn’t have had money to spend $80.00 on a cab both ways.
You don’t say so much anymore, you don’t drink so much, your not the fun person you you used to be.
We forgot about you, but we’ll remember you when it suits us.
We don’t have time to make plans, don’t want to make the effort to have to make a date, your just too much effort.
We forgot about you, it happens more and more, your name doesn’t come up.
And when you ask us along, it’s only going to work if it works for us, we work all the time.
We’re too busy for you, we forgot about you, we live busy lives.
I have a boyfriend, I have a friend, I don’t talk to you about that stuff anymore.
Somewhere along the way I forgot about you, what would you talk about anyways? You don’t work, can’t go to class anymore.
We forgot about you, for sometime now your not as interesting anymore.
We forgot about you, you know we have partners, have kids, and that’s just the way things are.
We don’t have time to breath, no time for you, not to call, text, plan, write.
We all grew up and we forgot about you.
Don’t take it to heart, go meet some people, that’s right, your stuck inside.
You can’t go out late at the moment, we don’t get your energy thing, we say we do, but we don’t.
We never had our lives changed by a mental disease, nice to see you once in a blue moon, but we’re to busy to make the effort to stay in touch.
We forgot about you, it’s been happening slowly for years – you can’t be independent drive yourself, stay the night.
We can’t be bothered to try anymore – we’ve forgotten about you on purpose.
Time changes all things.
We forgot about you, you use to call us friends.

And I cannot be bothered, not to be hurt.
To make excuses for your behavior again and again.
I am your friend, that’s not going to change.
But I’m tired of waiting, so I’ll just forget.

Too Busy For Our Own Good

I have often wondered if in these modern times, we are becoming to busy for our own good. By that I mean, do we actually need to be involved in activities and busy most moments of our lives. Or, is it a better idea for us to take some sit back and just spend some time thinking or just doing nothing. Have we become so busy and involved that we’re forgetting to be meaningfully social and on a hands on level helping others. Or, is it okay to not know your neighbours, the person your sitting next to at work, and take a hands off approach in aiding others such as those in need in our own families even. Have we forgotten ourselves along the way through life’s hustle and bustle, have we forgotten to be human?

When I was a little girl my parents had a 2 activity limit for my brothers and I. I think those two activities were piano and youth group. I remember being forever resentful that I had to be in piano and couldn’t play soccer or some other sport. But sports were expensive and my parents didn’t want to be involved in Bingo night every weekend to raise money for sports.

Even though I wanted to play sports, I thought it was a great thing later on that my parents allowed us time just to play and be kids. Sometimes we were bored but being bored meant that we learned how to keep ourselves occupied.

In short, our minds became a playground of activity (not just the actual playground) and I wonder now today if enough kids have the opportunity to just play and learn to occupy their time when they have nothing to do. Isn’t it important to learn to think for yourself, to makeup games and stories, and most of all, to be creative. Creativity isn’t made by having every moment of your life planned out for you. Creativity is made by having the time to just think and be inspired.

I also think we learn to help others on a more personal level when we take the time to be less selfish. Suddenly, it’s not all about what I want to do with my time but how can I use my time to be social and work with/aid others.

It is very easy to throw money at a problem and sometimes that is the best solution but as much as we need money for education and helping children, isn’t it more hands on and personal to tutor kids or help them learn or work on their reading skills.

Doing something like this (as an example) does a couple of different things: it allows a child to work on their reading and allows them to develop a relationship with you socially, maybe as a parent or a community member. In turn, this may encourage kids to want to help other children at present and later on in their lives in an impactful way. It teaches kids not be selfish and that helps the community as a whole.

Hopefully, it also teaches social skills so that children learn to talk about what their reading and share that with their mentor. Additionally, it is impactful on the mentor who gains benefits from teaching a child.

Lastly, taking time for ourselves in a busy world can help us avoid stress and some mental illness. Last night on the news I heard that 60 some percent of people suffer from mental illness, exponentially more, then the amount of people who suffered from heart disease or diabetes. But I imagine a lessening of stress might have a huge impact on these 2 other physical illnesses.

But most people don’t understand that mental illness can be as physical as heart disease or stroke. I experience this myself. Depression and anxiety for instance, can make a person extremely tired, cause them to not want to get out of bed they are so tired, and make a person physically fatigued. Not to mention the fact that depression happens in the brain, an organ, makes it as physical as cancer.

Moreover, we don’t take good care of ourselves when we are to busy not to think about ourselves. If we don’t eat healthy, get proper exercise, get proper rest, this effects our entire lives.

This is why I wonder why everyone wants to be so busy, are they afraid they might miss out on something? A lot of the time, this is probably not the truth. Every one thinks they’re missing out something but that is entirely relevant to any number of aspects such as your mood, the success of the event, and the people who attend.

And it seems to me anyways, that it would be a greater use of our time if we had time to think, help others, and ourselves. The consequences of not having this time is hurtful to everyone in society, hurtful to humanity.

Too much or Too Little to Do

How do you fill all the hours in a day? For some people, this is a easy question to answer because there aren’t enough hours in the day to complete everything they need to get done. But for some people, the tedious hours of the day go on and on. There never seems to be enough to do and there is always time spent waiting with nothing to do to fill that time.
A lot of times it seems, the media and other people focus on the people in this world who are busy. These people don’t know how to slow down and don’t know how to take it easy, we are told. They go from one activity to the next hurriedly and always aware that there is a time limit for r every activity before they have to go on to the next item on their busy daily calender. You and I all know these people, some of us are these people, and some of us want to get out of being these people. Simply put, just because you are crazy busy does not mean you wouldn’t appreciate some free time.

I used to be this type of person. I panicked if I had free time and would try to fill it with any activity I could think of doing. When I wasn’t moving from place to place in life, I was filling my mind with books. I read as much as I could, but it seemed as time went on time to read was less often the more I had to do. When I became ill and was faced with inevitable days where I was too tired to do regular activities or my brain at that time was too injured to concentrate for long or stay awake, I became very aware of how long a day truly was and how much I had been filling my life with, so much that I finally broke down.

I think we need to take time in our busy lives to relax and breathe. Little routines such as having a cup of tea and taking 20 minutes to sit down and think can make all the difference. As much as I shunned it, I never knew how much 20 minutes of meditation could do for me, not to mention 40 minutes of yoga that would stretch out my kinked up limbs and make them longer, leaner, and stronger.

Some people like to take an hour a day and just write. This can be great because one can release a lot of ideas and hopes onto paper and plan and dream through these ideas. This can also be bad because as good as it is to release negative pent up energy, you can also just end up rehashing the bad things that have happened to you and never solve any of your issues. So whether writing works is up to the individual person and how they treat their writing. Personally, I find writing very therepeutic and idea inspiring but I have found myself in a trap of never facing problems I needed to look head on at because I kept going over them in my writing and in my head.

Another idea I found really helpful for relieving stress was exercise that was intense. This released endorphins and made me happier but also allowed me to clear my mind. Scheduling the odd vacation also helped. I would go on one grande vacation but because vacations can be stressful I also would go on a couple little trips such as to Las Vegas or to the Spa in Edmonton. I would make my own package up at a local spa or look for groupon or team buy deals and take a day to be pampered. You could also go up to the cabin or camping some weekends, stay a weekend in a B&B or nice hotel somewhere relaxing and warm, or go visit friends and/or relatives in near by cities or towns.

All in all, when faced with a never ending flux of activities the best idea is to take time to chill out and maybe say no to some of those activities and take some days off.

As for the other end of the spectrum, people like me this past semester who don’t have enough to do in your life, or if you are prevented from doing activities you would like for health reasons, developing a routine of activities you are able to do can fill your day. For instance, I spend the first hour and a half of my day getting myself ready – doing my hair and makeup, showering, etc. so I feel like I can accomplish some activities in my day because I feel prepared to work. I eat breakfast before that and after preparing myself for the day I study whatever class I’m taking for 2 to 3 hours. I work on projects in this time, read textbooks, and take notes. In the middle, I have lunch and after I have stopped my studying around 2 pm I attempt to exercise for 20 minutes. By this time I am tired and a bit fatigued so I sleep for an hour.

After, or during this time I do activities around the house such as putting away dishes, laundry, cleaning the bathroom, cleaning my room, walking the dog, and other chores. By 4 pm I’m ready to just relax and watch TV. Some of my medication wears off so I experience some withdrawal and rest. After resting, sometimes I prepare supper or if someone else makes supper, I clean up after supper. Then at night I read or watch prime time TV. During the day I also go out sometimes to appointments, to do errands, or to visit people. I can handle going out 1 to 3 times in the week depending on my energy levels, for half a day. Sometimes I do this at night and take it easier during the day.

Routine has helped me a lot. Not having class this semester really disrupted that routine. I have spent far to much time on the internet and doing nothing much. Also, I neglected to mention that on days I do not do homework I write for a couple hours just for the hell of it and for practice. Not to mention, in your daily schedule, one can always break routine, in fact, I recommend doing that sometimes. It helps if you have a lot of time on your hands that life does not become the same all the time. But it is nice to know that you have plans in the day and that having plans makes you feel much more balanced. Routine is key.