I Can’t Give Personal Mental Health Advice!

ErinBlog Maintenance17 Comments

I'm Removing My Email Address to Protect Myself from Triggers4In the past few weeks I’ve received a ton of comments on my posts asking for my advice or requesting personal support through email, snail mail, or through other sources. On average I’ve been receiving these requests about four per day.

I cannot counsel you because I’m still healing my own mental health. I need you to know that I’m using all my emotional energy to focus on my own recovery. Please read this post of mine to learn more about why I can’t give you personal advice. 

I understand that this blog and videos I’ve done can make me sound like I have my life together and I’m this super high functioning mental health advocate, but in reality I’m dealing with the weight of my own depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other ailments.

I’m currently really struggling with chronic pain and I’ve temporarily abandoned my Facebook and email inbox. I am really overwhelmed and especially with my inability to work at this time, I am beyond broke. The stress from all of this is draining me completely.

Lastly, I really really love the support you’ve been showing me through my Etsy shop, but I also cannot fill custom orders at this time. This includes inquiries about ordering my crafts in bulk amounts. I can barely make it to the post office. PLEASE do not contact me via Etsy conversations to counsel you with your mental health. My Etsy shop is for sales only.

I love all of you and truly wish I could do more to help you personally, but trained mental health care workers can and will help you more than I ever could. Visit my Help Page for links to an organization or website that can help you. If you’ve tried one service and you didn’t find it helpful, try another. Keep trying! It’s worth it. You’re worth it.


ErinI Can’t Give Personal Mental Health Advice!

Hello, I’m Here

ErinDay-to-Day Life32 Comments

I'm here, I'm writing! How are you feeling?I’m here! This feels like a miracle.

I’ve been struggling a lot to function at a bare minimum. About four days ago my Internet died at home and I’ve been too depressed to do anything about it.

But tonight, finally, I dragged myself to Tim Hortons and connected to their Wi-Fi and now I am blogging. YES!

I know I’m going to get through this recent awful spell of depression. I’m good at surviving. I’ve survived a thousand emotional storms before, but man, it’s still a struggle.

This post isn’t very cohesive. I’m choking on these words. I feel muted and alone. I feel so stuck. But I know how to get unstuck:

I need to move. I need to move my body as much as I can. I need to breathe the fresh air and walk and freaking just make myself leave my apartment. Yes, it’s hard and that’s okay. I can still do it.

I need to connect. Lately, absolutely everyone I know is busy, too busy to talk to me. That’s okay. I still need to talk to people. I need to make small talk with strangers, I need to write letters, I need to share my voice through my blog. Even if it feels like I’m writing to a void of empty space.

I need to keep writing. Even when I feel like sharing my writing will bring me nothing but pain in return, I still need to do it. Every time I write I feel better. It’s who I am. It’s how I am. Writing is easier than not writing. I can write my way out of anything.

I need to remember that my anxiety is not always in tune with reality. In fact, my anxiety is a big liar. It tells me that no one cares, no one likes me, that I’m only going to get hurt in this world. But those things aren’t true!

Thank you for listening. Thank you for reading. Thank you for waiting here for me during these times where I cower and feel unsure of my step. This is a blog about surviving depression: Of course I’m allowed to struggle.

So are you. You are allowed to be, just as you are. How are you feeling today? Comment if you feel safe to share your feelings. It will help you. Speak, share, keep going.

We’ll keep going together.


ErinHello, I’m Here

My Emmy-Winning Heart

ErinLife Events, News Stories17 Comments

This blog is getting some Emmy buzz, but my heart is still how I beat depression.What cures depression? Is it fame, fortune?

This is what I know: HEART. Heart is the only thing that beats depression.

This morning I woke up to a donation to Daisies and Bruises. PayPal alerted me with a chime on my phone. Next I saw a text from Jackie at HealthiNation: our videos won an Emmy last night!

A few moments into the day and I had more fame and fortune than I had the day before. Was I smiling? Was I feeling strong, ready to be a famous tv star? Hell no.

This could be my “big break” but depression still stole the daylight for me today. I spent hours trying to shower and get dressed for the day. I put on makeup and then cried it off.  I curled up on the couch in a numb daze feeling nothing but emptiness.

Here’s where my heart broke the barrier: I was scrolling mindlessly through Instagram on my phone. I read someone’s caption about how the answers never come to them, no matter how hard they think about it. I commented saying that life brings answers, sometimes, and that I believe that things can get better.

I’m mindful that the truth I have is my story, especially when talking about depression.

I can’t tell anyone what to feel or think or what they “should” do about anything. I can only share where I’ve been and maybe my story will resonate with someone else. Maybe they’ll see some hope in reading that hope came to me. Maybe they won’t.

Usually if people don’t relate to my story, they don’t say anything. Tonight however, this person on Instagram decided to tear down my hopeful comment. Maybe this person meant to, maybe they were in the depths of despair where life is so bleak that there is only darkness. I know that place. I know it very very well.

With all of today’s numbness, I am really fucking fortunate that I was able to choose lying on the couch over self-harming in any form. Believe me, the thoughts were there.

I didn’t see any of my strength in this until someone questioned it. Until someone said, “Sometimes hope doesn’t work.”

I am a calm person, a quiet person, a person who bites her tongue so she can be polite. But here, my blog, my home, I can get angry. This rage I feel in my heart fights depression every day. This is what it says:

Don’t mess with my hope. Don’t you dare try to take my survival away from me. Believe what you want to believe about how hopeless the world is, but don’t you force that hopelessness on anyone besides yourself.

I’m dead serious about this because my life is at risk. I am fierce when it comes to survival. I will fight tooth and nail to get to a better place because I have come too far to give up now.

With depression, people often feel like they don’t matter. Like life doesn’t matter. Like no one would even care if they were to disappear off this planet.

I feel that way EVERY day and EVERY day I fight it. My life matters because I say so. Because I decided that cutting myself, trying to kill myself, starving myself, none of these things worked to fix the pain I felt. They just amplified it.

I’m fighting for me because that’s my job. That’s all I can do. And if you’ll let me, I’m going to fight for you too. If not, get out of the way.

Never ever question someone else’s fight for survival. Our life is the most precious thing we have. It’s worth fighting for.

If you’re new to Daisies and Bruises: The Art of Living With Depression, WELCOME! You’ve stumbled into the the heart of everything this blog is about. Not fame, not fortune, but heart.

If you’re looking for a recap of what you saw in the HealthiNation True Champions videos, check out this post. Visit my Etsy shop to buy yourself some zines. Buy some for a friend!

And if you haven’t seen the Emmy-winning videos on HealthiNation, what are you waiting for?! Go watch them. And come back here because this is where the story continues.





P.S. Keep track of me everywhere, I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, and Pinterest.

If you’re a millionaire who wants to fund this blog/my life (or you just have a few pennies to throw into my hat), you can simply donate to my PayPal and make me extremely grateful to you forever:

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ErinMy Emmy-Winning Heart

I Hate My Life and I Love My Life

ErinDay-to-Day Life13 Comments

The more we let ourselves feel, the faster we can process our feelings and move to a more comfortable and happier place. I want to be real, don't you?Raise your hand if your life is going as planned.


If I’ve learned anything from having depression, writing this blog, from living all thirty years of my life so far, it’s that things don’t go as planned. Life is screwed up! It’s unpredictable for all of us.

I think half of our suffering comes from our expectations that things were supposed to be better than this. And when things are pretty shitty, we just don’t know what to do, because it feels wrong and bad to complain.

Fuck that. I mean, seriously, complaining is allowed. Suffering is allowed. Every feeling you are feeling right now is allowed.

I am not happy today. I’m in a lot of pain and I feel grouchy. I hate my life today. In a few hours I’ll probably love my life and then go back to hating it and then go back to loving it.

I don’t want to hide my feelings. When we hide our feelings we hide our existence and when we hide our existence we aren’t living. And we all deserve to live.

Give yourself permission. Stop beating yourself up for being unhappy. Scream and yell and swear and stomp around. It’s okay!

The more we let ourselves feel, the faster we can process our feelings and move to a more comfortable and happier place. Nothing is stagnant. Change is coming. Remember what Toni Morrison says: “If you surrender to the wind, you can ride it.”

I love you and miss you. My migraines ARE going to get better and I have so much kick-ass stuff planned for upcoming posts. Thanks for sticking with me.



ErinI Hate My Life and I Love My Life

Change Takes Practice (P.S. I’m Rich)

ErinBlog Maintenance, Daisies6 Comments

WTFHoly blog posts, Erin! What is happening?!

Exactly what happens on a real life, real person blog: Emotion. Real life. Daisies and Bruises.

On Monday I posted asking for help from you. Two days later, I am full to the brim with negative self-talk that emotion spills onto my blog: GUILT.

So this morning I posted, “Nevermind, I shouldn’t have been so selfish. I’m sorry!”

Lady, make up your mind!!

But this is real. This is my life. I’m changing and here’s what I forgot this morning: Change takes practice.

It’s really uncomfortable at first because we aren’t used to it. The other day I said that with some money I would buy new running shoes. Yes, they sound great to me and I really want them, but the first day I wear them they may feel different because they are different.

I will have to break them in.

Change takes getting used to.

We tend to make up our minds to change our lives for the better and hurray! Life is going to be good now because we’ve decided to CHANGE. All those bad days, well, they’ll never happen again because we believe in miracles!

The next day though, those miracles from the night before feel a little flimsy.  We don’t feel so sure of ourselves. So we fall into the habit of beating ourselves up because we’re so used to it.

The power lies in recognizing our resistance. Catching ourselves falling into old habits. And being realistic. Nothing truly real in this life changes overnight.

Looking back on my two posts this week, I’m going to give myself some bonus points for not deleting Help is Hope: Support this Blog. I had two whole days of letting myself feel vulnerable before I tried to apologize with Creating My Financial Cocoon Safely.

I’m going to let myself exist with both the positive post and the negative post, because they reflect the high and low points of this crazy thing we call living.

And to get my pride back, just a little more?

Here’s a picture of me being happy. Like really really happy. It didn’t last for long but dammit, it was there. Look, I captured happiness!


My sister took this two months ago. I asked her to. It was the middle of the night, I had a bad headache, it was fucking fifty degrees below zero, but I’d braved the cold to be with Alison. As I bundled up to trek the few blocks back to my apartment, I looked in her mirror I realized that I looked exactly like my dog.

Have I ever told you how rich I truly am?

Just look what I have.

And in creating the pic at the top for this post, I realized that Digby and I are exactly heart shaped. Now I get to go make a locket! Beat that!

Love Erin

ErinChange Takes Practice (P.S. I’m Rich)

Creating My Financial Cocoon Safely

ErinBlog Maintenance1 Comment

VulnerabilityEyesClosedI’ve received a few generous donations in response to my last post. THANK YOU.

With the money you donated, I can now buy groceries for April. This is no small feat. THANK YOU.

I feel your unconditional support and it gives me comfort. The experience of asking you for help has taught me that I need to work more mindfully.

I’m stopping writing about money. It feels wrong. It feels too vulnerable. Too personal.

If I decide money is something that needs to go along with this blog, I need to run ads. I need to promote my Etsy shop listings at the bottom of each post. Ask for money in the ways that other bloggers do.

From now on, any promotional work I do with this blog in mind, like videos, guest writing for other blogs, and sharing my story in other ways, needs to be paid work. The unpaid work I’ve done recently has left me feeling too vulnerable and weakened.

The “donate” button will remain on my sidebar. If you want to donate to this blog and my survival at any time, it will be greatly appreciated. I will accept your help.

I won’t, however, let myself be a charity. Funding my life is my job, not yours.

And quite honestly, when I add up how much money I think I may need to eat properly, buy running shoes, pay my bills, just survive, it scares the living hell out of me. If I think about how much money I need to build a future I break down crying and crying.

I realize that every adult person in this world needs to budget for their future. I’m no different. I just need to take baby steps or my brain is going to keep exploding and leaving me even more incapacitated with migraines.

And yes, after all the tears, I think about what else I could do. I’ve been seriously considering doing crowd-funding in the sense of Kickstarter, Patreon, etc., but before dedicating myself to a money-raising platform, I want to be sure I have the time and energy required to run it. I want to be able to commit 100% before I ask people to commit 100% to me.

So, my last post was me asking for what I can right now. Maybe it was too ambitious. Maybe it wasn’t ambitious enough. Maybe I’m chickening out. Maybe I’m being strong.

I am just learning. I’m only human.

So this is me being that caterpillar building a cocoon, asking What the Fuck Am I Doing. And the answer is, I don’t know. I’m building something, but building sometimes requires taking stock and ripping parts down and starting over.

We’ll see what shape it takes on from here.

Love Erin

ErinCreating My Financial Cocoon Safely

Help Is Hope: Support This Blog

ErinBlog Maintenance4 Comments

The difference between a breakdown and a breakthrough is what you do with the pain. Supporting this blog supports hope for my future.What’s the difference between a breakdown and a breakthrough?

Whatever it is, I’m having one. It hurts a lot.

But I think…I think the difference between a breakdown and a breakthrough is what you do with the pain.

I keep trying to post this – I have since December – but the pressure keeps building in the form of good news.

Daisies and Bruises placed as a nominee for the WEGO Health Activist Awards for 2015. Then a few days ago I got a text from my friends at HealthiNation: the videos I did with them in December just got nominated for an Emmy. Yeah, the Emmy Awards. This little blog is making a splash in TV land. I am so proud!

This is all really good news, but I am cracking. Promotion for this blog is all wonderful. It’s what I want. More viewers and readers means more people helped. That’s what this blog is about.

Yet…my body is telling me that something has to change. My head is screaming at me not only through depression and PTSD and all the issues I’m used to living with, but through migraines. My migraines have gone from bad to worse and I fucking can’t take the pain any more. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve been to the ER this month because of the pain and the culprit is stress.

I literally got so stressed a couple of weeks ago that I bled out my eyes. You read that right. Both eyes and my mouth at the same time. Here’s proof, just ask my mom (thanks Mom):


I’ve been to the doctor and everything. I’m not dying. I’m just stressed to my maximum. Something has to change. I have to change.

Daisies and Bruises is here to stay. I’ve never felt so dedicated to one thing in my life. The Art of Living With Depression is alive. I want it to live. I want to live for this.

But I don’t feel like I’m living. I feel like I’m dying.

My migraines need treatment that I can’t afford.

I can’t afford food. I can’t afford my rent.

I can’t afford to work for free unless I also let myself do this one thing that I am so SCARED to do:


And actually let you help me.

I feel like the Queen of Vulnerability here. It’s so ironic because I can write about my suicide attempts far easier than I can talk about me actually surviving in this life I have. I am so sick of talking about my death. I want to talk about my life.

But living costs money. And I hate money…I hate asking for it, using it, putting a dollar value on anything at all because life is so much more than what our bank account tells us.

I’ve been trying to figure out how to make this work. My post on wishing helped me really think about my future. About what I want. I want to write for a living. I want to travel. I want to change the world.The difference between a breakdown and a breakthrough is what you do with the pain. Supporting this blog supports hope for my future.

But first? First…I need to ask for help. Here.

And as big as my dreams are, the things that would help my stress levels the most are the most basic:

I would like three meals a day. I’d like to afford to not only eat but eat well, as in fruits and veggies and meat and everything my body needs to function. It’s not functioning right now.

Three meals a day would help recovery from my depression. But affording food would help me get there. So would being able to afford some new clothes to fit my healthy body. Nothing fancy, just clothes that fit me.

What next?

I’m not used to asking. But next? I might add a pair of running shoes to that clothing list.

Then I could run with Digby, my dog. Then my depression would get better from the magic of exercise. It’s one of the best and most basic forms of treatment for depression. When my depression benefits from exercise, I’ll write about it here for you.

Beyond three meals a day, some running shoes, and hope for survival – being able to count on paying my bills…security. Safety. HOPE. 

A healthier me. A stronger me. A more secure me would mean more writing. Writing is my most favourite thing in the whole world. Imagine what we could do together if we set our minds to it.

Writing. Writing and writing and speaking.

Traveling to your city to talk about the Art of Living With Depression. Wouldn’t that be cool? Wouldn’t that be real? Wouldn’t that be worth looking forward to? Living for?

We need to fight depression together. I need your help.

If you can’t help me financially, I totally totally get it. We’re all struggling to survive. And I’m going to write for you forever, whether you can give me one cent or not. I will write forever.

But if you can afford to give me a small amount of fiancial support, it would be the world.

Support for this blog? If I had it, this blog could fully blossom. I would make it my full-time job and I would give you more. More posts, more stories, more life.  I could share my life with you.

Let me share my life with you. Please. I LOVE YOU.

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Share me and my story everywhere. Watch my HealthiNation videos, read my blog, share my story, I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, and Pinterest. Let’s make it our story.






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ErinHelp Is Hope: Support This Blog

We Are All Constantly Changing

ErinDay-to-Day Life24 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 Events9 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

ErinUncategorized4 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