010. Stand Still Sadness

I had another post ready to publish today, (in case you noticed I missed post # 009.) but since I am in such a shit mood, I figured I need to blow off some steam.

 

Stress has a funny way of taking control, doesn’t it? First it’s quite innocent – mild headaches, sporadic loss of appetite,  even short temperaments. Then, slowly, the momentum of the “symptoms” begin to worsen, and increasingly more frequent. Before you know it, you wake up one day angry at the world, anxious about every little situation, spewing hatred at all that cross your path. You look up from your tear stained pillow and notice that everything is normal; the world didn’t stop turning.

You look outside and kids are playing. You call your mom only to hear how great of a day she has had. You text your sister to see how her care free soul is doing and find she is at peace. Yet some how, when you bring yourself back to that pillow, the world seems still. Nothing progress, nothing regresses. Stand still sadness. I’m there.

It’s a surreal feeling. On the outside, things are seemingly great; I have a beautiful fiance (it’s a secret, but I’ll post about that later!), 2 cats I treat as my children, a large family, a great job. When you begin to peel back the layers, you begin to see the torment, the resentment, the pain I feel.

And maybe these emotions that I feel are not directly  associated with stress, perhaps it’s a deeper underlying issue. I can’t even bring my self to say it most days.

Depression.

Could I be depressed? I have no idea. Do I want to know? I’m note sure. I can’t seem to wrap my head around the fact that maybe I should be seeking diagnosis for the poor emotions I feel on the daily. That being said, I don’t want to have to use it as a way to explain myself. I see my sister and my brother do this and I want no part of it. I don’t want their misinterpretation of a very serious illness to be the stigma that plagues our family.

I can’t be like them. 

I guess I should give a little PSA ; in NO way am i insisting that depression or any other mental illness is something to be ashamed of. It isn’t. I am simply saying that my siblings have read up on mental illness, pick one from the list and convinced everyone that they are silently suffering, while in reality they are not. Yet here I am, silently suffering and have no outlet.

I used to be able to speak to my mom about anything. She was my confidant. The thing to know about my mother is that she is a mental health nurse. She knows when people are faking it, and when people are sincere. The problem seems to be that because it is my siblings seemingly dealing with these issues, I believe her to have clouded judgment. This makes it hard for me to approach her as she wants to believe they are lying, but they have her so wrapped around their fingers she can’t put two and two together. I can’t afford to be swept aside by my mother on top of all the medical professionals I’ve seen.

At this point, my words are jumbling. My thoughts are jumbled.

I’m exhausted.

-Dani

010. Stand Still Sadness

008. Good Grief

In a few days, it will mark 1 year since my grandmother passed away. The picture I have inserted in this post is actually the picture I posted the day I found out she passed. This quote speaks volumes to me as I feel it to be so true; I’ve never really had enough time. Related imageIn regards to my maternal grandmother, there just wasn’t enough time to mend (or build, really.) a relationship that should have been.

I think this stemmed from the relationship my grandmother had with my mother. According to my mother, they had never gotten along, even when my mother was just a small child. My mother had always called my grandmother by her first name; I don’t think I ever heard her say the words “Mom” to her.

Although they had a less then favorable relationship, they did how ever find a way to get along. Whether that was purely for show for the kids is above my head, but it kept things normal for us kids. I will always be grateful for that.

The moments that have really tugged on my heart strings were moments leading up to her death. Dating back to when I was a child, about 13 years old, my parents (whom were already separated for 9 years by this point) had decided I was old enough to choose which house I wanted to live at. To make a very long and sad story short, I chose to live with my father due to the (seemingly) apparent fact that my mother and I just couldn’t get along. After a while of not seeing her, I had gone for a visit and she had expressed to me how much of a failure she felt. At this moment in time, she didn’t go much into detail about her feelings on this matter. I am assuming that being because I was a child and even though I protested daily that I knew everything and could understand everything, I did and could not. As I got older and these fights and confessions started to get more detailed, I quickly found out that the relationship I now had with my mom was quickly escalating (or decreasing, however you want to look at it) to mirror what was going on between my mother and my grandmother.

When I finally came to this realization, it destroyed me. The turning point was when I really got to see her pain. Circa 2011, when I went through a terrible tragedy, and then continued pain into 2012 when I lost my best friend to a car accident and my uncle to stage 4 cancer, my world was quickly falling apart. Aside from the pain from these events, I had the pain of seeing the pain in my mothers eyes every time I sought help in dealing with my problems (she works in the mental health field).

At first glance, I believed my mom to be sad about my grandmothers departure from this earth. In hindsight, although I knew that contributed to her sorrow, I knew other factors where at play. I think she felt similar as I did; that they never took the time to mend what was broken between them.

I feel pain for my mother, for the loss of her mother. I feel pain for her regrets and her endless supply of “what if’s”. I vow to never let us get to that point. I don’t want to find myself in her shoes, standing at the doors of her funeral and turning in the other direction and walking away.

Mend relationships that matter most.

-Dani

 

008. Good Grief

007. Blame..

I don’t blame you;

For the fact that my childhood wasn’t like anyone else, or that my family dynamic is not what we all thought it would be.

For all the mistakes I made in my life, or how I was unable to fix most of them because i wasn’t exactly given the tools I need because you and dad did most everything for me and I didn’t have to fend for my self when I was a kid.

For feeling alone and feeling as though you could have and should have done better.

I don’t blame you.

But.

I do blame you; 

For never listening to me when I told you I had a bad feeling about some of the men you brought around us and yourself.

For never wanting to settle our differences.

For always giving me the cold shoulder when I am simply asking if you are okay.

I blame YOU for giving us the relationship you had with your mom.

Continue reading “007. Blame..”

007. Blame..

006. semicolon;

Today’s post is a tough one for me to type; the truth is that a rough copy of this has been sitting in my drafts for about 2 weeks now. Not because I am hesitant to talk about this issue, not because of shame, not because of fear of what people may say. This is tough because speaking about this situation makes it real, and this is not a reality I ever thought I would have to face.

Recently, 2 members of my immediate family has had to be hospitalized under strict psychiatric care, one of which is only 15 years old.

15 years old.

My heart hurts at the idea that such a wonderful soul could be so damaged. It kills me to come to the realization of what might be going on in their head.

I am no stranger to mental illness, as I have had my very own struggles for year. For this reason, I can begin to imagine the battles my family members have had to struggle with, and for so long in silence. I know how much of an uphill battle it can be at times, and I realize how hard it is to even complete the simplest tasks on a day to day basis. Both of these people have a potentially amazing future ahead of them, and the thought that it could be taken away because of an illness that is SO stigmatized, destroys me.

I’ve worked in the health care system for almost 2 years now, and I have come across so many cases of mental illness patients that have been treated so poorly. The truth of the matter is that mental illness is simply NOT taken seriously enough. We MUST start taking a stand and using our voices to health end the stigma. We MUST educate ourselves to recognize the signs and offer some kind of guidance to those who suffer. We NEED to make proper mental health services more accessible to everyone.

It’s sickening thinking of all the people still struggling out there. To be honest, sometimes I still suffer. It’s something that will not just simply go away with a few pills or therapy. It is something that takes time to work through. The reality is that you will live with it for the entirety of the time you have to walk on this Earth and the first thing you must do is just accept it. Accept that it is a part of you, and that there ARE things out there that can help ease the mental (and too often physical) pain associate with the illness.

We will all suffer, but we do not have to suffer alone.

So if you’re out there, if you’re reading this and you suffer from mental illness, whether it be diagnosed by a professional, or even if you have self “diagnosed” based on the similarities of certain traits you have, please know YOU ARE NOT ALONE, and YOU WILL NEVER BE ALONE. Even if every physical person in your life can not understand your pain, know that there ARE people in this world just like you who have-and are-going through the SAME thing, if not very similar. Don’t be afraid to reach out to online communities, as most often they can be anonymous and can seek some real help from the people. Also, know that mental health professionals are trained and are knowledgeable and ARE able to provide you with the help you need. Even if at the time it seems so ridiculous and the methods they are using would never work, give it a chance. Give your life a chance.

So if you’ve made it to read this far, KNOW that I like you, and I appreciate you, and you can ALWAYS find a friend in me, no matter who you are.

-Dani

006. semicolon;

005. where’d you get that body from?

It finally happened. Yesterday, I shocked the entire world with one small appointment. Yesterday, I, Dani Saulnier, joined the gym.

THE GYM.

Leading up to this, I have been bombarded by invitations to join. A few of my coworkers had joined, as well as friends of mine, and they kept talking about how fun it would be for us all to go together. As fun as it sounded, and as much as I needed an intervention about my health habits, I always seemed to push away the idea.

It’s not something I talk about much, mostly because I don’t feel that I have it as bad as some people. I do suffer from anxiety. Some days are worse then others, but for the most part I am able to live a normal life (whatever that means). I do feel that anxiety does hold me back from doing things I would like to be doing; ie. going to the gym.

My thought process whenever I tried thinking about going to the gym was the following :
– “Everyone’s going to stare at me.”
-“Everyone laughs at the fat girl trying to work out.”
-“I’m going to look stupid not knowing what to do on machines.”
-“There’s no way I can keep up in classes.”
Theses thoughts are not healthy. These thoughts are clouding my judgement. Even though every single person I have spoken to about this has reassured me that those thoughts are just not the case, I still believed that it would be a traumatic experience. Until I actually went.

Fast forward to last night, I finished work and decided “Okay, today’s the day. I’m going to get my membership.” So I headed on over and met with the two nicest people I have ever met. Not only were they very comforting, but they actually took into consideration that I was SO nervous and had previous feelings of anxiety associated with the gym as a whole. They gave me pointers and options on how I can get the most out of my gym experience while keeping the anxiety to a minimal. They made me feel as though I belonged and seemed to genuinely care about every word I spoke. They applauded me for the small milestones I achieved recently and are helping me get to where I am going.

Tomorrow morning I meet with a personal trainer. He will be showing me the ropes, giving me some insight on how to better my lifestyle and teach me how to get back into shape. The person I am seeing is even recognized for his knowledge in weight management and life coaching.

I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me. My only goal is to get healthy. That obviously means I am going to shed some pounds, but I don’t want to overwhelm myself with numbers. So here’s to the first day of the rest of my life!!!

& if you have managed to read this far, I like you and I appreciate you.

-Dani

005. where’d you get that body from?

004. Vanilla Cupcake Swirl

As my night shift is slowly coming to an end, I realize that I forgot to post something today! I know that most bloggers don’t post daily, but I really want to make the effort. I think if I push myself to do it everyday, blogging will eventually become second nature and I will always find a way to squeeze it into my days.

Quick disclaimer; just because I want to “train” (lack of a better term) my mind to remember to blog each day does NOT mean this is a chore. I WANT to blog and I find joy in doing so. I guess my motive is really to stick to something that will allow me to have a voice and use it. I’ve found this to be an outlet where I can speak freely. The views or follower count do not matter to me, although I do STRONGLY appreciate anyone who takes the time to read my words. I have always found that blogging (previously done on my tumblr page) was a great way for me to express myself. I have never really had a talent or found my calling. I tried playing guitar (acoustic AND electric), signing, dancing (AWFUL), making videos, drawing, painting. You name it, I have probably tried it, even sports. Nothing has ever really stuck. The only thing that I have ever really considered myself to like enough to keep doing.

It wasn’t all blogging though. I was actually telling this story to my coworkers earlier today. When I was in grade 8, I remember starting a diary. Now, it wasn’t your traditional diary, you know, the kind that all the girls kept under their beds with one of those little heart shaped locks and they would wear the key around their necks, kind of Zoey 101 style. I had tried for a long time to keep a “traditional” diary, but somehow my mom always seemed to find it and laugh at all my entries. I decided I needed to try something else. So one day I opened a Word document and began writing. The first chapter I wrote was titled “Vanilla Cupcake Swirl”, which was actually a perfume I had bought a few days ago from Walmart. I remember writing about all the gossip from that day; the new couple that starting dating in 3rd period, the boy who finally asked his long term crush out and got REJECTED, my crush finally talking to me (they asked for a pen), and so on. Of course, I changed everyone’s names and exaggerated some things, but at the end of the entry I was so proud. I was so excited about what I just created that everyday I would write another chapter.

It wasn’t until I had about 4 chapters written that I had accidentally brought the pages to school in my 5 star binder. I’m not entirely sure how, but one of the boys in my class got a hold of it and began reading it. I overheard him call his friends over for them to start reading them. The lunch bell rang, and as I was gathering my things the group of 4 boys came over and asked me about what I had written. I told them it was just something I was doing for fun. They ended up liking it so much and sharing it with so many other kids that I actually had people waiting for the new chapters, day after day.

Something you need to understand was that I have never been a very popular kid. I only had a handful of friends, and the numbers got lower as I got older. I was the tallest girl, also the chubbiest, and was just dorky. So for at least 20 kids to want to even speak to me on the daily was such a big deal for me. And it lasted all year. Of course, like all good things, that came to an end by the time high school hit, and everyone found out that I was writing about them. Oh well!

Basically, this little anecdote was to give you some perspective as to how much I enjoy writing. The beginning was the above mentioned diary, and then came tumblr, then came poems and them came this. I guess I am just so happy that these kind of platforms exist for people like me to express themselves and do something they enjoy. And as an added bonus, I can come back to this in a few years and look back at the life I had at 23.

Well, I am now off to bed, to sleep for at least 12 hours. Night shifts are hard!

If you’ve made it this far without falling asleep, I like you and I appreciate you.
-Dani

004. Vanilla Cupcake Swirl

003. Best Foot Forward

Image result for tumblr quotes

It is currently 1 am and I am working a night shift. While trying to stay away, I Googled “tumblr pics” to see if I could find some cool things to share on the blog. As I was scrolling through the images, the picture I have inserted caught my eye. The quote triggered emotion in me, which is how I knew I had to share.

About a week ago, I received an email from my local RCMP recruitment office saying that I have been selected to come in for testing for a Telecommunications job (I had applied for this about 6 months ago). At first, I was in shock. I really had no idea what to think. An opportunity like this seems to be a dime a dozen, and I was ecstatic that I was given the opportunity.

Of course, once the hype was over, I was left in a panic. I know, I know; why would a proficiency testing for a potential new career (that would almost double my salary btw) scare the day lights out of me? I was no stranger to the local RCMP. Without too much detail, back in 2011 I was a victim to sexual assault. Long story short (that I will blog about, at some point), the years following this event have been internally traumatic.

Let me give you a little break down. Since the trauma occurred, many of my decisions were based on how anxious the situation would make me. For example, when I was deciding on where I wanted to go for college/what courses I wanted to take, the first thing I thought of was how likely it would be for me to run into That Individual (this is how I will refer to the abuser). I also though about what careers would make me more accessible; what environment I would work in, what field I would work in, what kind of people would I most likely run into, etc. My dream had ALWAYS been to be a Marine Biologist. I have such a passion for marine life and for the beauty of the sea and its conservation. Due to the fact that I did so poorly in school (seriously kids, listen to your parents and DON’T be a heathen), I was basically forced into a new career path. After much thought, I soon decided that Medical Administration would be a good fit for me, and the guidance counselors at my high school agreed. I had all the pamphlets and information on the job that I needed. All that was left was for me to make a choice when I was ready.

Fast forward to 2013 when I was finally ready to take the next step in life; apply for college. Going back to the above mentioned emotions I was going through, I somehow came to the conclusion that beauty school (Medical Aesthetics) would be the best fit for me. Keep in mind, this was NOT a passion of mine. This was a safety net. I had concluded that I would be in a school full of woman (therefore That Individual would not be there), most of the clients that come into the school for services would be female, and my clientele would likely be female as well. To make matters worse, at this time in my life, I was dating this woman who was incredibly controlling, and mentally abusive (again, another post, another day). We both ended up enrolling in this school and for the next year it was hell. Towards the end of my term, we had broken up, so not only was I studying to be something I did not want to be, I was forced to see my ex day in and day out and have to put on a pretty face because “Look’s are Everything” in the beauty industry, according to our dean anyway.

Fast forward to now, I am currently a Telecommunications Clerk at my local hospital. I am so incredibly fortunate to wake up everyday and go to work at a job I adore. The best thing, I managed to persevere through to pain and anxiety of working in such a public place. Most of the time I am down in the main lobby manning the front desk, so I am very much in the public. With a lot – A LOT – of therapy and counselling I have managed to work hard to achieve something I love. And now that I am given another opportunity to try something new, that anxiety and that memory pain came flooding back.

Moral of this story, no matter your struggle, it is valid and it is REAL. Believe me when I say, just as the picture above says, a small act of courage will get you so very far. I have never believe myself to be brave or courageous, I simply think of myself as a woman – a human – who has been dealt some pretty shitty cards. I also see myself as a woman who has worked her ass off to keep herself sane enough to get by, day after day. If I can do it, BELIEVE ME, so can you. It won’t be easy; it will be the hardest up hill battle. But I promise you, the view from the top is SO worth it.

I’m still not where I want to be, but I know I’m headed there.

And if you’re still reading this, I like you, I appreciate you.

-Dani

003. Best Foot Forward