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

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.