December 24, 2012

And it Starts.

I knew Christmas would probably be rough this year, what with my getting my footing around this whole conversion thing.

What I did NOT expect was the discussion about the "War on Christmas", and how the rest of my family feels like their right to religious belief is being squandered by everyone saying "Happy Holidays". Protip: 99.999% of the nation is Christian. How about we NOT forget about how the 0.001% feels? There's no "War on Christmas" any more than there is a war on Tim Hortons. THEY'RE EVERYWHERE. There's no fighting it. What we need to fight for (or at least acknowledge) is the little mom and pop donut shops trying to make it in a "double double" kind of world.

The heartbreaking thing is something that is, well, sort of counterintuitive, and something that is making my heart break the more I think about it.

Awhile ago, I asked my dad outright to ask my grandma if I could have her bible. It's this giant thing that was probably printed in 1400 BCE and has all our family history in it and I love the goddamned thing. Yeah, it's a bible, but a) I still think the bible is as relevant in my life as it ever was (minus the misinterpretation commonly accepted by most people as the Christian faith... blunt and harsh, but true. Sorry Christians), and b) it has all our family tree in it, and it's this beautiful illuminated old leatherbound thing. It's the bible I remember using when I really fell in love with scripture, when I was bored at my grandparents' house due to lack of siblings or many friends in the area. I just loved it. It has all my uncle's old letters from the war in it, and myriad other dumb little family mementos in it. So grandma says to me, when you take me home, I have a bible for you! I'm like HOTDAMN dad really pulled it off this time! And am all excited. I want this thing desperately because I know it means a lot to my dad, and if I ask for it, she'll definitely give it to me. Instead, I am given this one that was a gift to her from a funeral home when my great aunt died. Sweet she'd think of me or some shit like that, but... creepy.

This isn't making a whole lot of sense yet.

The problem is... last year I came pretty close to getting in a physical altercation with the aunt that is in current possession of the thing. Any of you who know me (I hope) know that that is reallllyyyy not my style. I'm usually very easy to get along with, and am not a fan of confrontation, though I don't shy away from it when necessary either. Anywho. She's treating my dad like shit, and her husband sent around this shitty email reply that pretty much called my dad an uneducated neanderthal (slight sensationalism on my part, but hey, my dad's my hero), and I went over there and called her everything there is to call someone you have 30 years of pent up emotions with. She came after me, but it didn't go there. And now she has the family bible. And I know for a FACT she doesn't give a shit about all the family history behind it. My dad is very into genealogy. I know she just wanted it because my dad did.

I know it's just a "thing", and "things" shouldn't produce this kind of upset (ideally). But... I want to absolutely beat the ever loving shit out of this woman!! Resentment is like a poison you drink and expect the other person to die, I know. I know all that zen Buddhist hippie beatnik shit, and I am usually that person that annoys the shit out of other people with that kind of philosophical crap that is intended to make you feel a little better. But right now, I could literally break into her house, destroy the place, and steal the thing back. It's not even like my cousin is going to appreciate it when they're gone... the kid is the most fucking weird kid ever. Seriously. He's one step below "35 and living in my parents' basement and peeing in water bottles because I'm too lazy to go to the washroom". They get everything they ever ask for... my dad gets shit for being a week late on doing my grandma's tree pruning. Selfish insensitive assholes.

Anywho. This is the ramble-y angry post I usually try to stay away from, but it's also pretty good therapy for me. I just can't get over this feeling... like every time I try to step out in the world with a smile on my face, God/s/ess/whatever fucking bitchslaps me into reality. HAHA!!! You almost enjoyed that second, didn't you?!?!? DUMBFUCK! To the few people who support me, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. But it seems as though the rest of the people in my life are just huge fucking morons. I have no idea how I'm supposed to get better with this kind of bullshit being so pervasive. I feel like I'm circling the drain.

And I have one giant family gathering to go to yet, this time with 20 times the assholes.

EDIT: I apologize if this seemed cranky towards Christians. Not my intention. I try to see people for their own merits. It just appears that every Christian person I'm related to are complete assholes. I have Christian friends, and they're cool. Anyways.

December 18, 2012


It's not 100% yet, so I'm just saying that up front because I don't want to jinx it...

But on Sunday night, my MacBook Pro DIED :(

The computer guy couldn't figure out what was wrong with it, or at least he couldn't replicate it. He came to the conclusion that it's either just a freak thing or it needs a new motherboard. To the tune of $1350. :O Apparently Apple knows of this issue, and is replacing the motherboards in the 15" models, but not the 17". (That's what I get for buying up).

Anywho... for the moment, it's okay. It hasn't crashed, and has only done the stupid thing once, but not even that badly.

Reason I'm writing this: I'm not usually attached to "stuff"... by which I mean, I enjoy things for their purpose, but they rarely have sentimental meaning. You know. Unless someone gave it to me or something, but I'm just talking every day stuff here.

I completely freaked out when I posted about it on the Mac nerd forums and they said it was a hardware failure. Like, FREAKED. I didn't realize how attached to the thing I was. And while the replacement cost is part of it (I paid way too much for this thing), I realized it does have sentimental value to it for me. It's been my only real source of quality entertainment for the past two years (Google anhedonia. Reader's Digest version: it is literally the lack of being able to have fun). Video games have always been a guilty pleasure, so I played a lot of them, and they were (are) the only thing I really get any enjoyment out of. It's also been my only real gateway to the outside world (Google agoraphobia while you're at it...) and I've actually made quite a few friends just chatting on Twitter and on Facebook. Friends that actually are willing to meet me where I'm at, and friends that are just nerdy and fun to chat with. That's been the absolute best medicine for me, especially because it's in a forum where I am completely safe to back out whenever I want. (Not that I'm planning on it guys, it's just knowing that's a possibility that keeps me sane).

So, today, now that I have it back in one piece (sort of), I feel much better. I was honestly going through withdrawal... and it's not like I even use the goddamned thing that much. It was just... I felt completely cut off. Yeah, I have John's computer, and my iPhone and all that crap... but have you ever tried typing anything long on an iPhone? Or a Windows machine that uses IE?!?! OH DEAR GOD I'd rather type something out on the phone than IE. Fucking hate Windows.

ANYWAYS. The reason I'm writing this is that it was a not-so-subtle reminder to be grateful for things when they're functional, regardless of whether you think they're very important or not. Don't do the whole "don't know what you've got 'til it's gone" thing. Try to be as conscious of this as you can without going nuts. Because you never know when your best friend in the whole world might just up and have a motherboard issue.

Err... I mean... it's not my best friend.


too late.

December 15, 2012

I'm Really NOT a Stick in the Mud.

I'm writing this for two reasons. One, I feel like I'm hiding something and I need to get it out. Two, if anyone else is feeling this way, I hope they can feel less alone. The one thing this "thing" does well is isolate people, and that is not what we need. We need understanding, love, and support. If my story can help anyone out, so much the better.

For the past 15 years, off and on, I have been dealing with debilitating depression and anxiety. Debilitating would be putting it lightly. Arguably the anxiety part my whole life, but for 15 years at the "debilitating" level. So, basically, half my life.

In high school, I suffered the loss of my grandfather, who I was really, really close to. I got summarily taught that in MY family, we grieve in silence. We don't seek help. We are solitary pillars of strength. In my "I am STRONG" mode, I went from having the highest GPA in grade 9 and 10, to pulling Cs and Ds after his death. I started having insulin resistance problems around this time. No one said a word. If they cared, I have yet to find out about it. I lost my aunt and was also in a wedding the same week. Carry on, keep your head high, and time will heal all wounds. Spoiler alert: time heals NOTHING.

Flash forward to my first year of college... I barely made it through first year. My uncle killed himself on an ATV. I failed out of second. My ability to concentrate and retain information, or even not have a panic attack during an exam where I wasn't right next to a door, was basically nothing. I'd gone from having a genius IQ to barely being able to read a book. I transferred schools to just get out of town, and managed to graduate with a 3.4/4. They were much more accommodating. I lost a ton of weight. I get a good job, which leads me in to a better job at a government institution, which is where my life falls apart for the third time.

My mom got sick and my family left me out in the cold. I desperately asked for their help in dealing with it, but everyone refused to return my phone calls. It's hard not to be bitter, but the people who were supposedly so close to me left me to die when I needed them most. Today, I can barely stand to even think of them, and yet, I'm expected to be all smiles when Christmas comes around. I haven't seen any of them in two years... we'll see how that goes. (Prediction: probably not well).

I had to quit my job. I gained all my lost weight back. I ended up being hospitalized for the absolute worst week of my life, and now I'm on insulin. Apparently their original Type 2 assumption wasn't entirely correct. Type 2's don't usually end up at death's door with ketoacidosis. I was in ICU for a week, denied my prescriptions that keep me from not having day-long panic attacks, and that allow me to get some modicum of sleep. As if not having the drugs wasn't bad enough, the withdrawal from not having them made me want to SCREAM. I was attached to my bed with a catheter, three IVs, an arterial line, and a heart monitor. It was a great feeling, you know, being highly claustrophobic and all. I got left in a bedpan for two hours, which is actually the LEAST abusive thing that happened to me in the hospital. No one bothered to ask me how I was managing from a psychological standpoint. Then, I was unceremoniously thrown out to the wolves with a prescription for insulin and a "get over your paralyzing fear of needles on your own overnight" kind of handshake. Not even that... I got very "fuck you all and die" with one of the nurses over my lack of care, and they quickly produced my discharge papers.

I've gone through doctor after doctor. They've ranged from very helpful but overworked, to verbally abusive and accusatory. I've been hospitalized for one very, very long freaking day, where a nurse got angry with me for having a panic attack. I signed myself out. I remember screaming and sobbing and packing all my crap at midnight in the dark. That was my one clean shot at getting help. I'm supposedly in the "best" program in the area... and she was not the only one to be horrible with me on that day. The nurse in question received a permanent letter on her file and "sensitivity training". That seems proportionate. (Hint: sarcastic comment). It's created in me such fear of the medical profession that for my last GP appointment, I had at least a panic attack a day for the entire month prior.

So that leaves me to here. I'm going on 3 years now without a whole lot of help. I've been on every drug and tried every therapy. Any relief I've found has been something I've come up with myself. I'm having to rewrite "me" from the ground up, and all by myself. I've lost all but one of my friends, my family (save my parents), and any sense of who I am. I am rarely able to leave the house, as my social anxiety/panic has turned into full on agoraphobia. I swell up like a balloon every time I try to travel any distance, which is painful at best. Even when I'm not feeling like a marshmallow, I'm in constant pain of some sort from a previous injury, or the whole "if you're not depressed enough, your lack of serotonin/whatever is going to make your whole body THROB! Have fun with that!" thing. Me getting out of bed and dressed on any given day feels like a victory, but it's impossible to feel good about it. I once had a job that I'm told 600 people applied for. I literally ruled my own world. I was really crazy successful at my career (I'm not gonna say more lest I completely out myself). Now if I feed myself once in a day, it's like, HOLY SHIT, stop the presses! It's the worst feeling ever. I feel absolutely hopeless and like there's no end in sight. I even feel stupid sometimes about the fact I haven't ended my life yet. I'm a failure even at failing. Where's the bottom? I keep feeling like I've hit it, but then, I keep falling.

Anywho... I wanted to be honest about this. Because under the fact that my brain is trying to kill me, and under the fact that I've been tossed aside by almost everyone I thought loved me, there is a really fucking cool person that isn't any of these things. Like the writer Jenny Lawson (my hero) says, "Depression lies". It totally does. This isn't who I want to be forever (or at all). Unfortunately though, for me at least, I have to keep digging until I find the bottom of this thing. I'm going to have to be "depressed" until I'm not. I've never dealt with what has caused all of this in the first place, and I'm gonna have to feel it out until I do. Which probably means a lot more bullshit, a lot more panic attacks and a lot more failed relationships. A lot more of trying to figure out who the fuck I am. I hope people are patient with me in this. I'm taking a big chance here. I'm not trying to make excuses either. I'm just very aware of the fact that I am going to make a lot of mistakes in this state, and I own it. It doesn't help that I'm very good at faking "okay", which throws people off. I am rarely "okay". I can't think of a minute in the past 3 years when I have been okay. Even sleep (when I manage to get it) plagues me with night terrors. Ever woken up in the middle of the night mid panic attack? Worst. Feeling. Ever.

I feel so much like shit, I wish I had cancer instead. At least if I had cancer, people would "pray for me" and bring me casseroles and act like I wasn't some kind of schizo-leper that's going to freak out on them or get cooties on them or something. Brains are organs too. And they can get sick.

They can also get better.

Here's hopin'.

Please, if you've read this far... do what you can to educate yourself about mental illness. The number of people suffering is STAGGERING. I would have counted myself as one of those who thought it was all just malingering bullshit. Please know better. Please reach out to someone.

December 6, 2012

Food for Thought

This was hung in the yoga studio I studied at for the longest time... I'd forgotten about it, until I was flipping through my manual again. Just thought I'd share!

You will receive a body.

You may like it or hate it, but it will be yours for the entire period this time around.

You will learn lessons.

You are enrolled in a full-time, informal school called "life". Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like them or think them irrelevant and stupid.

There are no mistakes, only lessons.

Growth is a process of trial and error - of experimentation. The failed experiments are as much a part of the process.

A lesson is repeated until learned.

A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have done so, you can move onto the next lesson.

Learning lessons does not end.

There is no part of life that does not contain its lessons. If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned.

Others are simply mirrors of you.

You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects to you something you love or hate about yourself.

What you make of your life is up to you.

The choice is yours!

Your answers are already within you. The answers to life's questions are to be found within. All you need to do is look, listen, and trust your inner voice.

You will forget all of this.

You will forget these rules and other important insights, and need to be reminded from time to time. But don't worry, the Universe has all the time you need.

- Anonymous

December 5, 2012

December 6th

(I posted this on Facebook as well... please excuse the duplication).

Just if you happen to have a spare second and a spare prayer tomorrow…

In Canada, December 6th is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. It is so named in remembrance of the 14 women that were murdered and 10 that were injured solely for being women in an engineering school. They were separated from the male students, and gunned down… just for being female. Their murderer claimed he was "fighting feminism".

I know it's a Canadian thing, and we're not all women here, but it's something I try to spread word about every year as much as I can. I went to school for engineering, and I very much feel their loss on this day.École_Polytechnique_Massacre

I really appreciate you taking the time to have a read. We've come a long way since 1989, but I think the prevention of violence of any kind, anywhere, is something we can all still get behind. ♥

December 2, 2012


So I've decided that to start to move into doing some daily stuff, I'm just gonna throw a bunch of prayers to the wall, and see what sticks. I have Ceisiwr Smith's A Book of Pagan Prayer, and I think I'm just gonna start at the start. See if any of them stick out. Maybe even a God or Goddess will be all, hey! I dig this! You should talk to me more!

Can't hurt, right?