For Christmas vacation, Heather and I decided to head to her hometown for a few days with her family. Every holiday is uniquely difficult in its own way; this year I could tell it was hitting her harder than usual. She’s been my foundation since I met her, but under the strain of travel and the pressures of the parents, she began to crumble. It didn’t help that her brother — who suffers from schizophrenia — went missing in November.
One of the highlights was seeing old family photos, especially Heather at various stages of her life.
To be helpless in the face of such hardship made me feel like a burden, perhaps cause I’ve been struggling to regain my sense of self-worth. The most I could do was be present and extra attentive to her needs as she sat in her chair each night and chewed the inside of her cheeks for comfort.
Continue reading “don’t add me to the weight you carry”…
Autumn in Canada is often as short as it is beautiful, but this year we lost it to winter in just a couple weeks. I suppose I’d mind, if there were more reasons to leave the house, but at this point I’m content to live in my cozy wonderland, even if it means dealing with the ennui.
It’s hard to tell exactly why I’ve lost so much will be productive when my mental health is improving, though I suspect they’re indirectly related. Maybe I no longer feel the need to validate myself or occupy my time with huge projects. I have to wonder if the medication is making me a fundamentally different person, and whether it’s to my benefit overall.
That’s not to say that my emotional scars don’t run deep. I still worry about my worth, my attractiveness. Still worry about losing Heather to some freak accident. Still worry what people think of me. Still get embarrassed about things I did when I was 15. Still feel indignant about the way I’ve been treated by people I haven’t spoken to in years. The ghosts of the past still haunt me; I’m just not as scared by them.
One of my major projects this year was the design and construction of my first MTG cube. Now that it’s built, I get to enjoy it with my friends, but that also means I finished an activity that took up a lot of my time, and I’ve yet to replace it with anything as deep and engaging.
Usually, I’m a busybody when there’s so much happening in my head but the most I’ve been able to do this month is browse the depths of the internet, wide-eyed, waiting for Heather to finish work, counting down the time until I see friends on the weekend. I never thought I’d live long enough to grow old, and here I am in my late 30s with my metabolism finally catching up to me.
As the days stretch on it feels like I’m walking a darkened path, one that leads in an unknown direction, and I’m too scared of the floor falling out from under me to be excited. I suspect that’s why I’ve been roused to inaction. Nothing can go wrong if I don’t take any risks. As a person who’s still recovering from a lifetime of trauma I’m okay with playing it safe for now, even if it means my world is smaller and the sky less bright.
I was doing well in terms of sticking to my bi-weekly writing schedule. Putting my mind to something and being responsible to myself became a nurturing routine. Then October came and I lost the plot.
It can’t just be love, right? I can’t be the only one who thinks she’s beautiful. Her gentle smile has me convinced it’s an objective fact.
It’s the appointments: dentists, gastros, perios, shrinks. They all happen to fall within a few weeks, some of them up to three times. I know they’re all there to help me, but I’ve had a frustrating and difficult history with most medical professionals. At this point, I simply wouldn’t have the patience to sit in a waiting room if it weren’t for Heather there to support me every time. At least I found a competent psychiatrist; the first one who’s ever truly listened to me before prescribing any medication.
Continue reading “wake me up when October ends”…
We left on a Thursday, travelling by train with tickets my uncle bought us. My younger self would have enjoyed making a mix to go with the undulating patter of tracks and the passing of seasonal landscapes in my window. I could let songs and albums measure my time spent traveling. Now I measure time in hunger and pills.
But even as I age and the skyline grows less recognizable, the old stomping grounds remain comfortingly familiar. They say everyone’s an exile in New York. Well, in Toronto — where each municipality is a world unto itself, separated by miles of twisting highways and hours of traffic — everybody’s home.
Continue reading “ecstasy but not happiness”…
I’ve grown hesitant when it comes to writing about my emotional state. More often than not, I’m in a completely different headspace by the time I hit publish. It’s left me feeling like I’m perpetually waiting for a chapter to end before I have enough perspective to get something down. Days turn into weeks into months into scenes getting ever smaller in the rear-view mirror. By the time I have the words, I’m lost in a new scene again.
It hasn’t given me much of a chance to be mindful or present. I can only hope my camera will help me remember the details as they pass.
The 4/20 protest on Parliament Hill this year was blessed with mild weather and good friends.
Most recently, I’ve been having contiguous days that weren’t filled with misery or hopelessness, and the fact that I can make “days” plural is a small wonder. I can’t explain it on anything other than a new dose of anti-depressants — 2mg of aripiprazole to top off the 100mg prescription of desvenlafaxine I’m already taking — but I can tell it’s working. The bottom isn’t as deep when I’m feeling low. My reaction to any setback isn’t immediately giving up (on life). Being buoyed by two little milligrams feels like a cheap answer after searching desperately for meaning and reason for all the pain for so long, but I’ll take it gladly.
Continue reading “an eternally new now”…