We Are All Constantly Changing

ErinDay-to-Day Life13 Comments

Lately I've felt so out of control, but really I'm in the process of change. You are too. Just like the caterpiller who has no idea wtf he's doing.Lately my life feels so messy, like pieces of me are just spilling all over into places I never intended for them to go. I feel like I’m giving too much in places and not enough in others; I feel like my body is betraying my mind and that my mind is shattering into pieces. I’m crying more and sharing more and swearing more. What is happening!? Is this insanity?

No, it’s not. What I’m feeling is CHANGE and the biggest emotion I’m having is fear. Only I keep forgetting this and I just fly with my feelings and then crash and land on my butt. Do you do this too?

I think so. I think everyone does.

Only in today’s society there are so many other things to get obsessed with, fall into, numb ourselves with and explain away our feelings. We dive into making money or losing weight or gambling or drugs and alcohol. We blame it on others, we blame it on stress, we blame it on the weather. And it’s all so exhausting!

My sister sent me this text this week that said, “Do caterpillars know that they’re gonna be butterflies or do they just build the cocoon and be like wtf am i doing???”

I love that idea. I mean, it’s cliche to mention butterflies when I’m talking about change, but really, do you ever think about what caterpillars think?

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ErinWe Are All Constantly Changing

Together to Live: Youth Suicide Prevention Done Right

ErinLocal Events6 Comments

Experience with suicide can be an asset in the right community of support. Together to Live at CHEO taught me to value my experiences today.I used to think experiences were either good or bad – daisies or bruises – but I’m learning that sometimes they can be both. I have a lifetime of experience with suicide, but today that felt like an asset thanks to the Together to Live conference put on by the Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health.

Last night I had serious cold feet about attending this conference on youth life promotion/suicide prevention because I was scared of being triggered and feeling unsafe, but I decided to go anyway. I am so glad I did!

There are so many mental health conferences that I want to go to but can’t because I can’t afford it, or I don’t have the qualifications to be invited. Thankfully, more and more big and influential organizations like the Ontario Centre for Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health are seeing youth with lived experience as a major asset. In other words, the terrible overwhelming experience I have with suicide is something people want to hear about. All of these bruises of mine are daisies in a different light.

The day came with its triggers but I stuck it out. At first I felt really alone and trapped but then I talked to some really awesome people who helped me feel safe and completely understood. By the end of the afternoon I was getting and giving hugs to people I really wished I could be best friends with forever.

I learned that I’m not as alone as I feel. In an environment with the right supports and the right people, facing your triggers can be a really healing experience. Yes, it can be painful and scary and uncomfortable, but suicide is an exceptionally painful topic. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t talk about it.

One person I met today said that it really upsets her too, even with decades of experience in the mental health field. I realized that’s what makes her exceptional at her job. She shared what makes her human, and it made me feel more human.

I handed out lots of business cards today and received a lot in return. If you’re a new reader to Daisies and Bruises, I’m so excited! Thank you for checking out my blog and making me feel human today. I would love to hear from you, attend your conference, speak at your event, and work with you in the future.

To the people from Together to Live who ran the conference, you know how to do things right. I felt understood and appreciated and I want to do it all over again. Also, kudos for having pipe cleaners, Play-Doh, and pom-poms at each table just to play with. Like this blog, you know the Art of Living With Depression. Communication is an art and you have it down pat.

You make me feel like there is a future for me, a bright one, no matter how dark my past may be. Thank you so much.

Love Erin

P.S. Check out the Together to Live Toolkit for Addressing Youth Suicide in your community, no matter where you live. Suicide is a global issue and it’s about time we give it more light.

ErinTogether to Live: Youth Suicide Prevention Done Right

Daisies and Bruises Funded For Another Year

ErinUncategorized2 Comments

DaisiesandBruisesdotcomHello lovely readers!

The other day I posted about being afraid that I couldn’t afford to keep Daisies and Bruises afloat. Within minutes of posting it, a few friends texted me asking what I needed, and in a whirlwind of guilt I took the post down.

I couldn’t, however, undo the fact that my post had been sent to everyone subscribed to this blog. Subscribers still read about how I couldn’t stop crying and couldn’t afford to keep the site up on my own, and saw my “Donate” button.

A few exceptionally kind individuals donated some money to Daisies and Bruises, enough to keep us funded for another year. I relieved beyond words.

We’re safe. The world CAN be safe.

Thank you so much to everyone who donated and to everyone who is reading along. I’ll write a proper post in the coming days.

Love Erin

P.S. The donation button resides in my sidebar, as it has for a few months. Any donations are always appreciated! I need to either start running ads or turn this into a kickstarter thing or something. I feel so ashamed and unworthy to rely on others, even sometimes. This has to change for me to live a healthier life. :/

ErinDaisies and Bruises Funded For Another Year

Depression Hurts but Kindness Lives

ErinThe Big Picture21 Comments

So far this year I've been in a lot of pain, but kindness is making it worth it. Here's how.I’d like to introduce you to the blue thing on my head. His name is Ice Pack Hat. Ice Pack Hat, meet my blog readers. It’s about time that you met.

Ice Pack Hat lives on my head to help ease my constant migraines. My blog readers live in my heart. Both my heart and head still hurt, though, a lot.

It’s hard to reveal such a sad picture of myself on here but it’s an accurate portrayal of my life at the moment. I feel terrible.

I have a confession to make: I haven’t been writing in my Good Things Jar for 2015 because so far the year is not going well.

I know that I “should” be writing good things for my Good Things Jar, because doing so literally makes me feel happier, but I can’t be bothered. My jar is surrounded by dishes that I have to wash, medication bottles, and craft supplies. I can’t even approach my counter without hating myself for being so disorganized and overwhelmed.

This year has been so hard and I’m being so hard on myself about it. I’ve turned 30 and suddenly I want to be fucking done with my depression. I want my life back.

I am doing all the things I can think of to fight depression harder than ever. I’m eating real meals with fruits and vegetables, having less caffeine, and making art every day. While I feel a little better physically from these things, my mood and migraines are still terrible.

So what’s the deal? Why do I feel so awful? Here’s my understanding:

I was really triggered a few weeks ago because my childhood abuser came back into my life briefly. The encounter reminded me of how he’s got away with being a sex offender while I feel broken and scared of the world.

It’s hard to have something so huge on my mind and not tell you about it, but I just hate the whole situation so much I don’t even want to bring it up. If my uncle ever Googles my name, I want him to see a blog that’s never been touched by him.

But I’m so stressed out. I can’t relax at all. I really want to listen to my self-hypnosis recordings again, because they helped me so much before, but I don’t want to let my guard down. So I clench my teeth and hold my breath and keep my shoulders tense in self-protection. None of it helps.

It feels like everything is falling apart but I’m still here. I’m still fighting.

Shitty stuff is happening in the world but good stuff is still making its way into my life, even if I’m not writing about it for my Good Things Jar.

For example, I got new neighbours over the weekend. Another pug now lives a meter from my door. He is black and his name is Bernie. He loves to give kisses.

What are the chances of that? Of all the tenants in the world, of all the breeds of dogs, of all the terrible shit in this world, a little three-year-old pug arrived at my door stop. Pugs are the happiest little weirdos to ever exist. They make everyone feel awesome, no matter what.

My past, my traumas, may have a grip on me, but I have a grip on the good things.

The universe can be cruel but it can also be kind. I am not losing kindness, no matter what has happened to me.

My arms are outstretched, palms open. Let it rain.

ErinDepression Hurts but Kindness Lives

Songs for Surviving Depression

ErinMusic13 Comments

I survive the cold loneliness of depression with music. Listen to my favourite comfort songs Sometimes, when depression is weighing you down like the heaviest anchor in the sea, all you have is the sound of the waves to comfort yourself. Or other sounds, like a song, even if it’s sad or depressing.

Because you know depression is real, and if depression is real then you are real.

Here’s a song I’ve been listening to all week. The video is sad too but it’s comforting to me. If you want to listen to the music without the video, you can do so here.




I’ve been curling up with some Janis Ian songs lately too, ever since I watched the replay of the premier of Saturday Night Live as part of their 40th anniversary celebration. I loved that they had this real and serious and sad singer on their premier.


Yeah, she’s very 70’s in her videos. The thing about feelings is that they’re real no matter the decade. Check out Janis Ian’s “In the Winter” track, too. It makes the lonely cold easier to bear.

What are your favourite comforting songs right now? How are you surviving this cold?

♥ Erin

ErinSongs for Surviving Depression

Six Reasons I Stopped Cutting Myself

ErinSelf-Injury20 Comments

I stopped self-injuring by cutting myself for my own awesome reasons that work.People keep finding my blog when they’re ready to self-injure but decide to search for help instead of engaging in cutting themselves. My words help them stay safe. I could not be happier about this. Stopping self-injury is one of my proudest achievements.

I tend to get nervous sometimes, worried that I’ll slip back into hurting myself if something really upsetting happens, but every time I hear about someone being helped on my blog I think, “Yes, this is exactly why I need to stay safe!”

My biggest tip in overcoming self-harm is to come up with your own reasons for not hurting yourself. When I was sixteen and had just started cutting myself, people often said to me, “Oh, but think about your wedding day! You don’t want to have scars show then, do you?”

That question made me feel a thousand times worse. For one, I felt unlovable and sick of hiding my pain to please other people. All I could think about when someone said “wedding day” was pleasing my relatives by being pretty in a white dress, instead of being honest about how I was feeling. Plus, I didn’t plan on getting married until I was an adult and that was still years down the road. I wasn’t even sure I wanted to live through the month, let alone into my adult years.

Now that I’m at the age of marrying, I have my own list of reasons why I don’t want to self-injure and my wedding day is not on the list. If I ever get married, I want to marry someone who loves me enough to see past my scars. These tips might have helped me more when I was sixteen.

Why I Stopped Cutting

1. I Need My Arms

Writing and making art are two of my most favourite things on the whole planet. If I couldn’t write anymore or shape paper with my hands, I would be infinitely sadder. The danger of cutting my arms never used to phase me, but now I think about how my life would change if I couldn’t use my arms like I do today. The reality of cutting is that you can damage nerves, tendons, everything under the skin. I don’t want to stop writing or crafting so I don’t cut anymore.

The same goes for any other part of my body. In the moment I might hate myself so much that I don’t care about the damage caused by cutting, but tomorrow, if I’m in pain, it’s going to add stress to me physically and therefore mentally. It’s going to make life harder, not easier. I don’t need life to be any harder.

2. New Scars Make Me Ashamed

I don’t like to worry the people in my life. If my family or friends see new scars on me, they worry. If I see new scars on a friend, I think to myself that my friend had such a bad moment that they felt like they couldn’t reach out to me. Then I worry that they don’t trust me. Then I worry that I can’t trust them if they don’t trust me. It creates barriers in friendships when friends self-harm. That’s not something I want.

3. It Doesn’t Fix the Problem

If I hurt myself, I’m creating more pain instead of dealing with my painful emotions directly. And yes, it fucking hurts to feel painful emotions. I cry, I shake, I get scared. But painful emotions don’t leave a permanent mark on me. They make me feel lousy for a while but they always always pass.

A bad feeling is like bad weather. It literally will pass. When it storms, sure, we get wet and it’s kind of uncomfortable and a little dangerous feeling, but we know that if we hold on for the next few hours we’ll be okay. It doesn’t mean a storm won’t ever come back, but it’s not going to last for the rest of our life.

Yes, whenever I feel awful I am worried that maybe this is the one time that my pain will last just this bad forever. But do you know what I heard from the direction of the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Program at Homewood Health Care Center in Guelph, Ontario? She’d worked with survivors of the worst kinds of trauma for over twenty years and not once did she meet a person who cried as long as they feared they would. The body physically can’t cry for more than a few hours, tops. Then it has to rest. And every single person she’d met in that program was worried that they would cry FOREVER. No one ever ever has. Yes, I fear that I’m the only person who ever ever ever might cry forever, but most likely, it isn’t going to happen. If it is, I’m calling up the people at the Guinness Book of World Records and getting fucking famous for it.

4. Self-Harming Makes Me Feel Like My Feelings Don’t Count

I started self-harming as a kid because I was so angry at myself for my feelings being hurt. My feelings seemed so much bigger than everyone else’s and people didn’t understand when I was upset. I hated that about me. I wanted to punish myself so that I didn’t feel hurt anymore. But punishing myself always made me feel even worse.

Now I know that my feelings matter. When I’m upset, it’s because I feel hurt. And do you know what? That counts! Why? Because my feelings are real. Feelings are the realest thing on this planet. If no one around me gets my feelings, it doesn’t make my feelings wrong or bad. We feel things because it’s natural. It’s normal. It’s part of being human.

If I’m around someone who makes me feel ashamed for being human, that isn’t a safe person for me to be around. So now I don’t hang around people who make me ashamed for being human. A lot of the time that means I’m alone, but I’m figuring it out. There are people out there who make me feel amazing for being human. You, my readers, are those people.

5. It Upsets My Dog

Seriously, one of the biggest motivators in staying safe is protecting my little furball named Digby. I don’t even know really if my self-harm upsets his little brain, but I know dogs pick up on emotions. I know they can sense danger and hurt. And if I’m in danger or hurting, my little dog might think that he’s in danger too. I’m his role model, his safety net. I want him to feel safe. So I stay safe.

6. I Don’t Want to Live in a World Where It’s Okay For People to Hurt Themselves

This is my favourite reason not to self-harm. We create our world. Every minute of every day, the choices we make influence other people. Even if we try to hide our self-destructive habits, they have a ripple effect. If we hurt ourselves, then we’re telling all the people around us that it’s okay to self-destruct. I am a role model, even if I’m surrounded by strangers.

You never know who is looking up to you. Every one of us is a role model. And I sure as hell don’t want to teach anyone that it’s okay to self-harm because I love everyone. I love other people more than I love me, but those things are connected. We’re all connected. I can’t hurt myself and then have this double standard where I tell other people that they shouldn’t hurt themselves. Because words aren’t everything. Actions speak much louder than words and people pick up on actions. Even when we try to hide them. I matter, you matter.


So those are my top six reasons that I think about the most when I think about cutting myself. And do you know what’s really cool about not cutting myself? I feel better overall. I really do.

I take my emotions far more seriously when I don’t self-harm. I write them down, I write in my journal, “THIS IS HOW I FEEL TODAY AND THIS MATTERS BECAUSE I SAY SO.” And I write about it and then I can let it go. If I want to go back to this feeling, I can look back on this day in my journal.

But most often, I don’t look back on what I wrote about today in my journal. I don’t look back on the sad stuff because I feel a lot of sadness and I don’t want to feel any more than I have to. I never forget pain but I don’t need to remember every thing that ever hurt me ever. That’s too much for one person. There will be more hurt tomorrow. But right now? Right now I feel okay. I want to keep feeling it.

No matter how many times you’ve hurt yourself, it’s possible to stop the habit. And it’s worth it. You probably won’t understand why it’s so worth it until you try not hurting yourself for a while. That’s the way it works. But it’s SO worth it, I promise. It becomes more worth it every day. You won’t know how good it can be until you try it. You deserve for things to be good.

You’re worth it!

Read my other posts about self-harm: How to Stop Hurting Yourself , Consequences of Cutting: Why My Coping Method Backfired, Self-Harm & Tattoos

♥ Erin

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ErinSix Reasons I Stopped Cutting Myself

Making Wishes to Fight Depression

ErinFun22 Comments

Making Wishes to Fight DepressionSometimes all treatments for depression have their limits. Even when we’re doing all the things we can like exercising, eating well, taking our medication, going to therapy, hanging out with our pets, and doing self-care, we can still feel depressed and stuck.

Lately, I’ve felt depressed and stuck and really fucking sick of winter. Honestly, why does winter start with the letters W-I-N?

The other night before bed I felt super overwhelmed with my depression. I thought of writing down some of the day’s highlights for my Good Things Jar, but I knew that wouldn’t help my mood as much as I needed it to.

I actually needed a miracle. Screw logic! What do I really want? What can I wish for?

I reached for a pad of paper and came across the perfect paper for the occasion.

Here are my wishes. Of course I want millions of dollars, a cure for depression, a cure for cancer, world peace, and good food and clean drinking water for everyone on the planet. But I let myself be selfish, instead. What do I want right now?

Making Wishes to Fight Depression


That night, once I was in bed, moonlight spilled from behind my window blind right across my pillow. Then and there I wished on the moon. I wished on the moon instead of a star because I could see it, bigger and brighter in my night sky. The moon is reachable. Orbiting the Earth, it’s something I can count on.

Writing down your wishes connects your heart with hope and possibility, if only for a moment. If you hang onto that list and put it where you can see it, maybe some magic will enter into your life and bring you everything you need. You don’t know until you try.

What are your wishes? It may feel scary to look at them, but if you can think about thinking about your wishes, that’s a start.

I’m wishing for more wishes, for me and you!

ErinMaking Wishes to Fight Depression

Depression and Migraine Update

ErinChronic Pain, Day-to-Day Life23 Comments

My depression continues to be worsened by migraines which send me to hospital and make daily activities hard to doI haven’t felt like myself for over a month now. My depression and migraines seem to be ricocheting off each other, playing a game of “Let’s explode Erin’s head!”

The migraine pain is seriously cutting in on me doing my favourite activities. Strain on my eyes makes my head ache even worse, so I’m avoiding using my laptop, watching movies, reading, and texting. I’m barely listening to music. My life without books and music is not my life at all.

Without my favourite distractions, my depression is playing all its awful games and I have little energy to battle my thoughts of self-loathing. Even sunlight makes my head hurt worse and obviously that isn’t good for my depression.

I’m doing absolutely everything I can think of to change my migraines or lessen their severity even a little. I’m exercising, cutting back on caffeine, eating more fruits and veggies, and taking supplements. I’m not even styling my hair since a ponytail or braids strain my scalp.

I’ve been to Emergency a few times when my migraine lasts several days with no relief or gives me absolutely too much pain to tolerate. The nurses rehydrate me with intravenous solutions and doctors add medication to that. Otherwise I’m working closely with my family doctor to find a solution.

Going to the hospital is a risk however, because of it being flu season. The last time I was admitted I caught the worst flu ever, and spent a week dealing with my body doing the grossest things it can do. Needless to say it did not help my migraines.

It seems like everyone I know is trying to give me ideas in headache reduction. I can’t afford to try most things people swear by, like going to the chiropractor or getting botox. There are ways to get these things covered, but only after months of trying other cheaper alternatives. I’m trying to listen to my doctor first in finding the right remedy.

My apologies for being a little quiet lately. I’m still thinking of you every day and plotting blog posts for when I’m able to sit in front of my laptop for longer.

I really appreciate all of you who filled out the poll in my last post. All of the options I listed as topics are things I want to blog about, but it’s great to know what you’re most interested in reading. Your poll answers help me decide what to write about first.

If you haven’t filled out my poll, please do! And to those of you who were wondering how I posted a poll, I used Polldaddy through its Wordpress integration. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be and now I’m excited to post more in the future.

I survived turning 30, by the way. This year isn’t giving me a ton of great things to write about for my “Good Things Jar” for 2015 but I’m still adding things to it no matter how much pain I’m in. It helps keep me sane and realize how many good things I am thankful for.

Stay warm, hydrated, and keep your eyes locked to this website because I’m posting a bunch of new handmade items in the next few weeks. I’ll have another contest so you can win some!

Thanks for all the support and for sharing Daisies and Bruises with everyone you can.

♡ Erin

ErinDepression and Migraine Update

Please Fill Out My Blog Post Topic Poll

ErinBlog Maintenance6 Comments

Hi friends!

I always have a million blog post ideas, so many that I don’t know which to write about first.

Please fill out my poll so I know what you’re most interested in reading. You can click as many options as you’d like! If a topic doesn’t interest you, just skip it. :)

Thanks so much! You’re welcome to vote again after a week if you become interested in a topic or want to make more suggestions. I’ll check the results often.

Thank you!

Love Erin

ErinPlease Fill Out My Blog Post Topic Poll

When You Grow Up Your Heart Dies, So Fuck It

ErinLife Events16 Comments

Depression ruined high school for me but I refuse to grow up and let my heart die breakfast club styleOn the first day of Grade Nine, I started high school with drama class, only we didn’t talk about drama. First, we talked about this student from a few years ago who killed himself in his first year of high school. Because of his death, our school started The Breakfast Club.

With a clear reference to the legendary movie, The Breakfast Club at my high school had students in their last year at the school mentor us newbies. They helped us get used to high school. I made friends with the Breakfast Club drama kids, mainly one of them. I started high school wanting to be like the girl in my drama class who was there to help people adjust. To help them live.

The thing was, when the leaders of The Breakfast Club that I knew graduated, I stopped liking school. I no longer saw leaders of the school and I thought I was too young still to be in the Breakfast Club. I had to wait four whole years until I could help other people.

In hindsight, I probably could’ve joined the Breakfast Club as soon as I wanted to, but instead I felt excluded. I looked around me at all the other students and only saw other people having fun.

I didn’t understand how people could smile and laugh so much. How they could get drunk at parties and not care, how they could become obsessed with tv shows and wearing the right clothes at the right time. I hated them all for being so happy.

I did have friends in school, somehow. I’d fallen in with a bunch of kids that had come from a different elementary school. They were pretty awesome, but again, I felt on the outside since no one knew what I was really feeling. I wouldn’t let anyone know. I shut them out.

By the end of high school, I refused to go into the cafeteria because I was so scared of everyone looking at me and judging me. I painted my eyes black and went to the library every chance I could, reading at the back of the room with my headphones blaring. I faced the wall, watched the clock, and went everywhere I was supposed to go on time.

Except for pep rallies and other forced interaction. At those times I knew no one missed me. My guidance counselor knew how much I skipped out on supposed mandatory events, but I don’t think anyone else did. My invisibility was my cloak and my shield.

I hated everyone so no one could hate me. It worked in protecting me from others but I felt like the saddest girl on the planet.

Ever since then, I’ve been trying to undo the damage of high school. I think most adults either go into work or more schooling without looking back at their high school selves. It’s too painful.

I don’t blame them. I wish I could be like them a lot of the time, because they seem happy now. I look at myself and see no pay cheque, no husband, no family. The me of today doesn’t fit in with adults. She sure as hell doesn’t fit in in high school, any more than she ever did.

The only person she fits in with is the fifteen-year-old me from Grade Nine, all the way through to the graduating 19 year old, miserable and alone. She was looking for someone to look up to. Someone who cut through the bullshit. Someone who was real, who cared about things beyond what was “hot” in magazines and what was spewed out on tv. She saw unhappy kids and unhappy adults and cut herself because at least that made her feel real. Her pain mattered in those moments.

I’m turning 30 soon. That’s grown-up, right?

Like the “crazy” one in the Breakfast Club movie, I’m aware that “When you grow up, your heart dies.”

Most of the time, it feels like I’m never going to have any adult life or security because I refuse to let my heart die. I’m stubborn as hell and every workplace I try to squeeze into makes me feel exploited. It’s a result of abuse, of all the bad things in my life, I still see enemies everywhere. Everywhere.

Except here, with you.

I can be real here. I imagine friends out there past computer screens, skipping into hungry eyes and hungrier hearts.

You are filling their shoes. Thank you.

My younger self reads this blog. She likes it. It makes her hate herself less.

I’ve always hated numbers. A birthday is just a number on a calendar designated by other people. I don’t ever want to define myself by other people’s choices unless they fit with mine.

I won’t let my heart die. I won’t.

I promise.

ErinWhen You Grow Up Your Heart Dies, So Fuck It