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2014 Canadian Weblog Awards nominee

I’m Sorry. It’s Not Ok

I had to credit my habitual Ativan ingestion for my magnificently low blood pressure score of 93/54 and for causing that little thing that I like to call my “don’t-be-weird” filter to malfunction yesterday at my family doctor’s appointment.

Actually, I’m kidding. I was born weird.

“They’re like my fingernails,” I joked.

Family Doctor – blank stare

“Um so instead of shredding my fingernails with my teeth when I’m anxious,” I explained, “I take Ativan. There are a lot of nasty germs under your nails but I wash my hands a lot though. I don’t have OCD. I don’t think so but I now have intrusive thoughts like a while ago I was afraid to use a toaster because I thought of putting my hand in it – whew. It’s hot in here.”

This is a toaster and it was harmed in this photo shoot.

This is a toaster and it was harmed in this photo shoot.

Family Doctor – blank stare

She pulled up my medication record that had not been updated since last fall and I didn’t realize how many medication changes that I had gone through in a span of at least 5 months until she almost fell out of her chair.

“My God sweetheart.” she interrupted with a genuine concerned expression on her face, “I’m so sorry.”

“It’s ok,” I said while flashing her a smile, always amazed and eternally grateful for her continued kindness, compassion, respect, and treatment as a person and not just as a diagnosis.

But at home, when I slid back into my purple jogging pants, the ones that barely hang onto my boney hips anymore, it was not ok.

It was not ok when – instead of dramatically flinging myself onto my bed – I had to carefully lay down, strategically swinging leg over the edge of the bed because sciatica makes me move like Jagger.

It was not ok that the sight of another empty tissue box reminded me of all the bled thoughts collected in the middle of the night – since the early fall.

It was not ok that it has been an eternity of waiting-hoping-trying to make-the-sun-come-out-tomorrow.

Every day is the same.

It was not ok.

And for the first time in a long while, I cried for myself.

A pity party.

Contrary to popular stigma, people with depression do not sit around wallowing in self pity. My depression exists because I have a shitty thing called bipolar disorder and the fact that I’ve eaten enough gummy bears to build a staircase to heaven.

There are so many people out there right now who are trudging some hard trials and are far worse than I can even fathom. I know this but I can’t stop feeling symptoms of depression just like someone can’t stop feelings of cancer. Every once in a while I need to just be sad and angry and downright flip a f*cken bar table over (never because I can’t lift anything over 10 pounds) just like you need to when life is punching you in the face.

Right now after my good long cry, I have hot tea, twisted sheets, pen and notebook, my son will be out of school soon and he is such a happy heart, my husband will be home, and f*ck dinner it’s called grilled cheese….

….again.

I am grateful for those small things and very big things.

And just like all of the other there-is-not-enough-life-left-in-me-to-do-this-again nights, I’ll be hoping that the sun will come finally out tomorrow.

sun

Can you feel the warmth?

 

 

Ten Things of Thankful

I Needed Air

There was definitely something amiss when I took one of the open seats in my psychiatrist’s office. I could’ve sworn that his secretary had mentioned that it was going to be a hectic day, but there I was, the lone nut. I reached in to my pocket and pulled out my phone. Across the screen flashed the appointment reminder “2:10pm with Dr. B” and the current time was 2:25pm.

Nailed it.

As ridiculous as it sounds, being late makes me panic.

Oh God. What if I was the last appointment? What if they were waiting for me? What if they just closed? They’re closed. They closed. I missed it. Oh God.   

My stomach dropped and suddenly that spacious room felt incredibly small.

An uncomfortable warmth washed over my body.

My scarf attacked my neck and my coat weighed heavily on my chest making it hard to breathe.

I am suffocating, I thought as I tugged at them.

The jazz music streaming through the waiting room muffled and my vision started to spin.  

I fumbled for my keys rested upon my lap and dragged my numb fingertips along its ridged sides – focusing on the metal’s roughness.

Breathe in one, two ,three —

 

The door slammed and startled me.

A man took a seat across from me and another couple with their disabled adult child that I recognized almost immediately from my high school days followed in shortly after.

I looked at my phone and it was 2:30pm.

And then 2:31pm.

And then 2:32pm.

And then it was still 2:32pm.

Breathe.

It didn’t seem to take long for the entire room to fill and I felt as though they were all sitting right on my lap.

And then it was 2:36pm.

At 2:45pm I texted Shawn because I was either going to have to cancel the appointment or he was going to have to pick up Chunky from school. We both agreed that I needed to be at this appointment.

I also needed the girl next to me to stop shaking her leg because the whole world seemed to shake with it.

I needed that man across from me to stop ruffling the damn news paper.

I needed that woman on the iPad to stop clearing her damn throat.

I needed the parents of my old high school classmate to stop staring at me. “Yes! Yes! I am the girl who you saw calling that other student in your son’s life skills class *Nathan an asshole. Just because he was in a wheelchair it didn’t give him the right to purposely run over my feet and tell me that I didn’t need them  anyways because my basketball layups sucked!”

I needed the teen boy next to me to put on some deodorant.

I needed air.

I needed air.

I needed air.

My scarf is choking me.

“Kim.”

I was called in.

I couldn’t think. Everything I wanted to say and ask was tangled in panic the moment I realized I was late to the appointment. I’m never late. My psychiatrist sounded like Fozzie Bear from the Muppets “Waka waka waka – drug increase – waka waka waka,” and I just wanted to get out of there. Then he asked about my son –

“Do you worry about him?” 

All. The. Time.

I nodded.

“Why?”

Because I worry that I’m failing him – that I’m damaging him – I’m a no good horrible burden.

But I couldn’t get my words out so I shrugged my shoulders.

And he just ended the appointment.

Just ended it like that.

Ended. It. Like. That.

I needed air.

Now.

I got off the couch and didn’t stop until I made it to my car.

An appointment card fell out.

My appointment was actually for 1:50pm…not 2:10pm.

Nailed it.

cardapp

Son of a bitch…

I have reminders written all over the place and I still manage to screw up appointment times, run late, misplace things, and forget things like school book fair money. I swear if my head wasn’t attached to my shoulders, I’d lose it. I never used to be like this. Never.

I used to be on top of every thing.

Now every thing is on top of me and I’m suffocating.

I need air.

Create Your Own Destiny | Netflix #StreamTeam

homework

The sounds of our home after supper – the clinks of dirty dishes getting washed in the sink and the dog’s subtle yips for wanting whatever scraps that was left on them, the creaks of the leather lounge chair in the adjacent living room as Shawn sunk in to watch sports, the scratches from a lead pencil on a fresh notebook page and the wheels of a six year olds mind turning – are always the same.

For about five minutes.

Then the dog gets impatient and starts throwing his dish with his mouth at the backs of my legs, Shawn hollers because the Maple Leafs are being the Maple Leafs – dear sweet Maple Leafs, you’re killing us – and Chunky frustratingly declares that he doesn’t need to learn how to read.

“I’m going to be a cop and the best hockey player like Kessel! I don’t need to read!”

“You can be whatever you want to be when you grow up but you need to learn how to read. If you want to be a cop, you need to learn the laws and you have to read to do that. And how do you think that Kessel knows all the plays? He has to read them.”

“Oh,” he says.

I took a spot beside him and told him that I was proud of him. He was having such a hard time with reading but we kept working. He never gave up.

Mister smarty pants scored 10/10 on his very first spelling test:

spelling.jpg

We always tell him that whatever career path he decides to choose, make sure that he enjoys it.

But education – that is non-negotiable.

This month on Netflix, the all new original special Ever After High: Spring Unsprung, celebrates the idea that the story of your life is not written in permanent ink.  You have the power to create your own destiny.

Ever After High Spring Unsprung

In two other Netflix original series’ premiering this month, there are kids also creating their own destinies.  Teenage mermaids stand out from the crowd in Season 2 of Mako Mermaids

Mako Mermaids

and Richie Rich, the same entrepreneur we grew up with, is back but this time his refusal to eat his veggies has made him a trillionaire.

 

Richie Rich

For the little kids:

somedayiwill

1. Sid the Science Kid
2. SciGirls
3. Fireman Sam: To the Rescue
4. Bob the Builder: Building from Scratch

For the big kids:

bigkids

1. The Art of Flight: The Series
2. The Mind of a Chef
3. Richard Hammond’s Top Gear Uncovered
4. Dragon’s Den

 

In your house, how do you encourage your kids to forge their own paths?

 

netflixstreamteam

Disclosure:  I am a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam and received a one-year subscription to Netflix in return for posting Netflix updates and reviews, however, all opinions are my own.

1000 Voices – But Are You Listening?

 October 2011

The smell of my psychiatrist’s office turned my stomach as it always does when I’m overly anxious. I kept my focus on the tight small breaths through my mouth and the used tissue that I twirled in my hand as the elevator ever so slowly made its way down one whole floor.

The ground bounced below me then came to a halt and an elderly woman in a beige dress coat who was shaking her umbrella in the hallway appeared when the doors slid open. She looked me over noticing that I had nothing but the scarf wrapped around my neck to shield my head from the cold autumn rain and snidely remarked, “Didn’t you know that it has been raining all day? You’re going to catch a cold.”

“I’m sure I will,” I murmured as she forced her way into the elevator without letting me pass first. I bit my lower lip and hurried out towards the exit.

I was soaked by the time I got to my car in the parking lot. I stared up at the building and I regretted that I had came. There wasn’t anything – medicine, meditation, exercise, self care – that was saving me from the suffering of depression. I turned on the ignition and I firmly gripped the steering wheel.

And I drove.

At green lights I hit the gas.

The force jerked me backwards into my seat.

I didn’t care how fast I was going or where I was going – I was a reckless bird in an open cage.

Every pole I passed, every guardrail, every fence, every overpass, every truck trailer I could potentially rear end – I pictured my car as lifeless twisted metal.

They could be free, I thought as my heart raced.

Pumpkin picking

I started to panic and eased the pressure of my foot on the gas.

They’re just thoughts Kim, I remembered my psychiatrist saying earlier.

I turned off the expressway and drove until ended up in a Starbucks drive through – because whipped cream and pumpkin lattes. I was met at the window by a blonde barista who, despite the weather, the brown sludge on her forearm, the grumbling line of customers out the door, and the beeping machines, seemed to genuinely care when she asked me with a smile “How is your day going?”

And for some reason, some reason, I broke down right there at the Starbucks drive through and told her how terrible it was.

She stood there the entire time…

…and listened.

When I finished, she poked her head through the window and told me that things will get better then drew a smiley face on my cup.

She ‘shooshed’ me when I tried to apologize and suggested I try the cookies.

I ordered three and drove home to my family.

 

IMG_1433

I don’t know her name, but I wish that I did.

Her small act of kindness was such a blessing to me that day and I’ll never forget that.

**********

You never know how much you can change the course of someone’s day and can potentially change someone’s life.

And you don’t need to perform epic world-saving acts, or commit substantial time out of your day to do it.

Open the door for someone, smile at a stranger, listen to a customer in line at the drive through – remind them that they matter.

 

 

1000voices

This is a part of #1000speak - over 1000 voices from across the world speaking for compassion.

Find Me Here

My mind starves
for air, calm, and control
But they’re all elusive here in this nightmarish place where merciless voices whisper

You’re a horrible no good burden.
You’re a horrible no good burden.
You’re a horrible no good burden.

Their demon words chase me
claws dragging down every bone.
I feel fragile
as if the mere delicate touch of the sheets beneath me could erode my skin.

I downed the pills but
I can’t sedate the noise.
I can’t drink out the noise.
I can’t cut out the noise.
I can’t burn out the noise.

I am a prisoner
-a scared faceless soul running aimlessly in this dark.
So tired. So lost.

But I keep going and I keep looking
because his love always manages to find me here.
And I smile.

 

menchase

Mama’s Losin’ It
Prompt: Something that made you smile

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