Learning from Darkness.

I think we all feel helpless when grief and sorrow strike us or the ones we love. I’ve also come to accept that there is no time limit or one-step method to deal with this process. We all process grief or loss in our own unique ways and I don’t necessarily believe there will ever be a one size fits all method to deal with it. Oftentimes, we don’t know what to do with loss– how to work through it. And so we let it sit with us and cloud our vision and burden our hearts. But deep down what…

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Pushing Forward.

For everything I have to be sad about I have 20 others things to be grateful for in my life. I worked my butt off this year in my first year of nursing and despite all the challenges that landed on my plate I was able to push hard and come out with some pretty decent grades. I did in the end have to drop anatomy and physiology, but luckily I had a supportive team who have allowed me to complete the physiology component over the summer at Western to allow me to compliment my previous anatomy courses. I never thought…

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Where To Get Help.

Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention: Find a 24-hour crisis centre. If you’re worried someone you know may be at risk of suicide, you should talk to them, says the Canadian Association of Suicide  Prevention. Here are some warning signs: Suicidal thoughts. Substance abuse. Purposelessness. Anxiety. Feeling trapped. Hopelessness and helplessness. Withdrawal. Anger. Recklessness. Mood changes.

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‘A little bit OCD’: the downside of mental health awareness

It’s mental health awareness week. So that’s good. Well, mostly. There are downsides to increased awareness of mental health, it turns out. You ever met someone who is needlessly cold or even outright rude to those who deign to engage with them? I used to work with someone like that, and eventually one of his superiors had to call him out on it. I was within earshot, and happened to hear his defence, which was something like “It’s just the way I am. I think I’m on the spectrum.” He didn’t specify which spectrum. Maybe he meant the visible spectrum?…

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Life’s Changing Tides.

Naturally, life is a bumpy ride. In the flash of an instant, it can go from being downright cruel to magnificent the next, but then it can hand you days where you feel like you are permanently wrecked. But, I am a firm believer in the fact that the universe will never hand us things that we won’t be able to get through. For that anytime I was knocked down by a wave, I came right back up stronger than I was before I went down with the tides.  But it will suck you through a tsunami of tears, of…

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UBC president Santa Ono opens up about his struggle with mental health.

University of British Columbia’s president opened up for the first time Tuesday about his struggle with mental health and how he twice tried to take his own life. Santa Ono spoke at the Healthy Minds: Healthy Campuses Summit and highlighted UBC’s commitment to providing mental health support to students, faculty, and staff. He said he decided to share his own struggle with depression in hopes people who are experiencing mental health issues would feel less alone. About one in seven young people in B.C. will experience mental health illness at some point, according to the Canadian Mental Health Association, the…

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A Day in the Life of a Student With an Anxiety Disorder.

Every day is a challenge. I wake up with a nervous stomachache. I get dressed and put on my mascara, trying to hold the brush tightly with shaky hands. I try to eat something, but I can’t. Everything makes me feel sick. At school I greet my friends with a fake smile and try to appear as calm as can be. It doesn’t last long. I spill out my worries in a stream of chatter. They are all irrational, so nobody understands. They tell me to “just calm down” and “it’ll be OK.” I don’t understand why it’s only me fearing…

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Thinking Of Giving Up?

Are you hydrated?  If not, have a glass of water. Have you eaten in the past three hours?  If not, get some food — something with protein, not just simple carbs.  Perhaps some nuts or hummus? Have you showered in the past day?  If not, take a shower right now. If daytime: are you dressed?  If not, put on clean clothes that aren’t pajamas.  Give yourself permission to wear something special, whether it’s a funny t-shirt or a pretty dress. If nighttime: are you sleepy and fatigued but resisting going to sleep?  Put on pajamas, make yourself cozy in bed with a teddy bear and…

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It’s Okay to Not Be Okay Sometimes.

I feel much sorrow for the family and friends of the young man that took his life this week. I’ve been thinking about it a lot and even though I never met this individual I know the pain and emptiness that filled him. The cascade we put on pretending we’re happy and strong, because that’s what society expects. High functioning individuals. But deep down we’re empty. sad, and so very tired. Suicide isn’t something that just happens, it’s a conscious choice because of outside failures to help them before then. With schools and job fields getting more competitive, it’s not…

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What It Feels Like To Have Anxiety, Because It Isn’t Us ‘Being Crazy.

Living with anxiety is like being followed by a voice. It knows all your insecurities and uses them against you. It gets to the point when it’s the loudest voice in the room, no matter how much you try to get rid of it, it’s just there. Having no control over your own mind, your thoughts, your worries is scary. It’s one of the worst feelings in the world, especially when everything could be perfectly fine, but your mind tricks you into believing everything’s so wrong. It makes you question: “is something wrong with me?” and apologize for being crazy,…

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Medicating Women’s Feelings

WOMEN are moody. By evolutionary design, we are hard-wired to be sensitive to our environments, empathic to our children’s needs and intuitive of our partners’ intentions. This is basic to our survival and that of our offspring. Some research suggests that women are often better at articulating their feelings than men because as the female brain develops, more capacity is reserved for language, memory, hearing and observing emotions in others. These are observations rooted in biology, not intended to mesh with any kind of pro- or anti-feminist ideology. But they do have social implications. Women’s emotionality is a sign of…

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Memories.

The past few weeks have been pretty tough on me emotionally. I think a lot of it started recently when I was asked to be the standardized patient for one of the healthcare programs at my school and then with the passing of both my dogs around this time last year. I love acting and I love the ability to help other people learn through hands on practice. But to be honest this case hit pretty close to home. I was a young girl who got pregnant and had to simulate the three decisions that come along with pregnancy (keeping…

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