Tuesday, 19 February 2013


"Get over it."

How often have we said that to ourselves, our loved ones, our friends? "Put it behind you," or "Don't dwell on it," spoken with love and the best intentions, yet those words often do more harm than good.

It's not that easy, you see. I worry about stupid things, like sleeping in and not making it to an appointment on time, I check to see if I have my apartment and car keys over and over before I shut the doors behind me. I obsess about my weight, and sometimes I feel an overwhelming sense of impending doom. It doesn't make me crazy. It's my anxiety. It's a thing. It has a name, and it's not as easy to "put behind me" as putting one foot in front of the other.

Anxiety. Depression. Mental illness. I live it every day, and it's rarely easy.

After the meltdown back in August, I felt like I was managing just fine but when I couldn't get to sleep at night and couldn't get out of bed in the morning, it got to be a bit of a problem - especially with a 5:20am alarm and things that need doing.  After hiding my "crazy" for so long, it was liberating and terrifying to talk openly about how I'd been feeling. As I opened up to friends and family, I came to realize that I wasn't alone.

When I first wrote about it here, I was afraid of the reaction I might get - I was afraid I'd be defined by my anxiety. Instead, I've been empowered by it and I wish nothing more than for others who feel that impending sense of doom to reach out for help. It's easier to weather the storm when you have an anchor.

I recently made the decision to take antidepressants after a lot of thinking (and a lot of sleepless nights). I was proud of myself for coping naturally, through exercise and by writing but I'm too tired to be the hero right now. I'm sure that there are some who will uphold the stigma of mental illness, and that really sucks for them, and it sucks for those around them. You'd probably be surprised at the number of people who struggle with anxiety and depression - and you may be surprised to learn that you'll probably experience it in your lifetime, though it may not be as pronounced as it is for others.

You wouldn't roll your eyes or doubt someone suffering from arthritis. Mental illness can, and often is, just as crippling.

We don't shame people suffering from cancer, diabetes or multiple sclerosis, so why the Hell are we shaming people with mental illness? It's time to stop.

It's time to be shameless.


Thursday, 7 February 2013


The problem with dating, I've come to discover, is that people actually expect a relationship on the other side of the date. After spending my entire adult life in a relationship, my year of singledom has changed me in many ways - so much so that I'm torn between the loneliness of being, well, alone and the drama-free existence of it. I never thought I'd see the day when I'd rather be single, but it looks like it's here - of course, arguably, I may not have met the right person...

...or have I?

I've been out on a few dates over the past couple of months, and I now think I might be the Queen of First Dates. I've met lots of great men, but I find faults and make deal breakers of their quirks, lifestyles, jobs and (shallowly) their appearances - though, if you ask me, life is too short to wear ugly shoes. I've become a bit of a snob, and I can honestly say I've set my standards impossibly high. I sit down post-date and pick apart the other person, intentionally extinguishing any interest or spark I was feeling.

I want someone smart, but not smarter than me because I'm afraid of feeling stupid. He needs to have an education, a good sense of humour and quite frankly, I need to find him attractive. If he doesn't like kids, he's absolutely barking up the wrong tree and don't get me started on poor grammar. He also had better be able to deal with my busy schedule, general flightiness and the fact that I'll likely publish our relationship.

Even if I'm really into someone during our date, I find myself tarnishing the positive image I had of that person by the next evening. Why? Well, the jury is still out on that one. Maybe I just need to find the spark...

...or not douse it when I see it.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013


Saturday marked one whole year of singledom. 12 months. 52 weeks. 365 days. 8760 hours. 525600 minutes. It sounds like a lot, and a year ago I would have sworn I'd never make it to this end but I did and it doesn't feel like much longer than the blink of an eye.

Just like in the days and weeks leading up to our wedding anniversary, his birthday, Christmas and New Years I've found myself struggling with the emotions surrounding the process of letting go. Moving on, I've learned, isn't as easy as putting it all behind you. Walking away is much more than putting one foot in front of the other.

At times, I'm frustrated with myself but as the days have turned into months I find I can go weeks without thinking about him, but that makes me even more sad: to know that someone who was such an important part of my life is so absent from it today. Now, we can officially file for divorce. It's so real now - as real as the fact I haven't gotten so much as a text from him in 4 weeks. I vow to let go of my sadness once and for all. No more grieving what could have been.

It's high time I celebrate my life and the changes I've made in it. My energy is better spent laughing than crying, working my way forward than looking back and finding beauty in the world instead of clinging to the sorrows I've encountered. So I propose a toast at 7:16am on a Wednesday. *Coffee mug raised*

Here's to new opportunities, great friends and making my dreams come true. Cheers!