Taking Joy in the Breaks from the Pain

ErinUncategorized44 Comments

pineconeThese past few weeks have been hell. I cheated on my therapist by seeing another, ran smack into my childhood traumas and just about broke. I turned into this ball of incredible shame and guilt and anger. My migraines took over and I cried to my neurologist about wanting to die the pain is so bad.

I also found the world’s cutest pine cone on the sidewalk by my house. I brought it inside and it flowered open in the warmth of my apartment. I saved it to show you. It’s so beautiful it makes the pain not overwhelm me as much.

I think about you so often but I feel so many negative and difficult feelings I feel like I should protect you from them. My pessimism overwhelms me. I feel like I’m nothing but sharp edges and hurt and suffering.

Therapy is so hard. Working through your emotions is SO HARD. Surviving traumatic memories is so hard. The physical pain that accompanies therapeutic work is staggeringly hard.

Maybe you can relate to my stress of wanting the difficulties to be over so I can get on with my life. I’m at an age where a lot of the people I grew up with are now married and having children. I look at photos of their lives, their accomplishments, their happiness, and I get so bitter. I withdraw from people who have a life that looks like I want mine to look like, instead of celebrating with them in their joys.

I would love to just be happy with where I’m at. I have small joys like the pine cone, and I have big joys like the people and animals in my life. I have a dog who I’ve always thought is quite silly and then I caught him reading the same book I took out from the library on finding purpose in your life. He looked so ashamed! I am so proud of him.

My parents and I visited my sister. We went to an art gallery in Waterloo and got bubble tea and it was the loveliest day I’ve had in so long.

The emotional and physical pain that I feel overwhelm me until I don’t want to live anymore, but I do live. I do. Spring is on its way. Look how far we have come. Our lives may not look like we think they “should” but fuck should. Seriously, FUCK SHOULD.

This pain won’t last forever. We get breaks from it. The breaks are so important. Let’s give them the joy they deserve, and remember them when we struggle.

I’m so thankful to have you on this journey with me. This messy, painful, beautiful journey.

We may be miles and miles apart, with separate lives and separate struggles, and I don’t have much energy beyond what it takes to survive and take care of myself, but my heart holds your hands when you’re in your darkest moments. Just as your heart holds my hands.

I love you. Never forget how much we matter.

LoveErin

P.S. WordPress formatting is kicking my butt. I’m in too much pain to figure it out. Rawr!

ErinTaking Joy in the Breaks from the Pain

Working for the Present

ErinUncategorized15 Comments

WorkingforthePresent

My bubble tea reads “Happy Enough”

My survival strategy of the moment is just to trust the timing of my life. It’s not my fault that things are the way they are. All I can do is survive the best I can and things can get better.

For example, I had a job interview a few weeks ago that didn’t work out. I’d basically already gotten the job through a rad connection of mine, and I really need the work to make ends meet. I need the social connection and the distraction from pain and the hope for my future.

It wasn’t the job for me. There were a million red flags that it was something I just wasn’t capable of doing right now. I left the mini interview in so much migraine pain I thought I was going to have to call an ambulance. My head pain was SCREAMING at me. Over the next week it continued to scream and I honestly thought about suicide a lot and eventually just said to myself, “Holy shit, Erin, your body is saying NO. You need to say no. That’s all you have to do.”

So I did say no that particular job and my pain eased up slightly. My suicidal thoughts lessened a lot. I’m still having overwhelming concerns about where my life is going and if I’m going to have such severe physical and emotional pain FOREVER, but I’m trying to match those thoughts with the reminder that I don’t have to figure out the rest of my life today.

My pain is going to get better, at least if the weather stops doing this winter-to-spring yo-yo every twenty-four hours. My number one passion is writing, that has always been my calling in life, and I can do that curled up in my bed with an ice pack around my head and a heating pad on my back. All I need is a pen and a paper.

Money will come in time. Until then I’m thankful I have my writing. It’s my number one work. How can things not get better if I dedicate my heart to its calling?

I have a roof over my head. I have my dog. We don’t know what the future holds, and trying to predict it when our bodies are telling us otherwise, well, maybe just focusing on the present and what we can do for now is the best way of all.

I know we all have different struggles, but anxiety about surviving into the future is huge for everyone. There is so much uncertainty and fear in the air. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but for now, let’s just trust that it’s going to work out for the simple reason that it makes our present much easier to handle. That’s all we have really, the present.

Thanks for being a part of my present!

LoveErin

ErinWorking for the Present

Finding the Sunshine

ErinUncategorized34 Comments

FindingtheSunshine2I haven’t wanted to be alive for a solid three months and I think, somehow, my subconscious decided that if I just stopped talking, writing, posting, sharing, leaving evidence of my existence, that would somehow erase me. Now I feel invisible on top of all those other feelings and it’s fucking intolerable. So here I am.

I am not invisible. I count.

My feelings matter, even if I feel so alone with my feelings that the world just might crack in two with me as the epicentre.

Sometimes I feel so confused that the world around me hasn’t cracked in two from the force of my feelings. People walk right by me, their lives being perpetual daylight and mine being perpetual darkness.

It’s okay. It’s okay for me to feel this way. It hurts, but it’s not my fault. It’s okay that I don’t function as well as I want to. I can keep trying.

As long as I don’t end my life, there’s potential for things to get better. Yesterday my mom told me, “One day at a time,” and I thought, “God, I can’t think that far ahead.” I go by one hour at a time, one minute. Get through this minute.

We’ve hardly had any sunshine this winter. Today there was a moment where the sun shone through my window onto my wall and I got up and mimicked what my dog would do: I stood in the patch of sunlight. It only lasted a couple of minutes, but those minutes were golden. I smiled, squatting in my pyjamas, messy hair, unwashed face. Everything melted away, all my self-hatred, all my shame, all my anger at myself for being such a mess. I just felt the sunlight on my face and it was enough.

We need to live for these moments of sunshine, no matter how short they are. We need to give ourself validation for our feelings, even if no one else does. No one is living your life but you. You matter, you count, and you don’t need to make yourself invisible.

I haven’t been doing well at all. That’s okay. I exist. That’s all I can do right now. It’s enough. More sunshine will come in time.

LoveErin

P.S. My donation button on my sidebar needs some love. If you can share even a dollar, it would help me so much. I am eternally grateful and vow to continue sharing what sunshine I find.

 

ErinFinding the Sunshine

Apocalyptic Hurt

ErinUncategorized23 Comments

Does it ever really make you angry that life never apologizes for being unfair?

I feel so small and inconsequential in a world that is fucking out of control crazy. I have absolutely no control. I want to fix everything. I want to undo the damage. Can’t someone just take responsibility for how fucked up things are?

 

I want to quit. I want to give up. I’m in so much pain all the time. My head hurts enough to split the world in two, but it’s stuck inside my skull. There’s so much pressure, I just don’t have the words for it.

I used to think I was getting better and now it feels like I’m just going down and down and down. I can’t be though. I’m still alive. This is just a really hard spot.

Sometimes I think that the worst thing in the world is that our feelings don’t kill us. If you’re anything like me, or if you’ve experienced something really awful, you know that emotion can just obliterate you on the inside. It’s like earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, hurricanes, the apocalypse is happening under your skin and you’re alone with it. It doesn’t make sense, just how much we can hurt and survive.

I don’t know why we survive this hurt. I don’t have any answers. At least not right now. All I have is experience and the knowledge that as long as we’re surviving the hurt, there has to be a reason for it. There just has to. And maybe it’s okay that we don’t know why. We just have to trust it.

I’m still here. I’m glad you are too, even though it hurts so much sometimes. We are here together.

Love Erin

 

 

ErinApocalyptic Hurt

Screaming Onto the Pages

ErinUncategorized23 Comments

Sometimes words aren’t enough. Sometimes writing our feelings out doesn’t justify the intensity of emotion we need to convey to feel better. We need movement, we need colour, we need to scream onto the pages.

It’s become a familiar scene for me to open my laptop to blog and instead I just cry helplessly. My dog slinks from the room with his tail between his legs, unsettled by my pain. Writing on paper is easier, but still, I’ve felt blocked and frustrated.

Sometime in the past few weeks I decided to change instruments, and I reached for my markers instead. At first I felt nothing but blackness and needed to fill a page with that.

novemberpages1

After that page, the blackness of my emotions dissipated and I reached for a blue marker. This time more words came to the surface.

novemberpages2

There is something so therapeutic about markers! More feelings tumbled out as I chose green, the colour normally associated with growth, turned yellow and sickly. Infection, rot. Sickness.

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Next, anger and alarm and fear gripped me. Red was my next choice.

novemberpages4

After that page, I felt better enough to sleep. The next day, I felt muted and alone. I picked up my markers again. I chose grey, to match my feeling of turning into mist and fading away.

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The next night I felt similar to the night before, except a profound grief turned my grey feelings into blue.

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After a few days of going back to just writing with a pen, I coloured this page the other night. More emotion came out with question marks and exclamation points.

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None of these pages are going up on a gallery wall. They are juvenile, but really, my inner child hurts, so why not express myself like an eight-year-old would?

Creating these pages didn’t make my pain stop, but they made it easier to bear. Sometimes that’s all we can do with pain. Survive it, any way possible.

There are no tools that are off-limits in getting better, though I recommend getting your pain out through art supplies instead of through self-harm. The goal is to cope with pain, not create more of it.

I’m not doing well at all these days but I’m making art and that fact alone means that I’ll be okay. One step at a time.

Love Erin

ErinScreaming Onto the Pages

Staying Alive in a Mad World

ErinUncategorized15 Comments

I’m okay because I have to be, not because I feel that way.

I was close to crisis last week; I didn’t see a reason to go on. My self talk has been saying, “Erin, just shut the fuck up. Stay silent. Disappear. No one will miss you. No one will even notice you aren’t around. Disappearing is the only way to stay safe.”

But dying isn’t safe. Disappearing is equivalent to giving up power, and now is not the time to give up power. We need to be strong together.

The political environment in the US shook the world last week, I randomly almost had to sit on a jury, and everything was TOO FUCKING MUCH but then a beacon of hope arrived: a dear friend in another city offered me Amanda Palmer tickets. I felt reminded me that I’m not alone and that now is certainly not the time to give up.

So I ran and I pushed and here it is, November 15th and I’m still alive, though I have no fucking idea how I’m going to make it through the next few months, I have a really strong habit of keeping going. It’s a good habit to have.

We’re all scared. Even the people who look like they have their shit together really don’t but they are trying their best to do the right things, be strong and brave and be kind and patient.

I wish my mind were stronger right now. I wish I could see the world as “healthy” and “unhealthy” the way I did when I began this blog. But man, life is hard and sometimes the only way to cope is to let go of notions of sanity and insanity and just do your best and hope you land on your feet.

I miss you. I still love you. I have no idea what the fuck I am doing. I may swear too much and mess things up and try to disappear and then reappear. I definitely definitely use too many run on sentences.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for standing by me. It means the world. We have each other. No matter what we have each other.

How do you feel today? Do you feel like yourself? If not, can you love yourself anyway, or at least be patient with yourself? Give yourself credit for staying alive. Seriously, it’s an incredible feat.

Two posts in two days. Take that! I’m not disappearing, not ever.

Love Erin

 

ErinStaying Alive in a Mad World

Naming Your Feelings to Own Them

ErinUncategorized19 Comments

I feel so sad. I feel so angry. I feel so hopeless. I feel broken and alone and fucking frightened. I feel tired. I feel frustrated. I feel confused. I feel forgotten. I feel lonely. I feel hungry. I feel exhausted.

I know the reasons behind these feelings. I could explain the reasons for the rest of my life. Some reasons overlap, some aren’t fair. Most aren’t fair.

Sometimes working out the reasons behind my feelings make me feel worse, though. I mean, if you’re feeling something you don’t want to feel, putting it under a microscope can be the last thing you want to do.

So don’t. Or give yourself a break from it for a day.

I feel so many horrible things and it’s allowed. No one has to fix it for me. No one can fix it for me. Just let me feel these things. I feel them and they’re real and pretending they aren’t is an injustice.

Comment below with how you’re feeling (or write your feelings somewhere else if online doesn’t feel like the best platform). See if you can do so without explaining your feelings. Just own them. See if naming your feelings helps those feelings change.

I am so fucking far from okay but that’s okay. We can handle it. Let’s handle it together.

Love Erin

 

ErinNaming Your Feelings to Own Them

Feeling Terrible: The Link between Physical and Mental Health

ErinUncategorized19 Comments

Hi friends!

I’m sorry I haven’t written in a while. Things literally got so bad that I had no resources for helping anyone. My mental health took such a dive that I was really scared of hospitalization or worse but years of surviving depression has taught me that as soon as really bleak self-harming thoughts appear, it’s an immediate red flag for me to start taking better care of myself.

In the past months I’ve completely lost my appetite, I can’t taste a thing, and my stomach feels like a fireball 24/7. I’ve been living off bananas and bread and yogurt and ginger tea and the random junk food binge (as a way to get some kind of flavour). I’m always exhausted.

The other day I just felt like I literally couldn’t live any longer and after a good pep talk from my therapist about taking better/any care of myself I went and bought some multivitamins and protein shakes. Needless to say, my energy levels became a lot better and that boosted my mental state. Now I feel like I have some ability to reach out into the world a little again and blog!

Just in case you missed that lesson, however, FOOD IS NECESSARY FOR COPING WELL. Food is literal energy and when you have no energy you simply can’t feel okay at all. I’m not saying a balanced diet is going to fix all your problems but man, it freaking helps more than we realize. When you go without something for a while, you can get so used to it being gone that you can forget what it’s like to have it until you get it back. Nutrition = better functioning Erin and a better functioning you. I promise!

Even with a little more energy though, I feel so discouraged. I can’t believe what a massive toll my physical health has done to my mental health in the last three years.  I’m just scrambling to hold my body together. It’s so hard to not be depressed when you’re physically sick all the time. I’m so tired of it.

I’m really losing hope but my therapist says that there’s still time for everything I want, I just need to hold on.

I may not know a lot about your individual struggles but I believe there’s hope for you too. Even if you can’t see beyond just surviving until tomorrow, that’s enough. All we have to do is stay alive and keep fighting for something better. It will come.

The only way it absolutely won’t get any better is if we give up. Suicide is not an option. If you have suicidal thoughts creep into your mind, it’s a big warning to yourself that you need to be nicer to you in any/every way you can. Talk your way through it. Tell other people you need support. Take a multivitamin, have a glass of water, take care of yourself physically and the mental part will follow.

We’re going to get through this!

Love Erin

 

ErinFeeling Terrible: The Link between Physical and Mental Health

Hello, Back to Save Myself

ErinUncategorized44 Comments

Okay, I’m back, in a way. I’ve lost hope of this blog catapulting me into the life I’ve always dreamed of as a  paid writer, activist, blah blah blah. I have zero faith in the world anymore.

I’m sure that you’ve guessed that my time away from my blog has been really ugly. Turning away from writing is the worst thing I can do for myself. I didn’t intend to turn away from writing all things, but without you, my audience, I somehow thought there was no point in writing anything at all, ever again.

So why am I here? To save my own life. That’s all.

I have to talk myself up from this awful horrible pit I’m living in, but unless I’m at least pretending that someone  else in the world might hear what I have to say, I’m incapable of being kind because I hate myself so much. Does that make any sense?

I won’t let myself kill myself because of the other people I would hurt. I won’t let myself save myself unless I’m also trying to help other people. All I know is that it’s worked before so it can work again.

So I want to die, have no hope, hate everyone and everything. What now? Start small. It doesn’t matter that I’ve slept all day, only woken up to cry and drink Diet Coke and take my dog out. Fuck it, it’s 5pm and I can start out as if it’s 9am. I put on some upbeat music even though I’m not feeling it, not yet.

I put my dog in his crate, and make my bed. I cry and wallow and have a hard time doing this but I fight through it until it’s done.

Then I take a shower, slowly. I get dressed.

My next goals are to eat something healthy and try to go for a walk, even if it’s just behind my house for a few minutes.

Taking care of myself physically is all that matters right now. Screw making money, being a productive member of society, fighting for world peace.

I have to take care of myself. There is no other option, not a safe one. I can’t see beyond today. I can’t. That’s okay. I’ll worry about tomorrow tomorrow.

Erin

ErinHello, Back to Save Myself

My Final Post on Daisies and Bruises

ErinBlog Maintenance, Uncategorized22 Comments

This is an immensely difficult post for me to write. The time has come for me to say good-bye to Daisies and Bruises.

The recent break in to my apartment has changed my trust in the world in a way that will take a long time to heal. As a result of that incident, I no longer have the tools I once had to write this blog at the calibre it deserves.

I need to stop trying to save the world and save myself. I will always keep writing, but as I heal from this intrusion, fiction is where I feel safest.

As unjust as everything feels at the moment, I believe life is in the right. This will take me to places I am meant to go.

I pass the torch on to you. Five years ago, no one said to me, “Hey, you have what it takes to be a mental health blogger.” I just decided to go for it. The beauty of creativity is that it gives us the power to define ourselves.

This blog itself will remain live until the domain name runs out in just under a year. Maybe my past posts will still help someone in the meantime.

Thank you for all the love and support throughout the years. I feel very sad at this time, but I don’t believe this is a final good-bye. Our paths will cross again. Perhaps in a book store in a few years. You’ll wait in line to have me sign your book, or maybe it will be the other way around. Maybe you’ll recognize me and ask if I once wrote a blog, or if the word “macaroni” makes any sense to me. And I will give you the world’s biggest hug.

I miss you already, but I’m trusting in life. In the words of Miranda July,

“I feel brave when I take wild leaps into the unknown – it should be that I take wild leaps because I am brave, but no, I take them because I’m afraid, and then actually leaping makes me brave.”

If you want to follow my artistic life, check to see if I’m alive, or support me as an artist, you can (still) find me on Instagram as @scissorkix or view/purchase my art at Scissorkix.etsy.com. I’ve created a lot of new magical things in the past little while and soon you will find them for sale in my Etsy shop.

I miss you and love you and wish you all the best in this unpredictably lovely world we live in.

*HUGS FOREVER*

Love Erin

ErinMy Final Post on Daisies and Bruises