too, enough.

I’m supposed to be working, but instead, I’m diving into what some people call ADHD kryptonite. I’m cleaning up my ‘downloads’ folder which is a treasure trove of fun things like my wedding vows amongst pictures of me in a banana costume and old zoom recordings of graphic design classes.

The common thread in the kryptonite is learning and growing which I don’t feel like I’ve done much of lately which is a ridiculous thing to say. I’ve grown so much in the last 5 months that I’m struggling to know who this new person is. I finally have the missing puzzle piece but only I can see the hole it filled.

There was so much resistance to my ADHD diagnosis. External resistance I didn’t anticipate. My own resistance was due to a distrust in the medical system that had traumatized me as a kid. I had fought this fight before, I could do it again and I did. I knew deep down for so long that I was different. There was something about me that was ‘othered’ in a quietly detrimental way. Having a doctor tell me all of a sudden made it real. Maybe too real for the people who had ‘othered’ me. The people I mask the most around. The people who said that I’m:

Too: loud, quiet, scatterbrained, sensitive, lazy, aloof, blunt, open, accepting, naive, outspoken, confident.

That I don’t have enough: confidence, drive, thick-skinned mentality, penis (you needed one to work in construction, apparently.), gumption, focus.

We’re not all too much/not enough all the time. There are places and spaces we can be ourselves. As I watched my friends and acquaintances reveal their diagnoses, I realized that we had all come together over the years because we were othered. We were drawn to each other’s otherness. We protected each other. We still do.

Why is my downloads folder ADHD kryptonite? It’s a digital junk drawer with layers of memories folded in. That banana costume had me laughing again after being so depressed, I wanted to unalive myself. Those wedding vows poured onto the page and were some of the easiest yet hardest words I’ve ever written. They mean so much. The zoom class was my very last class before I graduated. It had words of wisdom and encouragement from a man who truly cared.

As I work through resolving all the loose threads in my past that hurt me, I’m reminded of all the really tight threads that hold me together. Some threads are looser than I remember them to be. Some threads are even tighter.

Maybe I am actually working after all.

shattering masks.

content warning: suicidal ideation, mentions of suicide, anxiety, and depression.

I was diagnosed with inattentive ADHD back in September of last year and it’s been a whirlwind of acceptance, hurt feelings, and tears. I have an amazing support system that helped me through these last few months. I was also taught how to advocate for myself at a young age, thanks Mom, and knew how to walk the path to a diagnosis.


I have what therapists call good scaffolding. But even with good scaffolding, I struggled through life internally. My masks were strong. They started to crumble around 2014 when I lost my routine after being laid off. ADHD’ers hate routine, yet we thrive on it. We need it to live. But it physically hurts sometimes to follow through. I know how, I just can’t.

In 2015, I added a whole new layer of routine when I started college part-time and worked full-time. I had done this before with very different results. In 2004, at 21, I failed classes, lost friends, ruined relationships, and spent money like I had it. I was embarrassed to talk about failing out of college, but I realize now that I set myself up for failure, being undiagnosed in a world that barely understood ADHD was a failure in itself that I had no control over.

This time around at 34, I was determined to do well. I liked the classes I was taking. I liked my job. My mind was still holding onto negative coping mechanisms and masks that weren’t working. It manifested into migraines, anxiety, and depression. I sought help and was told to break up with my boyfriend and to avoid stress by my gp. Only one of those suggestions was good. I didn’t listen to either. I went to therapy in hopes of fixing myself and was told to do neurotypical solutions. Some of them worked. Most of them failed miserably and I was back to feeling like a failure. Except, I wasn’t failing school or work. I was succeeding. I’m actually smart!

The pandemic stole my routine from me but really, I gave it away willingly. It wasn’t serving me. It was soul crushing. My inability to not cry at every little thing spoke volumes. Those tears said RUN. As fast as possible. Run. You don’t belong here and that’s okay. You belong somewhere else.

I ran straight into my husband’s arms. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for him. 2020 would have been my last year alive and I would have left this wonderful life I’m living now behind for what I thought would be peace. It turns out, I was in a mild psychosis from severe depression. Meds were the answer. A more accepting and compassionate inner narrative has been the maintenance. None of this positive thinking crap. Positivity isn’t always compassionate and it isn’t always accepting either. My brain found comfort in death even though my body railed against it.

I’m glad I didn’t leave.

Would you be interested in reading about my diagnosis journey? Would that be helpful?

don’t slap that fish.

cw: mental illness, intrusive thoughts, suicide.

Writing about mental health isn’t necessarily a pleasant process. Usually, there are giant tears rolling down my cheeks as I type about the struggles mental illness comes with. There are people in my life who really don’t like it. They won’t say it in so many words but they tell me by asking me why I do it. Why do I pour my tears onto a page? Because I’m compelled to. I need to write out the struggles so they leave my mind a little breathing room.

The other problem is I’m too blunt. Bluntness can be a dagger just waiting to slice. I don’t mean it to be that way. I just don’t know how to fluff up the information. I’m also at a stage where I’m tired of wading through other people’s crap just to make them feel comfortable when I feel incredibly not. People don’t like that very much.

Talk about the fish! Okay fine, the fish.

I’ve been to Pike Place Market enough times to know that they throw fish there. They make the fish talk and do silly things with them. My first instinct was to walk up to one of those fish and slap it. Straight across its dead little face. For no reason whatsoever. You see, intrusive thoughts are the weirdest little neuron firings. Where the fuck did that come from? I never wanted to slap a fish until I saw them being thrown across a marketplace, I guess.

Intrusive thoughts have confused the fuck out of me since I was little. They weren’t always violent. I was about 7 years old when they started to tell me to jump off things, to harm myself. The anxiety was a way of preserving myself. The anxiety mixed with depression was the recipe for coming up with a plan. How many plans have I had? Too many. How many plans have I told other people? One.

The thing about having chronic anxiety and depression is it’s chronic. I’ve had both for as long as I can remember. I have them because I’m neurodivergent. The answer is simple. Blunt. I developed both as a coping mechanism for being different. I’ve spent the last few years untangling all the mixed wires in my brain to show myself that life doesn’t have to be so loud. I don’t have to slap the fish.

Saying that one plan out loud was enough to seek treatment and finally realize what life is like without either sitting on my shoulders. I don’t have to hate myself. I don’t have to be angry all the time. I still get intrusive thoughts but I know what they are now. They are absurd neurons firing in my brain and not violent little fact nuggets infecting my thoughts and feelings.

i’m a writer.

Content warning: suicide, paragraphs 2, 3, 4, and 9.

My Dad called just now to see if I wanted to go to the CultureCrawl with him. Of course, Dad. I’ll go with you.

He’s reading this sentence now, wondering if I’m going to call him out on something he’s done in his past. Dad, you are a wonderful dad. Do I talk about you in therapy? Yes but I don’t want you to feel bad about that. I talk about Mom too. But mostly, I talk about myself. Obviously. Without therapy, I wouldn’t be alive (also love, family, weed and meds, and cats). We don’t talk about that though, you and I. I am now because I want other people to know they’re not alone. If I failed, they can too.

We don’t have to talk about it. It’s okay. I don’t mind you thinking that I’m just as stable-minded as you. It’s nice. One of my past colleagues told me that he’s never had a headache. I was speechless. How can someone never experience a headache? I have a headache at least once a day. It must be so hard for him to fully understand what a headache feels like. He might never find out.

What’s it like not having intrusive thoughts? To have a brain that doesn’t spiral into nothingness so quickly you don’t even realize you’re crying or frozen in place? What’s it like not having written that note?

Why am I writing this? Is it some sort of public catharsis? I’m compelled to write about it. I’m driven to sit at my desk and type whatever comes to mind. It’s raw and vulnerable and makes people angry with me sometimes. And yet, here I am.

I’ve volunteered for the Surrey International Writers’ Conference for 4 years now and every year I get asked what I write. What am I writing? What am I working on? I have a blog, I say sheepishly. What’s it about? I don’t know, me? Typography and storytelling. I guess? Calling out my family on their past regressions? I didn’t say that last part. Don’t worry.

Usually, I come away from the weekend newly inspired and energized. The workshops spoke to me in some way. This year was a bit different. I loved being there, seeing everyone again, and meeting new people. Watching others be inspired. It’s always magical. It still was but not in a writing way for me. Except when I sat in a workshop about changing your writing style and still keeping your current readers. The instructor said emphatically,

“You’re not an aspiring writer, if you write, you’re a writer.”

Susanna Kearsley

I feel like she was staring directly at me when she said this. She wasn’t but that’s okay. I felt it. So now what? I can’t just pretend I’m not this. I can’t just pretend I don’t have a mental illness(es) either. I can’t just pretend I’m normal. I should say I can’t keep pretending. Instead of feeling inwardly uncomfortable, I now make other people uncomfortable. I’m still learning. Imagine me but with grace. How does she look?

If you have intrusive thoughts, you’re not broken or a bad person. You don’t need or deserve to suffer through them. Please speak to someone you trust about them.

Talk Suicide Canada – Hours: Available 24/7/365 for calls; 4 PM—12 AM ET for texts; Languages: English, French. Learn more. Phone: 1.833.456.4566 SMS: 45645

cats, not babies.

Content warning: Infertility.

This is hard to write about because I thought I was over it. I had convinced myself that I was so why am I crying?

I’ve written about this before and from the content warning above, you already know what I’m about to say, except not. These are new emotions for me. I’m older, I’m at the end of the biological motherhood road. It feels like I took a million years to get here and yet, I was 18 just yesterday, holding my nephew and wondering about my own.

I’m not going to mention how my husband feels in this post. I can’t tell you how he feels about all of this, only he can and he won’t so, sorry. Just guess and know that his babies would be the cutest babies you have ever seen.

A lot happened last weekend at the conference I volunteered at. I noticed that my feelings and attitude towards pregnancy, babies, and children were jovial. I was genuinely happy to see my pregnant friend and I wanted to hear all about everyone’s kids. None of their stories made me sad. I was even asked multiple times by different people if I had kids and my answer didn’t hurt.

I have cats.

I say cats, plural because multiple cats make people feel better about me being childless somehow.

I’m pretty sure the reason why I was so calm and collected was that I was secretly hoping my period wouldn’t show up on Saturday. It didn’t. It didn’t show up on Sunday either and when Monday rolled around and it hadn’t made its presence known, I took a pregnancy test.

Not Pregnant.

Just like all the other tests. I told myself to wait until today. I knew my period was coming, I just like to torture myself with hope sometimes. I tried the whole “stop trying” thing. It was supposed to work. Everyone tells me it works. The thing they don’t say after is that sometimes it doesn’t work. Never say never except when it’s never.

I want to go back in time, pick myself up and drag her to my husband. Plop her down in front of him and say “Here! He’s right here! Have his baby before it’s too late!” I wonder if his past self would have been on board. So now what? I guess I have his houseplants that are actually mine, his coat rack, his fancy knife, and the clothes he leaves in the hamper when he goes away for weeks at a time to make our ends meet.

I want to stop trying. The disappointment of it all is too much for me. Annie gets what Annie wants* isn’t always true. And I know what you’re thinking. AH HA! That will be the moment you get what you want but that kind of hope is soul-crushing.

Please don’t stop telling me about your children. The way your face lights up when you tell me how you picked their name, your exasperated look when you explain that the blue cup is to never be used. You have their tiny shoes, their little dimpled hands to hold, their teeny voices saying “I love you.” Please share with me.

*There is a story here, of course, but that is for another time.

struggling.

Blogging is weird. It’s Live Journal* for the masses but it can also be used to sell us stuff, teach us how to bake, knit, weld, whatever you want to learn, and show us the world. Is this an ad for blogging? This sounds like an ad for blogging. The title says “struggling.”, let’s get to the point.

I’m struggling right now.*** I have been diagnosed many times in my life with various illnesses. Being told you have something wrong with you doesn’t get easier. It’s not a round of golf that you can practice. Although, if you go into an anxiety-induced thought spiral, you can practice feeling shame and dread over and over again in your head. Sounds fun, doesn’t it? My mental 200 yard swing is looking pretty good these days. Don’t hit the golf ball cart, they don’t like that.

It’s hard to write those words. I’m struggling. When I spoke those words to certain people in my past, I’d be met with some sort of invalidation. I’m too sensitive. If I had just started sooner, I wouldn’t feel this way. I let it get to this point so deal with it. Get a thicker skin. Come out of my shell. Say how I feel, but not like that. Take a break, alone. Sit over there. Get used to it. I’m ugly when I cry. Why am I like this?**

I was apprehensive about being assessed for ADHD. I would usually go into detail about the process and how I felt throughout but I’m not going to do that in this post. I’m tired of doing that right now. I will though because my experience is valid and people have asked me to share it.

Anyways, I was apprehensive about having to convince multiple medical professionals that I did indeed have ADHD. Here are the facts, over and over again. Please believe me. They did. I found the pros that listened and cared and was able to get diagnosed fairly quickly because I was able to pay $300 to get assessed. Is this blog post trying to sell you an ADHD assessment? NO. It’s a comment on private healthcare. You figure out the comment. I’m feeling rather sarcastic today.

There’s dealing with the diagnosis itself and then there’s dealing with the reactions to the diagnosis. Who do I tell? I’ve already told the internet so who is left? Should I even write this post? What is my blog about? What do you, dear reader, even want to read? I’m off-topic again. See? struggling. I have ADHD but it does not define me. I need to take the time to forgive my past self for not knowing any better and to show her grace and respect for dealing with it all. She gave herself bangs so many times and still didn’t learn how to make them look good. Poor thing.

*LiveJournal is Russian owned? WHAT?

**Yes, these things were said to me. No, not by everyone in my life.

*** I will be okay. I have a support system that loves and respects me. I have a health system that is looking out for my needs. I will be okay.

is dust mitt a bad word?

The memories function on Meta (cringe) likes to remind me of the time I was in an MLM scheme in 2015. My smiling face holding up a dust mitt like it’s the best dust mitt I’ve ever seen in my entire life! Truth is, it was the only dust mitt I’d ever seen and it was pretty good but $25.99 good? No. Join my team so I can make more money off of you good? No.

I sunk way too much money into that MLM. Not nearly as much as some though and I felt bad for those ladies. Thousands of dollars in product and marketing materials. The products are good! they’d all exclaim because they were good, still are. Why can’t they just be sold in stores then? Could they still sell a dust mitt for $25.99 at Canadian Tire? I don’t know, let’s see. A quick google search for “Dust mitt” shows this:

A screenshot of a google search window for "Dust Mitt". Four shopping listings are shown: $5.68 for a Tough Guy Duster Mitt, blue. $8.43 for a Tough Guy dust mitt, green. $28.95 for a "Fred Ass Wipe" Dusting Mitt, a mitt shaped like a donkeys face with a donkey face on it. $9.54 for a Tough Guy Cleaning Mitt.

I’ll admit that $28.95 for a donkey dusting mitt is a steal. That’s going on my wish list, for sure.

Okay so, back to the dusting mitt in question. As we can see from this screenshot of a Google search for “Dust mitt”, the average cost of a microfiber dust mitt is around $7.88, excluding Fred, he’s in a class of his own. What do you get from the $25.99 dust mitt? You get a desperate woman trying to sell you stock that she’s had forever OR she’s trying to meet her monthly minimum so she can stay in the MLM without having to pay a fee to join again. It doesn’t even have a donkey face on it.

Granted, this quick Google search led to a commercial cleaning supplies supplier so fine, you can’t just walk into a Canadian Tire and buy one for $8 but that’s what I’m getting at, you should be able to.

I’m about to go use my expensive dust mitt and I’m going to remember sitting in a weekly meeting with fellow MLM members, feeling like it was all wrong for some reason. Knowing that they had spent quite a bit of money to be there and they might be feeling the same way. Like something wasn’t quite right about all this.

I still have friends who sell MLM products. I don’t look down on them. I have bought products from them because the products are good and they don’t hound me like their Leaders tell them to. What I really want is for these MLM products to be sold on store shelves and for the MLM companies to admit to being pyramid schemes.

Wishful thinking, hey?

If you made it to the bottom of this weird discussion on dust mitts and are wondering if it’s a bad word, it is not, according to Urban Dictionary. I did not click on the other “mitts” though. That’s fun for another day.

vacuums don’t make good hairstylists.

This is going to sound like child abuse but it’s not. I promise. It was an unfortunate accident that we can all laugh at now instead of just my sister cackling at it at the time.

It is the 30th anniversary of my dad ripping out a quarter-sized chunk of hair from the top of my head with a vacuum. At least, I’m pretty sure it is. I was 7 or 8 so let’s just say it.

I know what it sounds like, why on earth would he do that? I’m stubborn and the part of his brain that deals with logical reactions suddenly shut down. I refused to move from my puzzle that was on the living room floor so he nudged and nudged and remembered how funny it was to put a beaterless vacuum on my sister’s head. She’d laugh and laugh as her hair was gently sucked up into the vacuum, leaving every strand of hair still firmly attached to her head.

My hair, on the other hand, did not stay in my head. My head whipped back and I screamed so loud. I’ll never forget the look of sheer terror on my best friend’s face. I don’t remember where she went after this incident. I’m pretty sure my mom called her mom and she was swiftly picked up from our house that day.

All I remember is mom ushering me upstairs and her shouting “Don’t laugh!” at my sister and her group of friends over and over again. They were 16 at the time and laughing because whose sister gets a chunk of hair ripped out of the top of her head?

My dad felt terrible. I’m pretty sure he apologized multiple times. My poor dad. He will never live this down either. We remind him of this at least yearly.

Here I am with the hairstyle I had to wear for months after.

Scratch that, mom is working on a birthday card and cannot look for a picture right now. You’ll have to wait.

that wasn’t a fart.

Okay, listen.

I’m very good at embarrassing myself. Olympic level good. I’ve learned to laugh at myself because the shame was getting to be too much for my level of expertise. Can’t be normal? Laugh at yourself. I’m really funny, guys.

Back at the beginning of 2018, my life essentially fell apart. It just crumbled right before my eyes. My grandma died two days before my birthday. My cat started getting sicker and sicker. My upstairs neighbours were getting louder and louder. School became a burden overnight, out of nowhere. My anxiety was at an all-time high. It was shit.

Speaking of shit, I got some sort of flu in the middle of all of this. My poor boss was just like “Are you okay?” and I said I was but that I had to call the vet about my cat.

I walked into the warehouse and hid between a stack of pallets. I called the vet and she told me that Bella, my cat, was slowly dying and that there wasn’t much they could do aside from cutting her lower jaw off. I had cried so much at this point that I didn’t really cry when she said this. Instead, I farted. I thought it was a fart, at least. But no. It was a shart. I shit my pants at work while hiding in the warehouse.

I ran to the bathroom, took off my thong, washed it in the sink, decided that a wet thong is worse than going commando, and threw out my underwear. I sat down at my desk, now commando and wondering what else was gonna come out of my butt. I left twenty minutes later.

The moral of this story is thongs can keep in a shart but using these is much better.

*This blog post contains affiliate links to products on Amazon. When you click on the link and buy through it, I may make the tiniest amount of affiliate commission from your purchase at no extra cost to you.

notebooks, pens, & things.

I wrote about having no motivation this week and received quite a few “I feel the same way too.”s. It made me feel better and a little worse. We’re all struggling with something. Or many things. There are ways to self-motivate, sometimes. One of those ways for me is using notebooks, pens, and things that I find useful and don’t actually have to think about at all.

I’ve said from the very beginning of starting this blog that I would be transparent with you, my dear reader. You are important to me and I don’t want you to feel like you’re at one of those awkward MLM parties that your co-worker, Pam, invited you to while reading my blog. Sorry, Pam but those parties are awkward. I’m sorry to all the people I’ve made go to those parties.

This blog post contains affiliate links to products on Amazon. When you click on the link and buy through it, I may make the tiniest amount of affiliate commission from your purchase at no extra cost to you.

I buy beautiful notebooks, am gifted even nicer ones than I buy, and still don’t use them as much as I use a 3 subject notebook by Hilroy. The pages are smooth, the lines are the right height, and I can write nicely in it with my left hand.

Speaking of being left-handed, The R.S.V.P. pen by Pentel is one of the only pens that doesn’t smudge and is thick enough to be held comfortably in my small hands. Thin pens don’t feel right to me. I asked for these at Christmas, I like them so much.

I had this brilliant idea that a bullet journal would get me organized and productive. I was wrong but the journal is lovely. If you’re able to continue on with a bullet journal or just want to see what it’s all about, I suggest starting with this one by Panda Natura.

I bought these dual ink doggo pens last year and love them! Aside from being adorable, they don’t streak and they have black and red ink which is what I use daily. I’m not a fan of blue ink. Sorry, blue ink.

This Daily Planner Tear Off Pad by Bliss Collections has been so handy for me. I don’t always use it because, duh, I forget I have it but when I remember! Look out tasks, you’re getting done!

I also turned an old framed picture into a whiteboard that I use for my to-dos and goals. I use a weekly calendar whiteboard when I remember to, that I found at the dollar store. Honestly, I usually use my notebook to write my weekly to-dos. It looks like I’m organized! Here is a similar one on Amazon.

All of my markers are stored in this space themed pencil box. It’s sturdy and holds so many markers.

I may or may not have some things listed on Redbubble… Okay, I do. Check them out here.

These supplies aren’t fancy really. They’re functional and reliable. I need reliability in my life especially in my office.

What products do you swear by? What gets your nerdy office supply heart beating?