Posted in anxiety, Compassion, Depression, Grief, Self-care, Sexual assault, Stigma Talks, Tournesol whispers, troiku

all in a day’s work (troibun) daily moments May 17 2019


Today was the day she was having a minor surgery on her big toe.  Oh boy, she could not help but worry about the pain.  She really hates pain. She has been tolerating it throughout her body for decades but her big toe…oh my, that was such an acute pain.  She remembers when she was pregnant for her second child, she had a plantar wart under her big toe.  Her doctor tried to remove it unsuccessfully with dry ice…OUCH…burrrrn!! Then she heard about a surgeon at a local hospital did this regularly. Why not?  It would be over and done with for good since surgically the doctor would see the root of that sucker. 

The needle to freeze her was brutal and the doctor lacked compassion. The weeks following were very uncomfortable.  She could feel her heart beating in her big TOE!  Thankfully she had her two-year-old son who brought a cane to her when she needed to get up. He was such a great helper all throughout her pregnancy.

Now today she kept thinking of that damn needle and it worried her. So what do you do when you have 5 hours to kill? — clean the apartment. May as well get it ship shape so when she returned if she needed to keep her foot UP, her place would be tidy and dust free.

She really liked her podiatrist.  Last year when she was on the verge of burning out and her work refused her doctor’s letter for time off…she would go for a pedicure and cry throughout the appointment.

Today, she felt she would not need that kind of support and she felt much stronger emotionally. Nah, she would not be crying today.

The podiatrist pricked her toe once, twice and then three times. It hurt but she did it slowly, just like her dentist does.  Yeah, she is special. After twenty minutes, the podiatrist returns ready to snip away but she could feel the knife…nope, one more needle here and then one more there.  After a few minutes she tried and nope, the bugger still felt pain. Darn!  After two more shots, she finally was able to get it done. And yes, her toe is quite big!

During the procedure she talked about how her work had celebrated a 30-year anniversary last night and yet she felt sad. She had read about a young boy who had ended his life despite having given all his friends virtual messages that he would no longer be in this world.  His friends told their parents, but nothing was done.  She could not help but think of him yesterday when they were cutting that anniversary cake. Somehow it did not feel celebratory.

Suddenly, she felt tears running down her cheeks. The podiatrist asked her if she may be suffering from PTSD hearing so many traumatic stories.  “No,” she said, “I think today I was thinking of my friend whose son took his life 19 years ago today.  I met her over ten years ago and I find when it is personal, close to me, it is harder to set boundaries.”

As she was doing her “thing” or “magic” on her big toe, she was thinking about Adam. Gee, 19 years ago is when she started working at this helpline. People often tell her how great it is what she  does for a living.  She cannot help thinking of the ones who did not make it and hope there will be a time where there is not one ounce of stigma on mental health. She dreams of a time where a complete medical check up includes a mental health check up and that when a youth misses school for a week or two or even months for mental health reasons, it is not misjudged but treated by society as a broken leg that gets treated,  goes through physical rehab and in time gets strong and sturdy again.  And for those fractures that may cause rheumatism and long-term treatment, that too will not be criticized.

After big toe procedure completed, she limped to the pharmacy to get some items and on her way back to the bus stop, she noticed her bandage somehow, just flew off in the wind. Good thing the bus came early!  What a day!

Looking back on her day, she wonders if perhaps her work may be pulling on her heartstrings more and more in the past few years.  The productivity is so overwhelming that now there may be casualties on both sides of the lines.

playing catch-up
only keeping them at bay
putting out fires

playing catch-up
“Hello, how can I help you?”
twenty wait in queue

only keeping them at bay
child abuse, grief, depression,
suicide taunts them

putting out fires
spreading like wildfire
one at a time

Who can see
beyond the flames?
hell populates

© Tournesol ‘19/05/17

Daily moments all in a day’s work Troibun May 17 2019



Posted in Depression, Did you know?, Mental Health, Self-care, Stigma Talks


The approaching holidays can be a difficult time for many and even moreso for anyone suffering from a mental illness. Don’t let social stigma prevent you from getting the help you deserve.


Maybe you feel alone? Maybe you feel worthless? Maybe you think you waste everyone’s time with your problems/feelings. Maybe just breathing fuels your feelings of despair and the only thing you can manage is sleep.
You probably won the depression lottery. It is estimated nearly 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression according to the WHO.
Social stigma is one of the biggest factors preventing effective care.
Do the whole world a favor and be proactive with those you love. Let them know they are NOT alone.

Depression doesn’t respect the holidays.  It is the Grinch.  It is the Scrooge. It is the devil in a red Santa suit come to steal all your beautifully wrapped silver linings.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Phone Number


cl-yn0nvaaamgzxAll the channels

Dance with static

As she sits silent

Inhaling the dark

Perspective fuzzy

And Vodka blurred

Turning memories


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Posted in Did you know?, Self-care

Challenge for Growth Prompt #8- Stop (Repetitive) Thinking

See the tips below the challenge…Great tips on how you can stop that mind from worrying and repeating over and over…you know when it just won’t shut up…read on… Tools for Dealing with Repetitive Thoughts by Karuna Poole

One of the main ways we make ourselves miserable is by repetitive thinking. Very few of our thoughts are new; we recycle them again and again. We ruminate about past traumas, feel indignant over ways we were slighted, or obsess about possible future problems. Repetitive thinking can lead to depression and anxiety.

Below I am going to list many tools you can use when you find yourself trapped in this cycle. They are not listed in any particular order. If one doesn’t work for you at a given time, try another.

1) Say “Be here now” to yourself and shift your focus to the present. Do that every time you find yourself thinking about the past, worrying about the future, or into repetitive thinking of other kinds. You may need to say the phrase hundreds of times a day when you start, but if you continue saying it and bringing your attention to the present, the repetitive thoughts will stop. Remember that you are working to break an old habit and build a new one, and that takes time.

2) When you find yourself into repetitive thinking, bring single-minded focus to every moment. For instance, say to yourself “I am picking up my fork,” “I am holding my fork,” “I am picking up food with my fork,” “I am bringing my fork to my mouth,” “I am putting my food into my mouth,” I am chewing my food,” “I am swallowing my food,” etc.

3) Pick an affirmation and say it at least 1,000 a day, or more, for 21 days. Say your mantra internally, going as fast as you like. If unhelpful thoughts start coming at the same time, speed up the affirmation You can use any kind of affirmation. Some examples are “Be here now,” “I’m competent and capable,” “I let go,” “My needs are important,” “I am enough,” “I am smart,” “My life is unfolding as it should,”etc. Pick one affirmation and stick to the same one for the entire 21 days. It doesn’t matter if you believe what you are saying. What matters is that you want to believe it. If you say the affirmation in the 10,000 a day range, it may start flowing through your mind automatically, during the day and possibly throughout the night as well.

4) Make a 3 second contract with yourself. Since repetitive thinking is a habit, you will probably find yourself in the midst of it without being aware it had started. You don’t break the contract when you find that you have been obsessing or over thinking for some time. You break the contract when you realize you are doing it and don’t start working to disrupt the thinking within 3 seconds.

5) Distract yourself. Go for a walk, exercise, read, talk to a friend, etc.

6) Write lists of what you are feeling mad, sad and/or scared about. Don’t spend time thinking about it; just write whatever comes to your mind in the moment, even if you end up writing the same thing over and over.

I am mad that _______

I am mad that _______

I am mad that _______

I am scared that _______

I am sad that _______

I am mad that ______

I am scared that ______

I am scared that ______


7) If you are angry with someone and obsessing about that, do some anger work. Journal about your anger, write a poison pen letter telling the person off (and then destroy it), twist a towel and imagine yourself yelling at them, scream into a pillow. Stop when you feel a shift in your energy. These techniques are for the purpose of releasing the angry energy in a way that doesn’t hurt yourself, others or the environment.

8) Write a list of your scares in one column and in a second column write the truth about each situation. For example:

If he leaves me I will die If he leaves me I will feel very sad but I will not die.

I have done nothing with my life I have done many things with my life (and list them).

9) Write a list of all the things in your life that you are grateful for.

10) Each time you have a negative thought about someone else, write or say three positive things about them.

11) Each time you have a negative thought about yourself, write or say three positive things about yourself.

12) Most often fear needs information. If you are feeling afraid, ask yourself what information you need and then go get it.

13) If you find yourself obsessing about a negative event from your past, write a list of the things you learned because that happened to you. Also, identify the skills you have today because that event occurred.

14) A friend recently told me about a process she finds very helpful:

The moment you get a repetitive thought, write down what scares you about that thought; i.e., what is behind it that worries or frightens you? In a stream of consciousness way (don’t go back to read what you write), write down everything you’re afraid of that comes to mind until you run out. Then wad up the paper and burn it [or tear it up] and go about your business. Do this process daily and/or every time you get a thought you don’t want.

15) Think what your life would be like if you were able to stop most of your repetitive thinking. Hold that vision in front of you as you make moment to moment decisions about where you put your focus.

I hope you find these tools helpful. I wish you the best on your journey towards a peaceful mind.

Written for Challenge for Growth Prompt #8: Stop (Repetitive) Thinking

Living, Learning and Letting Go


Stop Thinking

This week’s challenge is:

“Today I stop my repetitive thinking.”

So few of our thoughts are actually new; we recycle most of them again and again as we ruminate about past traumas, feel indignant over ways we were slighted, or obsess about possible future problems.  Overthinking keeps us trapped in our heads, rather than living from our hearts.  It also leads to depression and anxiety.

We may believe if we think about a problem long enough, we will figure out what to do about it. The reality is that inspiration is much more likely to come when our minds are silent than when we are in a never-ending cycle of analyzing.

This week, for 1, 2, 3 days or longer, commit to stopping your repetitive thoughts. One way to do that is to say “Stop…..Be here now” and then focus solely on the present moment whenever you find…

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Posted in Depression, Mental Health, Reflections, Self-care

All Paths Lead to the Light (Five Sentence Fiction)

© – Escape childhood by Holunder at

Olivia sighed a sigh of relief after speaking to her caller for two hours and the threat of suicide had finally waned when the teen thought of her little sister, her mother and her dog, Chelsea, she would not want to leave behind to fend for themselves with her step-father.

“But how do I know there is light at the end of the tunnel when my life is shit all the time… when my step-father won’t stop beating my mom and won’t stop coming into my room to get his “sugar” that I’m too old to believe that anymore, eh?” she wailed into the phone.

“Allow me to guide you through an imagery and let all your thoughts, fears, images float by you, like the credits at the end of a movie: now, imagine you are in a dark gigantic cave and as you move along you notice a fork and you have to decide which entrance you will continue on your journey.

You may choose one passageway that will make you go in circles in total darkness for a while but still brings you back to this fork; the other entrance will bring you towards the light but eventually you will still get to the light and you have me and many other counsellors here to guide you until you reach the light,” she stops to give her caller space to explore this imagery.

She hears the caller sob softly, “I can see it, I can really see the light”.

Gunung Mulu National Park Deer Cave Entrance

© Cheryl-Lynn Roberts, originally posted March 30, 2015 for a photo prompt and Five Sentence Fiction

Posted in Depression, Did you know?, Mental Health, Self-care, video

Dance like no one is looking

Stress…how do you manage it?  Moody blues, can you overcome them and if you can’t, what about taking a break from sadness, worries ( the old fashion anxiety we all too often label now) and stress?

I often suggest to youths to exercise, dance, jog, take a brisk walk around the block because we know it is cold in most places in Canada, do yoga or Tai chi…movements do not have to be fast…it is the movement in itself that is therapeutic and in so many cases, it is healing.

I have always enjoyed dancing but have never been a very good one. I would practice as a teen before going to a dance some special line dances, listen to lots of Motown and allow the music to move my body.  I’ve noticed when you enjoy the music, your body seems to respond so much better.  When the children were younger I would dance and they would laugh at Mommy who looked silly…actually they probably still think the same thing and they are 30 something!  What has changed over the years  however is that I let my guard down in my late 40’s.  I would dance now with freedom because my internal voice said, “Dance your heart out like no one is looking!”    I had a regular place I loved to go dancing in Toronto that had live R & B music every day with no cover charge!  We had a group of friends that went regularly and it was fun.

One friend told me I reminded him of Carmen Diaz in her role in Charlie’s Angels.  I remember saying, “I thought I danced better than that!” But what he meant was her free spirited…laissez-faire attitude and for that I would agree and consider that a compliment.

Dance like no one is watching and you will certainly lower the stress in your life…even if it’s just for a few hours…it is free, healthy (but don’t like that stop you) and FUN!

Here is a video that will put a smile on your face…watch and see, I dare you.

© Cheryl-Lynn 2015/801/13

Inspired by this post at The Kintsugi Girl

Posted in Did you know?, Mental Health, Self-care

dream of blossoms (haibun)

Hope is imagining better times will come…never lose the ability to imagine…never ever lose the child in you.

Tournesol dans un Jardin


~~ Norman Vincent Peale

I read this quote while visiting a new blog at Moon over Spumoni.   It spoke to me. Quotes do that to us, don’t they. You may have heard countless quotes, proverbs, prayers or poetry most of your life and then, for the second or thousandth time you read it and it actually draws you in.

Imagination is the true magic carpet…indeed!  Like the caring doctor at Cedar House Rules, read bedtime stories to the children at the orphanage,  bedtime snack feeding dreams on their magic carpet.

Can you imagine not being able to drift off to dream land when you were a child?  What if you were going through a difficult time in your life?  You are perhaps grieving the loss of dear pet and you are too young to grasp the concept of “forever”.  But you can imagine…

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Posted in Did you know?, Self-care

No More Candles Please

Many friends and family suffer seeing a loved won battle the disease of disordered eating. know that it is their powerlessness that may make them withdraw at times, but never for the lack of love and concern for you.

Pooky's Poems

I don’t want to light a candle,
To remember you,
My friend,
I would rather buy you coffee,
Head out shopping,
Spend and spend!

I would rather do most anything,
Than have to say goodbye,
But I’m absolutely terrified,
You’re just about to die.

You think life’s not worth living,
That you don’t deserve a chance,
To enjoy life and to have friends,
And to sing, perhaps to dance.

But we all think you’re amazing,
You’re a very special friend,
You make us smile,
You care for us,
We don’t want that to end.

We really want to help you,
But we’re scared and don’t know how;
If you can think of anything,
We’ll be there, we’ll do it now.

I hope you find it in you,
To kick the butt of this disease.
Anorexia, I hate you,
Aoife – no more candles,

[Each of these candles represents a…

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