April Fools’ Fun

April Fools' FunI’ve had the most ridiculous day. I was out of coffee this morning; I messed up the scheduling for two appointments; my little sister pranked me, telling me we were having a last minute extended family lunch and I totally fell for it; and then I had a giant crying spell around 4pm, for the fourth day in a row. Then I fell asleep for a good hour, waking up with a sore neck.

Now, I need to go to the grocery store to buy coffee before it closes so that I don’t screw up tomorrow from the get-go. But after my whole one hour cry plus a big nap, now I look as high as a kite because my eyes are completely bloodshot.

Remember my whole How to Cry and Cover it Up (If You Need to) post? Well, those makeup tips at the end are a little iffy – sometimes fixing your makeup after you cried it all off just makes everything look worse. It makes me look like a clown who cried and then tried to fixed her face paint.

Here’s the extra funny part: after three sets of eye drops – which are probably going to make my eyes dry up and fall out because they sure didn’t help – my eyes are still BRIGHT RED. Then what do I do? I fucking stab myself in the eye with my mascara wand. So now my left eye is even redder than before, making me look like a stoned person with pink eye.

If you don’t laugh, you’ll cry, right? So I better laugh here because I start crying again I’m entirely fucked. Except laughing too hard might make my eyes run. DAMMIT.

Anyway, things have been pretty shitty lately and it’s kept me from posting. Sometimes when things are bad I can’t think of a positive spin to put on things, and I get really hard on myself and I can’t write a thing.

But tonight I’m cutting myself some slack. It’s April Fool’s day today and I’ve planned this part of the post for months:

Every night before bed I check on my blog stats for the day. WordPress shows me how people found my blog through search terms. Sometimes people Google the most random stuff and find Daisies and Bruises, which is so awesome and hilarious. I keep a list of the search terms that make me laugh the most. Here’s a sample of the best from the past year or so.

“Free printable narwhal christmas gift tags”

“Wearing a diaper”

“Shitty convertible”

“Poetry background with hammy”

“Squirrel pictures to print for free”

“A big picture of a big daisie”

“Horror shower curtain London Ontario”

“No one understands me but me dog bells”

“What is Lisbeth’s secret”

“Where do daisies get their energy from”

“Fight or flight pooping”

Some of those do make sense, but they still make me laugh. Remember when I explained the phenomenon of having to poop when you’re stressed out? Only on Daisies and Bruises, folks. ;)

Okay, so come back tomorrow because I’m going to write a more serious post about one amazing smart phone app that you need to download.

For now, since I can’t stop rambling about silly stuff, I’ll admit that I’m off to bed with the $4 sheep I got at the grocery store. His name is Maddy, short for Madonna, because he has a mole.

Life is too shitty sometimes to stay serious. Laughing makes life better. Comment with something to make us laugh!

Dirty Girls: Zinester Friends I Didn’t Have Until 25

This video is grabbing attention all over the internet as being an outsider in the 90′s is thrust into the spotlight.

When I watch this video, I think of these girls as the friends I never had. These girls were in Grade Eight in 1996. I was in Grade Six that year, being tormented by the other kids and withdrawing into silence. I stopped being honest about what was going on in my life with anyone except my teachers. I wrote to them in my school journals, secretly telling them about my life that my peers couldn’t understand. At home I kept a journal written in code, afraid of the consequences of being found out. I remember being at a sleepover at age twelve, being made fun of for not telling my peers what I could write down. I knew I was lucky to even be at a sleepover – if people knew the real me they’d surely kill me.

As I got older, from aged sixteen on, I saw myself as a “dirty girl” and dressed in black and avoided the entire world, listening to what I liked and reading what I liked, but never thought anyone on the planet would relate to me, EVER. I self-harmed every day instead of opening my mouth and talking about my experiences. I skipped class to attempt suicide. It was hell.

It took all my courage to survive. I wish I could’ve loved myself for being different before the age of (roughly) 25. I am surprised on a daily basis that I have survived up until this point. This video makes me happy that these girls existed in 1996, somewhere out there.

How do YOU relate to this video?

Gift Time!

 Merry Christmas, happy holidays, yay boxing day! Gift time!

I made you a playlist of videos on YouTube called Security Blanket, based on my own playlist of comforting songs that I listen to when I am sad. I hope these songs bring you comfort. If you don’t like one, skip to the next! There are ten videos total.

I use the Firefox add on, “Easy YouTube Downloader” to download any video or audio track from YouTube. You install it and then every youtube video appears with a download button so you can snag the whole video or just the audio. So snag the songs for yourself that way or if you have trouble, email me and I’ll send you any/all of the songs: daisiesnbruises@gmail.com

Play it, share it, enjoy it. I love you guys! ♥ ♥ ♥

Free Printables!

Free stuff is good for your mental health.

I haven’t bought gift tags for years because the internet is such a great source for printable goodies. Here’s some links to downloadable tags if you’re wrapping presents last-minute like me!

Want to avoid the tape or ribbon all together? Use sticker paper from a stationery store to feed right through your printer.

Free gift tags from Wee Gallery

My Owl Barn is such an amazing selection of hooty goodness. They directed me to these cuties from Wee Gallery: Download them here.

More

Share love & it grows; share sorrow & it lessens.

I’ve had all of these tabs open for over a week, planning on posting about each one of them and today I’ve realized that this is ridiculous. It’s time for one big sharing post!

Let’s start with the graphic I paired with this post. It’s been floating around Tumblr and I can’t find a source, unfortunately, but it hits the nail on the head with incredible precision. When I’m feeling depressed, it makes me feel a thousand times worse when someone tells me to cheer up because someone in the world is suffering more than I am. Not only does that message make me feel guilty for feeling bad but then I become overwhelmed with all the pain in the world and how helpless we all can feel. Next time you feel guilty for being depressed, remember this picture! Think about how silly it would be to tell a kid who’s happy about a lollipop to stop smiling because someone in the world owns a whole candy factory. It’s like one of my favourite Mark Twain quotes:

“Nothing that grieves us can be called little: by the eternal laws of proportion a child’s loss of a doll and a king’s loss of a crown are events of the same size.”

Going Public With Depression by Kat Kinsman on CNN Living reminds me of the biggest reason I’m coping with my mental illnesses today: I spoke up after being silent for so long. In volunteering and later working for mindyourmind I started to share my story to help other people and doing so has kept me afloat. Kinsman’s article covers her experience with depression and provides links to many other authors and websites who inspired her to reach out and speak up.

Speaking of mindyourmind, I am super excited about their updated Help pages. As always, they provide useful tips and links for helping oneself and for helping a friend, but now they go one step further to explain everything you might need to know when first reaching out. I helped a lot with the initial redesign of the Help pages, especially the “waiting safely” part, in the section called I Need Help NOW.  With my experience of attempting suicide several times, I am familiar with that horrible stage of waiting for help to arrive in an emergency. Most websites don’t go through the details of reaching out for help, waiting for help, and taking care of oneself in a crisis, but mindyourmind takes that crucial step.

What has inspired and motivated you this week?

 

 

 

An Unnecessary Movie

Documentary lovers, beware of A Necessary Death currently listed in the Rogers OnDemand documentary section. Why? It is life’s most horrific moments captured on film, and real enough to make you believe that it’s actually happening.

Wait, what’s that? Oh, someone forgot to mention that it is not an actual documentary. It’s a faux documentary.

Excuse my French, but holy fucking shit. I just sat through that movie, believing every moment of it until it was over. And then I freaked out and looked it up online to understand just how that film was made without the entire world not only opposing it but being outrageously horrified by the ending. Only then do I find out it’s not real.

Most websites discussing the movie laugh at those of us who believed it was real, but when my cable company lists a film in the documentary section, I expect it to be real or at least show real footage to back up the theory they are trying to prove. This video was listed alongside Bowling for Columbine and portrait’s of Marilyn Monroe’s life. I wish I had chosen one of those to watch.

Knowing nothing about A Necessary Death ahead of time, I watched the movie trailer before selecting the film. It portrayed student filmmakers documenting the process of finding a suicidal person willing to share the end of his or her days. When the trailer was over I decided that I now had to watch it because I would be thinking about it and obsessing over it for days wondering what happened next. I was also curious about whether they portray a suicidal person accurately, without stigma or judgement of any sort.

I live with suicidal thoughts and feelings daily. I’ve attempted suicide, I’ve lost a friend to suicide. In short, I didn’t think I could be surprised. I was wrong.

As the film progressed I decided that it wasn’t an accurate portrayal of the average suicidal person because the “documentary” focused on a suicidal that was already dying of incurable cancer. The characters in the film openly discussed the morals and ethics surrounding their project, however, and so I remained watching, trying to learn about the artistic process. After all, with every post on this blog I question whether I am ready to share this information about myself with the world, and whether the world will benefit from it or be repelled. Where do we draw the line when it comes to life’s most complicated and painful moments? It’s a universal question.

You will not find an exploration of that in this film. You might for part of it but soon you will be drawn into the dynamics of the characters and the gut-wrenching pain and horror they experience. This movie is up there with The Blair Witch Project when it comes to scaring the shit out of you with real agony. It’s not gore agony, it’s suicidal death agony.

So if you’re reading this post and wonder about ethics of artists and storytelling, do not watch this film. If you have any type of mental illness or know someone who has one (which is pretty much everyone), do not watch this film. Only watch this film if you have an appetite for horror and know full well that A Necessary Death is NOT a real documentary. And even then, be ready to turn it off when it gets too intense. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

I am someone who loves a complicated storyline. Life is rarely straightforward and there aren’t always easy answers to life’s questions. I’m a fan of some darker movies for that reason. And for the most part, I found A Necessary Death to be thought-provokingly unsettling. Until it all goes to Hell in a handbasket with you caught in it, bound and gagged.

Now please excuse my while I attempt to go to bed for the night. Shit.

Edit: I’ve received one response to this post in which the reader is now planning on watching the movie. If that is your intention after reading my post, I kind of feel like taking this post down.  :(

Free SCARS Download Today & Tomorrow!

SCARS is a phenomenal book by local Cheryl Rainfield. I took it out from the library and had it finished within two days! Here’s a summary from Amazon:

“Kendra, a sexual abuse survivor, cuts to cope with the pain, but she doesn’t remember the identity of who abused her. Kendra makes a friend in Meghan, and falls in love with her. When Kendra’s abuser starts threatening her, she must find a way to face her past and stop hurting herself–before it’s too late.”

mindyourmind did an excellent interview (I wrote the questions – hehe) with Cheryl a couple of months ago here.

Anyway, SCARS is a free download from Amazon for today and tomorrow! It’s a kindle download but even if you don’t have a Kindle, you can still download a free copy and read it through a Kindle app on your computer, iPad or iPhone, or Android device. Click “more” below to find out more details!

More

The Therapy Game

After a weekend of rain, I asked my sister to bring over a board game last night. She chose to bring Therapy the Game, which I’d heard about but never played before.

It’s a game for three to six players but since there were only the two of us we made my Digby-puppy play. He kept eating the cards, though, so we had to put him in his crate and then take turns playing from his point of view.

The game is similar to Life except instead of driving little cars around the board, your marker is a therapy couch. You collect pegs as your couch circles through the six Stages of Life, infancy to seniority, and whomever collects all the pegs and reaches the Finish space wins.

At first it was hilarious. My sister and I have both been in therapy for years, so we were laughing hysterically as we pretended to be each other’s therapist as each couch landed in the therapy spaces. “So tell me, Erin, on a rating scale from 1 to 10, how much do you enjoy meeting people?” I’d write down my answer and then my sister would write down what she thought I’d say. If she guessed my answer correctly, she as the therapist would get a peg.

There were also insight questions that related to each stage of life, usually a true or false question or multiple choice. If you guess incorrectly, your couch goes to the middle of the board into the realm of psychosis. “Oh no, my puppy is psychotic!” I wailed. “I knew it!!”

So, it was fun. I really got into trying to answer the questions that were based on real psychological literature and studies. When I landed on the odd “thinkblot” space, my sister quizzed me about what image I’d most likely see in the Rorschach-like ink blot. We laughed and swore and teased each other as we each ended up back in psychosis land, only to roll the dice and end up back in therapy.

Eventually we got tired of it, however, as the game stretched on and on. We started to talk about the possibility of the game giving people the wrong idea about therapy and treatment.

First of all, therapy isn’t a game you can win or lose, and your therapist isn’t your opponent. Seeing a therapist usually doesn’t involve a couch these days and you aren’t usually given a Rorschach test to see if you’re crazy. And if you lose at therapy, you don’t immediately start experiencing psychotic symptoms. And people experiencing psychosis don’t just roll the dice to stop their symptoms, either.

But most people are smart enough to understand that a board game doesn’t reflect the real world, no matter what the game is. It’s the underlying messages, however, that sneak their way into our ideas about the world. Mental illness is something that people joke about, so basing a game on its treatment enforces the idea that not only is mental illness funny, it’s a fun game to play. Having surgery isn’t fun, and people rarely joke about it, so I don’t believe that the game Operation is as potentially damaging to societies’ beliefs as the Therapy game can be.

On the other hand, by basing the questions in the Therapy game on real facts and findings, the game does give some useful information. Weaving correct information into a game format makes learning more fun for everyone. And I’m sure we all agree that society has a lot to learn about mental illness and treatment, so why not turn it into an activity for friends that just might kick-start some real conversations?

If I could change the Therapy game, I’d make each player’s marker a person and not a couch, to subtly remind everyone that real people go to therapy, not pieces of furniture that have no emotions or needs. I’d take away the psychosis part in the middle and make players go to school instead if they got a question wrong. The “thinkblot” tests are fun so I’d leave those in, but maybe add some information about how they aren’t common diagnostic tools anymore.

I recommend this Therapy game if you understand mental health treatment but need a break from being so serious about it all the time. Laughing is good for your mental health! And if you want to play a mental health game to educate others, head over to the Reach Out game at mindyourmind.ca. Teams and points give some competitive fun while you learn real information to help you and others.

Previous Older Entries

Flickr

My Wall Collage

More Photos

My Gravatar

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 796 other followers