Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Sometimes...life goes to shit :)

I'm talking literally in this instance. Seriously, this blog is about poop

If you've been following the story you know I've some recent set-backs in life/family/relationships. In dealing with my depression and anxiety. I was on a good track for a couple of years. And then I got derailed. 

So I'm home at present, living with my family. I don't have that in Toronto so I had to come here. We have four dogs, three horses, two donkeys and a cat. There is a lot of shit happening. 

I've been trying to help out the best I can to show them how much I appreciate what they are all doing to help ME and to stay busy. Normal stuff: laundry, dishes, some meals here and there. We do however, have all these animals and a huge property. So I do chores. Yesterday I cleaned the horse stalls (shovelling shit). A couple of days before that my task was to walk around the property and pick up all the dog poop and put it in a wheelbarrow (more like collecting shit). Max is still a puppy and he gets too excited sometimes and twice now he pooped all over my bedroom and bathroom (that's just cleaning shit).

This morning it was my turn. My aunt and uncle do 5K power walks down the beach at 5 am. I barely slept but I told my uncle I would go with him so I set my alarm and got up. (They think I don't get enough exercise to exorcise my demons.) We put out the garbage to get picked up and I said "I think it's going to rain". My uncle said he thought we'd be back in plenty of time before it got bad. So off we went with our dogs.

We were almost at the end of the beach when I had to go to the bathroom. He took Max and said they'd all meet me on the way back - he was close to the turnaround point of the walk. There are a couple of restrooms on the length of the beach and it's still early in the season so he said if the first one was locked, try the second one. I ran. The first one was basically an outhouse but it had toilet paper so it would have to do. It was dark (no electricity) and stinky but sometimes your only option might be your best option! 

I came out and waited for him to get back. It started raining. After about 15 minutes I thought maybe they'd gone to the second restroom. So I went there. It rained some more. (Not warm rain.) Another 15 minutes or so go by and I realized something...I had been abandoned in a dark, cold outhouse in the rain on the beach. I can't make this shit up :)

I started walking home and eventually he picked me up when he realized I wasn't at home or in the barn doing chores. I think my life would make a great sitcom! :)

We pull into the driveway and of course, the crows have picked apart two of the garbage bags. The ones with the kitty litter in them. So I sucked it up and cleaned it up. So there you have it: life can be a whole bunch of different kinds of shit. But...as my father says, cleaning it up is good honest work. And at the end of the day, we all come home, put on our comfty clothes, make some good food, have a glass of wine and don't worry about any of that again until tomorrow. :)

Sullivan out. 

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Proof of Love

One of my favorite quotes is "There is no such thing as love, only proof of love.

It's not the easiest thing to do. It's actually pretty hard. Every day we make decisions. I think most of them are pretty selfish. Lately though, I feel so loved. My family, my friends, I couldn't ask for a better team behind me. They prove it to me every day that they are worthy of me loving them back.  

There are a lot of people who have said they loved me. Maybe they did, maybe they didn't. Maybe loving me was too difficult to do. I'm messed up, I get it. I know now, there are people I can't let myself love anymore. Because they are toxic.  

There's also a lot of people who aren't mean, they are just messed up like me. Those people, have proved their love. I trust them. And, I'll prove my love right back. 

Sullivan out. 

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Country Roads

"Country roads take me home, to the place where I belong." - John Denver

I've been home for a couple of weeks now. I have two drawers of clothes, my yoga mat and my dog. It feels strange to be an adult and living in my uncle's house. My friends are great. They all just keep calling me and asking when I'm coming back. Right now I can't tell.

I read a book before I left on the struggle of women living in Afghanistan. I never have, never will, face that kind of battle. I only have first world problems. But - and the but here is big - y'all know I'm an advocate for mental health issues. So I've been seeing two therapists. I meditate in the mornings and I always run through my gratitude list.

I have the best half of my family on my side. They are completely "Team Margaux". I couldn't ask for better back-up.

I have the best boss. Enough said.

I have the best friends. Although it's possible they miss Max more than me.

I am very lucky and I never forget that. Being in the country is good for me. My family keeps me busy with chores - gardening and watering plants and barn work. I haven't ventured far from home since I arrived here. Some days are better than others.

Driving the country roads has been fun. It feels like home and that helps right now. I'll go to my other home soon though. As soon as it feels safe.

Sullivan out.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Mother's Day

I know a lot of people feel this is just a Hallmark holiday, but I like any excuse show love and make people feel special, whether or not Hallmark makes a few bucks on my account. 

Looking over the FaceBook feed and Instagram today, with the eclectic group of people I'm now connected too, there are two distinct groups who are posting. The first group are the lucky ones, who have great relationships with their moms, who are posting happy pictures of them together, either now or from when they were kids. Sidepoint: It's amazing how many girls look exactly like their mother did at their age. I am not one of them

The second group, the not so lucky ones. There are many reasons people have either lost their mothers or lost touch with them. The ones I know though, it's always the same story. It's my story. 

Many of them are extremely sad today, feeling the effects of knowing the people around them are off to brunches and lunches and dinners with happy cards telling their mom how she's one of the most important people in their life. And our mothers are probably also one of the most important people in our lives - how can she not be? She's our mother. But she shuns us. Based entirely on the one decision we ever made to completely disappoint her - we left her cult. 

To the first group, I've gotta say, I'm nothing but happy for you. You have something very special - although we all know that no family is ever perfect. To the second group I would just say, if you need to feel a little sad today, that's okay. There will always be situations in life that will make us miss them. Big life changes, accomplishments, marriages, babies, there are so many situations where you imagined your mother would be by your side. I get it and I can sympathize.

Despite the fact that my mother is out of my life for good this time, I don't feel sorry for myself. It's sad, yes. I am grateful though for all the effort she put into raising us as a single mom. Would I have chosen to be raised in a cult and then shunned/unshunned continually for the past 6 years? No. But she did the best she could while we were growing up. She used to sew us dresses, made sure we had good values and we always had a cozy home. 

Today, on Mother's Day, I really don't feel a void. She stopped being my mother six years ago. And there's a good chance it happened much, much earlier than that. Over the past few years and especially lately, others have stepped in. Aunts, stepmom, Grandma, and even oddly enough one of my ex's mom  - they have shared the role that is currently vacant in my life. 

I'm sure a lot of you can relate to this - that the word family doesn't always mean what we think it does. Through my extended and adopted network of "moms" I've found the one thing I always wanted and could never get from my own mother - unconditional love. 

If you haven't already done so, find the "family" that loves you for you. While that won't always heal the wounds of a Mother's Day without your birth mother,  it goes a long way to helping you feel grateful for what you do have, feel loved and feel not quite so alone. 

Remember, the Universe is our Mother and she is always looking out for us. She wants you to be happy and accepts you the way you are. As you think about that, pour a glass of wine or eat some ice cream. Run a bath or read a good book. Allow yourself to feel what you need to feel. Tomorrow is a new day. 

Happy Mother's Day to all those wonderful, supportive moms out there. You deserve to be celebrated. 

Sullivan out. 

Friday, 8 May 2015

Happiness Is...

So this week is Mental Health Week in Canada. I've been struggling with what to say. It seems that this week everyone is talking about Mental Health. Writers, actors, comedians, news anchors...the list goes on. We had an event at my workplace where a panel of brave people got up in front of a crowd and told their stories about dealing with anxiety and depression. 

And everyone gets on the bandwagon. I guess the most important thing I'd like to say is I feel it's so critical to keep the momentum going. Keep the conversation alive. Keep up the the caring and support that you've all been showing during this week. There's still a huge stigma that needs to be ended. 

Even if you're not one of the one in four people that will experience this personally during your lifetime, we all know that "happiness" can be a trap. We may feel that we all deserve to be happy all the time. And we probably do. But that's just not realistic in the world we live in. Whether you do presently or have suffered from depression in the past yourself, none of us are always happy. 

Mental health issues though go deeper than the occasional let down, disappointment or bad day. It's the same as any physical health challenges that someone may face. There might be good days and bad days. You might go into "remission" and be fine for weeks or months or years. And then it comes back. It might be something a person fights every single day. 

Some people do well with therapy. Medication may work for someone else. Perhaps a combination of both is useful for others. There's no "one" solution we can push on someone to "fix" them. Like a physical ailment or limitation, this may be a health issue that a person must care for on an ongoing basis for the rest of their life. 

It doesn't mean we can't be good friends, great co-workers, supportive family members. Never assume it's because we aren't trying either. Some of the bravest, funniest people I've met who've shared their stories are working extremely hard to find calmness and contentment in their lives. 

One of the biggest contributing factors to living with a mental health condition and finding your "happiness" is having a supportive network. So if you know someone living with this, just remember that. If you are living with mental health issues, accept the support. :)

I have been more than blessed, especially recently, with a network of family, work and friends who have made the past little while so much easier and happier for me. 

If you want to read a writer who is not only brutally honest about her battle but hilariously funny try Jenny Lawson: http://thebloggess.com/Her latest book is entitled: Furiously Happy: A funny book about horrible things. She can make you happy even if you're crying.

And it never hurts to hug a puppy. :)

Sullivan out. 

Friday, 1 May 2015

Hi it's Margaux. I'm shoe shopping.

Please leave a message. This probably doesn't make any sense unless you've ever called me. Since I never pick up my phone it would make total sense if you have.

The funny thing is, I'm actually going shoe shopping tonight. After spending all day in a dog carrier buying fiasco, I'm mustering up the courage to hit the mall for a pair of shoes for my very dear friends wedding tomorrow.

Then Max and I are going on a little adventure. We're taking a mental health break and going home. Sometimes the nights are too lonely and the roads are too long. And you just need your family more than anything else. I'm so lucky that I have some amazing people who will just take you in with your big ass dog. But where I'm going to...what's one more big ass dog? There are already a bunch of them there.

I hope I'll be back to Toronto soon. If I'm not able to do that, please leave a message. :)

Sullivan out.