I need to be sad.

I wanted to write a very long, and important, post today. I got about half way through when I realized something: it was missing the bite that I had envisioned in my head.

I had this whole monologue about the importance of feeling important. I had a conversation with someone who said that I made them feel like I was the only person who cared most days, and I thought that I was just having a nice conversation with them. I am not a great person, but in that moment, I was the best person they had ever met.

The post I had envisioned was self deprecating, biting, and funny. I had this whole bit about how amazing you are, and how everyone should be treating everyone how they should be treated, not just how they think that they should be treated. I had this concept on how I wanted to show how you should be treated. I had diagrams and pictures and ideas for an interview and…

THEN I WOKE UP AND HAD A GOOD CONVERSATION.

It turns out that I need to be not happy to write anything good. NOT DEPRESSED, but not happy. When I’m not happy, I am willing to be a little darker. I find myself funnier, or failing humour, more interesting. When I am depressed, I’m just a fucking mess, but not happy: it’s more fun to read!

At least, that’s the way I look at my stuff. I have reread stuff that I have written when happy, and I hate all of it. Even when I’m in the same mental state I was in when it was written, I find it boring and uninspired. Even this post I find scattered and annoying.

Maybe I’m manic? I shouldn’t self diagnose. I read far to into different quirks and states of mind when I do that. It’s almost like I become a mental hypochondriac when looking into mental health stuff.

PushingUpRoses did a fantastic video on youtube talking about BDD (Body Dysmorphic Disorder). The video is great. My stupid brain was all “I HAVE THAT” until I remembered that I don’t. I know I have friends who have a variation of BDD, and they should really watch that video. Actually, I think anyone who has any interest in mental health should really look into that video. Especially if you think you know everything about mental health, watch that I remember that you know nothing.

For example, I know enough about mental health to admit that I know absolutely nothing, and I think that is a good thing to admit.

It’s not a competition

Okay, this is a tricky post, but I find myself needing to say something.

There are people who will compare their situation to yours. I am not saying that is OBJECTIVELY a bad thing, but I am saying that there are some situations where you need to just nod a smile.

Now that people have stopped reading a decided that I am just pissing in the wind, allow me to elabourate.

Life is not a competition. If someone is having a bad day, they really do not need to hear about how your day is worse.

COUNTERPOINT: You may have opened the floodgates to someone who just really needs to talk. Maybe they aren’t trying to compete, but they don’t have an avenue to release their pent-up anger.

My point is: there is no winner if you are trying to out-“I have it worse” each other. We’re all in horrible situations all the time. This century has not been kind to a majority of people, and the future is terrifying to anyone who is looking forward. Everyday, there seems to be a study explaining how you are going to die and the blame falls on you OR on someone that you know won’t change anything for your sake.

Somehow, blame and change have become political. It has been proven in the past few weeks regarding Canada’s failure to accept blame for their part in the residential schools across the country. I am not a professional, and I have not done enough reading to feel comfortable pinpointing where to get the most accurate reading material on the topic, but a quick search on the ol’ internet will give you so many hits.

Okay, I need to get off the political soapbox that I have constructed yet stumbled over.

My point still stands, however. Life sucks, so there is no point in competing to have it harder. Maybe, just an idea, instead of putting a fuck-tonne of burden on someone ranting, give them a heads-up that you have a relating issue that you need to talk about. Maybe, give a warning before unloading about something else.

There is always the risk that they will listen.

More on Epilepsy

I don’t know why I research this topic. I am always overcome with a feeling of dread as I scroll through diagnoses and side-effects.

On that note: YAY LIVING IN CANADA AND HAVING PRIVILEGE!

ahem… I promise that I will not speak of privilege again.

The fact that Epilepsy is considered a disease according to the WHO is strange. It makes sense when you consider that some epileptics get a viral infection that readjusts the chemistry of the brain. Everyone I have met with epilepsy, however, has had physical brain damage. Maybe it’s just me, but calling that a disease is like saying someone with an amputation has a disease. Disease, to me, is acute.

So, as I was writing the “disease is acute” line, I started trying to define ‘acute’ in my head. Part of me doing that was identifying an acute disease. I noticed quickly how my definition was crap, but I still stand by my statement that epilepsy should be viewed less as a disease and more of a physical impairment.

I’m on a fucking role, I NOW HATE THE TERM PHYSICAL IMPAIRMENT.

You know what I’m getting at.

Anyway, The thing that I really wanted to point out is that epilepsy goes hand-in-hand with a plethora of mental disabilities, including depression and anxiety. I know that I have noticed an uptick in depressive episodes since my first diagnosed seizure. I am using that as a marker because that is when I started tracking. I’m not saying that is when my depression set in, and I am well aware that I might just be depressed because I’m looking for signs of depression.

My point that I was trying to get to, is that over 50 million people worldwide suffer from some form of epilepsy. The article I was reading pointed out how 70% of people cannot get treatment, but I choose to look at the fact that only 30% of people have access to treatment. I, myself, have gone a very long time without a conscious seizure, probably due to the medications that I am on. I don’t even take the largest dose, and I have gone two consecutive days not taking it because I’m an idiot and forgot.

Little Lights

Maybe it’s the good news that I awoke to this morn (the news of the USA not electing a dangerous mind back to power), but I felt like highlighting some facts that aren’t cause for alarm.

How about the fact that there is a really low chance that anyone else is you? Even twins don’t share a personality, and that person who seems to think just like you has a few differences in something.

Even if you have been uncharacteristically brash over this uncertain period, people still love you. I would go so far as to say that most people understand a lower mood and shorter temper. Even depression and sadness does not retract from just how much you matter.

Weight gain and a diminish of muscle is okay. Gyms have been closed, or at least heavily restricting their patronage.

Weight loss is okay. Some people only eat properly in social situations, and though you should really eat something, you’re beautiful.

Though it feels like it, science is not going anywhere. There are near daily improvements on life, technology is getting better all the time, and space is being explored still everyday.

Music and the arts have taken a huge hit this year in the public space, but people are still creating amazing and beautiful things. If you feel like you have not heard anything new and amazing in a while, ask your friends. I promise that someone has found something fantastic.

It feels like mental illness is being talked about more now than it has ever. Yes, it feels like it is around every courner, but the truth is that it has always been there. We are finally noticing things that we have been ignoring for years, and that’s great!

I will end this collection on that point. The truth is that there are so many amazing things that can be experienced in this life, and you will never experience everything. I am trying not to dwell on what comes in the next month. The thought of tomorrow alone scares me to no end. I just have to remember these things, and I need you to remember these things.

As a final reminder — reach out to someone if you need to.

Hi there, depression

I recently made a post on FaceBook that instigated some polarising opinions from “I appreciate this” to “you fucking hack”. I now feel obliged to explain my reasoning further.

The initial post read as follows:

Some days, I worry that when people don’t talk about suicide or depression because the feeling is potentially fleeting and they don’t want the stigma of being “that” person following them around

I will now be an over-explaining ass and further dissect what I meant:
I have a couple of friends, myself included, who are afraid of reaching out because what they feel is very much temporary. How can depression be temporary? Well, it cannot. However, sadness can be. You could be overly stressed one day, or feel crushed under the oppressive thumb of reality. You could want to say something about it, then hold back because you don’t want to be a burden, or be forever stigmatized as a sad sack.

This post was not to say that no one should reach out. Quite the opposite. It is simply reminding people to isolate the situation from the person until you know the full story. To reiterate, it could be a bad day. It could be a bad moment. It might be a bad week. It doesn’t always mean that the person is chronically depressed or in need of public sympathy. Quite the opposite: there are occasions where public pressure may push the person over an edge that they may not recover from.

A better way to handle it is to simply acknowledge it. Leave a “like” on their message. If you notice a pattern, then reach out privately. If that doesn’t seem to result in anything, move on to getting a hold of family or friends if you notice an ongoing issue.

Don’t assume that talking will do anything. Don’t gaslight or rehash. Don’t guilt.

There is also a chance that the depressing thought might be simply a song lyric (something I have fallen prey to many times ove). There is also a chance that it was an expression of frustration over one event.

Or: maybe they are depressed. If that is the case, just make it clear that you are willing to listen, but make sure to do so privately. Public expressions could be seen as shaming. Shaming could lead to putting up walls, or worse, sprialing.

Again: a private extension of a branch is often all that the person would want if they want anything.

Of course, every expression of depression is unique. That’s what makes it so hard to deal with. Keep in mind that there are a lot of people out there who do not want people to know that they are actually sad. Again, assume that the person doesn’t want to share their emotions privately. Don’t just jump to “sad post therefore sad person” and keep in mind that there is a large number of people born after the year 1980 who just like sad music.

Here is a link for the depression and addiction resources that I have for the Kingston and South Frontenac region. If you need help and cannot reach out, for whatever reason, please look into this. I am not trained, nor do I have any facts that I need to share. These are all just opinions and the point of view from someone who suffers from mild depression themself. Please, use the link above. Get proper guidance if you are actually worried about someone and don’t know what to do. It’s not a secret that I have failed time and time again.

i’m okay.

Regardless of what that title states, things are far from fantastic. I’m broke, I cannot afford my medication, and my latest book is taking a very long time. So, I’m asking for patience. I need to take a few weeks off so I can focus on other stuff around the homestead. There is an ansP coming on the first of October (Patreon backers already have it), and there is another one lined up for November. In the meantime, I beg that you consider donating to my Patreon. I am so damn close to being at 100 a month. I am eternally grateful to those who have donated so far, especially to Johnny, who has been donating since near the beginning. I write for me first, and for everyone else as a close second. I love doing this, but I need to take care of my mental health right now. I do not have a confirmed return date, but I will make sure to let everyone know when I do. Follow this site, if you are a WordPress user. Find me on FaceBook, if you are into that. Stalk me on Twitter, where I do updates at least once a day.

I talked to someone…

I actually talked to a psychiatrist. Mind you, it was not in the traditional sense. It was through an interesting resource at betterhelp.com where they do sessions anyway that would be beneficial to you.Was it my cup of tea? Well, not fully…

The system they have in place is fantastic. You can either talk to someone through messages or over the phone. I had this fantastic person who was actually engaging for a bit. She was asking valid questions and proded me to open up into areas that I had not explored in a while.

The issue I had with the system is that it was not for me. Not from the sense that it was always available: that part I found very interesting and handy. The issue I ran into was that I forwarded her towards with blog when she started treading over topics that I had written about recently. That would have been fine, except she vanished for hours. In hind sight, she was reading, but to me she just… disappeared.

It was about two days later that I received another message from her saying “I think you sound angry. Care to elaborate?”

Ironically, I was too angry at that statement to politely reply, and I cancelled my account immediately. You see, there is no ‘contact had read’ notification. From my interaction, she just vanished for a day or more. I was disheartened, but relieved at the same time.

The relief comes from a place where I worry that I am more broken than what I know. In the brief conversation that we had, she let me know that I was not. The concern about my internalized anger is something I knew existed, and I have been working in my own way to fix it (which is probably not healthy).

I digress, my point of writing this is to point out to my readers that such a service exists. It is relatively inexpensive, as well. I would recommend that everyone, even if it is just one session, give it a try. The psychologists are all accredited. Yes, it is strange baring yourself to a screen, but at least it is better than spinning in your mind waiting for the next cat video to upload.

Todays recommended buy is from Cat Power. Sun is an interesting release for her, much less blues bases than her other albums, but still maintains that etherial, dream-like sound. Easiest comparison is Norah Jones but more commercial and more drugged-out.

On a side-note: another thank you is in order to Joey and Bree. Your Patreon contributions have cemented ansP releases every month this year