Wednesday, September 30, 2015

"Active recovery."


Yesterday I had a therapy session that was slow to start. I could feel Ranjana struggle to engage me. I left there feeling deflated, like I was "too fucked" to help. We ended on some of the traumas I can't seem to let go of, and how they eventually, over time, morphed into something completely different.

Ranjana wants to explore those, which I'm game to, but I don't really understand it. I don't know where it comes from, and I don't know how to grow-away from something so - formative.

The above quote spoke to me today. I need to remind myself that it's one day at a time, and that it's an ongoing process.

It's everyday. And I am changing. And I'm better to myself than I was. And I'm trying.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

What I Wish People Knew about Depression.

Really great piece over at Psych Central about the unknowns and untruths about depression.

Written by Therese J. Borchard, who nailed it.

Some of my favourite bits: 
I wish people knew that depression wasn’t something that can be cured by participating in a 21-day meditation series with Deepak Chopra or Eckhart Tolle on Oprah.com, and that although mindfulness efforts can certainly help, it’s possible to have consistent, chronic death thoughts even after years of developing a meditation practice.
I wish people knew you could be grateful and depressed at the same time, that gratitude can coexist with a mood disorder.
 
I wish people knew that, despite impressive research on neuroplasticity and our brain’s capability of changing, it is unfair to expect a person to undo depression by merely thinking happy thoughts, that the science is new and while a person can be mindful of forming new neural passageways, he can’t change a lamp into an elephant overnight, just as he can’t unthink a tumor from happening.
... 
I wish people knew that the hardest thing some persons will ever do in this lifetime is to stay alive, that just because staying alive comes easily to some, it doesn’t mean arriving at a natural death is any less of a triumph for those who have to work so very hard to keep breathing.
Really voices how I feel, that no matter the research, the knowledge and the understanding I gain, I still struggle daily. All the explanations in the world don's actually change the way I hurt. 

Monday, September 28, 2015

Can we just "golden-girls-it" now?

This weekend was a good one.

I took Friday off to head over to a friend's office. She has her own design studio and has a corner dedicated to photography. She has experience as a photographer, and she gave a couple of hours to a friend and I to try and get some decent head-shots for Linkedin and for website use.

She actually rents her office space above a restaurant owned and operated by a former classmate of ours, so we all ended up having lunch, and people started calling people and we ended up having dinner and drink at her loft later on.

It was just nice seeing everyone, and being unexpectedly social.

Saturday I had a dinner party planned for three good friends of mine. Two of which had never met. So it was just a really nice time, filled with chat and giggles and a new 2 month old baby who cooed a lot.

It really reinvigorated me. It can be so nice, being surrounded by friends. It can take a lot of energy out of me, but it was nice.

There were high points and low points during both events, since it seems like everyone is doing really well, and getting their shit together, and I'm not. I'm still struggling. I find that very difficult. Comparison makes a terribly view of the world, I know, but I couldn't help but feel like the limping party.

I know that the way I feel about my body is something that affects me negatively daily, but I'm not sure how to move forward. I want to be pro-active, but I have so little energy.

Why is having a body so difficult for me?

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Trying to learn from Kanye.



Kanye West has healthy self-esteem. At least it seems so. If it's all an act, it's very convincing.

He’s always been quick to call-out those being shitty to him, or those who weren’t taking him seriously. 

I remember watching the Hurricane Katrina fundraiser live, and when he said what many were thinking, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” I was shocked (see Mike Meyers face). He looked directly into the camera, and you could see he was upset, and angry. He was also right.

First of all, Kanye West is insanely talented. Whole other level. I purchased all of his first albums (when I purchased CDs) and was especially drawn to his clever sassy bits. For example: “look at this pea coat, tell me he's broke.”

Adorable.

His visuals, his art direction, his content, his tone, his production value – all of it = brilliant.

His live performances on SNL were genius. His collaborations with Jay-Z, and his recent production work with The Weeknd, just further prove his aptitude, not that anybody is questioning it at this point.

All of this is to say, Kanye also has the talent and the acumen to back-up his confidence.

When I see some of his interactions with the media, whether they belittle his work or the racism he’s faced, I take heed of his innate sense of self.

It seems he never questions himself on his value. 


I respect and envy that, as a person, and especially as a creative.

Here are just some of the examples of his legendary confidence:



Anyway, he's not perfect, but he lives his life in a way I admire, and that is totally alien to me.


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

I like ButtPoems.


By ButtPoems.

Beautiful stuff by Kirsty O'Rourke.







You can check out her Tumblr.

You can also support her by buying her prints on Society 6.

She also has a great embroidery project on mental illness on her site. 

Ian Stevenson.




By Ian Stevenson. I also like this one:


Toronto graffiti.


I'm not even fuzzy...


From Crimes Against Hugh's Manatees.

A few words on The Noonday Demon.

I just finished The Noonday Demon.

I cannot recommend it enough.

For me, it's been an education in my own disease. It's a reference point. It's a collected history. It's research that affects me directly.

I'll eventually write a full review, but for now I just want to acknowledge Andrew Solomon's work, and how it's impacted me.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The paralysis of analysis.

I had a difficult session with Ranjana a few days ago. Really languid. I felt intellectually vacant and distant from our conversation. 

--

It took me another couple of days to get back to writing this post.

Every once in a while I get to this place where I ask myself about the perils of self-reflection. Am I not hyper-critical of myself? Can't self-reflection eventually turn into masturbatory flagellation? It's like I'm a chimpanzee enamoured with my reflection, stuck in this space of first-time discovery of the self.  

Is this what I look like? 

Like a magnifying mirror where unseen pores are now as large as the moon. 

Is this what I look like? 

Isn't the body disgusting?

This selfie culture of best angles, Oprah-lighting and 45 shots to get one where you don't look, like, well, like yourself. 

I don't want to look like me. I'd like to look like her please. 

This place where my mistakes are some easily remembered and my triumphs are so quickly left behind. 

How can I be so aware of my flaws, but know so little about other parts of myself? 

Why is my depressive muscle so much stronger than the other parts of my personhood?

How do you practice something that is alien to you? 

How do I live a life?

I'm in my 30's. Haven't I already wasted so much of it? The experiences I've collected are not happy ones. But is that permanent? Can I serious, shitty time be moved away from? Can I grow, up and out?

I reject my maturity. 

Do you know where I can find this medicine?









Source.

I Smile Back.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

A conversation between friends.


Indeed...

the simpsons animated GIF

Jaywalking.

I slowly walked towards the office, passing by a small gathering of bicycle-cops. I started to jaywalk. I suddenly stopped, and stood awkwardly at the corner of the street. All three cops stared at me. I pretended not to see them, as I stood, interrupted in movement. They looked at me, waiting. I starred at the cross-walk sign until it lit up with its little walking figure. I crossed the street legally. The cops turned their attention back to their bicycles. We all went on living our lives.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Bea says "be nice."


Great cartoon by Bea over at silly bro.

Being nice can really change the energy of the world around you, and when you interface with others, you always have the opportunity to bring good energy their way.

I know when I'm in a good mood, I open doors and smile and make jokes with sales-people and I feel a palpable difference in the way things are.

People don't remember what you said or what you wore, they remember how you made them feel when they were with you.

Bea has some great/cute stuff! 



Brené Brown on Empathy.

Standing in a water fountain.

Yesterday was a bad day. I ended up leaving work around 2 pm, I was confused, disoriented and just really hurting.

image

image

I ended up walking to the Place-des-Arts fountains. I sat and watched them. I read. I walked in them. It rained yesterday morning, so I was already wearing rain boots. I would have liked to do it barefoot, but it was cold out. I wanted to be in a warm bath. I wanted to float in warmth. I wanted to hear nothing. I wanted to close my eyes.


I was completely overrun. Everything was so noisy. I was completely lost within myself. I can't be expected to engage anyone, to communicate, to be seen. Eye contact becomes difficult. I find myself looking at my feet, in seeming permanence. 

I eventually made my way home. I avoided my mother and said I wasn't feeling well. I went into my room, undressed, and crawled into bed. I then did my best to burrito myself. Or I guess tuck myself in. I wanted to feel swaddled. 


I just googled "blanket burrito" - turns out this is a thing. Some of these images were from a google image search and I can't seem to find the illustrators.



There's also a lot of great ones of swaddled dogs. I encourage you to discover that yourself.

Anyway, I ended up sleeping most of the night, and getting up to eat a bagel and take my medication. 

Today is better, but I'm tired and feel weak. 

Adventures in major depression! Like rolling down a dump-covered hill and then attempting to walk straight through a crowd, whilst trying to convince yourself you don't smell like fucking shit.

Letters to who I was 5 years ago.





By Lauren over at iguanamouth.

There's also the alternative ones:


Monday, September 14, 2015

Please Like Me.

Look, I love Please Like Me. It's an Australian narrative/comedy written by and starring Josh Thomas, and it's brilliant.

It's quick, cleaver, sweet and occasionally absurd and dark as fuck. It's my life. The fact that much of the show also deals with mental illness in a super open way is just the icing on top of a delicious television cake.


I just relate to it so much. Sometimes really dark things happen, and then sometimes you dress up your dog and make a music video.

This exchange takes place in a psychiatric hospital:


I love the humour, I love the credits and the visuals. I just love it. I love it I love it I love it.



The first two seasons just played on CBC here in Canada, and seem to be playing on ABC in the US.

I don't know much about Josh, he hasn't done a ton of press here. It goes without saying (as I say it) that I want to be friends with him. He seems great.

















I know the show has been compared to Louis and Girls, which I think is fair, though Please Like Me is sweeter and funnier, but there is an often darker/grittier undertone, just subtler. Louis and Girls can have very dark episodes, but Please Like Me can talk about something pretty serious or dark through a lens that's still pretty ambivalent and sarcastic. 


I can't recommend it enough. It's currently streaming on the CBC website, and I think you can get it online in the US and in Australia. Check it out.

A lot of the above gifs are from the Please Like Me official Tumblr.