My Writing Story

When I was younger, before I could even write coherently I had this magic journal, I would scribble down a story while telling it to someone, a friend, a cousin or my parents and magically the next time I went to read the scribbles it would be transformed into a new, completely different tale. Of course it wasn’t a magical notebook, just me with a large imagination that could string together a new story on the spot. This is why I mostly call myself a lifelong storyteller versus a writer. A writer is someone that puts pen, pencil, to paper, or fingers to a keyboard and writes a tale, where as I was unable to even write but was still telling stories, and making up new far off places.

Storytelling has been a constant in my childhood memories. I remember this large chalkboard we had in our kitchen when I was in elementary school and I remember being so proud when I filled the chalkboard with my own story. Memories of turning over a large cardboard box and making it into a fort, crawling under with just a notebook, pencil and a flashlight and spending hours attempting to write by flashlight fill my mind. Memories of me as a young child acting out my fantasies of a story and then returning to write on my nice new white desk from Ikea that I received as a Christmas gift from my parents.

I’m not sure when my writing became more mature, if I think back the most notable moment would most likely be when I was in treatment for my mental health issues as a young teenage, where in my anxiety group I had to write a short story of me facing my fear that every time my parents or sister left the house they would not return safely, or at all…of course I was unable to face this fear so I had to face it in writing. That night of my group I remember reading out my story (facing yet another fear of public speaking) and when I finished the whole group, even the leaders were quite for a few moments later. My mother read the story of the car ride home and I felt horrible that I was the cause, my writing was the cause. I later found out it was because how realistic I made the story she said, all the details made it seem like it actually happened and I was just re counting it in writing.

My first manuscript, my diaries, and my poetry anthology about my mental health journey.

My first manuscript, my diaries, and my poetry anthology about my mental health journey.

That story was when my father told me about Stephen King, how he became famous for writing about his fears…I became obsessed with reading and learning all that I could about Stephen King and became ecstatic that someone else out there was being honest and writing the same way I was, all about there fears and there troubles, and since he was a bestselling author there was proof that it worked, and that people enjoyed that genre of writing. After finding out about Stephen King I stopped forcing myself to write happy, positive poetry and stories, at the time that was not what I was capable or was good at writing, my niche was darker and anxiety provoking work, and allowing myself to write these works helped me become better at the craft.

I began attempting to publish my work after I finished my Writers Craft course in high school. I remember writing a poetry anthology as my master work, it was filled with poetry about my depression, my self injury, and my past abusive relationship. All of these things I had mostly stable but my teacher became worried the day after I handed in my work, she felt so much pain she said and it was as if it was happening to her she said that she felt the need to call the school counselor, at first I was angry, I had been through enough psychologists I did not need to see a counselor again, but then my friend explained to me how flattering I could see it as, my poetry was so good that my teacher thought that all that pain was happening still, that she even felt the pain from the words that I must be a good writer.

When I was nineteen one of my short poems was accepted for a poetry anthology, I was ecstatic, my first published work! But just a month after the acceptance letter I was admitted to the adult psychiatric ward and behind those walls I was unable to finish the paperwork allowing the publishing company to publish my poem. The anthology was printed and sold without my poetry inside it, but I still have that acceptance letter hung on my wall. Reminding me that only after a year of trying to get published someone did think my work was right for there publication.

I’m currently still trying to get published, my biggest dream is to be published in a Chicken Soup for the Soul anthology and am returning constantly to there site to see what they are looking for as submissions. I’m also trying to write more uplifting piece’s of work, which has become slightly easier since the birth of my daughter.

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Let’s Get Yoga With It!

I had never actually heard of yoga until I was fourteen and was in hospital treatment for my depression, twice a week all the patients would go to the hospital sanctuary and have a yoga class. It was a blessing.

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I was terrified the first few times, I actually faked a hurt ankle and feeling sick a few times to get out of it (Of course the nurse’s understood it was anxiety taking over and pushed me to keep trying no matter what) I was never very good at anything to do with a “workout” or exercise other then dance so I didn’t have any belief in myself when I started. Once the third week rolled around I had a completely different mind set towards yoga. I was able to bring out the natural flexibility I’d had since a baby and I grew to be the yoga student that if the teacher was working with someone else they would ask me for help. I started having an identity in my treatment program as the “yoga girl” other patients during lunches would ask me to show them how to do a pose, or to show off something. Yoga gave me so much confidence and I can honestly say it was a large part of my recovery, teaching me how to calm myself and push myself even if I’m anxious because sometimes the anxiety I had/have wasn’t for any concrete reason, it also gave me confidence in myself, something I hadn’t felt in years.tumblr_m237bc7tgf1rn559ko1_500

Over the years I have fallen out of practicing yoga, I can still remember most of the poses, the breathing techniques and such but I’ve slacked on actually getting to the mat. I’d love to be able to take a yoga class again, but I’m not planning on that for awhile, I already tried to force myself through my anxiety and get to the gym last year, which failed miserably because I wasn’t ready for that exposure of exercising in public and ended up paying for a membership that I never really used. I’m not giving up though, I plan on getting out my beautiful yoga mat and practicing at home for a few months and then re checking myself to see if I am ready to do a public yoga class. I’m also going to make sure I’m not signing up for a gym membership, just a couple of classes at a studio specifically made for yoga classes (I feel like it will be more about spirituality and relaxation then exercise in a yoga studio)

Have you ever practiced yoga? Whats your favorite part? The workout, the spirituality? the overall calm?

My High School Days

As I lay in bed last night trying to get to sleep, my body exhausted but my brain going a  mile a minute (do you not hate when that happens?) I began to reminisce about my days in high school.

Me, at one of the hardest times of my life during my high school days.

Me, at one of the hardest times of my life during my high school days.

By no means was my high school days “normal” I did some of the normal things a high school kid did, I skipped a few classes, I hung out with friends during lunch, I failed a few tests because I never studied but in the grand scheme of things my high school days were not “average.” My high school years were the years I self harmed almost daily, in those years I dealt with domestic abuse, I dealt with a “full blown” eating disorder, I dealt with leaving public high school in grade nine to seek treatment for my mental health issues and being diagnosed properly. Up until my last year of high school my days were not just about school and friends, my days were mostly about my mental health, coping with my issues and being overwhelmed and to afraid to talk to anyone about it.

But finally I got to my fifth year of high school (due to missing most of grade nine, I had to make up for lost time with a fifth year) and other then a french class (which I surprisingly liked for being the only 18 year old in a grade nine course) my full year was filled with “open courses” (course’s that are chosen by the student, unlike English,math, science which are mandatory) I loved my fifth year, I finally found my “niche” my days were filled with classes about psychology, child development, child education, anthropology, and world religions.

Me and my favorite teacher!

Me and my favorite teacher, on my last day of high school!

I loved my days, my last semester was my favorite of all though, I woke up happy to go to school for the first time in my life, I didn’t worry about the way I looked as much, I didn’t care if I didn’t have many friends at the time,I wasn’t constantly worried about failing because I knew I understood the material. I just wanted to get to class, I loved my course’s of children education, my intro to psychology, sociology and anthropology, which was taught by my favorite teacher, she would joke with me constantly and was always there for me if I needed to talk, she was both fun and serious.

Me writing my first novel in my high school cafeteria

Me writing my first novel in my high school cafeteria

I loved my parenting course were we would weekly go to my old elementary school and work with the kindergarten children. If I could have I would have skipped through lunch and go straight to third period, my psychology course, learning about Freud, Skinner, and Jean Piaget, it’s the course that taught me all about children’s development. My other favorite teacher taught my world religions course, I had, taken his law course before which eased my way into a student teacher friendship with him when I returned the next year and took another course, I loved being able to speak with him about Christianity,the bible and other religions and felt like he was speaking to me with respect and not just as another student.

My fifth year in my eyes was obviously the best, I finally reached my goals of getting 90% and higher in more then one of my courses, I ended the year with the Family Studies certificate, and the World Religions subject award upon graduation. My fifth year taught me that I didn’t just like reading about psychology and taking care of children, I was actually good at it! The end of my high school career was hard, not just because I had to leave high school and my much loved teachers and loved librarian, but the way it ended, in the last two weeks of high school I not only had my first job interview, but I also had my first job acceptance, which needed me to be on site during the exam week, in one week I had to  switch all of my exams to one day, finish them all and the next day head out to my first on site  job just out of London. I wasn’t able to do the big “goodbye” to most of my teachers, and even to some of my friends due to them being busy with exams also.

Prom!

Prom!

It might amaze you after reading how almost 80% or more of my high school journey was filled with negatives I honestly wouldn’t change a thing about those high school days, I hate that I had to deal with domestic abuse, an eating disorder, cutting and suicidal thoughts when I should have been really only worrying about tests, boyfriends, future college courses and jobs, but that last year of high school made a positive ending which helps me accept the negatives in that part of my life.

Pre-admit and Maternity Ward Tour

Today Michael and I finally were able to take a tour of the maternity ward in the hospital I will be birthing in. We were also able to have a pre-admittance appointment so that we did not need to fill out plenty of paperwork when I am going into labor.

Some of the questions were easy, my past medical history, if there was any religious ceremonies that would be taking place, if we planned on breastfeeding (which I am) but I did honestly have some hard issues while answering the questions. I had to bring up some of my past mental health issues due to it might causing issues during birth (past domestic abuse as a teenager) and I had to bring up my issue with eating, and my diagnosis of an eating disorder. Luckily Michael was there because I did almost break down and cry, but Michael held my hand, rubbed my back and let me know I am now safe, and I can do this. Luckily due to speaking about my mental health issues, I am able to speak to a dietitian during the rest of my pregnancy and for after birth so that I am making sure i’m getting enough nutrients so that I am able to breastfeed.

We went through some basic things, like the epidural (which I’m still not positive if I will be having one, I am terrified of the needle going in while I’m having a contraction, and I am not sure I would like being confined to the bed once I have the epidural) we also spoke about what Michael can do during the labor, spoke about how he wishes to cut the cord, how he worries about seeing me in pain (which I think is actually very sweet and shows how much he loves me.)

After all the tough questions, we finally were able to take the tour of the maternity ward, which I was most looking forward to due to me knowing that if we didn’t have the tour we would be way to nervous and overwhelmed the day of the labor. We took the elevator to the fourth floor, where the whole labor and delivery, the NICU ward, and the ward where I will be admitted to recover from birth is. We were shown were to go if I am feeling like I am in labor, the area were the nurses will see if I am actually in labor or just having a “practice” birth.

We then were brought into an unused labor room (which I sadly forgot to get pictures of, i’m sorry!) All the rooms actually have large wall to wall windows, that has a beautiful view of trees, and a skyline of buildings also. It actually is very calming to look at so I’m happy I have that to look at while I’m going through contractions. It was actually a bigger room then I thought it would be, with two comfy chairs and a three seat couch which I’m happy about so that if I go into labor later people (ie. Michael, my parents) are able to rest and sit down in comfy seats while were waiting. Then we saw the washroom, of course it’s large, but EVERY room actually has a large bath with jets in it, which I will definitely be bringing my bathing suit so that I am able to have a bath to help calm me during contractions and such. I am very impressed with the labor rooms, and am very happy they are bright, cheerful, and bigger then needed.

We were unable to see the recovery rooms where myself and the baby will be in after the birth (and yes I made sure that we WILL be having our baby in the room with us after the birth, and our child will be with us at all times) There are 42 beds for mothers, and beds for babies, and I guess there has been a lot of deliveries going on the past couple of days, and there was no rooms open that we could tour. But I’m sure they are big enough, comfy enough and perfectly good enough. We were also shown where the NICU is, which was needed to see just due to the issues Michael had when he was born so I wanted to make sure we knew that area just in case.

I was very happy knowing how up to date and cheerful the maternity ward is, it was redone and moved to our hospital (instead of disjointed and in it’s own building) within the past two years actually. I am more nervous partially because I know now everything is real, and within 4-8 weeks we will be having our child. But I am also calmed knowing where we will be going, everything is set paperwork wise, and knowing the maternity ward knows me now, and I am not a stranger to them anymore.

I’m Alive With Your Help

Michael visiting me during my December admissions

Michael visiting me during my December admissions

Most people reading this blog might not know a lot of my past. This isn’t my first WordPress blog, that first blog was Diminish The Stigma, a blog I started to express myself and the biggest part of my life up until I found out I was pregnant, my mental health. I do not wish to bring that part of my life into this blog due to me feeling like that negative aspect of my life is controlled know, after years of recovery, outpatient programs and multiple times as an inpatient on psych wards, but today marks a big anniversary for my mental health, at 3 am Sunday the eighth 2012 was my last suicide attempt, and a big part that helped me recover and not attempt again was and still is Michael.

While I was a patient in my local hospitals psychiatric ward, January 2012 I met Michael. I was a patient on the psych ward and that did not scare or worry him at all, knowing that he could accept that part of my life whole heartily calmed my nerves, he accepted my past, my triggers, accepted my mental health issues and everything I have gone through in the past.

Michael has proved to me time and time again that he cares about me, and takes me with all my mental health issues, and will be there for me no matter what. July 8th 2012 I attempted suicide (my last attempt) Michael and I were having some issues in our relationship and I had not spoken to him in over a week, (This was not the reason for my suicide attempt just to let readers know) and I have no clue how Michael found out I had attempted, but a day later he showed up at the hospital after walking two hours straight to see me. He held me close, he tried to make me laugh, and he just held my hand like I needed him to. Michael has been there for me through all three of my admissions during 2012, he has bought me gifts while I was inpatient to help cheer me up, and written me love letters to hand on my walls, or to simply just hold onto close to my heart.

61e48d2c4d42ac272065371b93bbd64bMichael I can tell you has helped me out of hospital also. Michael has held my hand while eating due to my eating disorder issues, he has hidden all the razors and sharp objects in our apartment before so that I could not harm myself, and last year when I did harm myself and he found out he would clean, bandage and then kiss my harmed areas (kiss the bandaid or next to the cut, sanitary don’t worry) he has held me when I just needed to cry, and celebrated with me for my anniversaries of the last time I have harmed, and celebrated when I finally finished outpatient programs.

Michael has helped me recover also by giving me reasons to live, he has given me a great place to call home, he makes me laugh every day, will tickle me when i’m angry at him just because he know I will crack a smile, he will cook with me when he knows i’m just a little to stressed, he will make me a bath and light candles for me, he will bring our cat Kier over to cuddle me when I need a little smile, and he will simply make me a cup of tea when I need something to relax.

Most of all, even though unplanned Michael gave me this little blessing, our baby, he gave me the family I have dreamed of for years, he has given me the ability to be a stay at home mom just like I have dreamed of being since I was a little girl. He has proven to me that I can take care of a little child and I will be a great mother, even if I have a bad mental health past, I am doing amazing know and I can handle the stress and the joys of motherhood, and I deserve them!

Thank you Michael for keeping me happy day after day,thank you for giving us this blessing I still hold in me, and thank you for being my rock when I need you to be.