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But You Look So…

“I find it so weird because you look so normal,” she said catching me off guard. I sucked back a piece of pickle and started to choke. Her cheeks reddened and her eyes bulged, afraid that she had said something incredibly offensive to someone who is mentally ill. She passed me a glass of water, “I didn’t mean it like…you know what I….that I don’t know what to say to someone who…” she stuttered.

“You’re an asshole,” I retorted.

What does depression look like?

Depression has many faces.  It isn’t always looking sad, defeated, forgoing hygiene, and lying in the corner rocking life away. It can be smiles, laughs, makeup, freshly pressed clothes, and looking happy while kicking leaves with your child. We are visual creatures and depression is an invisible illness. On the surface, people with bipolar depression can very much look and act like “normal” people do, however behind the façade of “normalcy”  we are actively getting mauled by a cold heartless wilder beast.


My depression doesn’t resemble the discontented woman slouched forward under the crushing weight of hopelessness on the brochure in the doctor’s office and in every antidepressant commercial.  I am quite the opposite. I maintain a well kempt appearance and engage in social settings exactly like the awkward knob that I was born to be. This is probably why a lot of people are perplexed when they discover that I have bipolar disorder and more so when I’m dangerously teetering on the brink of insanity.

The true colours of my depression show when I’m in the safe confines of my home. It shoots out of my face and I don’t know where my tears end and where my runny snot begins. I get “hulk angry” over things like icing cupcakes and my feeble attempts to pound the piss out of the washing machine lid because it closed on my shoulder.

I hate everything that has the letters a, e, y, o, or, y in the word, your mom, and myself.

My depression is feeling bone crushing sadness, emptiness, helplessness, hopelessness, anxiety, anger, and so on.

And yet she smiles.




Across the table, Darla readies herself for a lecture.

“Actually, my aluminum foil helmet didn’t match my outfit and I left my ominous dark cloud that hovers above me at home.”

She giggled as she picked up her fork and pointed it towards me. “No, I meant that I couldn’t tell that you’re depressed right now. You don’t look like it.”

“What am I supposed to look like?” I asked.

“I’m not sure but if this is your depressed face, I hope that when you’re busy dying, you’ll remember to tell me.”

Shoppers Drug Mart Is Giving Me The Gift Of Easy

What is it about Christmas that brings out the worst in people? Seriously. My heels have been chopped up from cart rams. Doors have been slammed in my face while I had an armful of bags. I’ve been pushed in lines. I’ve gotten sighs and eye rolls because I’ve kindly asked for people to move so that I could pass safely through the aisle. I’ve been elbow jabbed in the gallbladder, and I don’t even own a gallbladder, without hearing a single “I’m sorry”.




This year, I was seriously considering learning karate so that I could be a customer ninja. I’d be like a undetected silent fart in the wind armed with…out…a…list.

Oh my goodness.

I don’t have a list.

What do I get? Where do I even start?

My family is the worst breed of humans to shop for. Nothing is free. Have you ever given someone the gift of nothing and have seen the look on their face when they had nothing to open?

Then they get angry because they didn’t really mean nothing.


So what do you do about those people who want nothing but mean they want something but they don’t know what they want but they still want you to get them something?

And you don’t want the hassle of going out into the madness?

Well you’re in luck.

Shoppers Drug Mart this holiday season has created an online destination that allows you to filter hundreds of gift ideas by price, categories, or the type of person you are shopping for. With the online gift finder, you’ll find an abundance of inspiring gift ideas, from fabulous fragrances, gorgeous gifts, delectable treats, and the latest toys and electronics. Shoppers Drug Mart has GIFTS MADE EASY for everyone… so easy you might go a little overboard!

Logo (2)

Where to begin?

Ah yes, the head of our household.

The Boy Child: Chunky Monkey


We all know that he’s cool, after all that is his middle name. He’s one busy kid and loves to move. He’s into sports and action flicks which means his go to toys are all about superheroes.

Here we have (one of my childhood favourites) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Combat Gear:


Captain America Super Soldier Stealthfire Shield!



And of course you can’t be a superhero without a fast car. Check out this La Ferrari 458 Spider Racing Wheel:


Now my little nephew is super easy to please. He just turned one so anything he can drool on or can make mom have migraines from is all fun to him. Check out these fun toys:

 V-Tech Shake N Move Puppy


Leap Frog Scout My Pal Scout


B. Wheels


Disney Frozen Olaf


Easy peasy.

Now Christmas is the one time of year that I can replenish my husband’s embarrassing supply of grooming gear. Sweet goodness. I can’t even go there. Shoppers Drug Mart has everything for the Modern Man from fragrance to shaving kits, like the Gillette ProGlide Holiday Pack.

We can all agree that the holidays are a hectic time of year and we cannot forget the people who put all of the parties and dinners together. They need some love too. How about some chocolate from Shoppers Drug Mart for The Entertainer?

Hershey's Kisses Milk Chocolate

At Shoppers Drug Mart, you’ll find exciting in-store sales, promotions & exclusive holiday gifts sets-from November 12 to December 25. You can earn Shoppers Optimum Points on almost every purchase and most stores are open late, which is a bonus for those who work late hours!

The Holiday Gift Guide Launches are as follows:
Available Now: “Give Beauty, beautyBOUTIQUE by Shoppers Drug Mart”
November 15th: “Get Set for the Happiest Holidays!”

*Keep an eye out for 3 additional gift guides/beauty books available in late November and December

You can also join the conversation at #giftsmadeeasy

*Keep an eye out for 3 additional gift guides/beauty books available in late November and December
You can also join the conversation at #giftsmadeeasy

This holiday season, Shoppers Drug Mart is also giving away some fabulous gifts!!

The Unwrap to Win Game (December 1st to December 24th)

Giving away 15 great prizes every day (360 in total) and one could be yours!

Visit the Shoppers Drug Mart website and play the Unwrap to win game for a chance to win fabulous prizes ranging from beauty, fragrances, skin care sets to toys, electronics and gift cards and to browse through hundreds of great gift ideas.


Retweet to win (Contest ends November 21, 9:00am EST)

Join the #SDMHolidays retweet to win contest for a chance to win 1of 10, $100 Shoppers Drug Mart gift cards.

I think that I’m going to take my chances at getting a finger cramp at home than getting a cart ram in the back of my heel at the store while fighting to find something that I have no idea what I was looking for in the first place. It will be me, Bing Crosby, a hot tea, Shoppers Drug Mart and browsing GIFTS MADE EASY.

Not a sweat will be had this year.

Someone needs to make a Christmas carol about that.


Although this post has been generously sponsored by Shoppers Drug Mart, the opinions and language are my own, and in no way do they reflect Shoppers Drug Mart.

Dare To Make Canada A Better Place | #DareYou


Earlier this fall, I was honoured when a friend had asked me to volunteer my time at a women’s shelter to talk about mental health. Of course I would! How hard could it be? I thought, except it was. I had no idea what I was going to say. Do I need graphs? Do I need handouts? Questionnaires? Cookies?

“Kim,” Angela said, “just be you.”

That night I showed up to a room full of women; different ages, races, cultures ages, and socioeconomic statuses. I openly talked about being diagnosed with postpartum depression and then bipolar disorder and while it took them a while to trust each other, they too shared their personal stories. It was amazing to me how we all had our different journeys but our core feelings were the same. We fell and rose and we now lived to embrace the ones who can’t stand. That night shifted the way I viewed how my story could help others in a more personal setting.

This wouldn’t have happened if I wasn’t asked to volunteer. I helped them. They helped me.


Research has shown that one of the main reasons why people decide to give is because they were simply asked to.

What if people were dared to give?


Dare2Give by My Giving Moment is about asking Canadian givers to dare others to donate or volunteer along with them. In turn, this this doubles their giving impact. Imagine if every Canadian dared one other person to donate or volunteer along with them?

We would be making Canada a much better place right?

When I thought of this program, I thought about my experience at the women’s shelter and how I was asked to help them. I took on the Dare2Give Challenge and asked-sorry DARED some of my favourite people to either donate or volunteer to a cause that had to revolve around the word “well-being”

So first off was my girl Jenn:

I’ve known Jenn for a long time and she has the gift of healing; Reiki. I really believe that healing is a connection of the mind, body and soul and Jenn uses Reiki to connect and heal them (there is so much more that goes into this practice and I’m not giving its explanation justice because I don’t have a huge knowledge base!) It is peaceful and relaxing. Jenn drove a long distance to meet with a few women at a counselling office and offered sessions to some of the women who felt that could benefit from it. This week she’s coming to my house but I’m baking her cookies so that doesn’t count, unless I eat them then it does count.


My sister should have been named Sarah McLaughlin. I’m kidding but she is definitely just as passionate about animals as she is. Instead of using her dare on “human” well-being she decided to help out the four legged friends and signed up for the Hallowoof Walkathon to support and raise funds for the Windsor/Essex County Humane Society. Check out her pup’s first walk-a-thon!

Next is my brother Mark and my sister in law Mona (a.k.a Mona…inside joke)

This is a work in progress. Since they were married at the beginning of this year, they have received more than enough gifts to furnish their home etc. So they are going to give back. They are collecting mittens, toques, scarves, underwear, socks, etc for a local women’s shelter this winter and I think this is where Dare2Give comes full circle because how could we as a family, not contribute to this?

See, when you come together as a community, you make the world a better place. We need to help each other.

So get out there and give and dare.

By daring their friends, family and colleagues, current givers will have a chance to win for their favourite charity including the grand prize of a television commercial.

Date: Ends December 14, 2014
Visit the Dare2Give website for further information and details on how to enter or you can enter you number of dares right here below for your chance to win!


Although this post has been generously sponsored by Rideau Hall Foundation, the opinions and language are my own, and in no way do they reflect Rideau Hall Foundation.

This Is Not Funny And I Am Not Happy



Hello, Sunshine Sally, my trusty light box, we meet again. Every morning I pray that this bitch brings me that artificial happy that the brochure claims it will. If it gave me that glow like that couple on the front of the box, it would make me want to run with scissors because I wouldn’t have a care in the world.

I’d be happy.

I am not happy.

I am far from happy.

Yesterday, I stood in line at the grocery store and my eyes spontaneously leaked emotions. Leaked them. All over vegetables. I didn’t need to see them to know that the store patrons were staring at me. I felt the coldness in their curiosity, in their disgust, and in their judgemental whispers. I was so embarrassed.

What is wrong with you people?

I wanted to run but I stayed there. Yup. I didn’t run and put on the dramatic show that they probably anticipated. Nope.  I got death all wetted up on the scanner so that every time they scanned their granola bars it would come up as hopelessness.






How do you like me now.

Jerk pants.

It’s awful, this place. Place? Depression isn’t a “place” because if it were, I’d get as far away from this address as I possibly could.  It is every where I go.

I feel sad not just a little, or somewhat, or moderately.

This is pain.

Controlling pain that paralyzes me in front of the fridge because I can’t decide which yogurt that I just bought at the grocery store to eat or if I’m hungry at all or maybe I should be deciding on what I should be making for dinner or if I should be doing laundry of if I should just lay on the couch and cry until I fall asleep.

Or maybe I should just take Ativan and zyprexa and sit with a pen and a paper and write and make funny drawings on the computer because why not.

Let’s make fun.

This is not funny.

I am not happy.

No Therapist


It’s 12:40 on a Friday afternoon in my psychiatrist’s waiting room and I’m pressed against the wall. I’m mesmerized by the younger gentleman casually sitting in the corner not giving a shit about the world or the fact that he is dressed up as f*cking Spiderman. Truthfully, for a psychiatrist’s office, that is a shock to me.

People are normal in here just as they would be outside of these walls except you will always find more cracks. Cracks in our personalities, cracks in our conversations, in our behaviour, and cracks in the smiles on our lips. Perhaps it’s because this is the one place, the ONE place where that cruel judgmental world does not exist; a safe haven to just be what you feel.

We are a room full of deconstructed and reconstructed mental misfits who may not have had the same trials, but have felt just as deeply, who have fought just as hard, who may have given up but pulled out, who just plain understand how bloody hellish depression and its counterparts can be.

We are invaluable resources to each other. We’ve seen each other die, survive, and then be reborn, yet we never really speak to one another. I suppose that a lot of us use this time to reflect upon what we want to unload on the table when we are called back to the office or maybe there are people here with anxiety issues that prevents them from talking (me). Who knows.

In this crowded room, pressed up against this wall, I want to cry right now. I feel so f*cking alone yet I’m  surrounded by my fellow nuts and I just want to succumb to the weight of the pain and fall to the floor.

I want to yell, “Spiderman, get over here you son of a bitch. I need a hug.”

But I won’t.

I’ll hold it in just like I do out there.

I think us patients, we can help save ourselves too in this small box during this little amount of time we share.

How are you?

Are you ok?

You will be ok?

You can do this.

You are not alone.

Don’t touch that magazine. Someone brought that one to the bathroom.

No Therapist



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