The Aftermath of Bell Let’s Talk.

I think this is an insightful perspective into the impact Bell Let’s Talk day has on the mental health movement. I have to admit it is one of my favourite days on social media, it’s incredibly inspiring to see so many people open up for the first time and share their experiences or words of positive encouragement for those going through mental illness. However, it’s also incredibly sad and frustrating at the same time to see so many people suffering in silence and unable to find the resources they need to lead a meaningful life.

Mental health treatment is expensive. Trust me, I know. I was fortunate to have the support of my family in paying for a psychologist (not covered by OHIP), which would set me back about 110 dollars for every one hour appointment. At one point I was going 3 to 4 days a week for almost 4 months at my lowest point 3 years ago. Waiting for a psychiatrist (covered by OHIP) took almost 2 months to get an initial appointment and even so most of the time they just give you medication and direct you to other resources such as cognitive-behavioural therapy or other forms of talk therapy. For most people many of these resources are simply unaccessible and unaffordable. Even on campuses across Canada, there’s often long wait lists to get into counselling on campus. I was told to explore options off campus to gain faster access and because I was covered by insurance outside of the school, meaning I could try my luck and get covered somewhere else but it was unlikely.

Your brain is apart of your body. I don’t understand why people face so much discrimination to get a “check up” on their brain. We get yearly physicals for the rest of our body, why should someone feel ashamed to talk about what’s going on in their head. I mean any pain someone feels is subjective, so why is it any different on thought process. When we feel “sick” whether it be the flu, a cold, or even a migraine, many of us stay home to “rest” and feel better and don’t face any shame in doing so. But as soon as someone says I stayed home because my anxiety was too high, that’s when people’s perspective starts to change.

It’s great to see a national conversation and even international to some extent, but it is simply not enough to talk about it for one day. We should be talking about it every day until it’s normalized. But more importantly we need to hold accountability to our words. We say we want to remove the stigma and make care accessible, but yet people seem to stop talking about it as soon as the day is done. We need to do more than just talk, we need to take action. Whether it be advocating at your school to encourage more funding into mental health or encouraging and lobbying our politicians to integrate more funding into mental health resources. Mental health should play a bigger role in the renewals of the provincial health accords both in terms of primary health care but also in health education. Many mental illnesses begin in childhood, if we can find ways to remove barriers when children are young, train teachers and other child educators to recognize signs early on, we can save many people from going down a long road of recovery and give them the resources early on to cope later on in life.

The conversation shouldn’t stop today. We should be holding people with power accountable for their words of wanting to make changes to our mental health care system. PM Justin Trudeau wants to be part of the movement remove the stigma surrounding mental illness, so let’s hold him accountable in creating dialogue with our provinces and territories in allowing people to access the care and supports they need to feel right again.

Don’t stop the conversation.



Today is #BellLetsTalk day. It’s supposed to reduce stigma around mental health by getting Canadians to talk about. It also helps raise money for mental health initiatives and programs. Aside from the fact that mental health awareness gets coopted by a massive corporation for one day, I have other qualms about throwing my support behind the movement.

Bell Let’s Talk assumes that one of the major keys to fighting mental illness is simply by talking about it. By sharing my experience on social media, I’m supposed to be on my way to feeling better. By tweeting “Let’s talk, today and every day!” I’m supporting others dealing with depression, anxiety, and other issues in a way that’s helpful and meaningful.

But mental illness doesn’t work like that. And it certainly doesn’t work like that in Canada.

Last year, I went through a tough time. I spent days in bed crying. It was hard to feel motivated to bathe, feed myself, let alone venture outside. I wanted to disappear.

I was really lucky that my manager and workplace understood and gave me time off to deal with what I was going through. But many working Canadians aren’t that lucky. People who are paid hourly lose pay for missing work. Even salaried employees can be reprimanded, demoted and fired for having to deal with mental health issues. Each year on #BellLetsTalk day, a number of former Bell employees come forward with their own stories of how Bell doesn’t actually care about their mental well-being.

Eventually, I started therapy. It was expensive, but because I had a job and some savings, I was able to afford it. I also have health benefits, but it covers psychiatry not psychotherapy. Psychiatry tends to be more expensive, so $500 of insurance only gets you around two or three sessions. Plus, do you know how long the waitlist is to see a psychiatrist in Canada?

Once a week, I’d leave work early to make it to my therapy appointment. Again, my manager was amazing and never made it a big deal. I feel so lucky. I was never docked pay or asked to produce a doctor’s note. Many Canadians aren’t afforded the same luxury.

Months after starting therapy, I found that no matter what I was doing to help myself, I still couldn’t shake off feelings of sadness, panic and anxiety. It was difficult to imagine a future, let alone plan a week ahead. I felt anxious whenever I had to see people or be in social situations. I couldn’t focus on work or anything. No matter how much I exercised, I couldn’t feel confident or the jolt of endorphins that used to come to me so easily.

So I went to my doctor. I’m pretty lucky that despite moving to a new city, I was able to secure a family doctor by recommendation. Most Canadians don’t have access to a regular, family doctor and rely on walk-in clinics, which require waiting around for hours, missing work and other responsibilities.

My doctor prescribed me an antidepressant. I knew that giving it a try would be the best course of action, but it was still difficult for me to accept this reality. I kept wondering what was wrong with me? Why couldn’t I just feel like my old self again? I felt like a failure.

After thinking about it for a week, I filled the prescription. My pills are expensive, but my health insurance covers nearly the entire cost. I’m lucky that as a full-time employee, my workplace provides health insurance coverage. I can’t imagine having to pay for these medications otherwise. No wonder so many Canadians are never able to get the help they need.

At first, I felt just about every negative side-effect my doctor had told me about – drowsiness during the day and insomnia at night, heart palpitations, dry mouth, nausea and dizziness. But after about two weeks, those feelings went away, and now I can say with certainty that my medication has really helped me. I’m lucky to have found something that worked so quickly.

I still go to therapy and I don’t expect to be on antidepressants forever. But If I do, that’s ok, too. Mental health, however, is so much more than just talking about it. It’s more than a hashtag and getting Canadians to open up about it for a day.

It can be an extremely lonely experience. It can feel frustrating and seemingly inexplicable. I’ve found it helpful to talk to my friends about it, but I’ve also found comfort in online movements like #TalkingAboutIt, which is used 365 days of the year – not just one – and support groups like the Bunz Mental Health Zone on Facebook.

But to truly make a difference on the mental health of all Canadians, we need to be doing so much more. We need the government to step it up and make mental healthcare, including therapy and medications, available and accessible to everyone.

We need workplaces to get on board and really listen to and care about their employees. We need mental health days to be seen as just as important as regular old sick days. We need to start talking about it, normalizing it and letting kids know that it’s okay to feel sad, angry, anxious and depressed – and then provide actual help.

A few months into my therapy, I said to my therapist, “I can’t believe it took me so long to come here. Therapy should be as normal as going to the doctor or dentist for annual checkups. It’s like a check-up for my brain.”

I want other Canadians to be able to get the help they need – and not just talk about it for a day.

Reposted from:

The First Steps.

To be honest, it’s crazy to think about how far my mental health journey has taken me over the past 4 years that i’ve been able to share my experiences. It hasn’t been an easy 4 years and I realize this is going to be a life-long journey in how I learn to manage, adapt, and cope with my depression and anxiety.

It’s not easy being a student on top of everything. The amount of stress that is placed on me at times is incredible when it comes time to balance work, nursing school, finishing my master’s, community service, and raising my young dog.  Sometimes I feel inadequate with how much I have to do, how little energy I sometimes find myself having, and how unmotivated I can be during my lowest periods. Considering everything I went through at the end of last year, I am incredibly grateful for the supports I have received whether it be from my professors, academic advisors, my friends, and most of all my family. It hasn’t been easy and I realize at times it can be incredibly hard on me emotionally to open up, which is why I often turn to writing to express my thoughts and feelings. I choose to be open because I realize everything I go through is not necessarily unique to me, while my own perception of my experience is unique, there are likely hundreds of other people out there experiencing similar situations with different perceptions.

I had the ability to talk to a notable friend today about their own struggles with mental illness and body image issues and felt empathetic towards her struggles. While I have not had much experience with eating disorders, I have had experience with both depression and anxiety. There were a number of points last semester where I would find myself awake in the middle of the night crying hysterically, hyperventilating feeling like I couldn’t breathe, and having my chest hurt like my heart was about to explode. Those sessions would then lead me to missing important classes because I could not control my anxiety and would have little sleep or energy to be able to function at times. It was absolutely terrifying at times feeling like you were experiencing a heart attack like sensation.  While I have recently been prescribed anti-anxiety medication, I know medication is not the sole answer. For me I find having someone close to talk to eases my anxiety as well as recently learning to meditate. However, I have had a number of people share their own “treatments” and notably exercise has helped a large number of people reduce their anxious thoughts and feelings.

Despite whether people agree with what I do or not, I am honoured to be someone that a number of people have turned to over the years, whether it’s to have someone available to talk to or to ask for help in finding resources to support their own recovery and journey into seeking help. I do hope on some level that my own personal experiences can help other people either a) learn to cope or find resources b) raise awareness for people suffering with mental illness or even c) open the discussion toward removing the stigma surrounding these very much real conditions.

Taking the first step is a huge milestone for many people. I remember being terrified at the idea of having to open up to my parents about my struggles, the amount of shame I felt in feeling like a failure asking for help and being unable to cope. But opening up to my parents was probably the bravest thing i’ve had to do. In the end it paid off because I was fortunate to be able to get the help I needed from healthcare professionals but it also allowed me to be open about my own journey and help a few people start their own.  I am also incredibly proud of the amount of progress many of those have made and I hope on some level I was able to help them find the strength to reach their full potential. I think one of the many reasons I wanted to become a nurse strives from my want to see people be healthy and happy regardless of how well I know them. To some it could be incredibly weird for me to reach out the them but for me I actually want to make a difference and if I can help someone even in the tiniest way possible, then that’s what I want to do. No one should ever have to feel ashamed or alone dealing with whatever their going through and I vow to always lend out any support I can give to those that may need it despite how well I know them and I will continue to carry forth this mentality as I get further into my nursing career.

Lastly, I’ve  been quite fortunate to find my own niche in the mental health community in raising awareness and helping to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental illness. Through my blog, Twitter, and Facebook, I have had the opportunity to reach thousands of people in sharing my own experiences. It’s incredible meeting and being connected to such resilient and humble people, many of who you would never have guessed on the outside have also struggled or are battling things such as depression, bi-polar, anxiety, or even schizophrenia.

I know I have many goals for myself going forward but one of my Twitter followers reminded me of a important initiative that I think many more people should consider taking apart of. As a nursing student I am required to update my CPR-C every year and First Aid every three years, however much of the training undertaken in the standard first aid doesn’t touch upon mental health. Approximately one in three Canadians will experience some sort of mental health problem in their lifetime and research has shown the earlier the problem is acknowledged the better the outcome. Therefore, the mental health first aid course provides some of the necessary first tools to recognize, address, and support those who may be struggling. For those interested in taking the course in Canada here is the link for more info:

Definitely something to consider with the likelihood many of us will know someone struggling with mental illness or problems. I have had many people tell me great things about the course and I am incredibly excited to hopefully take part in the near future and be able to incorporate it into my nursing practice as time goes on.

Study finds many Millennials spend Christmas alone

Mind has today released research into the different responses of different generations to the pressure of Christmas as part of its Christmas campaign. Key findings include:

  • One in ten Millennials [25-34 y.o.] have no one to spend Christmas with compared to one in 20 older people [65+] (10% vs. 5%)
  • Half of Millennials (48%) worry about their finances at Christmas compared to only one in five older people (18%)
  • A third of Millennials (35%) dwell on things they failed to achieve in the year, compared to one in ten older people (9%)

Mind, the UK’s leading mental health charity, has today released research which suggests that Millennials (25 to 34 year olds) are twice as likely as people aged 65 and over to have no one to spend Christmas with. The general population poll¹ of 2,037 people also found that almost half of Millennials worry about their finances at Christmas, compared to only one in five older people. Overall, Millennials were consistently among the age groups most likely to respond negatively to the festive period, while older people were consistently among those least likely.

The weight of expectation around personal achievement seemed to have a particularly negative impact on 25 to 34 year olds, with a third dwelling on things they failed to achieve in the year, compared to one in ten older people. It is possible that social media has a role to play in setting these expectations, with 18 to 34 year olds most likely to compare their Christmases on social media and most likely to feel pressure to present their Christmas on social media.

Most worryingly is the fact that 25 to 34 year olds are most likely of all age groups to keep their worries to themselves, with one in ten saying they wouldn’t want to ask for help over the festive period for fear of what other people would think of them. Not seeking support can lead to more serious problems developing and it is particularly concerning that this age group is the most likely to consider taking their own lives directly because of the festive period (one in twelve people).

Mind is urging people to donate to their Christmas Appeal, so they can be there for everyone who needs them this Christmas. Visit for more information.

Caitlin Maggs, 24, called the Mind Infoline last December when she felt lost and at breaking point, said:

“I find Christmas a particularly anxious time. Every year, there is extra pressure to be happy, to have love surround you – and for me, it feels the loneliest because of this. The media create this ‘perfect’ vision of a family Christmas – and it’s an ideal that has hung over me and made me very miserable. My depression and anxiety always gets worse in December.

“Last Christmas I turned to Mind. Feeling lost and at breaking point, I found Mind’s Infoline on their website and reached out. I needed to speak to someone who could just listen without judgement and give advice. The lady who answered my call was incredibly friendly and informative. She was able to relate instantly and empathise. We talked through what help I could get and by the end of the conversation I had already begun to feel better. Before I reached out to Mind, I’d felt as though I was trapped in a dark well. Mind threw me a rope and I caught hold of it. I can’t thank Mind enough for their support.”

Stephen Buckley, Head of Information for Mind, said:

“For most people Christmas is something to look forward to, a time for celebration and relaxation. Our research suggests, however, that for Millennials the festive period can actually be more stressful than other times of the year, with financial concerns and the pressure of social media all adding to a sense of worry during the festive period. Regardless of age, Christmas can be particularly difficult for the one in four people who experience a mental health problem, especially if they feel unable to ask for help. While Mind can’t make Christmas perfect, we can ensure that everyone has the support they need, whether through our Infoline or online resources such as our guides for coping with stress and our Elefriends online peer support community. We can’t provide these without your support, so please donate to our Christmas Appeal at to help us be there for someone who needs us this Christmas.”

¹ Polling was conducted by Populus who interviewed 2,037 GB adults 18+ online between 9 and 10 November 2016.

Reposted from:

Big Bad Anxiety.

To be honest I never really understood what anxiety did to an individual until today. While out shopping I had one of the most embarrassing and scary moments of my life. I experienced a full on anxiety attack in the middle of the food court full of Christmas shoppers and other guests.

I was all of a sudden flooded with overthinking recent events and thoughts of previous memories and slowly began to feel like I had tunnel vision in my eyes.I started to feel incredibly hot, constricted, and felt like my chest was tightening making it hard to breathe. Then I broke down and couldn’t understand what was going on. Luckily, I was prepared and had Clonazepam with me. Thankfully, it helped calm me down but I can definitely see why the drug is controlled with how many are prescribed at a time and how it is monitored. The quick reaction time helped calm me down within half an hour. But while it helped calm me down it also makes me incredibly sleepy.

Thankfully, I wasn’t alone this time and I’m so glad I was prepared. Lately, busy and familiar places have been highly triggering of my anxiety. I was never really an anxious person until after all the events that unfolded but it makes me more anxious to now it can come on suddenly like that.

I also realize I can’t live a life where I rely on medication to support me. I have really been trying to work on meditation but sometimes it can be difficult to really get into and focus. I also know the importance of deep breaths, which did help to some extent, but I know things like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) are most important in changing the way I think. I think going into 2017, I really want to try to get into CBT and actually practicing it every day. Working through various exercises in an effort to get to the root of the problem. I know it’ll be a slow process but it looks promising and I have to believe that something will pull me out of this dark period.


The Empty Space.

This is going to be a long and heartfelt post to someone who once loved me and now won’t even talk to me. Take it as part open letter to them, even though they could care less, but also as a letter to me trying to piece together everything that’s happened over the past few months.

There’s been so much that happened the past few days with having bumped into you again triggering an avalanche of emotions, mostly grief, sadness, and emptiness. I really thought I could approach you that night because I didn’t think it would turn out like that. Who would have known you would turn around and yell at me to “Fuck off” or tell me “you wanted me out of your life” and poke me really hard out of anger. I get I violated “your space” but I really thought it would have been an awkward brush in at best since at one point I was also friends with those you were with. I thought from the last time I saw you, we were okay, even though we had some tense text conversations after that we could at least be able to talk calmly in a public space. That our last actual conversation when I asked if you even cared you responded with “obviously”, but then why do your actions or non-actions speak differently? Yet to you, everything is so simple, we broke up and that’s it. There’s nothing else to it “since you’re not my boyfriend anymore”. The an abortion is a simple and mindless thing and therefore there’s no reason to talk after you left me to figure everything out on my own since you were obviously that busy. So busy you can seemingly make time for everything and everyone else. Because obviously I got pregnant on my own and therefore it should fall under the responsibility of people who live no where close to me to act your part.

Seeing her post the next day after trying to get your attention for a moment at the movies of “Nice try, but it’s not going to break us up. If you have the guts to do it again, try and be a little less creepy will you? ✌🏻️#SorryNotSorry  #HeReallyLovesMe”. Like what? What did I do to you to deserve something like that? You’ve been dating for what at most 2 months? How can anyone make a judgment on another relationship? I’m sorry did you not tell me the same things at one point or do the messages and memories I have of us mean nothing? Did you also tell her you promised me an engagement ring at one point and gave me a promise ring at another? That I would never have to worry because I was yours and you were mine? That you were so crazy about me you had to always be in touch with me? That according to you I made you really happy? Or did you just tell her what she wanted to hear, that you loved her, I meant nothing to you, and that I was some selfish “bitch” trying to ruin your life? That you ignored me when I was dealing with our abortion. Or that you would ignore me for days, message me at your convenience and wonder why I was upset or ignoring you? Or was it just me being childish, because obviously the world revolves around your schedule and importance. Weren’t you also the one you fought so hard for me to “keep you updated” even though you wanted to give your responsibility to someone else because you still wanted to know what happened at the end of it all and “how I was doing” for as your said “your own closure”? But yet when it came down to talking, you were a complete no show in helping to tie up lose ends and instead fully chose to ignore me and help make a scene instead, because really yelling all of that to me was also not embarrassing when I didn’t even try to fight back or yell out anything incredibly personal.

I have no ill will towards her though, she didn’t do anything wrong, but it hurts she would cast judgment knowing only one side. In fact I could probably relate more to her for the fact that she also knows what heartbreak is like. But from a woman to woman that was a low blow to the heart. Even thought I received an apology I know deep down she doesn’t understand everything that was said and done. She’s heard your side and I doubt you would share every detail, just as I have my side. As a female I wanted her to understand and found it unfair to think I wouldn’t see it when I know my blogs aren’t a secret. I had a lot of respect for her and I do still and I wish I could share my side but I know it wouldn’t be fair. The “context” you talk about isn’t an excuse, regardless of how angry or upset you were. There’s absolutely no valid excuse to call someone pathetically weak for struggling with mental illness, namely depression. I get you don’t believe in mental illness, you believe its a societal construct because people are lazy or weak and unable to adapt to the challenges of life, but for someone in a scientific field, doing some research would be a great start to understanding the struggle of millions of people, let alone those close to you or even yourself for that matter. There was no relevance to the pregnancy, what does my struggle have to do with the situation at hand? You were angry about the pregnancy and seemingly the breakup, but that’s no reason to have took it out on me. You’re a 24 year old man and I a woman and I never went as far as to say any of those things. I get we had tense conversations and I also said some regretful things, but you also have a brain and the ability to control your thoughts and you also have the ability to apologize without me having to ask.

I am sorry though that at a point in time this year I thought it was okay at one point to invade your privacy, even after we broke up. I was wrong to have done so just as you were wrong for have invading my privacy at points in time when we were together. For a while I really struggled to learn to trust you again after the whole incident with “coffee girl”. I got an apology from you and then I was off again to London within a few short hours of seeing you for the first time in a while, not even getting to be around you much in person. You lied to me though, right in front of my face and denied it when I brought it up of who was she. I kept telling myself you didn’t do anything wrong and accepted when you said it wasn’t anything special. As much as you refused to admit it we were still in a relationship when you went out with her and met her for coffee. That in your case it was okay because obviously it’s you and it was a lapse in judgement, but if I were to do that to you it would be a different case. I thought that by being able to spy on your phone from London, it would help me learn to trust you again since we were half way across the world trying to move past everything and letting me know what you were thinking. For a time I did learn to trust you again and learned to let go of snooping, you did nothing wrong for me to have started to re-violate your privacy when we broke up as it was none of my busniess. It hurts that you think I purposely would invade your privacy by checking your e-mails recently to find out where you  were that night so I could “confront” you or “embarrass” you when we corrected the issue months ago.

I accept that I made a poor choice in invading you privacy in the past. It still makes me cringe thinking I did that without your permission and I apologized profusely for my poor judgement. But I also understand why you would assume I would do it again when I did in the past, I deserved everything I got because it takes time to build trust. For months, I was incredibly hormonal, selfish, and irrational in saying and doing some of the things I said to you. But every time I felt I was out of line, I did try my best to apologize and I sincerely mean it when I say i’m sorry for saying some of the things I said to you. The fact that you accused me of accessing your “e-mails” when you  had “proof” makes me nauseous, because in all honesty I wasn’t checking your e-mails and hadn’t been for months. I had no idea you were going to be at the theatre, let alone sitting a few feet away. That night we talked about how I had been violating your privacy by “spying” on you was the last time I checked in on you. I honestly thought by taking the steps we did that the check-ins would stop on your next update, but looking today I know they did not. Every time I was checking into my computer, the system would look for an update and upload it to the system. I never had anything uploaded to my account, but it makes me sad to think the system was looking for updates and making you think I was the one spying on you still.  I sought every step to fix my mistakes to make sure it stopped, even taking the time to send you the proof to ease your tension. I know you probably don’t believe me though, you never do when I make a mistake. But I will full on admit publicly I spied on you at one point on your phone using an app, I was wrong, immature, selfish, and insecure for doing so and sought to correct my mistakes (which seemed to work). I will not take the blame for something I didn’t do though, I never violated your privacy checking your e-mails and I sought to understand what was wrong and offer you a piece of mind. I don’t care about the useless e-mails you likely get, it makes me feel as if I have no importance in my life but to search for scraps to “ruin” your life because obviously I have nothing better to do, have no reputation or pride to uphold, or care about you at all after being in a relationship with you. Obviously not. That everything I put aside for you to be there for you meant nothing. That whenever you made mistake I freely forgave you without question or made excuses as to why you did something. That despite everything said and done I still care and cared about you. But i’m tired of being treated poorly. That despite trying to be patient, supportive, and understanding I walked away with nothing short of a huge fuck you. That anytime you did something wrong, I had to consider myself lucky to ever get an apology from you. You did apologize a few times but a lot of the time even when you said you were sorry, they lacked genuineity, like you just wanted it to be over and to shove it under the rug. But of course, anything I did wrong is unforgivable even when I do try to apologize or admit my mistakes. The amount of times I would apologize for something that upset you and then think back as to why the heck am I the one apologizing makes me feel weak. Sometimes I feel like you don’t know how to take responsibility for things, I know you’ve made mistakes in the past you’re not proud of and hold a lot of “shame” in a sense for letting down some of the people you love, but I feel like you honestly put so much pressure on yourself to be someone you’re not because you feel like you don’t always fit in. The truth is, I admired you for you, all your insecurities, flaws, and mistakes. Every one of those things made up you, and I accepted them all unconditionally. There’s a part of me that still does.

It breaks me to think that you never saw the abortion as being “our” issue. Or let me rephrase that you only saw this as our issue when it came to me going into get a procedure done but nothing else related to it, not my check ups or my well-being after it was “taken care of”.  That your first thought of me telling you I was pregnant through e-mail because, surprise(!) you refused to talk to me, you called me and told me you hated me, you never loved me, this was all my fault, I did it on purpose (when we were fully together), that you liked my parents better and that they didn’t do a good job raising me because I was scared to get an abortion. That it got to the point where it became my  issue that I had to take time off from my studies or work because you had more important things to take care of. That you couldn’t come to my surgical procedure in a city over an hour away because you had things to do and didn’t want to waste 5 hours of your time, when I was losing the same amount of time dealing with our problem meaning I had to bus there alone. Yeah, you picked me up, we had a great time grabbing dinner and laughing about old times and people we knew. For you to tell me the next day you used me that night because you wanted to scope me out because if not I wouldn’t have opened up to you. Let alone to have to go again weeks later to rectify the complications that ensued, this time completely alone in a hotel spending money I don’t have.

Yeah, we had a shit ton of obstacles neither of us expected, but it also took out of my time too and a lot of it I might add. That I had to take time to recover not only mentally and emotionally but physically as well. That you have no idea how hormonal I was and having to go through adjusting my body back to normal and I still have a ways to go.  But no, it doesn’t concern you that I every time I hear about a couple struggling to conceive or lose a baby, it makes me incredibly emotional to know that I had that chance and felt pressured to oblige to what we agreed on when you didn’t even seem to care for the most part how I felt about things or why I felt that way. It never concerned you how I was doing or coping because you had someone else in your bed keeping you warm at night and taking your mind off things. Anytime I would want to talk about it, you would flip out on me saying how much you hated me, how it was all my fault, or other hurtful comments. Let alone when I was at my lowest feeling suicidal dealing with everything and asked for your help and you were off having a “date” night because that couldn’t wait, could it? Or was your phone really at 2%? You promised me we would get through it together, don’t tell me i’m spinning my words because I have proof. You promised you’d be there for me because you knew what I was going through and I believed you. You too were having nightmares, struggling to cope crying, and feeling withdrawn socially.There was no reason to touch me, regardless of whether I tried to block your exit or even held on to you for a moment (I can’t remember), there was absolutely no reason to touch me at all despite how angry you were. You’re bigger than me, what did you think would happen when you try to toss me to the side when you didn’t want to talk about the failed abortion anymore. I needed your help to get through things again and you couldn’t do it. Emotionally, I was weak and felt like I couldn’t go through it again and had second thoughts. How could you blame someone for that? Especially with how things went the first time. Instead you shut down on me and pushed me aside. I brushed the incident off after we talked about it though because I believed you when you said you didn’t mean to and that it was a minor shove because I was trying to block you from leaving after you refused to listen to what I had to say. But then thinking of what happened at the movies the other night when you jabbed me telling me to fuck off. There was absolutely no reason to touch me, I didn’t grab onto you, sure I got a little to close on the stairs when trying to tap your shoulder and accidentally kicked the back of your shoe walking down the steps but I never meant to touch you aside from tapping you to turn around and acknowledge me calling you. Maybe you don’t realize how hard the jab actually was, but it actually still hurts.

I honestly didn’t expect you to be there that night, let alone on a double date. I saw you didn’t say anything when you initially walked past me because I was in shock. I’ve spent months feeling like I was the burden in all of this because you were always “too busy” to be there for me, but yet you were fully able to make time for other things. That you couldn’t be there at my appointments or meet deadlines because you had so much to do. Like my time never mattered, the fact that I had to skip class or have important things to do. You don’t think I had a Master’s to finish too? You don’t remember that I also go to school full-time and work part-time? That I don’t have a reputation to uphold too? That those time you said you couldn’t be there because you had “more important” things to do or places to be, you were fully able to go out or even work. Yet, you aren’t even supposed to be working a part-time job as per your agreement with your supervisor because like you said you’re “being paid to do research and represent him”. Yet, you always blamed me for when everything went wrong in your life when you made those decisions. Those hours you spent working could have went towards your school work, those times you spent going out could have been used to get things in on time or do work. You said school was your priority, but yet your actions always speak differently. Yes, there is such thing as stress relief, but there’s also the ability to prioritize and schedule and being able to take responsibility for your actions, something you never seem to accept. Of course you’re never wrong, of course everything you do you try to cover it up, lie, or make it seem like its not a big deal, even at times spinning it on me for me because really it’s obviously my fault you choose to do or not do actions.

The fact that i’ve been begging you to sit down with me to have a conversation about things and you feel you don’t “owe” that to me. You told me we could sit down and have a conversation in time, that after I told you about the complications “this time would be different”, you wouldn’t just leave like you did the last time. You would check in after on how I was doing. Yet, this time feels exactly the same. This time feels worse because you absolutely said nothing and not only that you chose to act aggressive and pretend you didn’t know what was going on. It makes me sad to wonder when did you turn into such a monster. That you couldn’t take a step back and help me through this. That instead I carry the burden of shame and judgment. The mentality that this was all my fault. I was scared and alone and we made a promise to keep this between us, but when push came to shove you tossed that idea away. But you’re right, you don’t “owe” me a conversation, you should want to do that on your own, to defend yourself, to answer questions of what happened, and to know what happened. You dated and loved me for two years, and now you pretend like you never did and that I don’t exist. You don’t just stop caring about someone even if your broken up. I  still want to see you succeed, be healthy, and loved.

Watching you go through this Master’s degree has been a roller coaster of emotions. I’m sorry things didn’t always go the way you wanted them to or how you expected things to go. I really am. I wish I could have helped you get through things but I wasn’t able to and at the end of the day you’re strong and smart enough to tackle all the challenges you faced. I get this is a confusing time for you, you often feel alone, tired, and stressed, but I always tried to be there for you and I always would have. It makes me feel sad knowing you sometimes feel like you’re not good enough or that you’re not worthy enough for the great things life has to offer. That on some level you chose to do your Master’s because you had no idea what you wanted to do and felt you had little options so you jumped right into it because it was there and that you would put all the dreams you did have aside until you got through this next step. I wanted to help you find your passion and you felt you had none and would never find it. Doing your Master’s has made you unhappy. You’re not a school person or a researcher and this has been tougher than you thought, you’ve experienced numerous set backs. But I know with hard times and hard work comes prosperity and opportunity and I knew once you got through it, things would slowly come together for you again. It killed me when you broke up with me telling me you couldn’t balance school and me, so you had to pick school. Left me for weeks without talking to me, to grab my hand, sit me down, and tell me that you were struggling with everything and that you couldn’t have anything, let alone someone get in your way of getting school done. But that at the end of the day you did love me (even though you didn’t want what love was) and cared about me and wanted to know I was okay. To find out weeks later you started seeing someone new. Then to tell me you never loved me or that I never made you happy. As if I meant nothing to you, that you would talk behind my back and not even defend me when through at the worst of things I was always defending you or making excuses for things I shouldn’t have because I cared that much about you. You’ve broken my heart before and I eventually got over it and picked myself up because we worked through it and I had faith in us, but this time, this time you destroyed me.

I wanted to be there to pick you up, and I still am if you needed me there. That the “dream” job your striving for may not even make you happy in the end, that life is like a processing line, there’s nothing to look forward to. Or even being there as a crutch for any of your dreams. I really did want to explore life with you and I thought for awhile you wanted that too. That we would spend more time outdoors, away from social media, playing video games, purchasing our dream bathtub, all while figuring out how to balance life. I would have moved mountains for you, moving to places I would have never thought just to help you find what made you happy because deep down watching you find happiness made me incredibly happy.  Even if everything you envisioned turned out to not be the way you wanted it to be, I would have been willing to support you and take risks for you, whether it be living on our waterfront home with our dogs up north or moving across the world just to travel and become vagabonds for awhile. That you would have never had to worry with me, because together we would figure things out. That regardless of what was said and done between us, I would always find a way to forgive you, to work through things, and push us to be and do better.  I loved you for you. I loved you curiosity for the world, your wonder at life, and the hard work you would put in to finish things. I never thought you would leave something unfinished.

I know all of this was hard for you to deal with and go through too and I know there’s no “standard” manual on what to do for people who were once in a relationship. It kills me to think of how much strain it put on you, knowing how much it impacted me. Seeing you cry or yell in frustration was always hard on me. I wanted to fix things for you, to understand things for you, and to work together. There’s always the part of me that wanted to protect you, that put up a wall through all of this so that you wouldn’t have to feel broken too. That you struggle in times of high stress and don’t know how to cope oftentimes. But I thought we were in this together. That regardless of what happened between us, we would be able to put those emotions aside and do what we needed to do together because that’s what two grown adults should be able to do because at one time you did love me just as I did for you. But how do you stop caring for someone like that? Do you even realize if something happened to you and you needed someone there, I would still be there for you regardless of everything that’s happened. I know that everything we went through made your life more difficult too, but sometimes I feel like you forget about how much it impacted my life and what I had to give up. At the end of the day what you shared with your new lover is your business, but I really hope you realize that it’s one side of the picture and that I too want to understand yours and share mine. I realize sometimes when I try to talk to you through text (the same as you do to me) things come across much differently. It hurts to think you would even think I would attempt to blackmail you or threaten you. I avoided you for a while because I couldn’t handle interacting with you. I couldn’t beg you to car anymore. I was tired of it. I shut you out of the final process because you said you didn’t want to be there and you felt you didn’t have a role in this since the fetus was “dead” to you.  Therefore, it was my problem to find someone else to be there for me. That you are not capable of handling serious emotion or knowing what to do. The most sincere reaction should have been to just be there and offer support regardless of what our status was. You were the closet person to me for two years, just as I was to you and we didn’t have a bad break up. Instead when you want something (ie intimacy), then you get to choose because “it didn’t change anything” between us and “I wanted it” so you went for it and left two weeks before you met someone new, right?

Does it ever occur to you that I never even go into areas where you might be because it gives me anxiety thinking I may see you around?  Does it ever occur to you that I get anxiety being in busy places, like the mall, because not only am I flooded by thoughts of all the adventures of where we used to go but the holidays bring me negative memories because of everything that happened last year between us? Does it ever occur to you that I struggle to feel close to people because it scares me to be touched? I find it incredibly ironic that the one time I am invited to go watch a movie in Waterloo with my friend that of course you would have to be there and everything i’ve been feeling comes crashing down.

I was recently diagnosed with not only anxiety but post-traumatic stress disorder from dealing with the abortion. But it’s not like it matters that I still have trouble sleeping, eating, and concentrating on things that are important to me and haven’t been able to for months. That I have to take anxiety medications to help me sleep because I still have nightmares of having to undergo another surgery or hear the heart beats that you never had to hear. Because guess what, you never made the effort to go to a single appointment with me. I realize you may not care about what i’ve been going through or if you do you have other priorities or people to be with and I respect that but out of everyone you should know what happens when I get anxious. You should know how flustered I get and how I react when I feel trapped, anxious, and distressed. Similar to you, I have my own personal  issues to deal with, whether it be emotional or mental. Maybe for you acting out your aggression helps, bonding with someone helps, smoking or drinking helps, but for me, talking helps. Specifically, talking to the person who makes up the other part of the equation. That being able to sit in person and trying to understand things and put things in the open would greatly help me find some sense of peace in allowing me to continue moving forward. But no, you can’t do that because you don’t “owe” it to me or “you’re not my boyfriend anymore” and you feel you had no role in this, therefore in your eyes you feel you don’t need to waste your time because obviously everything you do will and is always more important that anything I went through despite spending 2 years with someone.

I honestly really trusted you to be there, not just there but actually there for me. I had so much hope in the words you would feed me, I always have. While you would do things like pick me up, bring me food/medicine, even making me laugh when I was scared, and keep me company it really bothered me that you never opened up with me or even would check in on how I was doing after everything that was “said and done”. That regardless of the fact we were and are broken up that you still cared enough to check in or to even talk about things. You were too preoccupied texting your girl or watching hockey (which you always told me you hated to do and made it harder for you to connect socially with the “boys”). I meant being there in the sense that I didn’t have to go to the appointments alone or bus myself to my surgery or even stay alone because I feel too ashamed to talk about things with others. Ashamed because I knew if I shared it with others they would judge me, us, and you and despite everything I hate tarnishing the good memories we did share. I needed you and you weren’t there. I didn’t need you in the “romantic” sense, I needed you as a “friend” as some who not only knew me the best but as the other half of the “partnership” that was going through something similar to what I was feeling. What happened to the guy who got scared when I was feeling really weak to pop over suddenly and sit with me on my floor and wipe away my tears. The guy who told me he felt the exact same way just a few days prior and that I needed to keep my chin up because good things would come my way and the pain would fade. That I was a beautiful girl who had much to live for and that if I were to leave (which I so desperately wanted to) it wasn’t my time and I had more to do in this world and people to live for. That it would destroy you thinking about things. The guy who jokingly told me he was always jealous of how much opportunity and money I would make one day, even though I would have done anything to have given us both a good life.

I really want to talk to you in person and you don’t. The promise of one day we could maybe sit down and talk about things makes me sick to my stomach because I feel like it was probably a lie. I made the tough decision to not reach out again after our last interaction because I wanted to give you some space and hoped you would have reached out. How many nights I would tell myself to not message you and cry myself to sleep thinking about everything.  Seeing you on Thursday at the movies made me realize you weren’t going to and that if I don’t try I may never get any sense of closure. I know meeting and talking may not do anything for you, but it would have meant a hell of a lot to me, more than what you probably understand. I don’t like feeling like i’m begging you to have a conversation about things because we obviously left things off in a bad place that has contributed to how i’ve been feeling. It makes me feel like a dog begging for her master to give her food and I feel pathetic having to do so.

Sorry to be so open but I honestly feel so broken inside. I have never been this heartbroken in my entire life. I don’t mind being so open or if anyone thinks I’m being weak but I don’t play games when it comes to love. I treated him as if he were a King. I would drop everything in a heartbeat to be there for him, whether it was dropping money for plane tickets or bus tickets just to spend as much time as I could with him. I would spend hours talking to him, hours making excuses for him and hours putting in effort to make sure he knew he was loved. Was I perfect? No. But I can honestly say he was someone I have given my all to and would have continued to do so despite everything. I find it highly unfair I was blamed for his unhappiness when we broke up when he would never open up to me fully or make changes. I loved and cared about him with every fibre of my body and apart of me still does. I loved every inch of that man and loved everything that came with him, flaws, mistakes, imperfections, and all. I truly loved him. I gave everything I had for him, emotionally, physically, and mentally and now I am broken to the core. I really believed he was in love with me the way that I was with him and I am so hurt at how everything turned out in the end. It’s different when you have a you’re going through something so personal like an abortion with someone, let alone someone who you were once so close to and to have them walk away like that. I am so broken after everything. This is a man I fought my entire family for. I feel like I was played in a way. That when times got tough they walked a way instead of fighting for us or even standing by me at my darkest moments. I was completely disposable to them and blamed for everything that went wrong in their life, whether it be them falling behind in school, life, or even their happiness. Even though I did everything I could from an ocean or a city away to try to push them to be better, to reach higher, and to find themselves. It’s like I let them down. I was in love with this man to the fullest and apparently I was none of that to him. Instead i’m left with a huge empty space in my heart having lost more than him.



Where To Get Help.

The holidays can be a tough time for many individuals struggling with various forms of mental illness.

If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 911 for immediate help.

The Canadian Association for Suicide PreventionDepression Hurts and Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868  all offer ways for getting help if you, or someone you know, is suffering from mental health issues.

Don’t hold back and be afraid to reach out to get support.


Small Steps.

Today I finally was able to see a psychiatrist after waiting a couple months for this appointment. It’s really sad to think to gain access to such an important resource it takes booking months in advance to see one. To be honest, it was not what I had expected. Aside from taking my health history (#nursingstudentproblems), he didn’t do much talking aside from explaining what depression was and it’s causes and changing my medication to address both my depression and newly acquired anxiety. That evil gremlin that keeps me up at night, gives me racing thoughts, and makes me more depressed.

On a positive note, for the first time in a long time, I finally feel ready to go out and enjoy being around company. Even though it’s just dinner and a movie with a good friend who has been there for me through many things in life, it’s a big step for me after everything that’s happened the past few months. For once, I actually look forward to doing something and going out to enjoy myself regardless of how meaningless or insignificant it is to someone else.

It’s been tough struggling with my new found anxieties. On some level it hinders me from being able to participate fully in my life whether through social connections, work, and most especially school. To try to help control this, I’ve been slowly trying to get into the art of meditation. I think the one thing that can help me learn to cope with anxiety is being able to ground myself and control my breathing. After all, the one thing we can control is our breathing. The small steps. Breathe in and breathe out. I don’t want to live a life where I am relying on medication to help manage my symptoms. I feel like it would be completely redundant to do that because even though it helps “balance” certain neurotransmitters (namely serotonin and norepinephrine) .

It’s still a process though. I still have little motivation or energy to do anything really. Depression is basically just a vicious cycle. Being a person who is normally hardworking, gets results, and kicks ass to see myself become unmotivated, feeling worthless, and tired all the time takes a toll on things and my mood. Not being able to perform as well as I know I can in my first year of nursing school by having to post pone or defer things or participate in social functions because I couldn’t handle the emotions that come along with that. I wish there was an easier route but I know nothing in life comes easy and to get over something you have to get through it. It’s a journey to find yourself and live a life where you live for yourself and not the expectations of others.

On some level i’m looking forward to seeing 2016 end and starting a new chapter in 2017. But on another level it makes me sad to let go of 2016 and moving forward. It also kind of makes me sad to think about everything I lost in 2016 and how much I miss certain people that aren’t in my life anymore. The feelings I still hold for them and everything that’s happened has been something I still struggle with. I guess the only thing I can do is just take things one day at a time, there’s no use in continuing to fight myself or beat myself up for what did or didn’t happen or what I could and couldn’t control. It’s hard to let go though and it’s hard to stop myself from overthinking things in which I had little to no control over. As I said, one of the few things I can control is my breathing. When I get an anxious thought, just take a deep breath in and out, repeat.