Stir Fry of Emotions – Fighting the Stigma

stigma

I was on a business trip not long ago. We had a 3.5 day annual company conference filled with key-note speakers, company information and team building.

One of the team building was quite emotional. We broke out into small groups of 8-10 people and had to discuss our highest and lowest moments of our lives.

Ouch. Not easy. It’s sometimes difficult to even come clean with friends and family. But to be vulnerable in front of co-workers is a different level all together.

Yet, I decided to go first… I told my group, with a quick apology of not-so-pleasant news I was about to disperse, of my suicidal state a few years ago.

There’s one thing I have learned, dealing with anxiety disorder and depression – it’s a battle to break through the stigma on a daily basis. And it’s so easy not to realize the person next to you is suffering mental illness. I just read 2 of the 3 main symptoms of depression can not be seen so most people are walking around with no support, no treatment and at the risk of falling deeper into the hole.

It is NOT easy to talk about myself out in the open.

So what pushed me?

Knowing if I can open up and just not care of what will be said behind my back (should that happen it would be out of my control), will help one person who is suffering alone hear what I have to say, which may lead to that person getting help, well, it’s worth it.

I not only talked about what I went through – but about how I got help. And while it did not get rid of my anxiety and depression, as there are triggers everywhere which will not cease in my lifetime, I at least know how to get help now. I was able to talk about something extremely important:

HOPE.

It’s not as easy as I’m painting it. But should my words give even a glimmer of hope to the one suffering beside me, isn’t the vulnerability worth it?

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Becoming a Writer

No, I’m not talking professionally. And yes, writing in my blog is a lot of fun. But it’s becoming more and more apparent my blog is not quenching my creative thirst.

I have a big imagination. And my dreams do not help – they in fact, fuel my wild mind even further. And after awhile, I need some sort of release. By the way, I have very vivid dreams – and I remember a lot of them.

Will I ever go public with my future fiction? I don’t know. To be honest – and I was having this discussion with my daughter who is too hard on herself when it comes to being creative, even though she loves being creative – when it comes to creativity, whether through the medium of a pen+paper, an art brush+canvas or perhaps even one’s hands+clay, it should feel GOOD. I want her to understand it’s more about making herself happy than others.

It’s the same for me – I find my time is being pulled too much towards work. I am starting to neglect myself and my personal interest. I really want to make 2018 about exploring my creative outlet.

What are some of the things you do on your spare time to help you relax? Especially in the creative area?

Christmas 2017 Loot

Christmas came and went quietly. My firefighter husband had to work Christmas day so we had our traditional Xmas feast at my aunt’s and uncle’s place on Christmas Eve and did not open presents form our stockings or under the tree until Doug came home Boxing Day morning. Christmas day was very quiet – which I loved. Below, as with past years, is a sample of our favourite presents!

chaeli_xmas2017

Chaeli’s 2017 Loot

Chaeli’s Loot:

  1. Bluetooth ear buds
  2. BTS Backpack (V version)
  3. EXO Postcards, Mini-cards and Stickers
  4. Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas
  5. BTS Love Yourself – full L. O. V. E. version

 

doug_xmas2017

Doug’s 2017 Loot

Doug’s Loot:

  1. MaryJane’s Cast Iron Kitchen
  2. Glenfiddich Single Malt 15 Year Old Scotch Whiskey
  3. Keith Urban’s Greatest Hits
  4. Ikea Desktop wireless phone charger lamp
  5. Black Helmet (Firefighter) Apparel tie

 

shy_xmas2017

Shy’s 2017 Loot

Shy’s Loot:

  1. LED Bluetooth speaker night light
  2. Vivo Per Lei day cream
  3. BTS 2017 Live Trilogy Episode III WINGS TOUR in Seoul DVD
  4. Star Wars – Rogue One Blu-ray
  5. Gotham Non-stick frying pan

When I Just Want to be Left with My Kpop

I feel a little bad for admitting this. Whenever I go to the gym on weekend mornings, which is considered my biggest workout of the week (I use Saturday as the jump start of my workout week) there is this older lady (80-ish). In some ways, I really like her – she reminds me of what I hope to be like when I am in my senior years, stilling hitting the gym at an ungodly hour to get my workout done, leaving the rest of day to do, well, whatever!

The only thing is when I go to the gym, aside from some small pleasantries and greetings, I really want to be left alone. The purpose of going to the gym is to get a really good workout in, but as I can do that at home as well, I also use it as a place to escape and just be lost in my own thoughts.

I’ve created a few playlist on my iPod Shuffle for the purpose of my workouts. And I love listening to my tunes while I workout! It’s like my sanctuary.

Yet there’s that lady – who’s always there every weekend mornings. I can’t go later (I don’t have time to and she stays there for the entire morning anyway so adjusting my schedule an hour or so later does not help). She’s very sweet but boy does she talk! I have hinted to her so many times that my time there is limited. After all, I go early in the morning while the rest of my household sleeps in. Yet I want to be home for our family brunch.

And I feel bad for her. I do. She lost her husband earlier this year after being with him for over 60 years or something. I can’t imagine that being easy – I mean, it’s amazing she gets herself up every day to move on with life.

But today… today… oh man… she started to tell me her very active sex life she used to have with her husband! Now, I’m not a prude. I mean, I use to be a peer sex ed counselor while in university. I have heard EVERYTHING! I don’t judge – I never have. It’s just that there’s a difference from being in a counselor role when I’m educating people about STDs, birth control methods, sexual lifestyles, etc. It’s another thing when some one who is pretty much close to being a stranger to me, starts to just ramble off about what she used to do with her husband.

The thing is, I wasn’t embarrassed. Like I said, I’ve heard it all. I was simply bored and eager to listen to my music.

WHY WON’T SHE LEAVE ME BE SO I CAN LISTEN TO MY KPOP ALREADY???

Plus, she wears so much perfume it makes my head light and my nose burn.