Blogging Stresses Me Out Sometimes

Here’s a brief note about my blog I’d like to express; occasionally my posts stress me right, the hell, out! Sometimes after I hit the post button I immediately wish to yank my writing from the hands of the public, have a glass of wine, torch the proverbial page, and forget I ever thought about posting something so personally revealing.

Certian topics, such as yesterday’s blog titled,  My Experience With Self Harm Part 2, was particularly difficult to write, post and not worry about it being out there for all to see. It’s a deeply personal piece about recent incidents more than a little raw, and a subject I find myself quite embarrassed of although I would never, ever judge anyone else negatively for having such an affliction.

Sometimes I feel like a sort of flasher, exposing parts of my psyche that might make my readers uncomfortable. Although, unlike a flasher what I’m doing is legal, I still never, ever intend to make my readers feel uncomfortable. My goal has always been to draw attention to the importance of destigmatizing mental illness by using the stories I know best, my own, and sometimes my stories are uncomfortable.

Should my posts ever become unwelcome or tedious please tell me I’ve missed the mark so I can attempt to get back on track.

I genuinely value the opinion of each and every reader and want to provide useful content to those grappling with mental health challenges as well as those trying to gain a better understanding of such things.

K

Celebrating 1 Year Blogging

I’m proud to say I’ve now been blogging about my struggles with mental health and illness for a year. This year has been wrought with both ups and downs but through it all I’ve had the chance to write about mental health issues important to me and for this I am overwhelmingly thankful.

Having the chance to write about mental illness, grief, health, love, creativity, healing, chronic pain, and perseverance has allowed me to capture many of the insights into health and illness that might otherwise have passed through my mind without sticking. I have had a chance to pause and reflect on what I’ve learned and all I’ve left to learn. I’m thankful for the opportunity every day.

I have found myself surprised and flattered with the response I’ve received and overwhelmed with the genuine, loving interest about mental illness. In the words of one wise😉 American, “who knew healthcare could be so complicated?”

All kidding aside, I am so pleased my work has managed to offer insight to those on the outside of mental illness trying to be more understanding and empathetic and to those struggling along with me. Destigmatization of mental illness continues to be extremely important to me and this blog represents the contribution I can make to the cause for now. In the future I hope to be able to contribute in a far more impactive manner.

I plan to continue writing whenever I can and I hope that whether my own health is better or worse I can keep on contributing and, hopefully, offering love and support to anyone in need.

Thank you so much for joining me on this journey so far. I hope you will continue to support my future efforts as I appreciate each and every reader more than I can possibly express.

Much love❤❤❤

K

Trump is Mentally Ill?

“President Trump is mentally ill, ha ha ha!”

I realized recently how morally wrong this statement/joke is. Now that I’ve realized it I hear it everywhere and I just want it to stop. I must admit, in the not-so-distant past, I’ve been guilty of uttering similar phrases about the American president but I’ve stopped. Here’s why I think you might consider stopping as well.

Please don’t think I’m saying Trump is a precious snowflake and his feelings need to be protected. He signed up for endless scrutiny and he certainly behaves in a manner inviting much criticism but as a society we must be responsible with our criticism.

Once we make it ok to constantly question Trump’s mental health and also make his mental health a punchline on a regular basis we make it ok for this to be a real-world criticism, a real-world punchline.

This is not an ok trend to nurture. Hasn’t society supposedly been trying to destigmatize mental illness? Isn’t it supposed to be ok to be coping with mental illness and leading a rich and successful life? 

Sure President Trump, in my opinion, is not an example of the type of human we need in the world but please let’s stop using questions about his mental health as insults and punchlines to prove this point. 

Mental illness is very real for many individuals, including me. In order to make progress with destigmatization we must remember to shine positivity and hope onto mental health issues rather than using speculation about a person’s mental health to tear them down.

K

Perfectionsts’ Nightmere” 

I me a perfectionist. It is driving me bonkers to see some many errrrrors and not collect them, exspecially be cause I’m going to pubic this without editing first.

Pic of me thincing”Holy Feck, cannot beleave im publitinng such carp!”

Thats Wright today’s post will look like it was written buy the same drunk monkey who edited the 3nd bok in tha 50 Shades of Tripe. Trillahgee…

I am doing this excision at the re=commendation of my therapist. He says I should slack off a bit and let a few Miss Takes slide buy. Hew ants me to see thatv I do have toobe perfect all the time. 

On a scale from one to ten this excursions case is about an ate as far as anxiety introduction goes. I obsess over corrections and edit again and again until I feeeeeel it’s just rite. Even then I know I’ve likely missed an erection or two”.

But eye can do this. The world will not end if theres a ding-a-ling participle somewhere

Or a misspelled word, an incorrectly structured paraglider, or laughable compunction

I can go back to editing next:  post four4 now I gust I’ll revel in the “freedom” that “is is” not giving a frying fuck!

K

Summer Girls – Mini Art Series

Summer Girls is a series of women’s faces in dreamy, garden-like scenes. I didn’t set out to create a series. Every time I finish one in the series I can’t wait to draw the next one, it’s already blooming in my mind. I’ve chosen a few of my favourites to show here. 

I have been really enjoying doing sketches like these in pencil crayon and marker. I think the medium as well as the subject matter compel me to keep creating more.

Mentally, especially when I’m in a lot of pain, sketching distracts me enough to keep me sane. Having control over where I can take a piece also gives me a sense of power where, in my life, so much about my situation is beyond my control. 

Please keep in mind I am an absolute amature artist. I’ve been at it since 2012 and taking lessons for the past three years. I try to practice every day and this definitely helps. I look forward to continuing to study and practice visual art.

K

All art featured in the Summer Girls k.perkins 

Another Momless Birthday

I thought of my Mom a lot on my birthday last weekend. I miss her carrot cake with cream cheese icing. I miss the chance, no matter how childish, to lick the beaters. I miss chatting with her over a glass of wine or summer fresh mojjito. I miss her in the lounge chair on her back deck, her skin the golden brown of a woman who gardens and walks and faces into the sun.

The Weight of Her Absence – Acrylic heavy body and ink on canvas – I painted this a year or so ago to represent how hard it is to have her gone from our small family and how heavily it weighs at times.

I miss all of her, even the bits that drove me crazy. She tucked her cotton tops into her elastic waisted pants and had a penchant for head to toe lime green. She used silly expressions like, “wrong-o sleigh bell lover” or “close only counts with horseshoes and hand grenades  (this usually pertained to curling)”.

I miss the warmth of her hugs and how freely she dispensed them. I miss our creative mash-ups. I miss watching the Gilmore Girls with her and so wish we could watch the new reunion season together.

I miss playing cards together at any campsite picnic table by the blazing lamplight. I miss trash talking and teasing and laughing until we cried. 

I miss her scent. Nothing heady or easily pinpointed. Cacao butter, mango, dryer sheets, pert shampoo, and, occasionally, a hint of apple blossom perfume. I tried to seal her scent into zip lock bags when I cleaned out her closet. Carefully folding a few t-shirts into a couple different bags and storing them safely in my top dresser drawer. Trouble is the scent dissipated…just like her. I can’t bring myself to let those bags go yet just in case, hiding somewhere deep inside, there’s just one more glorious whiff.

I know I can’t have her back but I still wished for her just the same when I blew out the candles.

K

Musing and Ranting About Getting Older

In less than a month I will be 37. I will be 37 and I feel like I’ve been standing still for the past 5 years. When I was working I was achieving, I was pushing myself, I was creative, and making friends and I had a busy, full life.

Lately in therapy we’ve been working on finding my ideal future career. Sometimes I even feel excited, ready to take on the world again. 

I feel like maybe it’s just something simple I haven’t done recently that will make all the difference…like reading The Secret -FYI I have read the Secret and it was stupid and any psychiatric Dr or nurse I’ve ever mentioned it to have laughed and then quickly said “…uh yeah, The Secret is bs.” Who knows…maybe I just haven’t met the right Dr yet.

Anyway, back to career thinking. These are some of the questions I grapple with constantly when I’m not daydreaming of running some creative fortune 500 company:

* What can I handle mentally?

* What can I handle physically?

* Can I handle a position that’s as incredibly creative and stimulating as I want it to be? I need passion💚💃💚

* Who will want to hire me and my limitations?

* Do I deserve a second chance at a dream job?

And on and on and on…

I’m told to dream big. Warp my fantasy where all limitations no longer exist. Honestly, I wonder if my aversion to showers and my hermit-lifestyle isn’t perhaps a glaring sign I need to deal with that shit first.

Ug! Pardon my whining, I’m just finding priorities hard to pin down.

K

Crash

My body has been screaming, “no!”, for days now and I must give in and rest. This is what I would call a cumulative pain flare up.

I was lucky enough to have my husband’s sister and brother-in-law and their two boys, ages 3 and 7, stay with us about two and half weeks ago and we had so much fun! I wouldn’t change a thing.

I tried to pace myself but wanted to miss out on as little as possible.My nephews are so beautiful and smart and fun❤😊❤ I wanted to spend as much time with them and their parents as possible. 

After the boys left, along with their patents we had my husband’s Mum stay with us for another week, which was great as we get along so very well.

I began to really notice fatigue, low tolerance for going out, increased pain levels, and general irritability during the past week. My husband and his Mum were kindly indulgent of me and incredibly understanding about my limitations. 

As of yesterday, Mum left for home, and my fatigue finally kicked into high gear. Now for the really tricky part. 

I must take care of myself.

This is so much harder than it sounds. There are dishes in the sink, beds need changing and laundry needs doing. For now I must push these items down far lower on my list and accept rest as a priority activity and not feel inferior or lazy.

I find it hard to admit I’ve pushed too hard. I see  people moving through life at breakneck speed and achieving left and right and I want that back so badly. 

For now I must accept my body’s mandatory invitation to rest for as long as it takes to recover. This flare up will end then I can get back to living a little more and inching forward once again.

K

Death Defying Dreams

I dream of my Mom and I feel unsettled. 

I dream of my Mom and I feel terrified.

I dream of my Mom and I don’t want it to end. 

I dream of my Mom and I feel uplifted.

I began to dream of my mother frequently 6 months after she died. At first I felt deeply unsettled, aware her presence was fleeting and I couldn’t control anything and she didn’t seem to be aware of me and my desperate grief. It was as though she was playing a role and not an interactive one.

One day I took a nap in the afternoon. To my surprise and excitement  I came slowly awake to the sound of my Mom talking on the phone in the other room.

I leapt from my bed, flung my door open and there she was talking on the phone no more than 8 feet away.

She seemed surprised when I threw my arms round her neck and sobbed into her hair, ” How is this possible? How are you here?”

She hugged me back but didn’t hang up the phone. marveling she was there at all I felt elated but couldn’t understand why she seemed preoccupied and didn’t recognize this for the miracle it was.

“How is this possible?” I continued to wonder. “This has to be real. I woke up so I can’t possibly still be dreaming…right? …right?!”

I feel as though the construct of reality is unraveling without my control. Tethered no longer in dreamland, I’m sucked back to reality.

My reality doesn’t include time with my Mom anymore. In my reality my Mom is not on the phone. In my reality I can’t hug my Mom. In my reality my Mom is dead and it sucks.

I mention this instance not because I am fond of melancholy and tearjerking. I mention it because the dreams, and that one in particular, were jarring and frightening and I had no idea it might happen or how difficult I’d find it.

I felt like I had to say goodbye to her all over again every time I woke up. What was worse than saying goodbye repeatedly was having no control over when she’d show up in my dreams and if she’d even notice me. I still find it a little upsetting when it happens.

I wish I’d known how deeply grief would affect every aspect of my life, even my dreams. I don’t know that knowledge beforehand would have changed things as the grief experience is different for everyone. I do know knowledge is power and the dreams made me feel powerless as did heavy grieving. 

That is why I share this story, that it might provide knowledge, insight, or even just a sense it’s OK to be completely frustrated and freaked out trying to figure out grief and how to cope.

K

Ruminating About Ruminating

In grade one I had two Valentine’s for Bonnie. One Bonnie was a classmate, the other a friend of the family who worked at the school.

I accidentally gave both cards to the Bonnie in my class. I realized my mistake and tried, tears of embarrassment pricking my eyes, to take back one of the cards.

My teacher insisted it was rude to take the card back and when I cried harder she took me to the cloakroom to calm down and think about my actions. I’m not sure if she knew I was crying because I might have hurt Bonnie’s feelings. I think she thought I was upset for not getting the Valentine’s card back.

She came to get me after about 10 minutes and I apologized profusely to Bonnie then sat down with the class to enjoy ice cream and cake, the later of which I had a mild allergic reaction to. I hid the reaction because I figured it was just deserts (oh yes she did😂).

I was in grade one roughly 30 years ago and I still pick up this Memory from  time and again and give myself a sound mental beating for how I behaved vs how I think I should have behaved.

Believe me, if we have ever communicated I garuntee I’ve spent time considering how I could have communicated better with you and disected each moment trying to tease out what I did wrong. I generally assume I did something wrong.

This tendency to ruminate does me no good at all. In fact it is a colossal time suck. So why do it?

I hear folks like informative diagrams. In light of this I have provided the following  diagram demonstrating how rumination tends to feel.

Please note: The flowers depicted on the diagram are purely decorative. Ruminating actually sucks but I find sucking hard to draw.

Here’s a theory – beating myself up over minute transgressions allows me to feed the perfectionist beast inside. I want so badly to not be socially awkward, to always say the right thing. I imagine others have this whole social perfection thing down perfectly and nary a faux pas is ever made.
In my life now I call upon mistakes both old and new to beat myself up for and ruminate upon. It’s sort of like coming home to old friends. Old friends who want to suck the marrow from my self esteem, but old friends nonetheless.

So what is to be done about this unhealthy habit? Probably more of that positive self-talk along with a sprinkling of self-love. If I could just figure out how to staple both those items into my psychee I’d be cooking with Gas.

I guess it’s all fodder for my next appointment with my therapist😉

K