#BellLetsTalk Day is such an important cause and last year I decided to share how my IBD journey very quickly turned into a new monster called anxiety. This year, I think it’s important to share the story of a dear friend of mine. She offers a far more insightful and inspiring story as she struggles with Bipolar Disorder. I see Brittany daily and I will openly admit that I am ignorant when it comes to her mental health. On days where I find it difficult to comprehend her perspective, I have slowly begun to recognize my frustration is not with her, but with myself. I’ve said this directly to her, but there are days where I just don’t understand. And she’s reassured me that it’s okay. It’s okay because as I challenge myself to empathize with her, she challenges herself to open up.
As part of my healing process I have learned to be reflective and evaluate all aspects of my recent circumstances. I’ve learned that in order to fully reconcile and begin to rebuild I need to accept. I think I’ve always been pretty good at forgiving other people. I don’t like holding grudges and I find it far more exhausting to hold onto anger than it is to just let it go. But through the past two years I have held on to a lot of anger and a lot of sadness. It’s consumed my thoughts, my conversations and my behaviour. And now at the cusp of my fresh start, it’s time to let go, and forgive: forgive my life for the destruction and chaos that it has become. And here’s how I’ve broken it down.
Canadian Thanksgiving just passed and I didn’t post anything on any of my social media platforms, (which seems to be the norm for expressing your thanks.) The truth is after arriving home Friday night, I was in a really low spot. I should have been thrilled to be let out just in time for the holiday. But in reality I was feeling overwhelmed and defeated after what felt like an eternity spent at Mount Sinai. I spent the weekend relaxing with family and (thankfully) eating small portions of turkey and potatoes. But I wasn’t in a good spot. Thanksgiving normally is my all time favourite holiday. Better than Christmas. But this year I was so consumed by emotions that I didn’t even know where to begin expressing what I was thankful for.
Continue reading “Thanksgiving”
I wish I could say that this was without a doubt the best summer ever. I’m feeling better, no longer ridden with having to know where every washroom is, normal face, energetic.
Yet this summer I think takes the cake as one of my worst. My anxiety monster has taken over most of my days, and with a looming second surgery around the corner, I found myself more often than not, staying home. Hiding in my room. I look back and think….what did I really do this summer? (And please don’t discount my love for celebrating all the weddings and marriages and engagements of my best friends, because that really was unforgettable) But what did I do for me?
I’m afraid this blog has the potential to come across as an outlet for self-pity. And I really don’t want to come across as a martyr. That’s not what I’m trying to do. Social media is filled with the happiest moments of people’s lives, which is great. But I’m trying to show the other side of things. I’m trying to share the real side of life. Initially I though this might be a good medium to advocate for IBD patients. But I’ve come to learn that it really is about advocating for everyone. We ALL come with a story of pain, or struggle or heartache. And I want to share mine in an attempt to be genuine and sincere.
Every time I begin to write this post, I close the laptop, and with a churning stomach I promise to tackle it later. I find therapy and comfort in writing and articulating my emotions yet for some reason this post, this particular post, I haven’t been able to bring myself to. I don’t know how to articulate what this new monster is, because I have yet to understand it. I have yet to get a hold on it and fully grasp it. Although my ulcerative colitis slipped through my hands, I always felt I had an understanding of what was going on. But this new little pest does not live in my gut. It lives in my head and my hands can’t reach it.
But I’m going to try and lay out a road map of what’s going on. Because, like IBD, I know others struggle with this monster too. I’m going to try and put it into words for my own comfort because every post I write brings some sort of relief in the form of connectivity between myself and readers. And if anyone has some sort of relatable tale, I welcome it with open arms. I warn you though, I have no guidelines for this post and I’m letting my fingers lead the way. I don’t know where it’s going to go so I can’t promise my best work, but I can promise you honesty and hopefully some sort of positivity in a dark cloudy mind.
Anxiety. My new monster.