Keeping busy.

How does one keep exceptionally busy when they are on the road to better self-awareness and purpose?

Well…. There’s a few ways.

  • I’ve been listing items on eBay.
  • I’ve been contemplating new content for my YouTube.
  • I’ve been cleaning. A lot.
  • I have plenty of appointments to go to and my calendar is getting fuller by the day.
  • I’ve been entering contests and forwarding emails.

You may notice none of those things on my short, tiny, pathetic list include hanging out with anyone. That’s because my social life is at a complete standstill. I wouldn’t even know where to begin. I can’t seem to properly establish relationships with anyone and the nightmares of my former manager still haunt me. I was tossing and turning all night. That was traumatic.

I’d love to review items for my YouTube account but that’s another thing I seemingly know nothing about and my 58 subscribers is not appealing to any company that would want to use my social network, or lack thereof for any kind of marketing opportunity. It’s frustrating, but the dream is still alive. (well, barely)

My writing style is all over the place. I’m rusty, it’s been at least 10 years since I’ve written anything of value. I used to be so good, if I do say so myself.

Make me useful? Any pertinent endeavours to which you may need my lack of expertise? Hit me up!

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What i’d like to see implemented

I’ve been thinking a whole lot lately. That’s right, my brain is filled with ideas. It never seems to shut the eff up. EVER.

I would love to see some mandatory laws or rules implemented within the workplace and beyond.

  1. If someone is suffering from mental illness, treatment should come first
  2. If one is to go through treatment, their job should be protected
  3. If they are unable to work, the employer should keep in direct and honest communication with employee
  4. If employee so chooses to disclose treatment and appointments that are in place, they should be accomodated
  5. There COULD be an employee as a ‘backup’ if shifts are unable to be carried out
  6. If a problem is apparent with an employee, such as a mental breakdown or inablity to work, there should be a phone line or company appointed therapist with 100% confidentiality
  7. Pertaining to an employees protected leave, everything should, again, remain confidential
  8. Doctors notes should make absences excused
  9. Excused absences for medical reasons should not be used against employee
  10. There should be a multi-point support system in place, as well as putting wellness as the #1 priority, over profits. A healthy & happy employee can offer SO MUCH.

Would you add anything to my list?

 

Just when you want to forget.

It’s been just about a month since i’ve been let go from my last job. I’ll never ever think that’s a nice or delightful way of firing someone. I don’t think saying “you’re fired” is much better, but when you’re dealing with someone in a vulnerable state, any bad news is going to feel like a thousand pounds of hell.

I do sometimes wish that it was a smoother transition from feeling like I had some kind of stability in my life to then feeling like a worthless sack of shit. What’s the point of mincing words or not swearing? I don’t think I could possibly convey the emotion I felt when I was let down by those I had put a lot of trust and faith in to. I figured our values and our end goals were the same, but as always, it’s about productivity and not mental health. It’s about profits, not people. So many companies pass themselves off as really truly caring about their employees but i’d really like to see companies step up to the plate and care about the mental health of those who slave away all day to keep things in tip-top shape. I can’t believe there isn’t regulation in place. I know, i’ve said it a thousand times, both in the typed word and the spoken word in my passionate youtube video.

I want to cause change, so bad. A lot of the time I truly feel alone, i’m loved. I appreciate that so much.

Sometimes I distract myself, I look at the media kit on ikea’s website just to see what new furniture they are coming out with. I can’t afford any of it, hell, I can’t even afford a nice pair of high waisted jeans which I hold in such high regard in my brain. That shouldn’t be a priority of mine. Food & rent are my priorities. I’ve listed a lot of things on my eBay account and hope that with my continued cross promoting — that I can get it all going on and profit. Even if that profit is honestly just to help me keep afloat.

Weirdest thing happened yesterday. I went to Neil Diamond with my boyfriend. I had won tickets from a local radio station. We got in to our seats, I won GREAT tickets. Not floor seats but we were staring straight at the stage. So good!

Anyways, there was this #tweetcaroline thing, where you could tweet your picture and a caption and it could end up on one of the 2 screens, one on either side of the stage. I did it, so exciting! There was our faces up on the screen for all to see. Yes! I thought this was awesome.

I kept watching the photos. Happy couples, mom’s and their daughters, groups of smiling folks…and there it was. My former manager. The same lady that fired me. She was with her partner and a friend. I couldn’t believe it. I knew it was her. Same twitter handle, same smirking face.

Why can’t I just have a good time and not be reminded of someone who has caused me so much grief and upset? Honestly?

I’m not sure if it was so much a coincidence as it was life trying to bite me in the ass, again.

That feeling.

That foreboding feeling… or is it anxiety? I can’t seem to distinguish which is which. This tightness in my chest just seems to be getting worse. My appetite and self-care are no better. Cocoa Puffs in soy milk and vegan jerky was what was on the menu today. Not the most wholesome of foods, but hell, I can’t even think of cramming food in to my mouth. That’s just not happening!!!

I already felt terrible before that event happened and everything seemed to feel like it was crashing down all around me. I may have felt terrible then, but now I feel infinitely worse. Worse than terrible? I can’t even find a word that begins to convey how i’m feeling.

I finally showered. That alone makes me feel like a gold star would be suitable but clearly, I don’t deserve awards or any kind of accolades. Ceasing to exist is just one of my many conundrums in life. I can’t even fathom how i’ve made it this far….

Interpersonal relationships? Let’s honestly forget about that for a moment…forget about it?! I can’t forget. I can’t seem to take my mind off of it. This fight is constant and it’s raw, it’s consistent. I have this feeling I just can’t shake and I wouldn’t even know where to begin. I can’t stop replaying the series of events that lead up to my feeling of demise. It just keeps playing over, and over again. Anything that seems to happen against me and not in my favour is on intense, blaring repeat. This dance is SURELY going to be a drag.

I feel like I want to scream, I want to shout out loud. HELP ME. Help me figure this out, help me figure out what I am capable of, because I thought I was capable of SO MUCH MORE and that’s just not true. I want to hide, I want to fade in to oblivion.

Part of me wishes I could just be someone else and have a complete do-over…

This is not the movies, i’m not a star & it’s not happening.

Life’s gotta be sweeter…..

I didn’t do much today. I still feel like there’s a gigantic weight on my shoulders even though I don’t have much in terms of upcoming commitments. Part of me still lacks trust for others, especially with what happened oh-so recently.

Things keep replaying in my mind, over and over, and over again. Why won’t it stop? Why can’t it stop? I wish I wouldn’t have my brain on autopilot, just repeating the bad things that have happened to me. I wish my feelings were taken in to consideration. It’s kind of funny how money really reigns king over the wellbeing of others. It’s true. You probably KNOW it’s true.

I mean, i’ll admit it. I’m cheap. Okay, cheap isn’t the NICEST word to use. Frugal. I’m very, very frugal. I need to be able to justify to myself paying full price for anything. Perhaps this is a way my anxiety and my tendencies to obsess work in my favour in this regard.

I need more ideas for youtube videos. I must start a list and then create, create, create! I am propelled to do more and to not sit here and shut up. I won’t stay quiet…

abstract series.jpg

Four pieces of art i’ve made recently.

My Plea

I can’t remember a time where I wasn’t suffering from some mental illness. That’s right, even when I was a child and my family could afford to see a psychologist, i was always told I was anxious and depressed, even before I knew what those words really meant.

It’s a battle where the weight on my shoulders is almost far too much to bare. I have a difficult time with interpersonal relationships, my mood and self-care. I have a tendency to over analyze or improperly react. Forget about reading people, that’s definitely not something i’m even remotely versed in.

I’m reading statistics on the Canadian Mental Health Association’s website (http://www.cmha.ca/media/fast-facts-about-mental-illness/#.WWLga8bMyT8) and some of them are just startling.

Did you know that 49 percent of people who have suffered anxiety or depression have never seen a doctor about this problem? That is a shocking stat. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen doctors, and yet it’s almost impossible to get any kind of help. You need special referrals, you need to ‘jump’ through hoops JUST to get help. Psychologists aren’t covered by MSP, but psychiatrists are. I’ve been referred to a psych, but who knows how long it will really take before i get an appointment.

Workplaces aren’t equipped to deal mood swings or mental breakdowns. There NEEDS to be better understanding, better support in place and some mandatory training. I would also like to see some kind of rules or regulation that would protect those who are fighting an invisible battle, to be able to retain their jobs, have a leave of absence if they DESPERATELY need help–and have quick, immediate access to mental healthcare. There is NO excuse for an employer to dismiss an employee if they are dealing with health and mental challenges. Did you know if you are on a medical EI leave, that you’re not protected from dismissal? It’s not fair and things need to change, things need to be updated and revised.

I frequently wonder if the money raised by large companies actually go to help mental illness initiatives because each and EVERY time i’ve gone to a psych ward for some assistance, i’m always reminded of how underfunded they are. I even had a nurse definitely agree with me, and i could see the disdain in her eyes.

This needs to be made a priority, too many of us are suffering in silence, feeling like no one is listening or feeling like support systems at our places of employment are just going to vanish in one fell swoop.

Disclosure is a whole other issue. Personally, i’m very forthcoming with my struggles. Sadly, what goes around comes around and that’s exactly what happened to me. I thought that authority figures, or leaders in the workplace understood and were compassionate, but as I gradually found out, I was very wrong.

If you can’t talk to those around you and you can’t express the pain and struggles you feel, how are you supposed to feel like you’re a valuable person who has a lot to offer?

We need a better way, we need to learn to understand, we need regulation in place, we need to raise awareness and end the stigma.

Awake

I’ve been sleeping for over 12 hours a day. I went to bed at midnight and woke up almost at noon. I’m not sure if it’s the medication or just feeling downright miserable. It’s sometimes hard to be completely present. My self-worth has been diminished, slowly, gradually and over a duration of time that’s beyond comprehension. I know, I’m not the easiest person to get along with. I’ll definitely admit that. (It’s not for my lack of trying.)

“Breathe. Inhale, Exhale. Relax.”, An inner voice calls out to me. It’s hard for me to listen. There’s so much inner chatter and I can’t differentiate what’s positive or negative, what worries are real and which ones are fake. Constantly, I’m psyching myself out.

I’ve been twirling my hair and running my fingers through it, constantly. I’ve been picking scabs on my scalp and my face. I’ve been scratching, I’ve been sore, my eyes are dry, i’ve been profusely sweating, i’ve been exhausted. How can I be SO tired without doing anything productive?

It’s all part of this illness. It’s all part of this monster, this control, this sadness, this frustration, this anger, this uncertianty.

I feel like i’m a one person army fighting against this invisible war.

I might feel that way, but what I do know is that i’m not alone.

What’s your story?

let go.

Letting go of the past is something I don’t know how to do. There’s so many mistakes, worries and frustrations that come with life and it’s difficult to know how to improve upon ones self.

Having a big episode happen in my life has created an insurmountable pile of stress on me. I can’t stop replaying it in my mind. I’m shocked, taken aback and I didn’t think it could happen.

It did happen. It still happened. It feels like a dream I can’t wake up from. I’ve been having a hard go of life lately. I’ve been suffering from these uncontrollable episodes that completely catch me off guard and I can’t get a grip on reality. It’s just like my body freezes up and I can’t function. I thought I was going about everything perfectly right. I thought I was understood.

I don’t know what’s next. I sure hope it’s better than this. I need answers to my questions, I need to believe I can do better. I need to be well. I seriously have my doubts.

 

Anxiety’s Reign

You know how this starts out… “It’s a beautiful day, the sun is shining…”, Positivity. Super positive vibes. Well, honestly? That’s not how I feel. A tight feeling in my chest, my heart, beating ever so loudly and my brain, not turning off. When will this be better? When will I find answers to my questions? I don’t know. I feel pretty dumb just writing this. I’m sitting outside on our patio and there’s so much uncertainty in my mind. How can I afford to buy anything? How can I handle this? I feel like i’m on the verge of panic. I feel like the walls are closing around me and I am trapped without a way out. There are way too many questions. No answers. I can’t even hold a proper conversation right now without freaking out. I feel victimized. I feel like a game of cat and mouse was played and I definitely, I most definitely lost. I didn’t think my health problems would become so persistent with a very unfavourable outcome: Losing my job. I feel wronged. I feel confused.

I..should..know..better. I should have known better than to trust someone who was clearly not working in my favour .

You know what i’ve done the past few days? I’ve slept. I have slept so much. I didn’t think I was capable of it. I don’t know if it’s my medication, or if i’m just depressed. I’m 30 next year…and what have I got to show for it? Nothing.

 

You’re here

There must be a good reason? I decided to start Navigating Life, My Journey with Mental Illness after a friend of mine told me I should be blogging. I recently lost my job and I am in a bit of a rut. You might know me from my OriginalRetrophilac videos on youtube. If you don’t, I suggest you go check it out and subscribe. I hope to do a mix of videos and articles on this blog, showcasing my somewhat sad existence. I’m not sure if things are going to get better or if more doors are going to open after one just hit me on the ass on the way out…. I can’t say for certain. But what I can say is this is going to hopefully be about my feelings, my emotions, what i’m doing, how i’m dealing with it and interacting with all of you. Maybe this will be a safe haven, maybe i’ll be able to do some advocating or literally preaching to the choir…. This could be the start of something really interesting!