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2014 Canadian Weblog Awards nominee

I Will Fight For You

The candles flickered wildly as our son jetted past us at the table with an armful of dinky cars. Shawn mumbled something over his shoulder to him about burning too much energy before his hockey practice while I inspected the lifeless pasta. It could have been anything on the plate. All food tasted the same – disgusting. Unable to eat, I put my fork down, and grabbed the wine glass instead. I rolled my shoulders back to release the tension and took a deep breath.

Because every night panned out to be the same and then it bled on into the morning.

Over and over and over and over.

Depression isn’t like the flu where it’s over in approximately a week – there is no definite end to depression. It can be ceaseless weeks, months, and I’ve even heard of people who’ve struggled with it for years.

Depression is so much more complex than being sad which is a normal fleeting emotion. You can physically feel the pain as the illness burrows itself into every crevice of your soul and feel it suffocate you as it infects every bit of air around you.

It is empty, dark, and cold.

It is thoughts of  being less – worthless, helpless, hopeless.

It is standing in the middle of a crowded room with everyone you love and feeling utterly alone.

It makes you believe that you’re just being a burden.

And it makes escapism  seem enticing rather than frightening because the pain of this horrific illness that bad.

Over and over and over every day.

But every day I keep telling myself that things will get better because eventually they will.

I know this because I have before. Depression is treatable and you can fight back.

If you look back in the 6 years since I’ve been diagnosed with bipolar disorder you won’t see mangled roads, you will see how they were paved over with hope and love.

I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for amazing people in my life holding me up when I couldn’t stand.

I don’t own enough lives to pay each one of them back.

lovemealways

 

Today we all can help save the lives of so many by talking about mental illness.

 

(This is not a sponsored post and I am not a Bell Canada customer. I am writing this because I believe in this cause and it needs to be shared.)

 

Today, on January 28th, 2015, Bell Canada will donate 5 cents for every text message sent*, for every long distance call that is made*, every tweet using the hashtag #BellLetsTalk, and Facebook share of the Bell Let’s Talk logo.

 

Please……it just takes one click to share….one click to save someone that could be sitting right in the very room you’re sitting in.

 

  • 1 in 5 Canadians will experience a form of mental illness at some point in their life.
  • At this very moment, some 3 million Canadians are suffering from depression.
  • 2 in 3 people suffer in silence fearing judgment and rejection.
  • Only 49% of Canadians said they would socialize with a friend who has a serious mental illness
  • 27% of Canadians are fearful of being around people who suffer from serious mental illness

                 Canadian Institute of Health Research

 

It Sounds Like Something New Parked In The Driveway

The fast pace, the critical thinking, the adrenaline, the germs, the mess, the stress – I loved every single thing about my job as an emergency room nurse…

Well, everything except for the commute to get there.

It generally took me thirty minutes to get to work but that is not including the one teeny tiny detail that I worked in America which meant that I had to go through customs first. That thirty minute commute could sometimes turn into a two hour nightmare just like that one time my car died.

It was November of 2003.

One, two, three, four, five, I slammed my forehead on the steering wheel and stopped counting the cars in front of me because it didn’t matter. I had picked the slowest customs lane on the planet. I nervously looked at the clock and realized that my car had sat idled in the same spot for the amount of time that it took me to successfully remove all ten of fingernail tips with my teeth.

I broke into my lunch bag at the one hour mark and started nitpicking at my grapes when I noticed a burning smell. I thought how horrible it would be if that person’s car stalled before it reached the customs booth and then I tapped my car’s dashboard because my old gal was a trustworthy stallion. Sure was.

Fifteen minutes later… 

“Would you like some grapes officer?” I asked from my car stalled in the lane. He looked down at me unimpressed and sighed, “Ma’am, didn’t you know that your car was overheating?”

“Is it supposed to beep at me or something to tell me that it’s getting like super seriously hot?”

The officer’s eyes bulged. “It’s a nice car but I would never get one. My buddy had a car like this. They’re notorious for the head gasket blowing.”

“It has a gasket? Wait. What’s a gasket?”

“Gimmie a grape and close your window. It’s cold.”

It only cost over three hundred Canadian dollars to have it towed back into Canada and a single lift of the lid at the dealership to put my baby to rest.

I needed a replacement fast and luckily, my husband’s boss was looking for someone to take over his lease at that exact same time. While the car was not anything I’d even consider looking at, it was a car and it was reliable and at the right price.

I named it the Pip Mobile.

It was a gold boat on wheels.

I couldn’t park it to save my life but my husband loved it.

When I found out that I was pregnant, we wanted a vehicle that was more optimal for a family and ended up getting an SUV…

…that my husband chose.

He also got a truck.

That he chose.

I’m not bitter, not at all. Because he did say, that when my SUV decided to make its departure, I would get to pick out the car.

So happened, on one of the coldest days of the year thus far, my SUV didn’t start.

Click. Click. Click. Click.

I tried to start it again.

Click. Click. Click. Click.

Nothing.

Naturally, my son started to back away from the car being afraid of my implosion of cursing and flailing when instead I started to laugh. He came up to the door and stared at me quizzically.

“Did you hear that?” I asked him.

“It sounded like the car goes click, click, click.”

“No. It sounds like a 2015 Chevrolet Cruze that’s about to be parked in the driveway.”

Our friend’s own an older version of the Cruze and I think that it is a sharp vehicle (even though they defaced it by putting a New York Yankees decal in the window). I want a car that is compact, is fuel efficient, concerned about safety especially when there is a little boy in tow, and of course, I have to look good in it.

I mean, it has to look good.

When my husband got home that evening, I had the information pulled up, car colour picked and ready to go. He looked at me and at my son and said, “What noise did the car make?”

“Click, click, click,” our son said.

“It’s just the battery babe.”

Sigh…

One day Cruze….

One day….

 

 

*This post contains a compensated link. All opinions are my own.

How Beautiful It Is

 

how beautiful

I find that the depression is deafening when it’s only the silence that’s listening. It’s an almost trustworthy voice in my head – a voice that sounds just like my own – saying that nothing is going to get better. It is unrelenting and even down here on my knees at its mercy, I refuse to f*cking believe it because in the back of my mind I’m firmly holding on to what I’ve got; the self-awareness that there is something deeper here at fault.

It’s chemicals and it’s illness and shitty DNA that has infected everything.

THIS IS NOT ME –

I’m surrounded by evidence that things do indeed get better like goofy family pictures, cheesy vacation souvenirs, healed scars, hell, placing my hand over my heart and feeling it beating hard and fast proves that I’ve survived it before…

…or maybe that just proves that I’m alive and that I have no excuse for not doing the laundry and curing things like Ebola and the Justin Bieber.

Life’s not supposed to have such sharp edges that it hurts to almost breathe. I know this because I watch people, any people, you people, the I-hate-you-people-with-smiles-people go about their day without any effort at all. They are completely unphased by colours that are too bright, sounds that are too loud, and gravity that decided that I should carry triple my weight in cinderblocks on my shoulders, chest, and lower back*.

You laugh when you should, cry when you should, get angry, elated, terrified, joyous, anxious when you should.

You cute happy people who think of getting groceries or the conversation you had with your husband while you cook, work, take showers, watch your kid play hockey, and cross busy intersections instead of daydreaming of doing unimaginable shit like stepping into oncoming traffic to end the unyielding pain.

Because yes, it is that f*cking horrible.

IT.

IT is NOT me.

I just have to keep reminding myself that this excruciating period will pass in time. That I won’t have to put my hand over my heart to make sure it’s beating – I’ll already feel it within.

I’ll feel alive.

And it will feel beautiful.

hope

 

I am thankful for self-awareness…and my husband who is a saint in smelly clothes…and my kid who looks like he belongs on a corner with a “Feed Me” sign

toof

 

 

Ten Things of Thankful

*Ate some new medications that do not make me feel like I’m heavy at all. In fact, I feel completely detached from my body. It is as crazy as it sounds. My doctor says it’s anxiety and gave it a name “depersonalization”…I disagree…but what do I know

How Not To Make Stained Glass Sugar Cookies | Glorious Mess Makers

 

Pinterest has this weird way of making you believe that you can do almost anything.  As you scroll through thousands of recipes, you’ll come across pictures of people just like you who are also not good at doing things like:

  • taxidermy
  • making snowmen
  • using right handed scissors
  • cooking bacon
  • tweezing eyebrows

and they’ll be posing with their beautifully delicious stained glass sugar cookies that they actually made for Valentine’s Day and you’ll think that if they can do it, you can do it too.

Of course you can buttercup.

Look at how easy it is!

And you’ll get so inspired that you decide to try it yourself.

In fact, it’ll be a party for you and your son! Yes! An afternoon of baking and laughing and eating all the sugar!

It’ll be fun you tell him.

Hee hee, laughs Pinterest….

howtocookies

 

  1.  stainedcookie1
  2. stainedcookie2
  3.  stainedcookies3stainedcookies31stainedcookies32
  4.  stainedcookies4stainedcookies41stainedcookies43
  5. cookiefail2cookiefail1
  6. cookiefail5
  7. cookiefail7
  8. cookiefail8

 

Yes, it’ll turn out miserably and it’ll make you feel a little inadequate as a human being but when you look at your kid who is probably scaling the walls at this point with a huge smile, you’ll realize that it was all worth it because while you were cursing yourself for failing, you were actually succeeding at baking some wonderful memories.

valentinecfail

 

Now I know what you’re thinking, Kim, how are you leaving this post all warm and fuzzy when it’s hard to overlook the disaster of sticky burnt on sugar, flour dustings, cookie crumbles, tears on the ceramic tiles, and etc. that was left behind?

Yes, there was a huge mess to clean but that’s ok.

Because I may not be a queen at:

  • taxidermy
  • making snowmen
  • using right handed scissors
  • cooking bacon
  • tweezing eyebrows
  • and you can now add stained glass valentine sugar cookies

but I’m a Glorious Mess Maker and I know how to clean a disaster.

I’ve got Green Works® on my side.

gw5

 

Clorox Green Works® line of naturally derived, affordable products that clean powerfully without harsh chemical fumes or residue.

A little bit about the products that I used to take care of the mess:

Green Works All Purpose Cleaner

    • made with plant and mineral based ingredients. Use it on counters, appliances, stainless steel, sealed granite, chrome, cook top hoods, sinks and toilets to cut through grease, grime and dirt.

Green Works Dishwashing Liquid

  • dermatologist-tested and made with plant-based biodegradable cleaning ingredients. It removes grease and baked-on-food, so dishes will be clean and shiny without harsh chemical residue.

Green Works Cleaning Wipes

  • 99% naturally-derived and can clean up spills and messes on non-wood surfaces, acrylic, fiberglass and vinyl.

Green Works Glass Cleaner

  • is safe for use on glass, mirrors, counters, appliances, stainless steel and sinks. It’s 98% naturally derived from plant-and mineral-based cleaning ingredients – and contains absolutely no ammonia.

gw6

 

Now that our counters are cleaned, it’s time to find a new recipe to tackle.

I just have to find the scissors.

These cookie packages are so hard to open…oops.

 

So have you attempted a Pinterest recipe and failed?

Are you tempted to try one?

 

If you do, don’t be afraid of the mess! You too can become a Glorious Mess Maker and join the #gloriousmesses movement! Head over to Green Works Canada Facebook Page and for product information head to www.trygreenworks.ca

 

The bits looks may lie, but they did taste pretty good. If you want to know what they were actually supposed to look like, I got the idea from this website.

Disclosure: I received the above products and a care package in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.

The Adventures Of Puss In Boots on Netflix #StreamTeam

Our kid.

chasediva

He’s goofy.

He’s messy.

He’s wild.

He’s loud.

He’s 100% boy.

And at six years old, he is already being chased by the ladies.

Literally.

At recess the girls chase him.

“Nyla tried to give me a kiss today Mooooommmmmmmmmm!”

“Summer said her sister wants to be my boyfriend but I am just a kid Mommmmmmmmmmmm!”

“Mooooommmmm why did you put me in this shirt Mooooommm? The girls like this one Moooommmm!”

“I’m getting very angry with all of these women. I’ve got important things to do at recess Mooommm! We are picking at a hole. I think someone buried a dead dinosaur army man in there.”

But of all the girls who have chased him, only one girl has ever held the key to his heart.  She’s owned it ever since they met in Junior Kindergarten.

Little Miss K.

They were inseparable.

littlemisskandc

Rock Star Day June 2014

This year, they were split into different classes and we worried that it would affect their friendship, but it didn’t. They still met up at the end of the day, snatching each other by their hands and then running towards the walking path where they hid from us parents. They do this every single day rain, snow or shine.

You can always hear their infectious giggles echoing in the pathway.

I imagine when they’re older, if the giggles go silent…ahem…her dad will be bringing a baseball bat.

On the weekend we invited Little Miss K and the “mother in law” (as we jokingly like to call each other) for a visit. There wasn’t much that we could do outside as it was a snowy afternoon and I suggested to the kids that there was a new show on Netflix that they could watch and of course as soon as I mentioned his name, they were all in cheers!

pussnboots1

This month on January 16th,  The Adventures of Puss in Boots arrived on Netflix, starring one of the most celebrated characters for kids. The world’s greatest lover, fighter, lover, and milk connoisseur springs into action with comical tales that take him to exotic locations, filled with unforgettable characters. As Puss embarks on adventures that are the stuff of legend, nothing can stand in the way of this swashbuckling hero … except a hairball!

Mr Puss In Boots kind of reminded me of my little “romancer” who had to make his guest comfortable by getting her a blanket before the show started.

littlemisskandc2

The series was a hit!

And I’ll admit, us adults liked it too!

 

This month Netflix has added movies that are inspired by Puss In Boots; a great example of an enduring and entertaining children’s tale based on a book. Yes! Netflix’s picks are inspired by literature!

I know that we have read a lot of these books with my son already. How cool is it to see them on screen?!

For the big kids:

netflixjan 1. How to Train Your Dragon
2. Peter Pan
3. Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat
4. The Baby-Sitters Club

For the little kids:

netflixjan2

 

Have you watched anything literature inspired on Netflix this month?
What is your favourite so far?  
netflixstreamteam
Disclosure:  I am a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam and received a one-year subscription to Netflix and a Roku media streaming device in return for posting Netflix updates and reviews, however, all opinions are my own.
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