I haven’t felt like writing or sharing much lately, which is totally okay. There is just too much on my plate right now and I’m having a really hard time focusing and trying to process it all.
It’s wearing me down.
It’s also been a really busy few weeks for me. I know there are some people who read this and probably think all I do most days is lay around in bed.
But I don’t.
Some people may also believe that keeping busy would be a great way to distract my thoughts and help me feel better.
But it doesn’t always work that way, especially these days when I’m dealing with so many physical issues on top of my already very distressing mental health and personal issues. And besides, no one can be busy 24 hours a day.
People often view their own self-worth or the status of others by how busy they are and that the busier you are the more deserving you are of some sort of badge of honour. Many of these same people may very well be trying to keep super busy in order to avoid or numb a painful feeling or situation in their life.
I’m just gonna be honest, I don’t like the days or weeks where I’m super busy. It only makes me more anxious. When a person like myself is feeling depressed, everything they do takes up more energy, ALOT more energy; even a simple or mundane task can quickly become super overwhelming and stressful.
I actually find that I get a lot less accomplished the busier I am as well because the overwhelm and stress just makes me wish I could crawl back into bed or throw in the towel. Sometimes being too busy becomes counter-productive and often, for me anyways makes my feelings way more intense.
I need to gently remind myself that it’s okay to disconnect from some unnecessary obligations or learn to say no more, without guilt when I am feeling overwhelmed or pressure to do more than I am capable of and that it doesn’t mean I am any less valuable or worthy. I have also recently set a reminder on my phone that reminds me to take a time out each day to breathe.
Prep work in progress for a very special keychain order.
When I get myself into a creative headspace or when I’m following my passions it allows me to search within for inspiration and purpose, giving me the opportunity to tap into a whole other part of my brain and tune out the negative self-talk and ignore the doubt, bringing with it a sense of calm; even if only for a short while.
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When someone is struggling with a mental health disorder like depression or anxiety, some days the simplest of tasks may just feel too overwhelming.
Things that most healthy minds would normally take for granted like having a shower, brushing their teeth or just leaving the house can become daunting to someone battling depression or anxiety.
Practicing self-care during bouts of depression and anxiety is super exhausting but I know that it’s also vital to one’s mental well-being.
Just remember, it’s okay though if you couldn’t shout BINGO today. Just keep focusing on stamping one square at a time. It doesn’t matter how long it takes you to fill your full card so long as your “free space” square is always stamped.
Imperfection is beautiful. The more we can see that everyone is beautifully unique in their own way and that being imperfect is okay, the more we will be able to see that there is no real beauty in the world without our imperfections.
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A portion of proceeds is donated to youth mental health.
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I’m feeling quite vulnerable and powerless over my emotions.
Most everything I set out to do right now feels hard. Writing included.
On days like today when the world around me feels like it’s about to cave in and I’m pretty much in survival mode, it’s food that seems to be about the only thing that brings me comfort.
I don’t typically crave many foods (but do much prefer sweet over salty), especially of late when one of the many symptoms I’ve been living with over the last while is a pretty steady flow of nausea, but strangely enough, eating helps. Seems almost illogical? Or maybe it’s not?
Maybe it’s not so illogical because sometimes your strongest cravings come to you at your weakest moments and turning to food to supress your emotions can actually soothe negative feelings like stress, anger, fear and sadness.
Food can sometimes become an easy way to fill an emotional void in your life even when you are not actually hungry but can, at the same time leave you more emotionally drained afterwards with feelings of guilt and shame.
I’ve spoken quite openly and several times through my writing how in my late teens and into my early 20’s I’d battled an eating disorder (you can find them @ youareenough712.wordpress.com) which has continued to rear its ugly head throughout different stages of my life and in several different forms from near starvation, to compulsively exercising, to excessive purging to emotional eating.
Each stage of this journey has come with its own set of consequences and setbacks but when you are so deep in it like I’ve been at times you feel as though you have complete control over it even though in my heart I knew I wasn’t then, and am certainly not now.
But sometimes that impulse to reach for something to eat in order to fill that emotional void will overpower your mind without even realizing you are doing so and instead it becomes a coping mechanism or quick distraction to whatever negative emotions you are trying to avoid. It’s a vicious cycle.
Are you an emotional eater? What coping skills have you acquired that help you control it?
When I spoke with my Psychiatrist last Friday morning he made a note to contact one of the referrals he’d made for me back on June 3rd to find out what the status is on that said referral. It’s with a specialist who works out of two very prominent downtown hospitals in Toronto and who seems (from my own personal research and that of my Psychiatrists’ as well) to be one of very few doctors in all of Canada who have extensive knowledge on one very specific issue (among the many others) I’ve been dealing with since my treatment took place in April. An issue I’ve been told is quite rare, with very little research and possibly incurable; making it that much more complicated to treat a patient with this. All I do know at this point is that many days it’s too unbearable to live with and for now it’s also something I am not comfortable sharing publicly (I’ll save it for my memoir!).
Although “incurable” there are a variety of treatment options available to help reduce the side effects or put it into remission but left untreated, this disorder has been known to lead to psychological damage and even suicide among some patients who can’t find the proper care they need or any real relief from the often unrelenting symptoms or treatment options.
I already suffer from an extensive amount of “psychological” damage and suicidal ideations on a daily basis to begin with which is no big secret by now but the trauma that my body has undergone over the past few months with very little relief from the bandaid option my Psychiatrist has prescribed for me in the meantime is quickly damaging my already fragile mental health even further. And since receiving an email early Monday morning that was forwarded to me from my Psychiatrist’s Assistant (in response to him reaching out to the specialist’s office a few days earlier) I have felt as though that very last f@*k I mentioned I was down to a couple of weeks ago is slipping through my fingers at warp speed (in case you missed my blog from June 30th here it is for your reference; https://youareenough712.wordpress.com/2022/06/30/down-to-my-last-fk/).
The subject line on the email read “FYI” with an attachment (see pic I posted for more details; I’ve blocked out names and other personal info). The attachment was from the specialist’s office to my Psychiatrist. When I read through it line by line my immediate reaction was anger, quickly followed by tears, lots and lots of tears.
The anger and tears have now turned into self-hate and self-blame which is eating away at me and have caused a descent into self-gaslighting. I have become consumed with so much anger at myself as well as self-hate and self-blame for participating in this research trial at all. I now wonder on a daily basis if all the symptoms I’m experiencing are just in my head. I’m questioning if I even deserve support at all. Having to wait to see this specialist for possibly over a year at this point is just too much for me to handle.
I can’t rewrite the past, none of it, but I know in my heart that my feelings are valid. In the meantime I do have a virtual appointment now scheduled for tomorrow morning (they called yesterday) with a Neurologist who specializes in what’s called “Functioning Neurological Disorders” to try and get to the bottom of some of the “software” issues going on inside of me which my Psychiatrist and the other Neurologist I saw recently referred me to when he concluded that what I’m feeling is not a “hardware” issue as my MRI and EEG results came back with no definitive concerns.
I guess for now as I conclude my rant that I ask one favour, that any and all positive vibes be sent my way today 🙏.
Whenever I hear of someone in the public eye, whether it be a celebrity, a performer, a social media influencer or a sports figure using their platform to speak openly about their mental health struggles or making the difficult decision to take a time out from the spotlight in order to focus on their health and well-being deserves a standing ovation.
I will happily give Shawn Mendes a standing ovation.
His statement he put out to the public late last week was authentic and admirable. It’s not easy to show such vulnerability to anyone, let alone to millions of adoring fans.
He is listening to what his body and mind are telling him which is that he needs to rest right now in order to heal. He is sending such an incredibly important and positive message to the world and especially to men, that it’s okay to not be okay and that it’s okay to ask for help when you need it. He is just human afterall.
His message gives me hope that each and every day we are slowly moving one step closer to living in a world with no stigma and I’m in awe of how many young people in this next generation are learning to use their voices for good as well as learning how to say no by creating healthy boundaries in order to NOT push themselves beyond their limitations or capabilities, something which had affected the well-being of so many other performers like Whitney and Britney; and as far back as Elvis.
Shawn, you are an inspiration and role model to so many. I wish you well in your journey ahead and thank you for helping to destigmatize mental illness and showing the world the importance of self advocacy.
I remember the day you were born as if it were yesterday.
You made me a mother that day and honoured me with the most precious and cherished title I will ever hold.
You not only changed my world forever that day but you also exposed me to a whole new world of firsts; first c-section, first smiles, first visits to the pediatrician, first steps and first birthday.
I am truly blessed to have experienced that world of firsts together, even when it sometimes felt a bit scary.
But you taught me that being scared was okay.
You taught me what it truly means to be a mother.
You taught me to be more patient.
You taught me the meaning of unconditional love.
You taught me to see the beauty in the simple everyday moments in life and the importance of being in the moment.
You helped me build the confidence I needed, develop a trust in myself and showed me just how much love I had to give so that when it came time I would be ready to become a mother again…and again.
And although that time to become a mother again came sooner than expected for me, just shortly after your first birthday, you embraced your new role of big brother so fearlessly and then with the greatest of ease you did it again a few short years later. You were born to be a big brother.
Your dad and I feel so beyond lucky that you were our first. You won’t remember most of those firsts from early on but thank you for the incredible gift of sharing them with us.
Keep shining your bright light on the world Jacob; my witty, laid back, handsome, smart, hardworking son with the beautiful dimples you hide behind your beard 🤪, with your curiosity and thirst for adventure and with so much kindness in your heart ❤️.
We love you to the moon and back, forever and a day.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY JACOB 🎂 and I wish for you nothing but happiness in the year ahead.