Bell Lets Talk Day 2021- CECE D. Walks the TALK.

What is #BellLetsTalk? Mental health campaign to raise awareness

Today is Bell Let’s Talk Day- And unless you are some kind of superhuman, you are really feeling it right now. Feeling the isolation, loneliness and just overall weight of the world while everything hangs in uncertainty.

So Lets Talk. And let me remind those that you are not alone in how you feel.

I commonly get the statement from friends and peers that I always seem to come across like I have it together. And in all honesty I’m not really sure why, as I’m fairly transparent; I always assumed my brand of crazy came across pretty clearly. I cycle from being sometimes quite

You see, I have struggled with depression for the last 10 years. It wouldn’t be until the last 3 years that I was diagnosed with not only depression, but anxiety, Attention Deficit Disorder and PTSD. And it would be only in the last 3 years that I have consistently remained on medication as well as accessed therapeutic supports to manage what I’m going to assume something I will need to treat for the remainder of my life. I used to go off medications when I had assumed I had gotten better, only to find myself rapidly deteriorate and in the same spot as before- the gutter. I had assumed that depression only needed to be treated when you were at your worst, and it was something you treated until you felt better or that you no longer needed medication. I couldn’t have been more wrong when it came to myself and what I needed to remain well and stable.

Let me also share that my health and wellness not only depends on medication, but therapy and a consistent awareness around advocating for self care and healthy boundaries. I rely on exercise, my family, and doing the things that keep me hopeful, busy and passionately engaged. With the current lock down here in Alberta and the frigid weather, my Mental Health- specifically my anxiety is through the damn roof. I’m not OKAY!

Time for some honesty…isn’t this what this is all about.

Last week my boyfriend had let the dog outside in the middle of the night to go pee. She has been doing thing lately where she comes to the door to come in, but then doesn’t want to come in, she wants you to come out and play. So she was doing this dance repeatedly and was refusing to come in despite multiple attempts. I was in bed, but for some reason started to become anxious about, what if she gets out of the yard, what if she eats something she shouldn’t be, what if someone comes and steals her. My boyfriend who was dealing with it saw me get up to get her in. I literally could not go to sleep until she was in. My boyfriend who “had it”, saw that I was circling and wanting to take control. He told me to back off and go to sleep. I simply could not. I went as far as making an excuse to go downstairs and make toast in the middle of the night so I could intervene and bring her in. Not surprisingly, she did the same to me and wouldn’t come in. Then I started a fight. I got so angry because I felt my boyfriend was impeding on my need to ease my anxiety and I felt powerless. We fought the next day about it until I told him what was happening for me. He understood and wished I had just shared what was going on. To be honest I was embarrassed that such a small thing caused me to loose all sense of reality and faith in him, not to mention my back yard is 100% safe.

Yesterday I had received a call at 5:15pm on one of my files and I knew that the following day would be a literal shit show. I was already anticipating the level of work that I’d be facing, and began to do the work in my head that could have waited. It snowballed from there. I became fidgety, then itchy, then completely restless as I could not settle myself into bed. I began to pace, went pee like 8 times, fumbled around for things that I was trying to organize for the next day. Then I couldn’t find my medication and began worrying that my dog ate it as I had found a rogue lid from prescriptions past. I began searching my car, purses, laundry, dogs mouth…this went on for an hour. I finally found it- it had fallen into my top drawer, clearly fumbling out of the bag I hold it in safely so that my dog can’t get a hold of it. But before I could actually honor the care I typically take around my dogs safety I was sure my dog was going to die- despite her totally normal behavior. This my friends is anxiety. It trumps any kind of confidence you have in yourself.

After this it would take almost the entirety of the night for my partner who now recognized the signs that I was spiraling. I would cry and release all of the worry, sharing things that were even alarming to myself. I would tell him that I was feeling like what is the purpose of living right now and that I felt like there is nothing that provides me hope that resolve or normalcy is near. I told him I was exhausted with staying positive and working so hard to keep it together. “Everyday feels the same,” I feel like everyday, and everyday I feel alone.” I feel alone at work when I go to an office that only allows one team member there at a time, so I don’t see my co-workers. I feel alone in all my meetings I hold as I meet with strangers from behind masks, and deal with serious issues, for me to deal with alone. I feel alone as I walk through a city, only seeing eyes that show no smiles or expression as they are protected behind masks. I feel invisible as others don’t see my smiles directed at them and ignored as they cannot see my desire to connect. I told him I feel like “I’m walking in a world of zombies.” I continued to scratch and rub my body and face as the energy released itself from my body. He would hold me tight me, keep me grounded in an embrace that was enough to lull me to sleep finally after 5 straight hours of this.

I woke up this morning tired obviously, but I bravely put one step in front of the other, had a shower, took my medication and reached out to a few friends. I shared that I was struggling, and they listened and told me they too were feeling the same way. I felt comforted that they too were “crazy” like me, and in fact not crazy at all but human.

I continue to hope the gyms open up, I need to move and I need to release this toxic energy in my body. As we await to hear whether things will open up I continue to consider other alternatives. I thought to myself, maybe I will take up a friends advise and go purchase a CBD pen to use before bed, or maybe I’d just go ahead and take an edible…at this rate I’m open to anything!

I hope you all can share your stories on Bell Let’s Talk Day so that we can continue to build a community of acceptance with normalizing Mental Health discussions.

Looking back on January’s “Wipe Those Tears: The January Blues is Here so Embrace it.” (The Empaths are closed for Business)

I think it is only the socially responsible thing to as to forwarn you prior to diving too deep into my lastest post that this is entirely the opposite of what maybe your dark weathered spirit was seeking.

I won’t apologize for not guiding you towards the sunlight, nor suggest that you spend some time writing in your gratitude journal. You will not see me in the peripheral cheer leading you towards your efforts to eat a salad or take your vitamins today. I’ll be damned if I tell you to wake up early and spend some time meditating to the sonnet of the sunrise.

The fact is, mentally we all hit a wall sometimes. Imagine that my wall has several dents, and a game of Tik Tac Go Fuck Yo’Self written across it.

While I do not deny for the most part that I drink from the “Positive Outlook Kool-Aid Jar,” I do find after the year we have all shared that my jar runneth empty. An even sicker joke perhaps is that someone filled my jar and forgot the sugar.

Typically during this time of year many of us would have already broke our News Years Resolution, or alternatively some would be attacking their 2021 dreams with shear commitment. Like Clockwork, our January timelines would be slathered with the juice monkeys complaints that the newbies have infiltrated their muscle temples. Many of us would be experiencing a steady stream of turned down invites for cocktails, due to the Sober January subscribers-only to be contacted 2 weeks later to hear that sobriety is for the birds. January for me has historically been my favorite time of year for shopping as I adore combing the sales racks of Nordstrom’s and Saks for next winters wardrobe. This typically is also the time of year I begin to think about a tropical holiday somewhere and start to narrow down my destination list, while adding to my online wish list of bathing suits and sarongs. Needless to say the post Christmas lull has offered enough buffers to counteract the melancholy of the January Blues.

January blues? - Meme on Imgur

In honor of a buffer-less January I figured the best way to offer my support is by offering none at all. I believe most of us have done a great job the last 9-10 months trying to do the best we can with the dumpster fire that has been handed to us. I think in all fairness, its okay to dedicate this month to feeling discouraged, and allow some of that cynicism to seep out of ones pores like the sweet stale smell of hangover and poor life choices.

I’ve made a prudent effort to stay away from social media or any platform that might try to remind me politely that I’m acting like a gluttonous, self absorbed, lazy piece of human flesh. Its quite easy to actually do when you spend the majority of the time counting down the minutes before work is over and anticipating when you can have another bowl Cap’n Crunch before you resume your date with the ceiling fan. It can feel like a drastic fall from grace if you are not used to the doll drums that sorrow can bring. I am no stranger to depression, and I would do anything to avoid the depression I’ve experienced by adhering to a regiment of treatment and medication when needed. However, this is not that, and this state of “nothingness” I welcome with open arms. To be clear this is not a state of mental health, but perhaps just sadness in its purest sense. Sadness is meant to maneuver its way through the senses and serve as a reminder that life can expose us to a Kaleidescope of polarizing emotions that we familiarize ourselves with. It is how we process the experiences around us; that in turn ignite thought; create a feeling, then provoke response. So you see, if we never processed sadness, we’d never act on creating better outcomes.

Consequently this topic often makes people uncomfortable. I think folks often assume the term “happiness” is this fragile concept whereby the term “Protect your Energy,” has resulted in people’s inability to listen or appreciate the magic of sitting in or next to sadness. You have met these people, in fact, catch any one of us on a good flat tummy day and we are these people. Some take this role further and write books or devote their Instagram platforms as self proclaimed experts who sit on their throne of privilege and preach that “Being Positive” is as simple as a few steps. It is through Sadness that we gain perspective and recognize not every self disclosure of despair requires a silver lining.

Pin by Sarcastic Sarcasms on Words of Wisdom | Positive attitude quotes,  Positive attitude, Attitude quotes

Whoever said Misery loves company was a damn fool because my misery needs no witnesses. I’d just like to percolate within this funk until I feel good an ready to face the world.

To be perfectly transparent when I struggle in my own abilities to be the bubbly ray of sunshine I’m known to be among my peers, I realize how darn condescending that is to assume we all have it in us to just switch the happy light on. In reality how crazy is it to offer “positive vibes” to someone who is losing a business, or someone who is dying and unable to see their family before they die. Truth be told… Positivity does not always hold space in our lives nor is it an acceptable “plug-in” for those uncomfortable with accepting that life can just be a bag of dicks.

I know with regards to my own creative process and content I felt psychologically bound and gagged as a result of not being able to put something I’d consider “helpful” into words for my readers. Until I experienced my very own epiphany around what I consider helpful. For me its hearing about other people just like me. In fact, connecting with others who too may have eaten Nutella by the spoonful this last month, and secretly found pleasure in playing with their belly fat as it took flight to the surface of their bathwater. Maybe others will giggle in delight that they too have spent 3 weeks straight playing Money Winning Game Apps for hours on end and somehow still feel they are so close to winning that Amazon Gift Card. Lets not forget the overgrown broken acrylic nails and self bleached yellow roots of hair that glow like torches of despair, reminders of what was during better times. Whoever said Misery loves company was a damn fool because my misery needs no witnesses. I’d just like to percolate within this funk until I feel good an ready to face the world.

I am a glorious HOT MESS…I can’t be alone in this.

Unfortunately in my conquest to commit to a month of Melancholy… I unearthed an audacious article that managed to find 17 Benefits and Traits of Melancholic People. Here I was hoping I’d repel the masses but Positivity clearly has its tentacles into everything.

According to Kelly Spears , a Mental Health Advocate and Freelance Writer, most Melancholics are very self-reliant, who rely mainly on their powers, resources, and strength beyond any other person. Kelly states that:

“Typically, this could work out positive for them, and on some occasions, it may not. Also, the melancholic personality is very thoughtful. This essentially means that they think through their actions and typically weigh their options before taking steps. Also, melancholics can behave very reserved. So, essentially, it means most melancholics don’t feel comfortable sharing their feelings, emotions, or thoughts to anyone. Consequently, melancholics usually find it easy to control their emotions and keep their feelings in check. On a positive note, this normally makes them maintain a steady and stable mood most of the time.”

Kelly has the Positivity Gestapo written all over her.

But nonetheless, as we all work through the January Blues I’m anxious to hear about how you are all coping or more interestingly not coping. My goal is to bring our tales of woe together from a safe distance that doesn’t require much effort, much like the pajamas I wore for my zoom mtg today.

Stay Brooding Readers!

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