Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Closure

My therapist says I can't move on until I have closure. Which I can't get because no one will talk to me. So we'll do it this way,

Travis: I love you. I think you are handsome and smart and stupid. Stupid because you didn't stick with me. We could have made it work. I will never get married again. Fuck religion. We are all each other ever needed. But then you married Nicole and it was over.

Erin: I love you. Again, fuck religion. When Armageddon never comes, you will miss me. I miss you every day.

Linda: I love you. Fuck religion. Enough said.

Adam: You are the love of my life. I don't always sleep alone but that doesn't mean I'm not lonely.

I could go on and on, but the reality is, all those other people, the lifelong girlfriends, my bridesmaids, I don't really miss them. I don't feel a need to say goodbye. There are four people I've lost and I miss. Four people who can make you want to end your life. FOUR.

It's crazy isn't it? Because there are so many other people to make you feel happy, to feel full. They will love you for real. They will be there in your times of need. They are worthy of your tears, your laughter. They are the family you wish you had.

Sullivan out.


Sunday, 26 April 2015

How to Save a Life

It's actually pretty simple: 

1) Show up
2) Don't be an asshole

With Mental Health Week coming up I think there are a few things we all should know. 

- Half of the people dealing with mental health issues will never tell anyone about it. 
- One in four people in Canada will go through this at some point in their lives. 
- Depression is a real disease. Those of you who think you can just "be happy" are wrong.

From my experience, it's complicated. I've tried everything from therapy (I have two therapists) to meditation, to mindfulness training, to medication, to psychics. I've read a million books, dabbled in Buddhism, bought a mala that's supposed to be healing, done yoga more times than I can count. 

It's a lot of work on top of real life and real work. Sometimes I wonder where I went wrong. Sometimes I blame my upbringing. Sometimes I try to forgive myself for being not as strong as I want to be. 

Those of us who are suffering and trying to get better though, try to understand us. Just because I've been struggling lately has absolutely no link to self-pity or feeling ungrateful. Each and every turn my life takes, there's someone there who shows up. Friends, ex-boyfriends, family. I love and appreciate those people more than I can express in words. 

I have an aunt and uncle who would be the most perfectly imperfect set of parents. And I think that's the beauty in unconditional love. Now that we're all adults we know what each of us have been through. And I feel accepted and loved and I know I look up to them for getting through what they've been through. We do the best with what we have, but without the proofs of love, how we would know that we're actually loved? Love is an action. 

If someone you loved had cancer, you'd show up at the hospital, you'd bring them flowers. You might not understand depression and anxiety, but you can try. :)

And that's how you save people's lives. Suicide is the second most common cause of death amoung young people in Canada. Stop the stigma. Start talking. 



Thursday, 16 April 2015

The Ugly Truth

I've been reading another M. Scott Peck book. His most famous book starts with a simple truth: "Life is difficult."

I haven't written anything in awhile. It's spring here in Toronto and I've been trying and trying to come up with some story of tulips and sunshine to help everyone who reads me have a happier day.

I received another message thanking me for putting myself out there, for having the courage to tell the truth, share my story. Apparently, it's been an inspiration to some people. It hasn't come without a cost though. My ex-boyfriend always gave me the same advice about this blog: You could just tell the truth. 

And it's not that I don't. I'm pretty honest. But everything is sugar coated, it all has that twist at the end where I say everything is going to be okay. I don't just do it for the people who read it, I do it for me. So that I can believe that too.

The honest truth is that this morning I got up, took a shower, put on a dress and couldn't leave my apartment. I just sat in a chair and cried. I've never not shown up for work, not called in to let them know where I was. A colleague and very good friend actually showed up. He made me call my therapist and sat on the floor with me while I cried. He offered to take me to the hospital.

I chose a path, years ago now. Was it the right one? I don't know. I've been fighting a losing battle. One I will never win. For me though, the path of least resistance is just not an option at this point.

I have one friend who understands me and supports me through everything. I have a couple of people in my family I can call when I need help. Other than that, I'm alone. Would it have been better to stay married, continue to be part of a cult, have hundreds of friends that aren't really your friends unless you obey? No. It wouldn't. But that doesn't make life on the outside any easier.

I've realized that as much as I try to be an advocate, I'm actually ashamed of who I am. I'm pretty sure anyone who deals with depression feels the same way. We wish we could be better. We wish it would go away. I want to be the old Margaux, the one who took care of everyone else and did it with a smile. But I'm not anymore. And this blog will end like that.

Sullivan out.

Friday, 3 April 2015

Double your joy, divide your pain

I've seen different variations of this quote about Friendship. Basically though, that's what true friendship does. It doubles our joys in life, cuts the griefs in half. I'm not a huge fan of FaceBook but until everyone realizes Instagram is so much better - it's okay. They have a new feature where they send you pictures of where you were on this day "x" many years ago. Yesterday I got this one:



I wish I was there today! That was in the Bahamas. I was with a very good friend of mine. We had a fabulous vacation - one of the best I think I've ever had. The people were great, the food was great, the scenery and towns were amazing and I was with my best friend. 

Funny story: we actually met on a dating website. Hey, how else is a newly divorced ex-Jehovah Witness going to meet eligible men? When he wanted to meet me I was terrified. You grow up hearing over and over how all those men out there in "the world" are dangerous, they're only after one thing, they won't respect you and on and on. 

I wouldn't go on a real date but I decided I would meet him in a crowded food court between our offices. I actually stood there, watching him wait while peeking around a corner for about ten minutes trying to decide what to do. He was tall and handsome - no doubt about it. But I wasn't sure if I could go through with it. I did and we dated for awhile. The first time he came over to visit me at my apartment I hid a great big knife in case he tried to attack me. (I was brainwashed people! So brainwashed!)

Eventually we realized we were better off as friends and by that time he really was my best friend. He had introduced me to his daughter and his parents and eventually they became my really good friends too. His parents even let me and one of my subsequent boyfriends stay overnight on their yacht after a day of sailing because that poor guy was deathly allergic to my cat. His dad signs all his messages to me as "D" (for dad). His mom knits me scarves.

He and I have seen each other through a lot, losing friends, losing lovers, changing jobs and situations in life. Having someone there to hold your hand or give you a hug really does cut the grief in half. When I went through my recent bout of depression he just called and said "I'm on my way over". 

Then there's the doubling the joy part. Going sailing, dancing, skating, to karaoke, playing laser tag with his daughter, BBQ'ing with his parents...we go to shows and concerts and buskerfest (one of the best days I had last summer actually). I honestly don't really know where I'd be without my "family" of these people to keep me grounded. And because there are four of them, the joy is much more than double what I bargained for. Can you guess where I'm going for Easter dinner on Sunday? Home. :)

Sullivan out.