Happy 2017!!

 

Hi All!

It has been a while! I’m sure I’ll eventually explain my absence, but to make a long story short, I was focusing on school. I stayed. Can you believe it? I almost can’t. Anyway, the result is a near complete Ph.D.

I was thinking about starting to write again for a while. I have made some good friends here that I dearly miss. Recently, I got an email asking me to write a letter to my college self on this blog. Since I had been thinking about writing again anyway, I decided this would be the prompt to get me going (see next post). Especially since 2017 marks ten years since I graduated from my first degree. Eek!

I am looking forward to weekend coffee shares and seeing the lovely work of all my artsy friends. I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays and 2017 is good to you!

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Share Your World 2015 – Week 13

It is lucky week 13! Thanks to Cee for another Week of awesome Share Your World questions.

What was your favorite subject in school?

My favourite subject was always art. I loved having a chance to draw. The last time I took art was in the 10th grade. I remember thinking that even though I was enjoying it, I wasn’t learning anything. I was a weird teenager. I felt that I should be learning something and if I wasn’t it was a waste. I dropped art for grade 11 and gym became my favourite. This is also weird because I was never one for sports. I really liked my teacher and I had been running in the mornings with my Dad for two years at the time, so maybe I transitioned into being an athlete that year. Again, I wasn’t learning in gym, just having fun. I dropped the class in grade 12. Then my favourite was biology, which I followed to where I am today.

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away” (George Carlin). When have you had such a moment?

It was probably during our honeymoon in Belize. The water was just breath-taking! It was so clear and such a bright shade of blue in some places. We went cave tubing 7 miles along one of the rivers in the jungle. The photo below doesn’t do it justice. The water was so bright and clear.

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What’s your choice: jigsaw, crossword, or numeric puzzles?

Crosswords! They are more interesting than numeric puzzles and they make less mess than jigsaw puzzles (and they are cat proof).

If you found an obviously abandoned car with $50,000 in the back seat, what would you do?

I would probably be a goody-goody and take it to the nearest police station and then cringe to myself every time I thought about it afterwards.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Last Week: I was grateful last week ended. It was so busy and I was so exhausted. I think I slept at least 15 hours Friday to Saturday.

This Week: I am looking forward to this week being over as well. It is equally busy. This weekend will be a long weekend for Easter. It will be nice to have the extra time off and to spend Easter with family. Plus, there will be dessert. Holidays are always dessert occasions.

MDD and BPD and OCPD, OH MY!

The Blog for Mental Health Project is back! For those of you who don’t know, the purpose of this project is share your experiences with mental illness, to educate, to reduce stigma and most importantly let those suffering know that they aren’t alone.

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“I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2015 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.”

I have had a lot of labels thrown at me. I have Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). More recently, Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and Obsessive-compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) have been added to the mix. I’m not a fan of these labels. I don’t feel like I fit these cookie-cutter definitions. This is what makes mental health so complicated. Each case is unique and must be treated as such.

This is my story…

I started treatment in 2006, but it began long before that. I think I was born hating myself. Mental illness runs on both sides of my family. It must be in my genes. I was always a very serious child. People would say I was moody, which I suppose was true, but it was more than that. I had terrible stomach aches and threw up a lot when I was younger. I guess I didn’t understand how I was feeling so it manifested physically. As I got older, the physical symptoms waned, I developed body image issues, anxiety, perfectionist tendencies, anger issues and the moods got harder for me to handle. Eventually I stopped going out, I stopped sleeping, I stopped functioning and I prayed that I would just disappear. Since it was unlikely that my prayers would be answered, I did the next best thing. I got help.

Currently, I wear many different hats. I am a Ph.D. candidate, a wife, a lab manager, a wannabe artist, a daughter, a sister, mum to the cutest kitty ever AND I am climbing my way out of the worst depressive episode I’ve ever had. Thanks to my family and closest friends, I am still here. Mental illness, whatever labels they may give me, will be a battle I will fight for the rest of my life. It’s a battle no one should have to fight alone. Blogging has been a great help in coping. I get to sort my thoughts out in words or at least doodles and connect with a whole community of people that understand what I am trying to say. Not only has blogging been a comfort, I have met some wonderful people and learned so much about mental health. I plan to continue blogging about my own experiences with mental health along with some art journaling, doodles, Lego, blog challenges and adorable cat pictures thrown in a long the way.

You’re Just Like Me: SomberScribbler

My Guest Post on Bipolar Unemployed and Lost

Bipolar, Employed & STILL Lost

So, you have a Mental Illness?…Which One?
Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) with secondary diagnoses of borderline personality (BPD) and obsessive personality disorders (OPD)

When you were diagnosed, what age where you? Where were you in your life?
Diagnosed with MDD at 21 by GP. I was in my last year of undergrad. Found out the BPD and OPD diagnoses a few months ago by going through the chart my psychiatrist keeps on me. I don’t know why he didn’t tell me. Right now, 29 and halfway through my Ph.D.

How do you cope/relax from your mental illness?
Blogging, drawing, journaling, medicating, sleeping and totally freaking out.

What are 3 words that you would describe how your illness makes you feel?
inadequate, exhausted, hopeless

If you could talk to world leaders about mental illness, what would be the one thing you discuss?
Funding and availability of mental health services. Wait times…

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A Very Lego Summer: NYC Edition

It looks like Hubby’s Lego craze is continuing. If you missed the beginning of the Lego saga, read this post. There have been new additions to his Lego city and we did everything Lego in NYC. By everything Lego, I mean we saw the Rockefeller Lego Store, we saw the Lego exhibits at FAO Schwartz and the Times Square ToysRus. Below is the Rockafeller Center complete with Batman watching over the area.

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There was even…wait for it…..a Lego art exhibit! I’m not kidding! It was actually a really great exhibit. It’s called The Art of the Brick. It’s a combination of original pieces and Lego replicas of famous works. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who may go see it, but I’ll post my favourite piece here, Van Gogh’s Starry Night. Van Gogh is a favourite of mine.

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We found out we could save over $50 on Creator sets if we bought them while in the US. He decided he had to get the movie theatre next. The NYC Lego store however, was severely lacking, they didn’t have it! So he got the Parisian Cafe instead. We passed another Lego store in a Mall on the way home. That one had the Movie Theatre, so now there are two new Lego sets! Am I crazy to be letting him get this stuff? It’s taking over my kitchen table! I figure as long as it’s his “fun money” he is spending and he’s enjoying it, it’s ok. I decided to jump on the Lego band wagon too….I found myself a Unikitty keychain. Ridiculous, I know, but I really like Unikitty.

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We’ve been home a few days now and both Lego sets have been built. The Cafe took him an entire day to build. Here is the movie theatre. It was modeled after the famous Asian-looking theatre in Hollywood. I love the roof. The details are amazing. It even comes with a walk of fame and a limo.

The Cafe was more complicated. It had indoor and outdoor seating as well as the kitchen. The 2nd floor was an apartment with an artist’s loft on the top floor.

And now, here is Hubby’s little Lego town; a Pet Shop, a townhouse, Two Apartments, a movie Theatre, A Cafe and artist’s Loft and a house int he back.

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