#Caught In A Loveship#

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Eight years ago, I fell in love with my friend. I didn’t realize it till much later, and then I was too scared to say anything, for fear of ruining our friendship. Time passed, we grew apart, but still kept in touch. On a trip to Paris however, everything changed. I confessed my present love, He confessed his past love, and we realized we were too late. We had lost our chance. The moments were gone and all I am left with now is the ‘what if’-which, to me is the most heart-breaking thing of all.

We’re caught in a Loveship. Neither love, nor friendship-but the something in between. In order to get over my heartbreak, I wrote down every memory I have of Him in my journal. It made me smile and cry. He is a wonderful man and I want to celebrate His moments in my life, celebrate Him so much that eventually I can let Him go with a smile-and genuinely mean it.

As a result, I thought I’d share my story here. With You. I chose art by illustrator Pascal Campion (www.pascalcampion.com/shop) to complement each post because I just love his work. To me, his illustrations personify Love in all it’s forms and I think, in this case at least, he captures my “Loveship” perfectly.

Wish me luck..

LoveUntitled @_@

#A Poet’s Piece#

imagePoetry by Nayirah Waheed

I sent this piece to a friend today, a budding Poet who’s love for words rival my own, and her reaction was just lovely.

Here’s what she texted me…

“Honest to goodness gracious. These words are exactly what I need right now. Thank you sooooo much! xx”

That’s the beauty of the words of Nayyirah Waheed-there is always a verse to move your soul to peace. For me, she generates hope. And at the end of the day, hope is where my faith lies.

LoveUntitled @_@

 

 

#Depression-It’s Ok#

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Poet Nayyirah Waheed

 

I’ve always wanted to get into poetry, and just for that I have found it to be one of the hardest things I’ve ever undertaken. I’ve read a variety of poets but somehow I never felt a connection.

You know that feeling of sudden awareness when a word or phrase reflects perfectly your immediate state of being? And your eyes widen and your heart contracts almost painfully with the knowledge that someone out there gets you? That connection. I’ve had it with many authors but, scarcely, with poets. Until now.

Nayyirah Waheed gets me. Or I get her. Or it’s a mutual ‘I-get-you’, I don’t know. But when I first read this verse, my heart skipped a beat in recognition. I felt relief. I am not a freak, I am not crazy, I am not scary. I’m just sick-and that is ok.

I write a lot about Depression and Mental Illness and i worry sometimes that I am dragging my readers down. My blog is about expressing things I love, and I try to keep it upbeat and fun and positive and whimsical; but I also want to keep it authentic and true, and for me Mental Illness is real. I suffer from Chronic Depression and Esteem issues which have directed me to make bad choices for myself and have created the rut i find myself stuck in now. And so I write about it, with the hopes that people will find comfort, relief and inspiration to avoid my mistakes and be comfortable seeking help for themselves.

Sometimes I browse online for information and I only find the how-to’s and success stories of Depression, rarely the struggle-in-the-trenches ones, which makes me feel even more distant from achieving that success myself. So I figured If I share my own stories-the really dark, deep, painful, tearful, debilitating emotions I feel with each episode, maybe another patient out there will relate and feel less alone, less afraid and just…relieved. Relieved that someone else out there understands. Relieved that he/she doesn’t have to suffer alone in silence And relieved that one can talk about it openly and seek help.

I made my first appointment with a psychiatrist for August and I am nervous. How much should I reveal? What will she say? What if I just cry through the whole thing? What if I have to take medication? Nervous much? Yeah, I’m nervous. But I’m tired of trying to handle this alone. I need help. I am very relieved to just say that-I need help.

And as Nayyirah Waheed says, “It is okay to hold your hearts outside of your body…”. That’s how you Heal.

And so, I’m going to continue with that first step, my heart on my sleeve, and start to heal too.

 

LoveUntitled @_@

 

#Moving Beyond Fear#

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Hello and apologies! It has been a very long time since I have come on here to write and share things. It has been a rough few months for my Depression and Anxiety, and a lot of things got put off because of them.

Over these past few months, I’ve been up and down. Successful and failed. Hopeful and defeated. Positive and in the depths of despair. And while I’ve always known why I am so emotionally volatile, I think I have finally wrung up the nerve to confront the reason out loud.

Fear.

Fear has been a constant force in my life- like the undercurrent of a river, directing every turn and every decision thus far. Fear of judgement, fear of mistakes, fear of failure, fear of everything falling apart (again!), fear of shame, guilt, regret, fear of being not good enough, fear of ugliness, fear of being too fat, fear of being laughed at,fear of being discovered, fear of poverty, fear of mediocrity, fear of being too loud, too quiet, too short, too honest, too meek, too different, too opinionated, too offensive, too conformist, too dark, too light, too fake, too real….the list goes on and on. And looking at it on the page, I realize that really, it’s a very silly list because it encompasses everything. It should really just say Fear of Life. Fear of Existence.

Well, two weeks ago after a meeting with the bank, this undercurrent of Fear overcame me, rising up into a full-on emotional tsunami and pulling me under hard. I was left distraught, sick with worry and anxiety and confined to my bed. Thoughts flashed through my mind like lightening:

What are you doing? How are you going to survive? What if you don’t make it? Why didn’t you work harder? What if I make the wrong decision again? Should I just quit? What if people find out I’m a failure? Why were you so stupid? Why is this happening to me? Do you have a right to even have dreams anymore? How will you get out of debt? Will you ever meet someone? Do you deserve anything good in life at all?

WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?

I was scared and depressed and stressed and anxious and at a total loss as to how to fix my life.

But fortunately, there was a silver lining amidst the turmoil. My friends, my lovely, sweet, attentive, caring friends. They noticed something was wrong. And one of them stopped by, and we talked and she told me something that made me think. She said, “I used to be exactly like you; worrying about the future, worrying about living paycheck to paycheck, stressing, crying, sick with fear. And then one day I woke up in the morning and just said ‘Fuck It’. I decided to stop coddling the fear and worry and stress and all I heard was this-You Go Through Things For A Reason and It Will All Work Out. In it’s own space and time, It Will Happen. And so now I only believe in these three things. I focus on them, I pray on them, I visualize them, I talk on them, I dream on them and, most importantly,  I live them out. And the Fear? It’s still there. I’m human so I do pick it up from time to time. But I absolutely don’t believe in it anymore. I refuse to let it obstruct me from Life anymore.  And so I put it back down, and I just keep going.” -(S.P-)

Wow. Now isn’t that something?

It really got me thinking, not only about Fear in my life, but of my reaction to Fear itself and the importance I give to it ( I even write it with a capital, surely that says something!). Looking back I realized that Fear has taken almost 30 years of time and energy spent denying myself and the right to live life on my own terms. That thought went straight to the heart and I cried. After acknowledging and grieving that loss, I thought back to my friend’s words.

Is it really possible to just kick Fear to the curb like that? Is that realistic or just another form of denial? Is there really a reason for everything that happens to you? What if, for 1 year, I chose to put Fear aside and instead lived as if everything were going to work out? As if things are coming together, at that right space and in that right time, and everything will turn out beautifully. What would that year look like?

And then another thought hit me, so suddenly I felt my heart constrict.

‘You have nothing to lose, give it a go’.

As I got dressed the next morning, I realized  that for the first time ever, I actually heard my own intuition speak to me. And I really did want to give it a try and find out myself what a year beyond Fear would look like.

So I made an appointment with a professional therapist ( I realized I can’t do this alone) and headed out to meet my friend for coffee (my BFF therapist), and seriously, for the first time in weeks, I felt light again.

 

LoveUntitled @_@

 

 

 

 

#One Day-Cornwall, UK#

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A breath-taking landscape from Cornwall England

 

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….and a lovely painting of  Cornwall England by a Ms.Mary Maddox

I am a huge fan of the British tv series Doc Martin starring the immensely talented Martin Clunes; and as a result, I fell in love with Cornwall England. I came across this painting on one of the Doc Martin Fan forums so I thought I’d share. The artist really did a wonderful job!

It’s places like these that make you want to get up and travel, doesn’t it?

One day Cornwall, one day…

LoveUntitled @_@

 

#The Beauty of The Storm#

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It’s amazing how Nature can mirror one’s soul at a single moment in time. I found this photograph on Pinterest and was struck at how much I resonated with it right now. There’s a storm brewing in my life. The wind is picking me up, blowing me nowhere in every direction. The rain has started, beating down steadily, unflinchingly, until I’m reduced to a crawl. It is hard, scary and difficult.

However, there is beauty in the storm as well. While it is wild and frightening, it is also temporary. And in this fleeting moment, it presents the opportunity to breakdown and face the fears, doubts, insecurities, anger, frustrations and tears that built up the storm in the first place. The process is not easy; on the contrary, it’s hurtful and shameful and remorseful and all types of pain personified, but it is also hopeful, and for that I keep going. One step at a time,  I trudge through each and every feeling until eventually, the storm stops. The skies clear and the storm calms and in a strong voice full of pride and and warmth, it says to me ‘Congratulations, you made it through. You looked it in the eye and you let it all go. Now you can start anew’.

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In this day and age where people are expected to display only the fun, bright, exciting sides of life, this is actually a beautiful gift.The opportunity to breakdown and rebuild oneself-therein lies the beauty of the storm.

LoveUntitled @_@

 

#Small Days#

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Today was a small day. Or at least, I felt small today-hence it was a small day. I know social media is generally used to display only the ups in life-the weddings, the birthdays, the promotions, the vacations, the fancy bags, the love stories, the fun times etc. But life isn’t Facebook. Sometimes there are the down days, and by talking about those down days too hopefully someone else out there can take comfort in the fact that they aren’t alone in living them.

Lately, I’ve been feeling very anxious about life. Scared for my family, my friends, my puppy. Ashamed and regretful about the stagnant place I am in right now, while others are moving forward in life. Anxious about the daunting goals mapped out that I must complete. Uneasy about the uncertain future ahead of me and apprehensive about the changes to come. It was all very overwhelming today. At night, I can feel it right in the middle of my chest- a pressure on the brink of a dull ache with my heartbeat drumming in my ears.

I went for a drive, but it didn’t really help. I took a break from my diet and indulged in some Micky Ds; not so hot. And finally, I came across my copy of the Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. I had started it earlier today just for the heck of it and then picked it up again to finish, and…it helped.

So how did it help, you ask? It didn’t shed some magic wisdom and erase my anxiety or depression. It wasn’t so riveting that it distracted me from my own reality for a few hours. No none of that. What it did do was describe the loneliness, the regret, the confusion and the sadness of the Little Prince very sensibly and very simply. And in that description, I felt like someone else understood me. They also knew what it felt like to feel sad and confused and alone and scared. The camaraderie in that made me feel less isolated in my own smallness-I’m not alone in it. And the matter-of-fact demeanor in which it was told, made me look at it objectively so I could tell myself, “This will pass. Tomorrow is a new day”. There is a lot of comfort in that.

All in all, it was a small day today. I felt down, alone, weak, scared, anxious, ashamed, guilty and despairingly hopeless. But knowing that I am not alone in this made me feel less isolated and allowed me to look at my illness more objectively which in turn, kept me open to seek help when I am ready. And that keeps me hopeful for another tomorrow t

Hopefully, this isn’t too much honesty here but I did open this site to be as authentic as possible, so I thought I’d share this too.

Thanks for reading, good night.

LoveUntitled @_@

#In Honour of St.Patrick’s Day#

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Another St. Patrick’s Day has come and gone, and unfortunately I missed the festivities again this year. Come to think of it, I have never celebrated a St. Patrick’s Day ever! Next year, I am going to consciously make an effort to celebrate this jolly holiday, wherever I am.

In the mean time, in honour of St. Patrick’s Day, I thought I’d share one of my favourite Irish authors Patrick Taylor and his marvelous Irish Country Doctor series. Set in the 1950s, Patrick Taylor introduces us to two doctors and a host of colourful characters in the charming village of Ballybucklebo. It’s a delightful ode to all things Irish, and a perfect read for St. Patrick’s Day.

Check it out soon, the 11th book Irish Country Love Stories is on it’s way this fall.

Cheers!

LoveUntitled@_@

#Sakura In Japan#

 

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The cherry blossoms in Yoshino, Japan captured by Paul Hillier.

It’s that time again-spring is around the corner and the cherry blossoms are about to arrive. In fact, they’ve already hit the west coast of Canada, bursting into bloom in Victoria, British Columbia.

As lovely as they are here in Canada, one day I would like to travel to Japan just to see the Sakura come to life. Like this photograph, it must be breath-taking!

One day, one day….

LoveUntitled @_@