Born This Way

“‎Do not allow people to dim your shine because they are blinded. Tell them to put on some sunglasses, cuz we were born this way bitch!” ― Lady Gaga

Ah, Lady Gaga – she says it so perfectly, sings it perfectly.

Am I LGBTQIA2s+ no. But I sure as fuck am an ally!!! Your folks dropped you? I’ll be your virtual mom now. Your friends just don’t get it or won’t accept it? I’ll be your friend. I don’t just celebrate and embrace the community at this time of year, I do it every day. I’m a proud mom to a member of the community. I’ve always been proud of her being who she is and just living her authentic self.

So, if you follow me and didn’t know how open minded and accepting I am, here you go. I should have said it years ago, and maybe I did! My memory is shit, but my heart is big enough for anyone who needs me (or just wants a friend!). Be warned though, I do suffer from chronic depression and generalized anxiety – sometimes I can go days, weeks, months without talking, but I still love you!

So, to all my fellow freaks, weirdos, rebels, and non-conformists, to my radicals, outgoing, impassioned, beautiful people, to my introverts, my coffee addicts, everyone and anyone in between – YOU ARE LOVED. You matter. You count. Keep that chin up and know that in this planet of eight billion+ souls, someone loves you, someone sees you.

Do me a favour and listen to songs that make you feel bliss and happiness. I may not attend Pride activities (I’m a hermit!), but my spirit is there dancing on the sidewalks and hugging all of you!

Lady Gaga – Born This Way

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Hooked on a Feeling

“Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt

As I age, I learn. I’ve learned that even though people think I’m a people person, I’m really not. I’ve always been an introvert. There was a time, I was so introverted, I couldn’t even lift my eyes and say hello to people. I was terrified!

As I age, I have learned that not everyone will like me, no matter what I do. This is big! It used to give me panic attacks if I knew someone didn’t like me. I needed to understand why.

I’ve learned that music impacts me deeply. I can be happy and instantly become depressed if I listen to the wrong song. I can be low and brought up in mood just by listening to the right song. It’s not always the same music, so I don’t always know what will hit me (though there are some I know exactly what they will do to me).

I’ve learned that I can’t be everything to everyone. This was a hard one emotionally. I was once a very active person, in every sense of the word. I volunteered, I worked overtime, I had my kids in everything reasonable, I stayed up late, I did it all. I hit the wall hard and everything came down in a landslide. Being diagnosed with a chronic illness will do that (MS in my case, along with others). I haven’t volunteered in so long, I work my hours (gratefully), but no more. I wish I could do more with my kids. I’m in bed by 7:30 pm or I don’t function the next day at all. It’s been over a decade and that was on of the hardest things to realize.

You always hear the tune of ‘just follow your dreams and life will be great’. I offer up the alternative – do what makes you smile, but remember, you are human. Not everyone can climb Mount Everest. Not everyone can travel the world. Not everyone can reach the outer reaches of our oceans. Not everyone can board a ship to outer space. It’s OK if your life is what it is. I struggle with this one. A lot. I dreamed of being an archaeologist. I did two BAs to accomplish that end, but then I got married. He was not kind and my dreams were dashed on the rocks. I created new life (literally), and began seeing my life differently. I have children I love, I have a yard I love puttering in. My second husband is my best friend and if we were stuck in the house together, just us, I’d be content. It’s not the life I dreamed I’d have, but it’s the life that makes me smile.

Sometimes I hyper focus on my depression and anxiety; on what I lack instead of what I have. At 48, I’m working hard on focusing on what I do have, what makes me smile, what I care about. I colour my hair crazy colours as a mood booster. I stopped caring what people think of my hair and skin – heck, I’ve even gotten many tattoos (for me, that was huge!). Letting go of what others think of me has been one of the hardest things to let go of. Yes, I still have times when I go into a panic attack because I worry about how I’m perceived (I’ve often been misread in my life).

Right now, in this present moment, I’m content. Would like I my dreams to come true? Of course! We’ve all been hooked on those feelings; but I’ve learned to be ok with my life, with how I’ve lived it. That to me is the best feeling of all.

Blue Swede – Hooked on a Feeling

That Don’t Impress Me Much

“It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness.” ― Leo Tolstoy, The Kreutzer Sonata

I have never felt beautiful.

Even as a little girl, I remember standing in front of a mirror, in a bathing suit (I might have been 6 or 7), I thought I was fat and ugly. Yes, that young. Guess what? I wasn’t. I was told as an adult that I was a beautiful little girl. I never felt it.

As a teen, I would wear clothes that were too big. I was 5’1″ and all of 105 – 110 lbs. I was not a big teen. I thought I looked massive. I wasn’t impressive. I’d spent most of my young life being bullied, maybe that was part of it. Teen life involved me drinking, smoking, and finding a group of friends who loved me (and still do!!!). But I was shy, and overwhelmed in groups. My marks were average, I was always told I could do better.

Enter adulthood, I worked jobs I loved. I worked at a small country store with a lunch counter, I worked at a club (bar). I went to university. I adulted, as they say now. But I was also drunk – a lot (never at work or school). I’m pretty sure I was what is termed a functional alcoholic. When I drank, I drank hard. I can no longer drink more than one or two drinks as I get panic attacks.

Everything in that time would impress me. Cars, guys, smart people, everything. I even finished my degree, then got a second one! Then I got married.

I won’t go into my first marriage. A year after we split, I developed MS that was believed to be stress induced (he was not a good person).

I was on my own with two young kids for a while, then I met my current husband. What impressed me about him? He became my friend first. His family all loved him genuinely. He loved (loves) my kids.

I’m so much older now. My second husband and I had a child together, bringing our family fully together. I should be completely happy.

Depression, anxiety, my weight, and so much more has made me numb. I’m having a hard time keeping contact with friends. I’m a hermit. Covid didn’t help, I’m more reclusive than ever. Nothing really impresses me anymore. I put on a smile and act impressed, but everything is just meh.

My joy is in my garden. Snuggling my kids. Spending time with my husband. being close to my pets.

What does impress me? When I see people who genuinely want to help others with no strings. Rescuers who do it over and over again, in spite of the hurt and pain it can bring because the joy is so worth it. Those who put others first because they love how it feels, not what it can bring them. I could go on.

I’m tired. I’m sure this is coming through. I’m drained mentally and physically. I want to be impressed. I want life back.

Shania Twain – That Don’t Impress Me Much

The Sun Always Shines on T.V.

Go on any social media site, any platform and you’ll see them. Shiny, happy people smiling it up for the cameras. The sun is always shining on them. Nothing seems to reach them. No darkness, no despair. Only the sun and rainbows of life.

No one is perfect. No one is always, consistently happy. Those who are, are the innocent or the blissfully unaware. Maybe they’re lying to themselves, maybe they live in a bubble of delusional bliss. I won’t pop them out of it. What I would give to have that bubble of bliss!

You’ll rarely see a photo of me online. My pets, my children, and maybe my husband, yes, but rarely me. I hate taking selfies (though I will under certain circumstances), I dislike being seen. I’m a dichotomy of public and private. This blog is public, my Tik Tok, Instagram, Twitter and the like are all public, but I fear being singled out and fear even more being told how ugly, fat, whatever insult. It’s a bizarre head space. I love to share, I hate to be in the spotlight. I love to get tattoos and colourful hair, but hate being in the centre of attention.

What does that say about me? I honestly don’t know. I don’t even really know who I am after 48 years on this planet.

I do know that the sun doesn’t shine on me. At least, it seldom does. How I would love to be blissfully unaware and float through life on the rays of the sun.

a-ha – The Sun Always Shines on T.V.

No Rain

It’s Friday, the sun is rising earlier each day, the snow is melting, and for the first time in MONTHS I feel fucking good mentally.

I’m legitimately having a good mental health day. Why? No fucking clue! Russia invaded Ukraine (fuck you Putin), the world feels like it’s on fire, and somehow this North American (Canadian) chick is in a good place.

I’m exhausted, my lungs are not great, but my mind is happy. This is huge for me. I can’t even really explain it. Good days are rare, days where I want to smile and no have to force it. I’m considering asking my psychiatrist about going off my medications and do a reset of sorts. That thought scares me as I know how horrible my anxiety and depression can get. The hyper fixation on negative things, the self-harm thoughts, the paranoia. It’s horrible.

I’m pretty sure my depression started as situational. But then I was hammered with stress after stress until my body said enough. It triggered my MS, and I’ve had a doctor wonder if the lesions from my MS are on the areas that control anxiety and depression. This would make sense as it ramped up a lot after MS. Mind you, depression is a co-morbidity to any chronic illness. I also have ADHD, body dysmorphia and a few other fun things (pretty sure I’ve mentioned them all before, but I’m tired and can’t remember! hahaha oh my).

I cannot wait to get my hands dirty in my gardens (not an euphemism!), feel the soil, plant seeds, trim and water, care for all that grows. I even have milkweed to plant this year!

I can’t wait for the scent of petrichor on a morning breeze. Sunlight dappling through leaves. Gentle trickles of water. The song of birds all around.

My yard has become my oasis in the storm of life. I can’t wait to embrace it again.

Blind Melon – No Rain