It's pretty easy to sit in the shadows and disappear into darkness. Where no one will find us and where we can be alone. The dark is where we feel most comfortable, because no one can see the darkness we hide within ourselves. Sure every so often we peer into the light, emerging when we are finally brave enough to interact with others. However our visits are often cut short by the piercing blade of that same darkness we hide in the shadows with. This darkness has a name. I call it anxiety and depressing And hypomania. Some call it bipolar, schizophrenia, OCD, or postpartum. We each have our own name for it and feel at some point ashamed because of it. Today we stand in the light and face that darkness by sharing our stories and talking with those we love, those we work with and those who we aimlessly pass by wondering about in our lives. Today is our day to rise from the shadows and take back our lives. Today we go to war with stigmatism, the adverted looks, the hushed whispers as we walk by, and the sympathetic actions. I am not my mental illness. I am just a normal guy who happens to have a mental illness. Sure there are days when I can't always explain why I feel so sad or why all of the sudden, my lungs are collapsing from the weight of the world. There are days where I can't bare the thought of having to interact with another person but those are just days and tomorrow brings a new one. I can't stand by anymore knowing that myself, along with those like me are put into this category of pitty, and treated differently because we battle mental illness. Today I stand up for mental health and I reject the all of the stigmatizim and demoralizing looks I have felt since opening up about my illness. I stand with my friends and family and everyone who has ever felt rejected due to our mental health. We are not our illness and we never will be! I encourage all those who are feeling alone, lost, frustrated and scared to speak out today. Share your story, speak your mind, be strong and know that I am always here for you.
I'm bored. There's nothing to do or maybe I'm just too lazy to do anything, either way I'm bored. I have often succumb to the idea that I am not doing enough with myself! I wake up, go to work, come home and everything else in between seems rather mute. To battle this daunting feeling that often comes and goes in my life, I've learned that I need to find new things to achieve/learn. This task may seem hard as I mentioned previously that there's nothing to do; but perhaps it's just the way I'm looking at it! Thinking back I have taught myself photography, painting, how to draw, crocheting, cooking/baking new recipes, woodworking, sewing, gardening, how to play the piano and many more things! I think we do a lot more than we ever give ourselves credit for, but it gets to a point where we get so used to the things we do or hobbies that we have that we circle back to this feeling of boredom! It's a vicious never ending cycle! I've always been one growing up, to go for that next big thing or find something to submerge myself into, forgetting the world around me! As I get older I am finding that my sense of adventure and spark of enthusiasm are slowly dissipating. Is this what my life is going to be like from now on? Have I already been sucked into the vortex of conformity? Either way I'm I'm refusing right now to believe that this is what my life going to be like and if you are feeling the way I am, I strongly urge you to take this stand with me! Let's be interesting, go on random adventures and learn new things! For the next week I'm challenging myself (and you) to try something new everyday! If you are having trouble thinking of things to do, here is a list of things that I've compiled for us to choose from!
•Learn and master your favourite phrase in a new language
•Try a new workout (make it fun)
•Buy and complete an entire colouring book
•Cook or bake an intricate recipe
•Learn to dance
•Attend an open mic night or karaoke and sing your heart out
•Learn to juggle
•Woodworking (build something functional)
•Join a community sports league
•Enroll in a free class
•Up-cycle something you don't use anymore
•Start a succulent garden
•Walk around in the mall and compliment strangers (don't be creepy)
•Learn a new instrument through YouTube
•Decorate a cake (then eat it)
Whatever it is that you decide to do, do it whole heartedly and with passion! Life is to short to only do something half-ass! There is so much out there in this world for us to do that we should never spend a single day being bored!
With the world what it is today, it's nearly impossible to be alone. I mean truly alone, cut off from the world around you, not a single soul in sight. Technology has a big factor in this problematic issue but it also has to do with how you handle yourself. I recently came across a quote from Deepak Chopra, "To make the right choices in life, you have to get in touch with your soul. To do this, you need to experience solitude, which most people are afraid of, because in the silence you hear the truth...." This really resonated with me as I've been feeling not myself, or at least not the person I hope to be. I've been feeling a sense of entrapment with my life, never knowing if where I am, is where I am supposed to be. I feel like I'm constantly at war with myself, fighting a battle to which I can't find a concrete reason for. This past weekend I decided that maybe it would be best if I ran away, even for a couple of days, to figure out and deal with all these pent up thoughts and the madness with in me. To be still and reflect on everything that was causing me so much grief and anxiety. I packed my car and took off, not entirely sure where I was going, I just knew that I needed to leave. I spent the weekend at Emma lake about two hours north of Saskatoon, where I sat around a campfire, went night swimming and drank far much more then I needed. Although I was by myself in my campsite, I never truly felt alone. I would chat with other campers going by, text friends far away, and of course checked Grindr to see who was close by. I was scared of what might happen if I didn't have some sort of connection to my life back home or the world around me or I would miss out on something important. As I sat and looked at the stars in the night sky, listening to the embers from the fire burning below, I remembered the words of Chopra and realized that maybe I wasn't ready to know the truth. That in the silence and the darkness of night, I would still fight this war. It takes an extreme amount of courage to be alone and though I do take pride in feeling independent enough to take off like I did; I don't think I'm strong enough to be truly alone with myself. I did make a small breakthrough this weekend, to which I admitted to myself that sometimes I do need help, even if I'd rather not ask for it. You can't run away from your problems and the chaos that devastates you; because sometimes what you need to do is lay down with the pain, the heartache and the hatred inside of you. Whatever it is that causes sleepless nights and troubled days. The insidious matter that causes you to look over your shoulder and make you run away. We all need help sometimes; someone to lay down with us while we face that pain, heartache and hatred in our hearts.
If you're reading this and are in need of help, reach out and ask for it. However if you can't find the words you need, know that up until this point in your life, you have survived. Survived trauma, heartbreak, devastation, fought off the demons inside of you and every part of your life in between. Maybe it's best that we are never alone in this world. Help is out there. We are not alone.
Everyday brings a new opportunity to start fresh. Why do we always wait to plan a new goal around the new year or even when our birthdays come around? Today is the perfect day to start! Start a new project, set a new goal, try a new recipe or two, buy that gym membership (and use it), or book a plane ticket for a new adventure! No matter what you are after, start today. Putting things off due to made up fallacies will get you exactly where you are right now; wondering what life would be like if you just started out what you wanted to do yesterday. This is life today. Start today where you are. Start with fear and pain; with courage and happiness. Start with hands shaking and voice trembling; with grounded feet and a beating heart. I'm not saying that I have all the answers, but i do promise to give the best advice I can. I want to welcome each and everyone of you, where ever you may be, to my blog. This is me, my thoughts and opinions. My hobbies and my passions. My triumphs and my tribulations. This is life one day at a time because really, that's all we have. This is my start.