Thank you for calling me Brave

To the teller at the TD Bank in Fonthill, whose name I did not catch, thank you.

You asked what I was doing [for work] and I decided to, for ONCE, be honest.  I said “I write a blog”.

“About what?” you asked.

“About anxiety, depression, mental health” I replied.

To my surprise you seemed impressed with my response.  You said I was brave to talk about these things and get them out in the open.  I think you even thanked me! I had no idea that admitting that I write this blog would have such a positive impact.  If I was smarter I would have given you a card with the name of my blog on it but hey, one day at a time.  Maybe that could be a goal I work towards, feathering my cards to potential future readers.  Hmmm. Interesting.

I feel like this is a sign.  I took the leap and decided to stop making up some “normal” job that I do not have and just admit that I am currently writing (instead unemployed and on Disability).  I am not currently making any money from it and that is FINE.  I do not write to make money.  That would be nice, of course.  But I write for the love of writing, venting, and typing.  If that goes somewhere I’d be over the moon but for now I am just happy that someone I don’t even know is happy that I am writing about mental health and the struggles of having a mental health problem.

I will never forget the feeling I got talking to the teller at my bank about my blog.  I will never forget the way she looked at me, very genuinely and almost with respect.  For that I will be forever grateful.

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I just started Typing (and this came out)

I am sad.  Again.  The kind of sad that keeps me in bed all day, sometimes sleeping, sometimes crying.  The kind of sad that prevents me from eating or bathing because I just don’t care.

I had a pretty good weekend and Monday wasn’t that bad either.  I filmed for my channel iCarlaVlogs and even re-edited some old vlogs to put up because I felt they were actually really good and I did want to share them.

As far as I know I have a microblading appointment tomorrow morning that I WAS over-the-moon about.  Now I am worried that I screwed up the date or something (I have already send a confirmation text to my eyebrow professional).  I am also worried that I won’t have the $300 to pay for it.  I had some money saved but for some (STUPID) reason I thought I would be paying $200.  It’s funny to me how this all seemed so “do-able” yesterday, last week, even 2 months ago and NOW I am feeling like the walls are closing in.  The walls of disappointment are closing in on me and I wonder why I ever thought I could or should try to improve my appearance and ultimately, my self esteem.

Am I just a boob for wanting to try to make myself feel better ? And for thinking about YouTube again?  It always comes back to YouTube.  I thought I could improve my self esteem whilst also saving for and acquiring some better tools – lights, that DLSR I have wanted for 2 years now, that cool background I can’t stop thinking about.  I want to make videos and I LOVE making videos but that little yet loud voice of negativity stops me in my tracks every time.

I don’t even know why I listen to that little voice.  It’s not like it has been all that helpful.  I started making videos for a reason.  I wanted to be able to see my journey and I also wanted to start documenting more of my life so that I can look back at it in the years to come.  Show my [future] kids who I was before them, remind myself of the bittersweet journey through therapy and life, what did we look like? What were we doing? I also wanted to potentially reach out to anyone who may be dealing with the same thing(s) or even similar thing(s) that I am, let’s form a positive metal health community.  Let’s talk about it and share our experiences.

PHEW.  My eyebrow professional JUST text me back.  I do indeed have an appointment tomorrow, I did not miss anything.  WHAT A RELIEF.  Now I just have to locate the rest of the funds I need.  Ok.  Ya.  That makes me feel a little better.  I was beginning to picture myself not going anywhere tomorrow and having to stare at my terrible brows for who the hec knows how long.  Perhaps it’s because it seems too good to be true.  Maybe that is what my WHOLE problem is.

I am not really used to things working out well in life.  I kinda taught myself that whole disappoint-from-the-start (s0 you are never surprised when you are inevitably disappointed) sometime around 7th grade.  I can surmise that it came from many years of disappointments.  As a kid (and even into adulthood) I was not allowed to partake in any after school activities or clubs.  I was yelled at a lot especially if I tried to express my feelings, I feel like I was always in trouble for something even though looking back I really didn’t do anything wrong.  My mom just was not a happy camper back then, she had good reason but it still doesn’t excuse her lack of emotional presence and overall encouragement.  I spent half my weekends here, in Tiny Town, Canada but I spent the other half with my Dad, wherever he would be.  Newmarket, Toronto, Sharon, Woodbridge, I have stayed in all of these towns for various lengths of time.  This was my escape.  My escape into a more positive world where it seemed anything was possible.

My Dad and my grandparents supported my creativity and always encouraged me to be myself.  They never made me feel bad about being me.  When I would return home to Tiny Town (p.s. this is my made up name for my “town”),  I always felt like I was leaving something behind.  In a sense I guess I was.  I was leaving my true self behind.  My true self was safe with them.  Back in Tiny Town I would put my shield up and hide inside myself.  Things I wanted to do or create, places I wanted to go, all seemed so unattainable sitting in my bedroom in our old farmhouse.  I suppose one day I just gave up.  Before becoming a teenager I gave up.  So sick of getting excited for something only to be crippled with disappointment.  It happened ALL THE TIME.  So I said f*ck it.  I got you beat.  I will just stop expecting anything therefore I can stop feeling so shitty when nothing happens.

It took some time to get used to but by high school I was getting used to living in the land of don’t-expect-anything [positive].  By college I got so depressed thinking “what’s the point” that I dropped out of my Art & Design program a year and a half in.  This became on ongoing pattern for me. I would start something and inevitably it would cave because I would become so wrapped up in feeling like nothing-good-can-come-of-this.  It seemed anytime something positive would happen, Captain Negative was there to smash it.  That is what my mom turned into- Captain Negative.  I realize now it was a protective measure meant to inform and warn us but I got too stuck in the negative zone which mixed oh-so-well with not expecting much.

This problem has followed me into adulthood and ultimately prevent me from doing things-such as uploading videos or feeling that I deserve to fix my eyebrows (just quick examples).  And man am I sick of it.  I hate feeling this way.

I want to live.  I want to create.  I want to be me and not feel bad about it.

I need to be my own escape now.  My Dad is gone and my Grandma lives too far away to visit regularly.  I am an adult now.  I am no longer a child or a teenager.  I can and need to learn to support myself in a more positive way.  If something doesn’t work out SO WHAT?! It’s not the end of the world.  But it is a sad world, to live waiting to be disappointed.

 

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The Magic of Bio Oil

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A couple of months ago I purchased some Bio-Oil.  I bought it in the hopes of reducing a nostril piercing scar.  My hopes were high, as always, though in the back of my mind I did not really expect much.

Before and even after purchasing Bio-Oil I did a fair amount of research.  Again, I was mostly interested in what it could do for scarring.  I came upon a lot of anti-aging information and skin benefits but really thought nothing of it.  I just wanted to make this scar look a little less noticeable, to me at least, I’m sure nobody else even really notices it.

I bought the smallest bottle of it that I could find at Shoppers, not wanting to spend extra money on something I may potentially not even really use.  How ironic.  I started applying Bio-oil only to my piercing scar(s) as soon as I got home.  Later, I read the pamphlet in a little more detail.  It stated that one should use the product for a minimal of 3 months to see results.  This lowered my I-want-to-see-it-now happy high I was on.  Three months?!?  Ugh.  It seemed like SO LONG.

Unlike me, I persisted to use Bio-Oil and even began rubbing it into more skin on my face. I read that it is good for uneven skin tone, aging, and dehydrated skin (actually, it says that right on the box!).  So I figured why not try to make my whole face look better and not just my piercing scars.  Even though it is an oil it soaked into my skin and didn’t leave an oily sheen all over my mug.  It’s kind of nice and a little fun to rub it into my skin, it leaves my face feeling SO GOOD.

I got sick recently and umpteen nose-blows later my skin was so dry my poor nostrils were peeling like they were sunburnt.  This encouraged me to up my Bio-Oil game, applying it in hoards pretty much every time I could remember.  Upon feeling better I could not help but notice that my skin looks AMAZING.

Not only is my piercing scar less noticeable but I feel like my pores are less noticeable, my skin tone is not so patchy and my acne scars are fading.  I am hooked.  I never thought that an OIL would be part of my everyday regime.  As someone who suffered from severe acne and needed a 6+ month round of Accutane in my early 20’s to get rid of it, I am not usually keen on rubbing an oily substance into my face.  Bio-Oil has very pleasantly surprised me. It has not made me break out once (knock on wood…).  I have even started using it on my neck, chest, legs, hands, and feet.

It has been a little over 3 months and I can see a difference.  Forget the small bottle, I’m going in for the biggest one I can get my hands on next time.

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I would rate this product a solid 5 out of 5 lipsticks for EVERYTHING.  It feels really good and it WORKS! It does seem a tad pricey (to me) *BUT* a little goes a long way so I feel I am getting my moneys worth.

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Please keep in mind that this is my personal review/opinion of Bio-Oil.  I am not telling you that you should or should not use it.  That is up to you to decide.

Also, my apologies I have no photo proof of my alleged change in my skin.  I honestly did not think this stuff was going to work for me at first and never thought to take a few photos.

I purchased this product for myself from Shoppers Drug Mart.  Oh how I loves Shoppers… and now Bio Oil 😉

“Who loves you Baby?”. You do Dad.

October 15, 2016

Happy Birthday Dad.  You would have been 56.

I’m sorry we were so distant those last few years.  I can only imagine how you were feeling and it makes me very sad.  I wasn’t there when you needed me the most but you also kept me in the dark regarding your sickness.  Had I known I would have done so much more to try to save your life.  When you died I promised myself I would stop living a life I hate and start trying to create a life that I love.

I left my job for awhile and then decided after a few months that I wanted to quit.  I wanted to quit since the day I started so thank you for the inspiration to do so.  Life is too short for “some day”.

Remember that weird illness I had when we went to visit Grandma when I was 16? That was anxiety.  I have had anxiety from PTSD for many years.  I am sorry I never got to tell you that.  I thought I was bi-polar and I tried to get you to think that you were bi-polar and thats why I had it.  I am so sorry.  That was an incorrect diagnoses.  I am not bi-polar and I never should have insinuated that you were.  I am finally trying to get the help I need so that I can be happy.  It’s hard but I sincerely hope it will be worth it when it is over.

I am sorry that I told you Mom was getting married.  She never did.  I could hear the sadness in your voice when I told you and I will forever wish I hadn’t.  I know you always loved her, I think you even tried to get her back when you came for her 50th birthday.  You really tried to make her 50th memorable for her.  I am sorry she didn’t care as much as she should have.

I found a really great guy.  I wish you could meet him.  You would love him.  I think I may finally have found the one.  I tell him about you a lot.  I am sorry you won’t be here to see us get married or to meet your grandchildren in the future.  I am sad that you will not be there to walk me down the aisle.  You won’t be here to hold my hand and watch proudly as I find myself and live my life.

Thank you for watching over me.  I know you saved us Halloween night 2014 when that car crossed the yellow line and came right towards mine.  Four people could have been killed in a head on collision but you were with me and you helped me stay calm and logical. I veered around him towards the ditch.  We got clipped and spun but you saved us from hitting a pole or a tree.  Guardian Angels do exist and you are mine.

I got a tattoo in memory of you a little over a year ago.  It’s the Led Zeppelin Falling Angel. I got it on my upper right thigh because that was your first amputation.  I got the Angel because I used to stare at it on the Led Zeppelin fabric poster you had above your bed.  I have it now and I am so grateful I do.  It reminds me of how we were.

I’m sorry you that your love of beer affected our relationship so poorly.

I am also sorry that Mom’s opinions towards you negatively affected my attitude towards you.  For this I feel immense guilt as that was terribly unfair to you.

I love you so much and I am so sorry for any pain I may have caused you.  My heart broke the day you died.

Sometimes if I listen really hard I can hear you say what you always used to say. “Who loves you Baby?”.

You do Dad.  Happy Birthday.

Love Always,

Carla xo

 

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My Dad in his younger years.  Looks like we may have been camping.

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My Zeppelin Tattoo.  In loving memory of my Dad.

Thanks for the Music

I love music.  I love it so much that a good tune gives me goosebumps.  I love all kinds of different music too, a good song is a good song.

I have to thank my parents, in particular my Dad for all the music in my life.  My dad introduced me to Classic Rock long before I knew what it was.  He would make me tapes off his records so I could ride the [horrendous] school bus with tunes in my ear.  He bought me my first Sony Cassette Walkman which I used until I could not use it anymore.  He bought me my first CD Walkman in 7th grade.  It was one of those super-bright, super-awesome Panasonic anti-skip CD Walkmans.  I think I actually still have that one.  That puppy had me ‘jammin all through high school.  Thank god.  Without my music I may have gone insane.

I was a very shy and anxious child, teenager, and young adult.  I was also lucky enough to have been bullied since the first grade.  I don’t know what I did to invite the bullying.  I was always quiet and wanted nothing but some friends.  Somehow this made me different.

I wasn’t born here.  I was born in Newmarket, Ontario which is just north of Toronto.  I was born in the same hospital that I watched my father die in.

Newmarket was a lovely little town to [begin] growing up in.  I remember going to Grandma’s often, I remember Pre-School (and the sand in my mouth that I could NEVER seem to avoid no matter how far away I stayed away from that damn sandbox).  I remember trips to the Zoo and Canada’s Wonderland.  I remember being surrounded by love and care.  I also remember the night we left.

My parents never really got a long and by the time I was 3 it was long over.  My mom packed her Jeep up, put me in it, and drove for what seemed like forever into the darkness.  Little did I know I was headed straight for hell.

We moved 3 hours south to the Niagara Region.  I still remember arriving that night.  I knew instantly I hated it.  I hated the house.  I hated this new man I didn’t recognize.  Nothing felt right and after that night nothing was ever the same again.

My mom was too busy re-kindling a [bad] high school relationship to notice that I was falling deeper and deeper into despair.  I was a very lonely child.  I missed my father and my grandparents terribly.  I started to feel more like a burden, like I was more in the way then I was wanted.  All I wanted was a friend.  I made up a few imaginary ones.  They were nice, they always listened and never made me feel sad.  There was a time when my mother would not let my father see me.  To this day I don’t know if she even realizes how much that hurt both him and I.  She was becoming so blinded by her new boyfriend.

She married that boyfriend a few years later.  I was not a part of the wedding.  I got shipped off the the babysitters.  I was so confused and again, I did not get to see my father or stay with him.  My mom was busy planning her new life and I feel like my father and myself we just big problems she wanted to ignore.

When my (half) sisters came along I thought I would finally have some friends.  Someone to talk to and play with.  What I didn’t realize until they came home from the hospital is that they are babies and cannot talk to play yet.  I also learned that babies need a lot of attention from mom which meant even less attention for me.

It also meant there was more time for her “husband” to start playing with me.  By the time I was in Kindergarten I dreaded coming home.  I became a very terrified little girl.  I did not feel safe at home.  I never knew when he would come pluck me from my bed and take me to his to undress me and play with me for the night.  My mom would be out on some errand or with a sick sister at the hospital, he kept her busy enough so he could have me all alone.  This went on for years until one fateful July day in 1991 when I said something peculiar to my mom.  I must applaud that she did not waste one millisecond, she jumped into action immediately and called the Police.  I wasn’t even 8 years old yet.

I had to tell my story repeatedly to Police Officers, Investigators, and Family and Children’s Services.  It was all very frightening and embarrassing.  I did not know what he was doing was so wrong.  I hated it but I didn’t know.  I was just a child.

This incident turned my mom into a very angry, bitter, sleep deprived, and somewhat crazy woman.  Which is understandable, but she became more mean.  I was punished for any kind of emotional outburst.  I was made to feel bad for trying to express my feelings.  My mom was always yelling at me, thinking she was shaping me for the better when really she was yelling at a child who badly needed help.

By this time I was allowed to see my real father again.  It was glorious.  Through him I could escape.  Literally, mentally, and emotionally.  He took me away from this awful town on weekends.  We would go back to Newmarket where I felt safe and loved.  Nobody there made me feel bad about myself.  They encouraged me to be me, they told me I was their Princess, I felt wanted.  My grandma knit me sweaters that I would wear when my dad took me ice skating in the Winter.  In the summer Dad would take me to Wasaga Beach and we’d go camping by by Algonquin Park.  And there was always music.

We were Rockin’ everywhere we went.  We drove to Ottawa (7+ hours) to see my cousin play squash.  We drove the Trans-Canada Hwy East all the way to Cape Breton to see Grandma and Grandpa.  We flew West to Alberta for Christmas ’99/NYE 2000.  There was always music a long the way.  He introduced to me Nazareth, ACDC, The Doors, The Rolling Stones … the list is endless.  The music made me feel free.  It still does.

It wasn’t long before I had my own music collection which became my armour and my saviour.  When I was sad and lonely, music was there.  When I missed Dad our favourite albums were (and are) a trot down memory lane.  When I felt no one understood me, music did.  Music has been my friend since I was a child.  It is the only constant positive I have had though out my entire life.

A friend’s mom once told my mom “Carla idolizes Rock Stars”, as if there were cause for concern.  Yes, I do idolize Rock Stars but not because I desire to be them per se but because their talent and music has helped me immensely.  If not for the music I don’t know that I could have lived through the last few decades.  I cannot thank my father enough for the music.  He let my ears taste many different types of music and gave me the tools to listen.  I also cannot thank him enough for leaving me his stereo, he knew I wanted it and I do cherish it.  It is priceless to me for so many reasons.

As I continue to struggle music is here to comfort me.  To tell me that I am okay, I am not alone.  It makes me feel sublimely happy to hear a good tune loud and proud.  For a brief time I can forget all the sadness and negativity that I am trying to work through and just be me.

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My Dad died in July of 2013 from complications due to Pulminary Artery Disease.   He was 53. There are so many things I will never get to say especially THANK YOU.  Thank you Dad, for the music that will always be in my heart. 

  • FEATURED PHOTO is my own creation.  It’s a finished project from my Graphic Design Days, created for Typography class circa 2003.

The Careful Clouds of Doom

Thanks to early childhood trauma and and ongoing battle with anxiety and depression, I have learned to be entirely too careful.  With EVERYTHING.

I am worried if I don’t worry something bad will inevitably happen.

This, of course, is no way to live.  It takes the fun out of a lot of things.  It causes a lot of dark clouds to form and gather in my conscience.  The clouds build into a storm of doom that then follows me everywhere I go and influences everything I do.

I try to be careful enough to avoid the doom but sometimes I can’t.  It all becomes too much and it overwhelms me.

I don’t want to be SO CAREFUL all the time.  I don’t want to worry about things that may or MAY NOT happen.  I want to change my life.  But it is hard.  It is hard to change your thinking after over 30 years of learned thinking patterns.  This of course is one of the many reasons that I am in therapy/receiving EMDR treatment.  I don’t want to be stuck inside my head anymore.

I am sick of the voices of my past in my head.  And I resent those who put them there.  Now I am spending countless hours and dollars trying to essentially put those voices away.    As the voices and memories become reprocessed and put away I am seeing so much that I was too emotionally stunted to see before.  It is frustrating and liberating all at the same time.

Where has careful gotten me? Sure, it’s kept me out of trouble but at the same time it has kept me from living.  Careful keeps me at home or in bed all day because I am “safe” there.  But am I safe really?  I am starting to feel like I want to break the cocoon I surround myself with and see where it takes me.  I want to clear the careful clouds in my head and bask in the sunshine of making and achieving my personal goals, and ultimately loving life.  I feel as though I can see the sunshine peaking through but I am impatient, I want the whole damn sky to clear, like, ASAP.

There are rays of light breaking through and these rays are slowly starting to do something.  I have a few goals I would like to achieve.  They may seem mundane to some but their mine and I need not CARE what those who are not me think.  It is the first time in years, possibly ever, that I have real, genuine goals in mind.  I want a Cavalier again.  I love ’em and I feel good in ’em.  I want to get the hell out of this house.  The negativity here is suffocating.  I want to explore University.  I am now realizing if I want the kind of career I think  I want that I need to upgrade my skills.

I have absolutely no idea how I am going to get to where I want to be but I do know that if I continue to be too careful I will never get there.  This is terrifying but the thought of dealing with doom on my back for the rest of my life is even more terrifying.

Take a hike Careful, you have done enough damage already.

via Daily Prompt: Careful

The Fighter in Me

The fighter in me is tired.

I don’t want to fight anymore.

I feel as though I have been battling my entire life and I am sick of it.  I am sick of hiding my true self and my true feelings.  I am sick of being someone else just to please those around me.  I want to live my life.

I am sick of feeling bad about myself for wanting to be myself.  I am sick of the anxiety and depression eating away at me, always reminding me it’s there and that it can and WILL ruin anything and everything.  I am sick of feeling like “the little engine that can’t”.

I have been off of work (and on Disability because of my illness) for over 2 years now.  It’s almost up and it worries me.  Part of me wants an extension, part of me doesn’t.  Disability, though helpful, really sucks.  I seem to have the case-worker who never calls me back and doesn’t seem all that willing to help me.  I want to be helped.  I want to be better.  Why do I always get the shitty case worker?

When I was first off work and looking into Disability, I had to temporarily go on Welfare whilst I waited (over a YEAR!!!) for my Disability claim to be accepted and begin.  While on Welfare I had a case worker – a different one then I have now.  I went on Welfare to get Disability (this is what they tell you to do) so I could focus on getting better and become a strong member of society.  My first meeting with my Welfare case worker I was told to “go on medication and try harder”.  Thank you.  I NEVER thought of that! I haven’t already been over-medicated, over-worked, and out of options.  I was literally treated like dirt on this woman’s shoe.  This is what we get for trying to help ourselves???  To add insult to injury I had to pretty much tell this woman against my will that I had been victim of sexual abuse as a child, my mom is crazy (not literally speaking) and my dad is dead.  I will never forget driving home from that meeting.  I cried the entire way home.  I seriously considered slamming my beloved red Cavalier into a telephone pole.  End it.

I perservered and I indeed was accepted to receive Disability payments until early 2017.  Great! The bullshit is over.  WRONGO!!!  I literally have to chase down my case worker via telephone if I have so much as a simple question.  I have had to get my local MP involved because I felt as though I was being completely ignored.  Here I am, a few months later, being ignored AGAIN.  I have questions I need answers to.  I have been calling and leaving messages for over 2 weeks and have yet to receive a call back.  Now I know not every case worker is like this, I just seem to have this incredible luck.  I try to help myself and I get these assholes who make me feel like I have taken 2 to 12 steps back.  I went on disability to help myself.  Is that not what it is for?

I have been crying all afternoon and some of the night.  I feel like I have completely screwed myself with all of this.  In a few months I will be kicked off.  I no longer have my beloved car.  I had to sell it because I needed the money more at the time.  The confidence I was hoping to gain is non existent.  I find myself wondering why the hell I even bothered trying [to help myself].  The fear, anxiety, and depression still cripples me and I am so sick of it.  I am sick of it all.

Something needs to change.  The system sucks all the way around.  I know this from a lot of experiences.  It’s not right.  We tell our children “it will get better”.  Why are we lying to them?  How does it get better?  You become an adult where nothing gets better.  The bullying doesn’t end, it just appears in other places.  Grow a thicker skin? Fuck you.  Learn some compassion and have some understanding.  My brain is already against me.  I don’t need validation from assholes that it’s right.

When my dad died in 2013 I promised myself I would make my life what I wanted because life is too short not to.  I still believe that but I am tired.  I have spent over a decade making decisions based on fear and agoraphobia (and what my mother will say but that’s another story for another day…).  I am tired of the fear holding me back.  I am tired of being afraid. I don’t want to cry anymore.

I feel as though I am either giving up or just starting to move forward.  I am honestly not sure which it is.  I have not given up yet but if I can’t get this ball rolling I can’t promise I won’t [give up].  I can’t live the next 10+ years the way I lived the last 10+ years.  I can’t because I won’t make it if I do.