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

 

 

 
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Posted in Chronic Pain, Depression, Homelessness, Mental Health, poetry, Stigma Talks, Tournesol whispers

does the universe even care

      
 
mid-season blues 
like summer draughts that bring despair 
does the universe even care? 
 
summer love that has to end 
saying goodbye in September 
broken hearts and stolen dreams 
lovers mourn in muted screams 
wishing they would not remember 
 
autumn in its amber shades 
masking truths too hard to bear 
does the universe even care? 
 
school becomes a new distraction 
mothers scrimping for more pennies 
children’s shoes will not endure 
humbled with their meagre meal 
peanut butter spread too thin 
 
mid-season blues 
like summer draughts that bring despair 
does the universe even care? 
 
October ends in farce and fury 
poverty clothed in Halloween 
witches taunting mockingly  
nary a princess or a queen 
dreading winter, parents worry 
 
mid-season blues 
like summer draughts that bring despair 
does the universe even care? 
 
December heaves a downy blanket 
void of presents and empty cupboards 
January weighs a thousand woes 
hungry bellies and frozen toes 
housing they cannot afford 
 
mid-season blues 
like summer draughts that bring despair 
does the universe even care? 
 
social services cannot keep up 
greedy leaders just turn away 
their pockets lined with children's dreams 
parents working night and day 
politics drowning all their screams 
 
mid-season blues 
like summer draughts that bring despair 
does the universe even care? 
 
blindly seeking for a break 
depression hovers constantly 
winter nearing to an end 
melancholy lurking silently 
hiding spring’s utopia 
 
mid-season blues 
like summer draughts that bring despair 
does the universe even care? 
 
bound in darkness and despair 
breaking through with fiery rage 
some may find an ounce to share 
fill them with ample courage 
reaching out to one who cares 
 
mid-season blues 
like summer draughts that bring despair 
someone out there really cares! 
 
© Cheryl-Lynn ‘19-01-23  
originally posted at TournesolDansUnJardin  https://cheryllynnroberts.
info/2019/01/23/does-the-universe-even-care/


http://www.crisisservicescanada.ca/en/  Adults  1-833-456-4566 
For residents in Quebec 1-866-APPELLE   (1-866-277-3553) 
 
Kids Help Phone – Jeunesse Jécoute - Youths and young adult 
www.kidshelpphone.ca  www.jeunessejecoute.ca  1 800 668 6868  
 
USA https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/  1-800-273-8255 
Posted in anxiety, Chronic Pain, Depression, Mental Health, narrative

Emily, Take One (1)

 

Image may contain: one or more people and close-up

Worrying, ruminating, obsessively imagining scenarios, procrastinating because of those unfounded scenarios and then you finally do what you have to do after spending days or maybe weeks imagining all sorts of “what if’s” and it all turns out just fine!  Boy, that really bugs her when she does that.  Does that happen to you too sometimes?

Emily calls it overthinking, daydreaming of things that escalate  into screenplays that keep her awake and during the day on her days off from work leave her paralyzed.

Lately, Emily has been trying to observe her thinking patterns more, such as what starts that tiny thought that turns into a saga.   So far she is noticing  that the worrying or dwelling is getting worse and she is not appreciating the “present” enough.   She avoids seeing people who may upset her and make me feel guilty about any passed decisions. She does not really avoid friends but she doesn’t reach out  to them much either and she knows that is silly because she knows many of her friends would drop everything to be there for her if she asked them. So why the hell does she do this to herself?!

Today she called her friend who flew from overseas and she made travel arrangements to see her on the weekend. She will be seeing another friend in the same city as well.   After she hung up the phone after speaking to her friend, she felt so pumped!! It was as if she  had just had an shot of serotonin.  Really! She was dancing and singing and jumping.  She was so happy and relieved to be  getting out of her cocoon.

And yet, here she is, two days after that same phone call to her friends, calling to work sick because she just could not get out of bed due to migraines and chronic joint pain.   She had only worked one day but with all the changes to her work, she is wondering now…for the past five years if her doctor is not “a bit” right in suggesting she retire.

Emily still has so much drive to go out in the world and still work…either teach or anything that has to do with people.  She is actually a people person.  Also she cannot afford to retire yet since she has not had the chance to put much money aside and has no company pension.  Living off the government pension will be surviving but no more travelling ever.  She still wants o visit so many places.

Is it possible some of her problems have to do with her work?  And yet, Emily doubts that since she knows she has had bouts of withdrawing even when she was younger and working elsewhere but she did not miss work then.  Also her work helps her get her mind off all the past decisions her children blame her.  No, it is not just her work but what her work once provided a workaholic, her nature may not have the same stamina it once had.  What to do?

Emily has always felt she did not fit anywhere.  Growing up she was faced with being told over and over that  “her kind” had no place here.  Even in her family she often felt displaced.  If you thought differently than the rest of the family you were judged, teased or criticized. That part will never change, so it is Emily’s job to not react to it or just steer away, but how do you steer away from people you love?

Her first trip on her own far from her family was eye opening.  She could see there was so much to discover and since then she has always felt one foot in her current home and the other ready to run off somewhere but where?

This is where she is now, contemplating on what to do, how to do it and when?  Have you ever felt this way before?  If you have, how do you manage those thoughts that take over your life?

(c) Whispering insights ’18

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

CURTAIN CALL

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.

HASTYWORDS

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.
 
Congrats…
 
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

1-800-273-8255

cl-yn0nvaaamgzxAll the channels

Dance with static

As she sits silent

Inhaling the dark

Perspective fuzzy

And Vodka blurred

Turning memories

Of…

View original post 49 more words

Posted in Depression, Mental Health, mindlovemiserysmenagerie, poetry, Reflections

free at last (free verse)

Tethered

– Oleg Oprisco
This photo challenge was posted at MindLoveMiserysMenagerie to inspire a writing of any genre…this was my attempt.

Leave me alone!
she shouted aloud
but her weak screams
could barely be heard.

it all started last year
when claiming to be
a new born vegan
her excuse not to hear
is that all you’re eating?!

First mother haggled
offering to drive her
to her favourite gym
if just for one meal
it seemed to work,
or so Mom thought
not noticing her
running to the loo

Leave me alone!
she’d shout aloud
but her weak screams
could barely be heard.

Then even at school
became a new problem
friends were no fool
noticing her body shrink
just wasting away
before their own eyes

They would then nag
offer their snack
others would rag
make her feel wacked
staring, eye rolling
she felt they were controlling
meddling in her affairs
giving her evil stares.

Leave me alone!
she shouted aloud
but her weak screams
could barely be heard.

in time there were no friends
only her boyfriend remained
pleading with her
worrying about her

until one day
an ultimatum
he had to say
either get help
or I can’t stay

Leave me alone!
she shouted aloud
but her weak screams
could barely be heard.

she turned to self-harm
to ease her pain
self-injury
her new found friend

she wrapped her wrists
to hide her scars
except when alone
she’d go for long walks
out into the woods
unraveling
long bindings
stretched to forever

she loved these walks
alone and free
just she and nature
it heard her pain
did not have to strain
when she would say

Leave me alone!
in her weak screams
the birds would chirp
the hare would dance
the doe would prance
her new found friends

free at last
she never returned
no longer an outcast
became one with nature
free at last

© Cheryl-Lynn 2016

Posted in Depression, haiku, Mental Health, troiku

Tragic Losses (Troibun)

Originally posted at Tournesol dans un Jardin under Daily Moments

It is tragic when depression wraps a person so tight with layers and layers of prickly wool. A person falls victim to that predator who distorts their lens and forges their vision seeing no way out.

lost in the darkness
never sees the right bend
veiled from the light

lost in the darkness
never thought there was help
suffering alone

never seeing the right bend
turned to the left
that cul-de-sac

veiled from the light
obscurity snickers
`til that last breath

© Tournesol ‘16/05/10

Posted in Depression, Did you know?, Grief, Re-blogs

melancholy (haibun)

Some call it Seasonal Affective Disorder. Others call it pre-holiday blues and some simply acknowledge how much they miss that significant other. It is sometimes like missing a limb or a deflated lung…we all have our stories.   What helps you through these times?

Waka - Micropoetry - Flash Fiction

This is a time of year a virus peaks its ugly head around mid-November.  It  spreads its infections to those most vulnerable. You may not “catch” it at the same time; you may not catch it every year and yet, there does not seem to be guaranteed antibiotic to cure its infective powers.

September days start waning as the sun sets sooner; October days rob you of nature’s dinner’s sweetest and most potent “digestif”.  November drops its veil of hoary matter and thickens day after day, week after week hiding nature’s Monet, slowly slipping into Picasso’s  Blue period.   Nights are longer than days and symptoms of this virus multiply

Humans are deprived of nature’s nutrient feeding brains with hope and cheer. Life, death, separation and loss blend.  Waiting, as it stings open wounds and those who’ve barely healed  are reminded  of life’s demises.

Children as well as adults struggle…

View original post 137 more words

Posted in Depression, Mental Health, Stigma Talks, video

Aiming for hope

Teenager sitting on floor of tunnel looking down
Photo credits: CAMH

Youth in Depression – CAMH

They call in the evening.  They call late into the night. They cannot understand why they feel so depressed.  They are teens and young adults…some are even pre-teens.  They ask me why they should continue?

The pain travels through space into my ear…they are misunderstood, treatments keep changing with little or no windows of sunshine peeking into their long dark lives. Some are even told, it’s just a teenage phase…get over it…pull it together!

 Too often, I hang up feeling powerless, wondering if they will heed  our verbal contract …to hang in one more hour, one more day…to reach out one more time. 

Many adults finally get treatment for their mental health only discovering many times it started when they were teens.  Experts in psychiatry say if a teen gets treatment for depression, for example, the recovery can be so much shorter than, if they wait until they are adults, the recovery is longer.  This information sometimes gets a youth’s attention and I am hoping they will find the help they need…deserve.

This morning,  I read this article on my friend/colleague’s Facebook page here about people from all over the world coming together to share their findings…professionals going back to the drawing board to study, do more research; to connect with those who have been working in isolation… to listen and try to find better treatments for depression in youths…to prevent suicides. 

It only makes sense that a youth may not manage well on an “adult’s cocktail” even if  professionals keep tweaking it.  “Trial and error”,  I sometimes try to explain the complexity of a youth’s unique, amazing and ever changing brain.” What do I know? I am not a medical or psychiatric expert?   And, deep down in my heart, I am frustrated.

And then this article I just read  by “Toronto’s CAMH (Canadian Ass. of Mental Health)  who have launched a new centre dedicated to child and youth depression.”  Let`s hope this video also reaches people to raise awareness…raise funding so researches globally,  can find better “cocktails” and treatment geared to youths, come to understand the complexities of their brains…finally give them hope…their friends and family hope…

© Cheryl-Lynn R. 2015/10/09

Resources: Youth and Child Depression CAMH

Centre Dedicated to Youth and Child Depression

Young Minds’ Stigma Keeps Youths Suffering – Global News

Posted in Depression, Mental Health, Music Video

The tragedy of suicide

Suicide is a tragedy that affects the family, friends and the community in so many ways. It takes time to heal and everyone heals in their own way, in their own time…but never EVER “gets over the loss”. People learn to move forward despite the loss, the emptiness.

At first there can be a celebration for having  found the strength and courage to get out of bed; others it’s to put one foot in one shoe on at a time and shuffle into another room. There is no right or wrong way. There is no such thing as “they are stuck in the past”. Some do not acknowledge the grief until years later, because it is too painful to make sense of such a tragedy.     It is eventually walking, shuffling or limping forward with the memory imprinted on your heart that is a success.   Prints on a heart are made with indelible ink…

Sometimes it’s the guilt that tears one apart for the longest time…guilt, an emotion with sharp teeth. Other times it’s the anger that consumes one…anger sucks the energy like a vacuum. The sadness, the pain, the hurt can be felt differently by any one person…it can burn. It can feel like your gut was cut out, a limb torn off, a Mack Truck parked on your chest…and the list goes on. Why? Because it’s different for each person. There is no ONE size fits all.

There is no perfect “How To” instruction manual but there are many places that offer support. Sometimes it’s trying to find the right fit for a person. It can be reading stories of people who have experienced the same type of loss and tragedy. Other times it is seeing a grief counsellor or a family doctor. Some have found going to a bereavement group helpful. Others have a supportive network of friends “who DO get it”.   These are only some ideas and whatever has worked for one person may be different for another person.

Hopefully more people will learn through the experience of friends and family who have lost someone through suicide…so we can still keep talking about it and keep it out of the closet.

Here is a song that inspired me to write this little piece tonight.

© Cheryl-Lynn 2015/10/04

Resources: Bereaved Families of Ontario – Toronto  Grief after Suicide

Suicide Prevention  Suicide Action Montréal  Kids Help Phone talks about grief

Here is a link to Brandi Carlile who performs That Year LIVE (with interview)

BRANDI CARLILE LYRICS

“That Year”

I must have been sleeping
I must have been drinking
I haven’t been dreaming about you for years
There was a sharp turn and a sunburn
I was too cool for high school that year

It must have been New Years
No one invited you
You took things too far
But I missed you
And your antics
You were lonesome
And blue eyed
And so special to us

You should have taken a long break
Instead of a long drop from a high place
Ten years I never spoke your name
Now it feels good to say it
You’re my friend again

He said he forgave you
I said I hated you
He was the bigger man
I was sixteen
All the innocence
It took for
You to finally make your year book
That year
That year

You could have taken some time away
Instead of a long drop
Instead of a leap of faith
Ten years I never spoke your name
Now it feels good to say that
You’re my friend again
You’re my friend again

I was angry
I was a Baptist
I was a daughter
was wrong

Thanks to Michy for correcting these lyrics.
Writer(s): Timothy Jay Hanseroth, Brandi M. Carlile, Phillip John Hanseroth
Copyright: Southern Oracle Music LLC
 
Posted in Bullying, Depression, Mental Health, video

Thoughts on Deux Jours, Une Nuit (Two Days, One Night)

I just watched Deux Jours, Une Nuit (Two Days, One Night) with a 2014 joint Belgian-French-Italian production starring Marion Cotillard (La vie en rose), who was nominated for an Academy Award for her role as Sandra, a Belgian working mother /wife who is faced with a  simple and time sensitive challenge. Within two days, Sandra must reach her 16 co-workers and organize them for an important vote.

From the start we feel for Sandra and her pain realizing that after being off work for depression, management realizes they can be more competitive with one employee less which gives the remaining employees a bonus and three hours weekly overtime to compensate for abolishing Sandra’s position.

I keep vacillating between wanting to shout for the rights of people who have suffered mental illness and screaming in the faces of working class employees who are not  showing their solidarity.  It angers me, it frustrates me to see how management can entice people with money and scares them about their job safety.

And then there is the flip side where this woman, who has battled mental illness and feels like giving up but at the risk of allowing her colleagues to get their “promised” bonus she questions her rights and self-confidence starts to slip.  Her husband continues to encourage her.

This movie is so real…we see the struggles and how families are all impacted by mental health and it warms my heart to see Sandra’s husband root for her, believe in her and encourage her.  I keep thinking that if she does not get her job back, this is a human rights issue but then again, how many have the time and money to fight cases like this.

Management and some greedy employees threaten others to vote for a bonus which is the same as voting Sandra out of her job.  A manager scared employees by saying if they did not vote Sandra out, they would lose their job.  It is sad to see the “divide and conquer” approach and I can see how the company is trying to remain competitive but their tactics are so very wrong.

The movie hits many nerves…human rights, mental illness, human greed, abuse of power but mostly I was proud to see a show of integrity by some humans who know what is important in life.

The movie brought up old memories of a steel company where I worked and the employees voted for their raises which would lay off many employees…they were going through a rough patch and if everyone would have worked 4 days a week (and believe me, they had great salaries!) they could have weathered through that economic crisis.

They show working class as the targets of such issues and we all know it happens everywhere but in other places employees do not EVEN have a say.  When some companies have to eliminate a few jobs during financial difficulties, they rehire new people a year or two later with just a new title for the same job.  Meanwhile, do they know how it impacts on the people they let go?  If a person is 20 or 30, it is tough but they will find something eventually but what happens to people over 50?!! We are seeing more and more of this and I find it sad…very sad.

To read  more about this movie here is a link Deux Jours, Une Nuit (Two days, One night)

and here at Film Review: Deux jours, une nuit (Two days, One Night)