Blog Post // 2022-05-31

Spring Time In Canada - My Rant About Mental Health & More

This was supposed to be a Spring update, where I say things like, "I can hear the birds chirping in the morning" and "the grass is turning green," but it is twisting into a rant...

Do you ever feel like you don't know how you are holding on? That is me. I am going through stuff. 

Sorry, if this post offends you (I have to apologize. I am Canadian). I want to encourage people whenever possible. I don't want to see people succumb to the fate of mental health, like we were reminded of with Trevor from The Dahlia Murder, or many we know personally. It is tragic; it hurts! People say things like, "I had no idea," and, "he seemed so happy."

I have seen it played out myself. When I was only 12 years old, I became depressed and I ran out into traffic at school, because I wanted to die. My friends got a hold of me and brought me to a teacher. What did the teacher do? Nothing... Sent me to the counsellor for a one-time visit, with no followup. My parents weren't notified. It wasn't taken seriously. But it was the beginning of mental health issues for me that have flared at times throughout my life. 

I have been having a rough mental health struggle in the last few years. I have been frustrated by the dead ends a person wanting help can get. I probably sound like someone who is being dramatic, unthankful, holding onto the bad (this has been one of the things that keeps me guilty about my issues).

It has been a hard 6 months since I injured my knee (falling down the side of a rock). I am still painfully and slowly walking around. I am waiting for an MRI. It is safe to say my mental health has been helped by physical activities throughout my life. I think this is a common thing for people. I haven't been able to participate fully since I had gastro surgery at the end of 2018, which left me with nerve injury. It is hard when food makes you sick. I am falling apart. I was recently told the surgery I had to help my gastro issues didn't even work, so all this post-surgery injury and suffering it caused was literally for nothing. I also lost my mental health counsellor because she was too expensive. I just started some free counselling. The program they want to try for me is Post Traumatic Stress counselling, which is something I have never taken part in. I lost my new job (due to my illness), my car was totalled, my house was damaged, my family is all struggling with long-term health issues. This is all if I am being honest... and I try to be.

I am one of those people who has to worry about COVID, still. I have to worry, because of the sickness that surrounds me. My family is the vulnerable, and I have seen the brush with death fully (I haven't had COVID yet myself, but family has). If I was going to concerts right now, I would have been at Borknagar on the 25th!! (Their first time in Canada in many, many years. I am happy for them!) Can you hear the tears falling as I type this?

The crazy thing I discovered through this rough time is tattoos. I can only speak for myself, but I have started a tattoo journey that is a very healing process! There is something about spending hours with someone hurting you, to create art that you get to keep as a part of you, that is deeply healing to you. The hardest part is the cost. I had money saved up and was blessed enough to be able to get some ink. Once I get my third, I will share. (It really is addictive.)

And also, this endeavour, Every Song Sucks, is healing for me! Why? Because it is a place for me to unwind, a reason for me to take some time for me; it encourages the "me" in me. I encourage you to find something that does this for you. It is easy for me to think about and talk about music.

And a little secret... Every day, I watch cute little animal videos because they make my heart smile. I sit in a Happy Light every morning, especially beneficial during winter months.

I also have a nice space where I can sit outside, screened off from the black flies and mosquitoes. I am spending lots of time there, and in the bath. I am trying not to lose a grip on "me".

What is another thing that has helped me with mental health issues? MUSIC! I know you already knew the answer. So, let me take a moment to talk about some standouts since my last update:

In Mourning - The Bleeding Veil. This is my emotional soundtrack right now. It is defining these months since I first heard it.

Burner - Ingsoc

Shadow of Intent - The Coming Fire

Celeste - Le Coaer Noir Charbon

Mares of Thrace - Offerings of Hand and Tongue

Persefone - Katabasis

Wayfarer - The Crimson Rider

There is plenty more music set to come out this year. I, for one, look forward to it. I can't get too much music!

And on the subject of actual Spring stuff, let me tell you about an encounter my dog had, not too long ago. The wildlife is enjoying the change of temperature. I live in a small town of only 5000 people, but I also live out in the country, away from the town center. The other night, three wolves came straight up to the house where my dog was outside. He became the most aggressive animal I have ever seen, grabbing onto his big boy voice and racing at them. They had a plan of getting a hold of him and dragging him off. I yelled at him to come in the house. I pleaded with him to come in, but the desire to protect me was so strong, he wanted to battle them. The end of this story is that I scared them away by turning on the car horn and peering out and screaming my face off. My dog is alright. I have always loved wolves; they are majestic and strong, but quite scary up close.

I hope if you or someone you love is going through a mental health struggle, you are able to find help. If nothing else, whatever your situation, try to make some kind of step forward. Tell people you are struggling, see if there is a free service, don't be afraid to ask for help, don't try to hide it.

If you are having a physical struggle, I am sorry about that, too. It is really hard. Again, make an effort to take some kind of figurative step forward; don't be afraid to ask for assistance if you need it. Tell someone about your challenges. You are worth it.

If you are doing great, that is awesome. Continue to do great, and keep your eyes open for someone in need.

Maybe get a tattoo, in any situation. lol (They help.)

I wish you well! I wish you some great music!

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