On normalizing anxiety.

It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything for me, or something that I don’t get paid to write, and I’m craving to get back into my personal writing again, so here goes.

I’ve long ago written about my dealings with anxiety. But, I feel like it’s something that I could write about a lot, because my personal experiences with it are ever fluctuating, how I cope, and what I’m learning about it.

The only thing that doesn’t change, however, is the fact that I have anxiety—that so many of us do, really—and that we’re expected to just ‘get over it.’

Continue reading “On normalizing anxiety.”

I still don’t know what I was waiting for

Two years ago, I was on the verge of losing my second job in four months. I didn’t know it at the time, but I had that gut feeling something wasn’t right. I’d been having sleepless nights for weeks and woke up with crippling anxiety every morning, the voice inside my head saying, ‘I can’t do this anymore.’ I’d have to psych myself to get out of bed to go to work and suppress any thoughts I had about calling in sick. I didn’t want to be the person who couldn’t come in to work because of an anxiety attack.

When I was let go from my job the morning of May 1st, a sense of relief immediately washed over me instead of panic. I didn’t have to do it anymore. I didn’t have to spend my work days counting down every minute I was closer to going home for the day. I didn’t have to spend my entire Sunday dreading the sound of my alarm going off the next morning for the start of another week I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get through.

Don’t get me wrong, losing a job sucks. It’s terrifying because you need a job to pay your rent, bills, feed yourself, and all the other basic necessities of life, especially when you’re a 30-year old woman who lives on her own. I still had an EI claim open, so luckily I was able to go back on it while I did some job searching, but that quickly turned into some soul searching instead. Continue reading “I still don’t know what I was waiting for”

The house across the street.

I had just turned nine when we moved into what would become our ‘family’ home in 1993.  At the time, it was just my mom, step dad, and myself, until they got married the following year and then my brother came along in 1995.

Since we were new to the neighbourhood, we didn’t really know anyone so we were essentially strangers on our own street.  Prior to the move, I was excited about where we’d be living because it was known across town as the ‘cool’ neighbourhood, although it was vast in size and some areas of it were nicer than others. Our street fell somewhere in the middle — not littered with fancy, rich suburban houses with swimming pools or trampolines in the backyard like some of the other streets — but with 1970’s exteriors that had been  updated and mid-sized front and backyards that were comfortable for kids to play in.  It was — and still is — a welcoming, friendly street that has evolved over time while remaining authentic and nostalgic, the way childhood streets and homes do, except for one house.

Continue reading “The house across the street.”

you won’t see me fall apart.

I’ve been trying to sit down and write this post for days now, but every time I think about doing it I clam up, feel tears forming behind my eyelid ducts and the chest pains tighten right above my heart even more than it already is and I feel like I’m about to die, or at the very least have a panic attack.

But I need to get this out. For me. For anyone going through the same thing I do on a month-to-month basis so maybe you won’t feel the same level of loneliness I do. For those who have loved ones who experience this so maybe they, too, can understand and empathise with how crippling PMDD can be, and want to help.

Continue reading “you won’t see me fall apart.”

“To lose confidence in one’s body is to lose confidence in oneself.”

Every day is a battle with my physical appearance — for the most part, anyway.  This isn’t news, nor is it anything out of the ordinary. I know that it’s something we all struggle with, or have at one point.  But, we shouldn’t feel we have to be silent about it, pretend it’s not a big deal, or suppress those thoughts until they take their tole, because they do, time and time again. It’s exhausting.

Because it matters. How we feel about ourselves matters. It’s a conversation we shouldn’t be afraid of having, but we are. Continue reading ““To lose confidence in one’s body is to lose confidence in oneself.””

People are strange when you’re a stranger.

I didn’t think much of it when an older gentleman with an easy-wheel cart, full of art supplies and sketching materials, pulled up a chair next to me at the coffee shop I was in.

I was working on a couple of articles for my Monday deadline, was intent on staying focused and kept my headphones plugged in to avoid any outside distractions.  It was only Saturday,  but I wanted to send them off to my editors for review before Monday, so I was clearly On A Mission.

My perspective changed slightly without my fully realizing it when he very nicely asked if he could leave his cart behind us and told me he’d move it if need be. When I smiled and said it wasn’t a problem, he said “thank you, my friend,” and I was blown away by how sincere he sounded.

I carried on with my work, but I kept what he said in the back of my mind.

Friend.

We don’t call strangers that very often.

Continue reading “People are strange when you’re a stranger.”

On ‘being better’

I joined twitter in June of 2008, so almost seven years ago now, and I had no expectations when I first signed up.  I didn’t know what to tweet, what the point of it was, or how to find people to interact with, so I left it largely untouched for a number of months, until some time in early 2009 when I came back to it and started tweeting about hockey.   It’s been almost 7 years since I’ve been using this platform, I’ve interacted with all sorts of hockey fans from all over, have made some good friends, and have certain people in my life I would not know if it weren’t for twitter.  Over the years, there’s been a lot of things I’ve really enjoyed about twitter, but the last few months have been incredibly trying, and the bad parts have been doing its best to tarnish the good.

While that doesn’t necessarily mean the bad outweighs the good (because, again, there are certain people that twitter has led me to), seeing how destructive the hockey community has become has had me question a lot of things about ‘being better.’ Continue reading “On ‘being better’”