No. I DON’T ‘Got this’.

I’m sitting here staring at the pill bottle that has my ‘happy pills’ in them. I forgot to take them last night before I went to bed as per my routine.
This was a really, really bad idea.
While my meds do amazing things for me, the blow back of withdrawal is a complete and utter fucking shit show.
How do I unsubscribe?

The world at large is different, this pandemic is taking it’s toll on everyone in some form or another.
We’re all in this together, or if you live in Quebec: Ca va bien aller.

Except not really. Life is different when you have a mental illness, a loved one passed away that you can’t send off properly because of social distancing, a child/spouse/family member with special needs, maybe you’re a recovering addict.
Comparison is a bitch and this isn’t a matter of ‘who has it worse’.
When the pandemic first hit, it was almost a relief, I could stay at home and basically use the pandemic as an excuse to not really do much at all.
My classes were online, I didn’t have to wear pants, brush my hair and my groceries were picked out for me and I could send my dear hubby off to pick them up. I was good with this, I’m immunocompromised as well and don’t feel like dying anytime soon because some asshole didn’t wear a mask or wash their hands…

Things feel different now somehow. 

Maybe because I had a tiny slice of happiness when I managed to ‘get away’ last week from the usual humdrum that has become my life and that was so wholesome, so wonderful and so very carefree and dare I say ‘normal’?
As normal as normal can get in any case.

The reality is, I’m not OK and haven’t been for a while. Just like so many people that I know. I admire those of us who are trying their best to squash the stigma and actually open up about our feelings and talk openly about our mental illnesses and how much things just suck.

Which leads me to this: Comment section Cheerleaders.

Now don’t get me wrong, I was one of those people and in a way I still am. Scrolling through the dumpster fire of covid news, memes and that orange fucktard that the US calls a president; there is a handful of posts about hard truths. Parenting woes, mental illness, everyday frustrations like why is there never any fucking toilet paper anywhere anymore?!?

Such posts are usually followed with helpful suggestions of where to buy said toilet paper (helpful) and no so helpful but meaningful comments. These well meaning comments are usually something along the lines of:
You’ll be fine, just take a walk or my all time favorite: ‘You got this!’

We all want to be supportive of our loved ones and be helpful, show support and perhaps chime in with our own personal experiences about how we can relate. Which is all fine and well, but I feel that people are forgetting one simple thing when they’re being a ‘cheerleader’:

That it’s perfectly OK to not be OK.

It is OK to not be okay

When you can’t forget.

I still remember how the carpet looked and felt underneath my feet. I thought it was pretty because it was one of my favorite colors, a deep, rich, red. It was a deep pile, expensive and felt nice under my stocking feet.

The curtains were aqua, a color scheme that was popular then (still is now). The staircase where he first touched me was beautiful, likely oak. It was one of the nicest houses on the block, on the corner of Queenston road and Chestnut. It looked so fancy from the outside, so much so that you assumed that they were rich. Just a few houses down from my second home-my besties house.

I remember that feeling of unease as he ran his hand down my back and copped a feel of my ass. It was subtle, so subtle that I thought maybe it was an accident.

I was eleven.

I was shy and awkward as fuck. I was enjoying the last days of summer before getting ready to go back to school; but before I did I wanted to go to my aunts farm in Durham. I had a paper route in the neighbourhood delivering the Cambridge reporter. All of us had it at one time or another, we knew all the people that lived on the route and they knew us. It was the 80’s-1987 and things were different then.

I had casually mentioned this to one of my clients that I delivered newspapers to because I wouldn’t be the one dropping off the paper for a few days. He offered my a tip to give me a little extra spending money before I went away and asked me to stop by on the Saturday.

What’s the harm?

I can’t remember how long I sat there in his upstairs apartment. I vaguely recall him telling me some story about him busting his head open on the pavement roller skating-something that I used to love. I was getting antsy and bored but I didn’t want to be rude. He was considerably older (in his late 70’s I found out later) I was also too shy to speak up.

The house was empty, it was just the two of us. Yet another thing that I found out later.
I remember wanting to get the fuck out of there because my instincts were screaming at me that something wasn’t right. I wanted to go home so that I could go fishing with my dad and I didn’t want to miss out.
I can remember his wrinkled face coming in at me, his lips pursed for a kiss. I was backed into a ‘corner’, praying for this moment to just be over with so that I could go home.

Somehow I found my voice…

I remember the look on his face as he shoved me out the door, threw a two dollar bill at me and called me a little bitch and a tease. I felt gross, violated and so many other things. I went home fast as I could and sat in my dad’s chair. My initial plan at the time was to wait until we had left for fishing because I was really looking forward to hanging out with my dad and I didn’t want anything to interfere with that. All the while knowing that what happened was wrong and I really should tell my mom.
Waiting for my dad to come home was torture, I finally broke down and told my mom what happened. She called the police, my dad came home finally, they were both upset. The detectives were kind to me and patient.
I recall overhearing that due to his advanced age, he wouldn’t likely serve any time on child molestation charges and would most likely get a slap on the wrist with some probation/community service.

We never went to court, my mom told me years later that they had decided not to put me through that for what would most likely be nothing. Although karma is a splendid thing…
My bestie took over my paper route shortly after the incident. I was helping her to collect that weeks paper money. I walked up to a familiar house and knocked on the door…
I inwardly froze while waiting for Sharon to get me her money and I happened to glance over and see that bastard sitting on her sofa.
He was living with her and she had grandchildren that were younger than me over at her house.
I remember telling the bestie that he was there, I felt sick and angry. When I got home that night I told my mom and said that I was going to call her (Sharon). It was so damn awkward to share my story with her but I couldn’t in good conscious not say anything. It must have been fate or something that I still had her phone number.

A few years later, we got a call from the detective that he was dead. I thought that I would be relieved or happy.


Except I felt nothing like how I had expected to. When the #metoo movement took off, a lot of my lovely lady friends had lamented on how they were afraid to share their stories because they weren’t that severe (or in some cases so severe that they were still dealing with the trauma of it all). It’s not a contest or a competition. All too often we compare people’s experiences and traumas against our own and we as the ones doing the comparing think that it’s OK to disregard those that have had it less than us because somehow what they went through doesn’t count.

Except that it does.

We always say that it could have been worse, as in dismissing our own experiences because they may not be as bad and/or traumatic as what someone else went through. As if that somehow it doesn’t matter or how dare we feel the way that we do when it could have been worse but it wasn’t.
Here’s the thing: I am thankful that what happened to me on that August day wasn’t worse-only because here I am thirty one years later and it still haunts me.
Most days I can’t remember what I had for breakfast…

I can’t imagine how fucked up some people are after their own traumas. I’ve been through much worse since then and yet this is the one incident that still haunts me. I was violated and while it “could have been worse” that doesn’t dismiss the fact that it still happened, I was violated as a child by an adult I had grown to trust and that’s what’s really at the heart of the matter here.

It never should have happened in the first place.

The new normal.

“Are you diabetic? When was the last time you had any blood work done? We found sugar in your urine.”

I had this really irritating UTI, damn thing would just not let go. There is nothing more annoying than having to pee every 20 minutes, so much to the point that I couldn’t leave my house for too long without mapping out bathrooms first (true story).
However, it ended up being a blessing in disguise because had it not been for that UTI, I wouldn’t have known that there was something much more sinister.

Being a Chef with an irregular and stressful schedule, combined with being too tired for conventional exercise, no real desire to cook at home, a love of carbs (mmmmm), genetics and mental illness oh and keeping most of the local area restaurants employed because takeout happens at least once a week. Anyone in the industry knows this dance, the steps might be a little different here and there but at the end of the day, it’s essentially the same.

I had a sneaking suspicion a while ago that I was diabetic. Denial though, that’s my jam. Mostly because I had no real symptoms, which is truly alarming. Aside from being chronically tired, but I also have depression so there’s that.
Needless to say, I wasn’t too shocked when she said that I was ‘super diabetic’ which struck me as odd since my sugar at that time was at 19, which isn’t great of course. However, *I* feel much better knowing that I caught it so early after hearing horror stories from people whose numbers were 40+
They’re lucky they’re not dead…

It used to be a long running joke that I would be fucked if I ever became diabetic (because I hate needles), well fuck me because here I am.

The upside? I have no choice but to take better care of myself.

I have the advantage of being able to afford to stay home so I can work out at my leisure at home. Really not a fan of the gym, because I am certain that working out in my underwear would be frowned upon. I actually enjoy working out, it’s good for my mind and my body.

I have to meal plan now, which I admittingly hate. Being a Chef for over 20 years have spoiled me in many ways (all the prep is done, you have someone to do your dishes and all kinds of equipment at your disposal that the average person doesn’t have at home). The upside to that though? I can still eat most things that I enjoy with some exceptions.

No pasta/white breads/flours/rice, which makes me sad. I’ve opted to go as low carb as possible, because it’s more beneficial to me overall. I have horrible cravings for sweets/carbs when I eat pasta and I can have so little of it, it’s not worth the effort/frustration. No rice either which sucks because I just found the best place that makes a killer chicken fried rice and sushi. I also miss grilled cheese, because fuck brown bread. Fluffy white bread is where it’s at! Red meat for the most part is also a no go, I can have veal but I won’t go out of my way to buy it for ethical reasons. So steak has become even more of treat that it used to be.

I reactivated my account on my fitness pal, that helps to keep me accountable and track all the things. Measuring and weighing out ones food isn’t as daunting as it sounds. It’s a bit of a pain in the ass, but worth it.
Also a bit surprising sometimes when you see just how much of something can be in such small amounts of something.

My eyesight has changed for the better. Which admittingly freaked me out at first because I didn’t know that was possible, I just knew that diabetes can cause blindness. My glasses didn’t have the same effect as before, in fact wearing them made my vision even worse. It wasn’t until 2-3 days of taking my meds and doing the good stuff that I realized I no longer needed to wear them. Which kind of sucks because I actually really like my glasses -and- I just bought new ones less than a year ago. So now I have to wait until my sugar is stable for at least three months before I get my eyes checked out again.

I’m trying really hard to be as positive about this as I can. Some days are tough because there’s an endless stream of dishes and grocery shopping now and I went from being a grazer/snacky type of person to having to full on make proper meals, half of which need to be comprised of vegetables. There’s a bakery across the street and it smells so very delightful when they’re baking bread, but it’s also torture because then I want bread.

Although being diabetic has also cured my ignorance about it. SO many people assume that you get to be that way by eating too much sugar. Not true, never was. It’s not just about being overweight either (although that is a cause because your organs don’t always work as they should when they’re being crammed together). Thankfully I have type two, which is preferable over type one.
Stress is also a contributor and genetics as well. So I didn’t stand a chance in any of those arenas.
I’m not a fan of having to test my blood sugar three times a day, those test strips aren’t cheap (they’re about a dollar a piece from my pharmacy). We thankfully have insurance here (both private and provincial) but so many people don’t.

Overall though? I feel really good 80% of the time. The other 20% is dealing with irritating cravings, my mental illness and life in general. Which has improved greatly now that i’m making more of an effort to take care of myself but it’s not a one size fits all solution either. It’s the right kind of kick in the ass that I needed, I just wish the circumstances were different.

2018 round up & reflections.

I used to do these every year, it’s always interesting to take a look back on what you’ve done or perhaps have not done. 2018 was a lot of things for me, most people thought it was pretty terrible and that sucks. For me it was a mish mash of things. It sure as hell didn’t start off on the right foot for me. My mom had a ‘cardiac episode’ on January second and I honestly thought I was going to lose her. Thankfully she’s doing well, better than ever as a matter of fact.

My mental health took quite the downward spiral and I have finally decided to actually do something about it. Which I will save for another post.

I lost my job in September, which ended up being a gift/blessing in disguise in the grand scheme of things. I am currently exploring the world of self employment and school.

I’m currently nursing a sprained knee which is not how I was planning on spending my first day of 2019 but here we are. Without further ado:

  • What did you do in 2018 that you’d never done before?
    Travelled to the Maritimes and it was the most magical trip! We went to Nova Scotia, PEI and New Brunswick, all places that I/we have never been.
  • Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
    I feel that new year’s resolutions are pointless. There’s no reason that anyone should wait until the new year to grow, change, be a better person etc. Everyday is an a new opportunity for change.
  • Did anyone close to you give birth?
    Not close to me per se but a lot of people in my social/social media circles have given birth to a bunch of beautiful babies!
  • Did anyone close to you die?
    Not this year, which is a nice change.
  • What countries did you visit?
  • What would you like to have in 2019 that you lacked in 2018?
    Better focus, a better memory, less stress, more money, less bills.
  • What dates from 2018 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? January 2nd, the day my mom had a heart attack.

  • What was your biggest achievement of the year?
    Seeking out professional help for my mental health.
  • What was your biggest failure?
    Letting toxic, useless people get the best of me.
  • Did you suffer illness or injury?
    Yes. My depression and anxiety reared their ugly head to the point that I truly thought I would have a nervous breakdown. I sprained my knee really bad coming home from Christmas and other assorted illnesses that I am sure no one wants to hear about ha ha.
  • What was the best thing you bought?
    That’s a tough one, it was nice to be able to spend money on myself for a change.
  • Whose behavior merited celebration?
    My amazing husband. He’s been my constant and no matter how messy life gets, he’s my rock.
  • Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
    That list is much too long and personal and I will not call out anyone here.
  • Where did most of your money go?
    Bills, travel and spoiling myself.
  • What did you get really, really, really excited about?
    Travelling to new places with the man I love.
  • What song will always remind you of 2018? Honestly, I can’t think of one song in particular for this year.

What do you wish you’d done more of?
Practicing my craft (photography), reading more, learning more.

What do you wish you’d done less of?
Being distracted, housework. Wasting time on things/people/places that didn’t really matter.

How did you spend Christmas?
I was in Ontario with my family & friends as I do every year and it’s always great 🙂

Did you fall in love in 2018?
Every single day. <3 Nick so very much

What was your favorite TV program? Riverdale, Life in pieces, Big bang theory.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Yes. I wouldn’t go far as to say hate but more despise I think would be appropriate.

24. What was the best book you read?
Blood, bones and butter.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
So many, too many to list and by that I mean I can’t think of any off the top of my head ha ha.

26. What did you want and get?
To take some time off to figure myself out.

27. What did you want and not get?
For some people to mind their own business when it comes to aspects of my life that have nothing to do with them. For others to be humble.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
I don’t watch a lot of movies, but I did enjoy the secret life of pets.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 40 and I had a lovely Breakfast at Tiffany’s themed brunch with family and friends.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Having better mental health. Winning the lottery. witnessing karma as opposed to hearing about it second hand.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2018?
I don’t really have a fashion concept. I am making it a point to branch out a little bit. I don’t like to follow trends, but I like some things, therefore I indulged myself a little bit.

32. What kept you sane?
-My friends, most of my family. I honestly don’t know what I would have done without them this year! I am so very fortunate to have such amazing people in my life!

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I don’t.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

So many… Mostly the gross doings of 45.

35. Who did you miss?
The friends and family that are no longer here.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
I can’t pick just one, but I’ve met some really great people this year!

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2018.
That karma is GLORIOUS!

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

” But I’m not crazy, I’m just a little unwell
I know right now you can’t tell
But stay awhile and maybe then you’ll see
A different side of me
I’m not crazy, I’m just a little impaired
I know right now you don’t care
But soon enough you’re gonna think of me
And how I used to be.”