change.

A couple of years ago, I wrote a list called ‘A List of Change‘ and it feels more relevant now then it did before. I wrote this a couple months after leaving treatment for the second time and not knowing what I was going to do. The universe is huge and this is my way of making my place known.


Change your surroundings, move away, change of scenery is always good.

This could be moving away or moving things around. This could be going on a road trip or plane ride. This could be changing schools. A breath of fresh air and time and life. Take charge. Let go. Find some piece of universe for yourself.

Cut your hair short, so short that you cut away all the bad and only leave the good.

I so badly want to cut the negativity out of my life. Leave it in the dust. Behind. Goodbye. It’s not that easy, I know. But I can make it easier than I have been. Hair holds this weight that you don’t need anymore. Leave it on the floor and grow out of what you are leaving behind. YOU ARE ALLOWED TO LEAVE THINGS BEHIND.

Give away the clutter. Give away the trinkets from all the bad years.

I’m not going to lie, I am somewhat of a hoarder. I keep everything. Movie tickets, tests from high school, pens that long ago ran out of ink. It’s all in my bed room. Why? Because I might need it some day? In reality, I’ll probably never need that math test I flunked in grade 8 or the dirty bandana I wore tied around my arm when I visited Nicaragua in grade 10. It’s all just material items that I am so tied to that I don’t want to get rid of. But materialistic items aren’t what I need to keep, it’s the memories I am refreshed with every time I come across something from years ago.

Contrary to whatever you may believe, getting rid of these items won’t get rid of the memories. So make some room, you’ve got adventures to take and memories to make!

Strip the walls of all the memories and posters you’ve held onto for so long.

My walls were plastered with posters and memories throughout high school. In grade 10/11, I had a mild obsession with Demi Lovato and covered an entire wall with photos of her and her lyrics. In grade 12, I ripped that down and started over with bands that meant a lot too me and art work that either I loved or I had created. It was a masterpiece within itself. By first year, I decided to change that again and ripped it down. My walls are bare now, except for the dried tack on the walls that wouldn’t come off easily.

I wanted those memories gone. The ‘Stay Strong’ taped above my bed for the multiple rough nights, the pyramid of positive quotes, the photos with people I was no longer in contact with. It felt amazing to get rid of those things. It’s not that I didn’t admire those memories, it was that I didn’t want to be pulled backwards any longer. Those memories are a reminder of where I once was. Not where I am headed.

Buy some plants and grow with them. Grow your roots into the ground and nourish together.

Don’t forget where you came from but also don’t let that hold you back. Grow. Find what you want to do and follow that. Buy some plants and make your life a bit more earthly. Find who you want to be and follow them down your own path.

Start wearing your glasses with pride because they made your eyes look like oceans.

This one’s a bit more centred towards my own life but honestly, wear what you have to wear with pride. Don’t hang your head and smile with your mouth closed. Braces and glasses and headgear and retainers aren’t there for anyone except you. Live your life and keep your chin up!

Wear whatever the fuck you want.

Wear the clothes that make you feel comfortable. If you want to wear makeup, wear it and if you don’t, then don’t wear it. You don’t have to dress to impress. Who are you trying to impress? No one’s comfort is more important than your own.

Don’t change the way you act for anybody, they won’t be worth it.

I can’t stress this one enough. Don’t change yourself for others. Please. Be who you want to be because there isn’t anyone else to be. Don’t let someone else’s ideas of who you should be effect you. Make your own decisions. If a boy doesn’t like the clothing you wear or how you don’t wear makeup, tell him to f*ck off. You don’t have to shave your legs. You don’t have to stop speaking your mind. Please, just be yourself.

When your friends make you feel invalid, speak your mind. Tell them. Make it known. They aren’t worth the relationship if they can’t accept you.

I get it. Telling your friends how they make you feel is really difficult. But it’s not okay for you to feel stuck being their friend. You are allowed to have opinions and be yourself. Tell them your likes/dislikes. Tell them your hobbies. Tell them about your dreams and fears. Tell them your secrets and your jokes. Tell them this and if they can’t accept you for those, then they aren’t worth your time. Please don’t waste your time with someone who doesn’t care about you.

Tell your loved ones what’s going on because sometimes they know more than they’ve led you to believe.

It seems to be that those surrounding you tend to pick up on emotions and events more than you may think.

There’s definitely this unspoken rule of letting your loved ones come to you instead of bombarding them with questions. It’s totally okay to ask if someone is okay but don’t follow them around or make them uncomfortable. When they are ready, they will tell you and you can take the chance to tell them what you’ve noticed. Please let someone help you. You don’t have to suffer in silence.


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breathe?

breathe. 

find the world burning inside your mind 

the light is going out you are starting to die

lose the world in you viens 

no one cares about your feelings 

you are nothing 

who are you trying to be?

—-

breathe.

let your mind move on and break

crack in half and burn up in the atmosphere

you are nothing 

stardust melting 

in the firey hearts 

of those who want you dead

—-

breathe. 

who have you become: a monster

the ones under you bed

are nothing like the ones

you have become 

your mind, the devil

a grin forming at the though 

of a peaceful rest;

FINAL DEATH

—-

my world is ending and I am not sure where I am going from here,

the apocalypse and i was not prepared

but the underworld is life and i am living 

the world, upside down 

with life colours

a mess of sounds

—-

who am i becoming yet?

why.

What do Christianity and Eating Disorders have in common?

Probably nothing. Except maybe the fact that both are the result of wanting to believe in something or the feeling of direction it serves. It took me years to realize the purpose that my eating disorder served me. And now, as I embark on a new journey through recovery, I turn towards the Lord for that purpose.

My eating disorder, diagnosed as Anorexia Nervosa at age 13, was a source of protection. It protected me from everything that was going on at home and school. Around the time that it began to manifest, my dad had been diagnosed with Prostate Cancer, my parents didn’t really get along and my mental health was already heading downhill. Probably a difficult time so it makes sense I guess.

From a young age, I was the shy kid. I didn’t fit in with the sports crowd or the art kids. I was my own person and that didn’t seem to work very well at school. I didn’t have many friends and often was excluded in activities. Honestly, I’m okay with not having a large social group but then again, that could just be due to how difficult it is to socialize with mental illnesses. I’ve had anxiety since I was 7 or 8 and that made things difficult. Eventually my obsession with disappearing grew into an eating disorder in which I would eventually become small enough to disappear all together. A dangerous task yet I quite determined.


That was the past though. Here’s the now. 


My eating disorder has been a cage that I live within the confines of. An exhausting, daily battle. Within the last 2 years, I completed 4 months of adolescent day treatment and multiple family therapy appointments. I can tell you the spot on the floor in an office that I memorized. I can tell you the set up of every room doctors office I’ve ever attended. I can recite calorie amounts like the back of my hand. I’ve spend countless nights on my bedroom floor instead of sleeping in my bed.

Last year I faced my worst relapse ever. My weight dropped lower than it was during high school, I began to abuse laxatives, starting purging even though I swore I never would, and eventually began abusing caffeine pills. Did you think overdosing on caffeine was possible? Answer: It Is. I took the equivalent of 80 cups of coffee and had emergency services called because of it. So bad that they wanted to take me to the hospital because my heart was beating so damn fast and they were concerned. I turned down the suggestions. I said no. I said I’d get better on my own.


Update: I’m not better yet. It’s been over a year since that night and I am not better. I don’t touch those tablets and I don’t take laxatives and I haven’t purged since November, but I am not better. I am still at war with my mind. I wake up every morning uncertain of whether food will be okay or not. It’s exhausting. I wake up every morning ready to fight. It’s exhausting mentally, physically and emotionally. Yet, I am still fighting.

music.

One of the first things I did when I realized that maybe in order to start my journey with God was to find music to connect with. Music makes up a large part of my life and I am very thankful to be blessed with ears that can hear. It’s helped me through the highs and lows of my life and I am forever grateful at the hands of the Lord.

So I went on a mission to create a playlist of music to which I may connect with to find Him. Including artists like Dan + Shay, Casting Crowns, and Chris Tomlin. I wanted to share it here, maybe someone will stumble across this and find something to connect with as well.


Other playlists I made:

  1. January 2017
  2. February 2017
  3. March 2017
  4. Letting go // Getting Out
  5. c h a n g e
  6. grxw

it’s true. i’m mental.

Mental. Health.

When brought up, these two words instil a fear. You can see it in the persons eyes, their body language. Have you listened to the talking in a room stop? Have you felt everyone’s eyes on you? Have you wanted to scream at them? Tell them to turn around? Same.

I guess it makes sense. The stigma around mental illness is so large these days. We spend these special days like ‘#BellLetsTalk’ or ‘#NEDAW’ or ‘#NSPW’ trying to battle the stigma but that’s not going to change much. My mental health doesn’t just show up on days when it chooses to be heard. It’s heard all the time. Most of the time, it’s the centre of attention, the prima ballerina while we dance through the Nutcracker over and over again. It’s exhausting. My mental health is exhausting.

Often people tell me they understand. And they do. Sort of. They understand the parts that I choose to share with the universe but really, it’s not that much. My mind is lock and key. I am not sure what is acceptable to share these days. My constant fear is triggering someone else so I don’t share. The fears eat me alive almost as much as bottling it all up does. And most of the time this ends with me bursting at the seems, full of too much.

Too much hurt. Too much anger. Too much.

I’ve been fighting my mental health for almost seven years now and it hasn’t gotten much easier. I’ve overcome the impulsivity of just turning to self-harm the moment something difficult happens however I still don’t get out of bed before noon because my mind is exhausted. I don’t eat three meals a day and I’m lucky if I manage to get in one. Food is a constant topic on my mind. My jeans seem to fit one day and not the next. I am happy one day and not the next. I can get out of bed one day and not the next.

Some say that medication is the way to go. For others, it’s exercise and meditation. For me, it’s freedom. Not being stuck. A simple idea right? Wrong. I am constantly stuck. Stuck living at home with a curfew. Stuck going to school for a degree I no longer want or can enjoy. Stuck in a place I don’t want to live. I want to travel the world and tour with bands and open my own music venue and find peace within myself but right now? All I’ve got is my mental illness. A tasking thought that I try to push away with everyday that I move forward.

Resources in Toronto seem to be difficult to find. Especially once you turn 19 and you are an “adult”. The world gets turn upside down all over again and you are left to fend for yourself. Practitioners won’t force you to go into anywhere. They will leave you until you are sure want help and with mental illness? When do you really ever want help? THE WHOLE TIME BUT YOUR MIND HAS A MIND OF ITS OWN AND IT FIGHTS YOU ON EVERYTHING. Trust me when I say that I know.

I recently came across a post in the Bunz Mental Health Zone on Facebook and thought I would share this here. It’s a list with an interactive map of mental health resources in Toronto. It’s accurate and helpful. Check it out, here.

header by: hana

more harm. than good.

Self-harm manifests in multiple different ways.

My eating disorder is a form of self-harm. My anxiety caused me to fall into multiple patterns of self-harm. Nail biting, scratching, skin picking. The worst, by far, was cutting. My wrists are littered with scars still. At my worst, I didn’t see a way out. I couldn’t see myself reaching my 16th birthday. And then my 18th. I didn’t think I’d ever graduate high school. I constantly beat these doubts. I made it to my 19th birthday. I surpassed my expectations of living and reached new heights. I don’t know what this makes me. What does this mean?

I’ve always done more harm than good for my body. I’ve never thought about the repercussions of pushing my body or mind to exhaustion. However, I find myself here again and again. It’s just a new way that my self-harm is manifesting. A scary thought. I have yet to shake my self-harm in its entirety. I am afraid of missing out. A fear so bad that I constantly try to please everyone around me. I am trying to fight but I never want to let someone else down. It’s exhausting. I am so exhausted and I have no way to stop.

I am just 9 days from being 1 year self-harm free (in terms of cutting). Something I never thought would stop, stopped. Yes, I traded one method for another. It’s true. But I am stronger than I ever have been. A year and a half ago, Derek Saunders (Mayday Parade) wrote out a tattoo for me. On Monday, I have a consult for it to happen. I vowed that once I reached a year clean, I would get it. AND I AM. 

Countless relapses. Failed recovery attempts. Hundreds of appointments. Tons of clinical checks. Multiple doctors. Endless days. I want this to end so badly. And it will, eventually.

intentions.

I just received an email from my school regarding courses for next Fall. I laughed. I don’t think I’ll be needing those. My school calls them “Course Intentions”, like what we intend to take in the coming semester if we don’t flunk out or fail something. I think it’s hilarious right now. My intentions are forever changing. Daily.

I’m making a change next year, therefore I do not need to choose my courses. If it was up to me, I would drop out of university and take some time to focus on myself. I would enter a treatment facility and get a job and take my mental health more seriously. Unfortunately, I don’t have the power to do that right now. I’m a second year Child and Youth Care student (not the same as ECE – I swear). I am a second year student who’s giving up all that hard work to attend art school. Imagine my parents (who are both lawyers) opinion on this ??!

Art school. Somewhere to learn to express myself while also creating a business out of it. This decision has to do with my end goal. My life plan of starting my own music venue that doubles as an outreach centre for youth. Sounds so far away but with everyday that I learn something about the music industry or how to work with youth, I am getting a step closer to that goal.

I’m still waiting to hear back from the University I applied to. It seems annoying and silly because I’ve already been accepted to my top choice. A digital communications program at the college just an hour away. But my parents (again, lawyers – ugh) want their daughter to attend a University and receive a degree. Fun Fact: My college program is four years in which I’ll receive a degree at the end. So maybe it’s not about where you get your education. Or where you work. Or who hires you. Maybe it’s about more than that. Maybe it’s about being happy on your path through life.

Life is this journey. And I think we all just pretend that we know what’s really going on. But the truth is? Life is different for everyone. It’s constantly changing and morphing into something else. There’s no world where we don’t face difference and pain and truth. This is the universe that we were given. It’s all that we have. So why fight what the universe has planned for us? I chose art school over community services. I want to produce art whether it be on a screen or a stage. I want to make people happy. I want to find those who don’t like they fit and make sure that they know there’s a place here for them.

It took me years to realize that I could do something with the art I made. I wanted a way to connect my love for live music and my passion for photography. But I didn’t know how to get involved. No one teaches you that. It’s all about the lock and key of the universe. In a rapidly moving industry, it’s about the people you know, and I didn’t know anyone. That’s a different that I’ll tell eventually.

Intentions. We all have them. We all want to do something with them. Sometimes it just takes a bit longer than we want it to. Setbacks happen. It’s okay. We move on. Forward. Leave the past where it belongs, behind us. I’m still facing setbacks. It’s true. And I’m not quite sure when they’re going to stop. But I know that I can’t stop fighting them. I’m going to break through and when I do, I’m going to know what my intentions were.