The World Keeps Spinning

ErinHindsight1 Comment

Life is so strange. We go through our days expecting the familiar, sticking with our routines and time passes and then every once in a while we get caught off guard.

I’d met Darlene’s older sister at Darlene’s funeral nine years ago but we didn’t really talk then because we were so distraught. Nine years later she reached out to me on Facebook, which was a wonderful surprise. We agreed to meet and talk.

I tried to be prepared for anything. After nine years I knew that emotions would not be as raw as they were the day of the funeral, but I knew very little about this older sister. Would she want to know the details of my friend’s last day? Would she be angry at me for not stopping her? What could I tell her? What could she tell me? Though I was nervous about the encounter, I also felt safe because she and I already shared something secret and painful.

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ErinThe World Keeps Spinning

My Typical Therapy Session

ErinTherapy1 Comment

Have you ever wondered what a therapy session is like? Even if you haven’t, knowing about my typical therapy session is going to help you know me since therapy has taught me most of the mental health stuff I know. I hope that this description can help you see therapy as more than just a clinical place for treatment. It’s with a real person in a real place and can often feel like meeting a friend on a regular basis.

I usually drive to therapy and have to find a parking space on the surrounding streets. I keep toonies on me always for therapy parking! I briskly walk to my therapist’s office which is a three-story building full of therapists and other independent offices. My therapist actually has two offices in different parts of town so sometimes I arrive at her one office before she does and I’m locked out. I sit in the hallway and read, often seeing other therapists scoot to the bathrooms with a sheepish look on their faces. Yes, even therapists have to pee!

1:00 pm – My therapist arrives – usually out of breath – and unlocks the door to the small waiting room where I hang up my coat. She turns on the radio softly so that our voices won’t be overheard through the office door. I follow her into her office and she runs around turning on lights and moving chairs together. Sometimes there are toys on the floor because she treats a lot of kids as well.

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ErinMy Typical Therapy Session

Me and mindyourmind

ErinThe Mental Health SystemLeave a Comment

I am writing today’s post from the mindyourmind.ca office, my old workplace. I’m back as a volunteer for a few hours a week because I love the staff here and the work that mindyourmind does. We joke that mindyourmind is like the mob – once you’re in you can’t leave!

It was an extremely hard decision for me to leave mindyourmind as an employee because I truly loved my job. I left for a few reasons, one being that both living with a mental illness and working in a place that deals with mental illness was too much. Sometimes what we’d talk about at work would really trigger me but for the sake of my job I felt like I had to pretend I was fine. I know that my coworkers would truly would have understood me being triggered, but I didn’t want to be this flake at work, always having my emotions get in the way of doing my job. I’m such a perfectionist and I didn’t want to be seen as unprofessional. Plus, I had therapy appointments two (sometimes three) days a week and therapy is HARD WORK. I felt like I had two jobs I was constantly juggling, both having to do with mental health.

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ErinMe and mindyourmind

Fake It Till You Make It

ErinDay-to-Day Life2 Comments

I am pretending that I don’t have a headache, that I haven’t been lying on the couch for over an hour with an ice pack on my head, cursing every living thing, pill, or cure that isn’t helping me feel better. I really don’t feel strong enough to write a blog post but sometimes that’s the best we can do. In writing about my recovery from depression, I’m doing the same thing. My depression is far from over and if you heard the constant self-defeating thoughts that circle my brain you would not believe that I can sit down and put a positive spin on it for my few readers. One of my self-defeating thoughts tells me that I’m a fraud. That I’m no trained professional and that I think about suicide far too often to tell anyone how to get through anything. Maybe that’s true, but maybe, just maybe, I am turning myself into someone stronger by pretending to be strong.

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ErinFake It Till You Make It

Making Your Own Luck

ErinDay-to-Day Life2 Comments

A few months ago I stood on a high school auditorium stage and announced that when I was in high school, I was too scared to go into the cafeteria because of all the students that would be staring at me. I briefly realized that I was standing in front of twice as many students (which is pretty awesome) but I knew that I’d been just as scared speaking on that stage as I was ten years ago in the cafeteria. Only this time I’d been ready for my fear. Maybe it helped that the stage was lit and the audience sat in the dark so I couldn’t really see their faces. Maybe it helped that I was older than the students I was speaking to and that gave me confidence. Deep down, however, I knew that it was easy because I could leave that high school minutes after I spoke, never having to witness the reaction to my words.

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ErinMaking Your Own Luck

Evolve or Revolve?

ErinDay-to-Day Life5 Comments

I’m someone who is generally uncomfortable with change. My parents are having a garage sale this weekend and even though I know that pretty much half of the stuff in my apartment is not being used or appreciated, I can’t let go of what I don’t need. I’m not one of those extreme hoarders or anything but I do keep much more than I have to. An ex-boyfriend (the only ex-boyfriend but whatever) once told me that I think everything with a face is cute. Draw a face on an eraser and suddenly I have a new best friend. I feel guilty to throw that new friend into the garbage when I don’t need him anymore, as if he’s going to climb out strike revenge through erasing my eyebrows while I’m sleeping.

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ErinEvolve or Revolve?

Hello, I Love You

ErinBlog Maintenance5 Comments

It certainly is frightening to start something new. I’ve had private blogs for years, ones that I would only share with my closest friends, but moving to a completely public blog is a big leap for me. I’m acutely aware that everyone in my life can find my blog, whether I tell them about it or not. My parents, their friends, my ex-friends, neighbours, you name it. I’m a pretty private person; my social anxiety gets in the way of meeting people and I’m afraid that even my closest friends could be repulsed by something in me that’s too dark to share. It’s a catch-22, being self-conscious and being a writer. At least with words on a page I won’t see people’s immediate reactions and I think it will be cathartic for me to finally tear down some of my walls and risk sharing my heart with the world. Maybe it will connect me with new friends, maybe it will further my writing to the point of being published, which is my ultimate dream. Maybe this is what I truly need to do.

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ErinHello, I Love You