Thursday, June 22, 2017

Schools out for summer!

I previously wrote that my son, Philip was finishing school for the summer and the last couple of months were tumultuous for us. This year was another lesson for us on just how mean some people can actually be to a child and we can now all take a break to enjoy the reprieve the summer has to offer!

We are hopeful that come September, we will have a more successful school year for us. For now, we can rejoice that we made it! Yahoooo!

To celebrate this joyous occasion, after saying our good-byes to the after school program monitors, we went to our local mall and had frozen yogurt for supper! We had several different kinds. I had mango, chocolate, strawberry and honey. We even got to choose a variety of toppings! Here's to healthy eating...NOT!

Summer here we come and this only means that we are getting that much closer to Halloween! BRING IT ON!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Rediscovering old items

Hello everyone! For those of you who have been following my lifestyle change, I lost a little over 30 pounds since last summer! For those of you who are unaware, last year, I gained a ton of weight. I was unhealthy and after seeing a photo of myself, I decided it was time for a positive change!

I do not believe in fad diets. I do not believe in starving myself to look a certain way. I do believe in eating right and exercise and I have been doing just that.

Despite feeling a little down earlier this month, I decided to focus on the positive so I donated clothes that no longer fit me to goodwill and I started wearing my clothes differently.

One of the things I started doing was tucking my shirt in and I also started wearing tighter fitting clothes. This is something I have not done in years, in fact, before I got pregnant! I now feel confident and beautiful. I noticed that I have my hour glass figure back.

Making this lifestyle change, made me appreciate my body more. I stopped hating it. It is not because I am a lot slimmer than I was before. I thought being thin would make me feel better but it is the exercise and eating healthy that did it for me. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy junk food! I live in Montreal and know where all the good poutine places are! I do eat burgers too, I just don't eat that stuff every day. I actually look forward to my workouts and I feel better.

 To me, I was always a petite woman and this is the Sylvie I remember;  The healthy little short girl who dangles her feet when she sits down. It is nice to feel more like myself again.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Bog Of Eternal Stench

I recently got a new Pop figure to add to my Labyrinth collection, considering Jareth was lonely. I got Hoggle! I remember the first scene with him in the movie,he was peeing in the fountain and then he started "dusting" faeries! I really do like this character and am so happy to have him as an addition to my collection.

I swear, I have no clue where I am going to put all these damned things!

Monday, June 12, 2017

The Pit In The Pendulum

I have two posts in my drafts folder waiting to be published and I hesitate. I think they suck. I was supposed to go to the Goth picnic this weekend but I didn't. I wanted to go but then I started thinking all these negative things. Most of them were about me.

I didn't want to write about this but I think I must. After all, very recently I wrote about depression. The one thing I kept out is the fact that I am going through this right now. I didn't want to write about it but I think I should because I think some friends not only need a reason why I have been distant but because I feel like I should speak openly about it. I recently wrote that I didn't want to live in a world where everyone pretended to be happy all the time, and well, right now, I could be a little happier!

I feel kinda crummy too because I made plans with some people and didn't follow through. It's hard to get out of bed in the morning (ok, I always have trouble getting out of bed any morning but it is especially hard these days) and I think it is important to talk about depression due to the stigma behind it. This is why I am getting personal here!  It is just hard to find motivation to do anything but I am strong. Seriously, I am not going to let this get to me. Ain't nobody got time for that! I am very productive at work, I manage to keep my house clean, I have been going for long walks at night because despite feeling shitty, I am a fighter. Even if it means sleeping more and taking more breaks. Living in a messy house is only going to make me feel worse. Not exercising or eating crap food is only going to make me feel bad for all that weight gain since recently, I lost a lot of weight and am quite happy with the results. I started this positive lifestyle change by eating healthy and exercise, I am not going to let it slide. Not for this.

There are reasons for why I feel like shit  but I cannot list them here as they don't only involve me, they involve my son. As vague as I can be, I want to take a moment to speak to the parents of school aged children. The ones with kids who may have had some sort of difficulty. I am in that boat. I refuse to go into details and they are probably not serious but I am in the process of getting it all sorted out. It has been a battle and at least I am getting to the bottom of it.

A couple of years ago, a friend on Facebook shared a page that struck a chord with me. This little boy in the US has (I believe autism) and when his mother asked him who he would like to invite to his birthday party, he said no one. He had no friends. His mother created a Facebook page for his family called Colin's friends. The point of the page was for people to leave him positive words. Well, word did get out and people from all over the world "liked" the page.  In the end, people wanted to mail cards and the mom set up a PO box for him. He had no idea this was happening and you can imagine his surprise on his birthday when he received loads upon loads of birthday cards! I even mailed the kid one! I sort of stuck around on the page over the years and I got the privilege to see this young boy grow up (and learn that he is a fellow Whovian no less!) with his younger sister, Ella. 

There is a point to all of this and I am speaking to the parents who are in a similar situation as I am. You see,  his mother wrote something over the weekend that struck a chord with me and since she wrote it so eloquently, I would like you to read it too. I needed to read this. I realized that I wasn't alone and I hope this can offer you the same comfort it has for me:

"Tomorrow is Ella's last full day of school, then she has two half days, and then she's done. This hasn't been a particularly tough school year, but I'm still ready for it to be over. I do remember the years, however, where the countdown to the end of the year felt like life or death. Those years when the kids, and the school, and every adult that dealt with Colin all seemed to be fed up with him, and all I wanted is a day where I didn't have to sit in fear that I'd get a phone call, or an email, or have to go down to the school. I just wanted Colin to learn, and instead we learned just how cruel people can be when they think you are different. To all the parents of kids who are being bullied, or excluded, or are seen as "different", try to relax this summer. You've done a good job this year, being your child's champion, even when it doesn't feel like it. Your kid has the right to an equal education, and a safe place to get that in. Being "different" doesn't negate that. Here's to a peaceful summer to us all."

We have 10 more days until school is out. Not counting the weekend, he has 8 more days and I will be perfectly honest, I can't wait.  The past two months took it's toll on me and while I do not wish to give too many details online, let's just say I am so grateful for an understanding husband and a wonderful, sweet little puppy. She is on my lap right now as I am typing this. I swear, puppies are the best anti depressant in the world! 
To all parents out there in the same shitty situation as I am, I salute you. Hang in there, we are almost done! We can do this! I am sure, like me, there were times you wished you could have done enough or you imagined handling situations differently or what more you could have done, please remember, YOU are enough. I know how hard it is and sometimes we wonder whether or not we did the right thing. The fact that we worry about such things is what makes us GREAT parents. Remember to smile and enjoy your child too because I bet in 10 years from now, we are only going to remember the hugs, joy and laughter.  Those are the things worth fighting for and holding onto.

My antidepressants!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Thoughts on cemetery etiquette and dog walking

Yes, I am going there and going to write about cemetery etiquette because unfortunately, common courtesy isn't so common! We all know to be respectful, not leave trash/cigarette butts behind, not vandalize, not damage headstones (those things are bloody expensive!) and to please watch where we walk because you may not notice but you can possibly walk on someone's headstone. I often take pictures of cemeteries because I personally think they are beautiful and want to share some of that beauty. Perhaps to some, that very act can be considered an act of disrespect?

A most of you read, I recently adopted a puppy! She is a grey and white chihuahua and we named her Storm. She is now 3 months old. I also recently taught her to walk on a leash and have been out with her every night! In fact, this evening, I took her to my local cemetery! While I was walking with her, I thought whether or not I was doing would be appropriate. After all, I am the type of person that scoffs at inappropriate behavior, especially in cemeteries and I began to question whether or not I was being respectful myself. Could walking my dog in the cemetery be considered disrespectful? As a result, I decided to continue with my stroll but made sure stay on the main road and not venture on the grass. This way, there would be no chance that my dog would do her business on someone's tombstone. For the record, I purchased this little capsule that you can tie on the least. Inside the capsule, there's spare bags to pick up your dogs "presents." I did not allow Storm to run free. It is a cemetery, not my back yard or dog park! In addition, if I did encounter a funeral procession (which is highly likely late in the evening but you never know!) I would have turned around or went down a different path. My pup loves meeting people and can get excited. She doesn't bark but would try to chase after them. I discourage her from jumping on other people, especially strangers but it is hard to control such behavior surrounded by a large group of people.It is better to not take any chances. Not everyone is a dog lover and while I personally would love to be greeted by a cute puppy when I am mourning the death of a loved one, not everyone is like me!

 Turns out, there was a news broadcast about people walking dogs in cemeteries and acting inappropriately!

 I like to think the majority of us goths know better than some of these people! 

Considering I mentioned my dog, and cemeteries, I took some pictures while I was out. Enjoy!

P.S. its hard to get photos while walking with a Puppy on a leash but meh...I just want to show off the view and my dog!

Come on! Let's go

Monday, June 5, 2017

Mental health week

"You, there on the bridge
Where've you been, what's your name?
And you, there on the wall
Where will you go to, once you fall?
You, lost at sea
Do you need me, do you need directions?
Hey, put down the gun
What are you thinking?
You were someone's son..."
Voltaire, Feathery Wings

According to the Internet, Mental Health week is next week (or is it the first week of May?) How come there is no set date on this? Just like mental health issues, even the cause to spread awareness behind it gets muddled along the way! This only further proves that I MUST write about this because this is something that should never be muddled along the way!  I am no stranger to mental health. I attempted suicide as a teenager and I still have scars on my body because I used to harm myself. As a result, I try not to look back at my youth often because it makes me really sad. I love being me and it hurts me that there was a time in my life when I was so self destructive.

My neighbor downstairs was mentally ill and this caused some issues for us. I was annoyed at him over his behavior, especially when he took his delusions out on my son (who was a toddler at that time) by yelling obscenities at us through the walls because he was convinced we were spying on him via electronic devices. I suspect the noise from my kid playing/using his toys was what caused the delusions. Considering my apartment is on two floors, I changed the upstairs office into a play area for my son and moved all our bookcases downstairs. This way, most of the time, we stayed upstairs with the kid except on weekends when we were home. Very recently, the gentleman moved out and I was reassured that he is in a better place where hopefully he is getting the help he needs. It just baffles me that it took this long for him to get help.He was hospitalized on numerous occasions.

Originally, I was going to write a lengthy post about my views on the popular Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why and how this show worries me. While the show does an excellent job with portraying bullying/cyber bullying, slut shaming, rape, the context of this young girl taking her own life as means for revenge is what bothers me. Suicide is a permanent decision and you will not be around to see the effects it has on other people. I am not a professional but I don't think the show  portrays the psychology behind suicide correctly (or if at all) and it just shows this young girl going through one horrific event after the other. That is not a message I am comfortable with young people receiving but I think it can be used as a tool for discussion with young adults. It was a reminder to what I was feeling at the time I made attempts at ending my own life and enticed me to have an age appropriate discussion with my six year old about bullying.

In Canada, thanks to our free healthcare system, people can get help but there are often long waiting lists associated with this. Thankfully, my insurance coverage I have through my work covers a portion of this but for some people, this may not be enough.

As a result, I personally feel that there are minimal resources for the mentally ill. My own personal experiences as well as the situation with my neighbor proves that.  The Government needs to do something. Unfortunately, people who severely need help are falling through the cracks.

Life was hard for me as a teenager and it seems not much has changed from the late nineties. In fact, with the Internet and with cyber bullying on the rise, children don't have the reprieve I did when I was in school.

So yes, let's do have a conversation about mental illness. Let's use this popular Netflix show to start a conversation with the young adults in our lives. Let's help them find 13 Reasons Why NOT To do it! Let's break down some barriers, if not for ourselves but for our children. Parents, let's speak up because as much as schools claim to have an anti-bullying policy, we need to work with them. We need to put more pressure on the schools and Government to deal with mental illness or at least have more resources for children who do have problems (be it ADD/ADHD, depression, dyslexia, anxiety, etc) because the regular school system lacks funding. I have experienced this first hand. We need to stop putting people into convenient little boxes. These are complex human beings. More and more nowadays these illnesses are prevalent but there is little help for them. Public school is catered towards children who are "normal" and special needs kids are falling through the cracks. If our kids can't attend public school, homeschooling is nearly impossible here, then there should be resources to better help these kids. After all, isn't it our basic human right as Canadians that every child should be entitled to a free education?

If you come across this post because you are depressed and need help, please do not give up on life. I am by far a licensed mental health professional but having personally came out of a very negative place in my life, I can tell you that life is worth living. Please call your local suicide prevention help line. Don't give up.


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