Tag: warrior

Dear Jen- Perseverance- Pep Talk Needed



Dear Jen,

I know what you’re thinking. Well, of course I do because I’m you. You’re thinking that life is too hard, that the pain is too much and that you feel beaten down by this flare. You’re running out of steam, out of motivation and out of  – for lack of a better work “zest”.

We’ve been here many times before. And we give in to those feelings. We give up, shut down, isolate and hide. But not this time. This time we are going to practice a word called perseverance. Which basically means don’t you dare give up. Don’t let the lack of progress suck the the life out of you. You wanted a revolution. You wanted your eyes to have that spark again and you and only you can make that happen.

You have a big and busy week ahead of you. And you can do it. You can also get back to the track, and back on track with all the plans you had this year. Because you’re worth it and we can’t let the pain win. You deserve to have a happy life. Even if that life means you’re dealing with physical and emotional pain. So to ensure this week goes smoothly, extra self care is needed. Which means doing the extra things that help us feel good. Art, writing, going to bed early and planning out each and every day. Our word for the day is perseverance.  So suck it up, because future Jen will thank you.

Dedicated to my dear friend Alan, whose voice I can hear in my head saying all these things.

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Getting Ready to Go Out

This year since its 2017, and I wanted a revolution, my husband and I decided to create date night. Once a month we’ll go out to dinner, or a movie, or like tonight to a little bar to hear some live music.

I should be excited right? A night on the town with my man. But all this brings to me is waves of anxiety. What if I can’t fit in the chair, I feel too fat to be seen. What if people look at me.  I can’t get my make up or hair right. I’m really not very pretty. What if I have too much pain? These are all thoughts that race through my mind like a hundred miles a minute and then I can’t breathe and then I have a full blown panic attack. I tell myself to breathe. This is just anxiety. This is just my mental illness rearing its ugly head preventing me from having the life I want.  God, I want to be able to have a good life.

In this moment I’m frustrated. I remember being younger and turning up the stereo, yes I said stereo while I put on my makeup and danced around while getting ready to go out. Now I can’t even catch my breath.

So what do I do?

Stay in? Cancel plans, God I want to. I want to stay home in my Jammie’s where I’m safe and no one will see me. But I can’t do that to my husband. He deserves a night out. And so do I. It’s once a month. Maybe I can manage once a month, and when panic starts to take over it’ll just be a sign I need to hold his hand a little tighter.

I can do this, right? And maybe future Jen will thank me?

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This is Me at 40


Tomorrow is my 40th birthday. I find that hard to believe. I feel permanently 18 years old in my head, maybe that’s a good thing? Maybe I’ll be young forever that way. In some ways I feel so much younger than my age and in some ways I feel so much older. My mind may be young but this body is old. It’s seen so much pain and illness for a 40 year old. At least I think so. But the reality is- this is me at 40.

This is me at 40, my laugh hasn’t changed, my eyes are still green, my hair is till brown (so far). I’m married to my best friend who looks at me with love and acceptance, who holds my hand and is so patient.

This is me at 40, my son is 15. He’s an amazing human being who I helped create and watching him grow and change is my absolute privilege.

This is me at 40, my body hurts, my head spins, I’m tired and often can’t sleep but I have family and friends who love me, who hold me up when I feel like I don’t have the strength to go on.

This is me at 40, I have good days and bad days. I wish I was smarter, thinner, prettier. I can’t do the job I love, but I have still found some way to share and give back even if it’s not the way I  thought it would be.

This is me at 40, I love coffee, and cups of tea. I love reading and writing and I watch way too much TV. I love movies, and the smell of the library and the sound of a new book being opened. I love to sing, I used to dance, I love pizza and ice cream. I love to travel and Disney is my happy place. I love my house and the feel of my husbands hand in mine.

This is me at 40 and I am grateful.

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Crisis Line-Here 24/7

crisis line

Have you every called a crisis line? I have. In fact, I often call at least once a week.

Here 24/7 is a crisis line and a “front door to the addictions, mental health and crisis services provided by 12 agencies across Waterloo – Wellington – Dufferin.” You can call whether you need to talk to someone or if you need a referral to other mental health services across the region.

I remember calling for the first time. I was so nervous, what would they say? what would they ask? could they even help? Once I started talking though I found the people at the end of the other line, calm, comforting and encouraging. They aren’t just there if you are suicidal. You can call for all sorts of reasons. Today,  I called because tomorrow is my last appointment with the therapist I have been seeing for over two years. I’m distraught, I’m grieving and I needed someone to talk to. Sometimes they just listen, sometimes they offer advice. Today the advice was to go for a walk, then make a cup of tea, curl up in a blanket, put my favourite show on TV and just cry if I needed to. (But I’m not so good with the crying-I don’t have patience for it-its just too painful)

You can call anonymously but I’ve found it more helpful to tell them a bit about myself. They get to know you and I believe they make some notes so that if you call again you’re not starting from scratch. Calling a crisis line can feel scary but the options if you don’t call I think are much worse.

It takes courage to reach out, but when you do I think you’ll find that some else is reaching back.

crisis line

Have you ever used a crisis line or tried Here 24/7? What was your experience?

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