Posts in category "Photos"

wake me up when October ends

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.

pretty girl with bangs

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 med­ica­tion1.

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  1. One of the most impor­tant ques­tions he asked was whether or not the hos­pi­tal fol­lowed up with me after my sui­cide attempt. The answer, of course, being a resound­ing NOPE. []

introducing Percy

Losing Dolly at the begin­ning of the year was absolute­ly dev­as­tat­ing. However, I was also buoyed by the fact that we sud­den­ly had space for a new cat in the house. What bet­ter way to help me through the mourn­ing process than to have a new life keep­ing me com­pa­ny while Heather’s at work? And since her dream was always to have an orange tab­by, I set about find­ing her the per­fect kit­ten from the Humane Society back in January.

cat in box

I thought he was still teething, but it turns out he just real­ly likes chew­ing things. Also, sleep­ing in box­es.

Kittens tend to go with­in a few hours of being put up for adop­tion, so at one point I was check­ing the web­site every hour for avail­able can­di­dates. When there hap­pened to be a tiny male tab­by at 14 weeks old on the oth­er side of town, I drove over imme­di­ate­ly and found him in a cage sleep­ing with his sis­ter (a beau­ti­ful lit­tle cal­i­co). It broke my heart to split them up, but I also knew she’d soon be snatched up her­self.

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ecstasy but not happiness

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.

Union Station Toronto

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.

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not choosing fear

Stepping out of my com­fort zone late­ly means let­ting some­one hear my mate­r­i­al before it’s ready, say­ing I love you with­out the expec­ta­tion of hear­ing it back, post­ing pic­tures of myself I find unflat­ter­ing, being an atten­tive lis­ten­er dur­ing dif­fi­cult con­ver­sa­tions, wor­ry­ing that spous­es will know my secrets but telling friends any­way, lis­ten­ing to songs that remind me of her, hold­ing impor­tant peo­ple account­able for hurt­ing me, ask­ing for help before I need it, accept­ing the fact that no one can be every­thing I need all the time, lov­ing some­one from a dis­tance, let­ting boys hold me when I’m upset,

girl kissing boy

dar­ing to dream that things will be okay,

putting myself first in the destruc­tive rela­tion­ships I can’t escape, say­ing no instead of find­ing excus­es, mak­ing love with­out some kind of reas­sur­ance about my looks first, let­ting myself miss the peo­ple I no longer like, being first to call after exchang­ing num­bers, not know­ing when I’ll be home and going out any­way, hop­ing I’m not judged every time I ask her to do that thing I like, giv­ing myself space from peo­ple who adore me but don’t nur­ture me, not try­ing to please every­one all the time, play­ing even though I have a decent chance of los­ing, not cut­ting some­one out after they’ve wronged me, rec­on­cil­ing with old lovers, empathiz­ing with peo­ple I hate, going out when I’m not high, spend­ing time around peo­ple I find dif­fi­cult, say­ing sor­ry and mean­ing it, try­ing to hit chord tones in gen­res I nev­er lis­ten to, and pay­ing atten­tion to the friends who call me on my shit.

an eternally new now

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.

4/20 protest on Parliament Hill

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.

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