This blog is Mel's fault

Histrionic moments

Red fish, blue fish

Dear Mel,

I’m happy you’re coming back from Hogwarts, we have so much to talk about. On a semi related note, I just read a Buzzfeed style article on what people with anxiety want their friends to know. I’ve been attracted to these articles lately and I think it’s because I’m getting to a point where even if I’m as ashamed as ever, I’m ready for others to know and maybe try and understand and discover whether or not they’ll love me anyway. A few weeks ago my yoga instructor said that the belief you will only be loved conditionally creates tension in the chest and I’m really fucking tired of feeling like there’s a fist trying to rip my lungs and heart out through my back, so I thought he may be right. Anyways, amongst other things this article mentioned how hard anxiety makes it to live the in the present. Even with mild anxiety that rings so true. You know what I’m supposed to do when I get anxious? Focus on my surroundings. Usually this is so hard I can’t even name stuff around me so I just list colors. Imagine that. I’ll be having an argument with my boyfriend and all of a sudden I go MIA for 5 minutes so I can be all “blue-blue-green-yellow-is that salmon?” in my head. That’s why plans help so much, they create an illusion of knowing somewhat what’s coming. That leaves just the past to deal with.

Sorry for the short post, we’ll talk soon.

Love a.

#winning

My last post was about my small war to end the taboo that surrounds mental health. I am happy to report that I have a won a battle. Out of the blue, an old classmate of mine wrote to say that reading my article had given her the final little nudge she needed to call a psychologist for help. Like me, the idea had been wandering in her mind for a while and also just like it was the case for yours truly, she now realizes she should have made that call years before. 

It’s got me thinking : If every time one person came clean about their mental health issues, one other person got the strength to ask for help, we’d slowly, steadily and all together win this war and the world would be that much more the saner. 

A fight worth fighting

Last week an article I wrote about the taboo that is mental health was published. “Practice what you preach” is the only way I believe life should be lived, so amongst other things I discussed my own mental health issues and the fact that I see a shrink.

It was nerve racking for the usual reasons ; the fear of upsetting those we love, the fear of being treated differently, the stress of wondering how colleagues and especially my boss would react and the general discomfort of letting loads of people in on your personal life.

But it was emotional for another reason : applying to be a member of the bar (which I will be doing in july) requires disclosing such information.

I understand why they do it. A lawyer’s job can be extremely high pressure and such verifications are necessary to protect the public.

Still, it so, so, so so so doesn’t help with the taboo. I considered lying until I decided to send my article in for publishing after I got really irritated at a blogger who stated that “some people chose to see things the negative way”.

While all of this goes through my head, however, the response to my article is overwhelmingly heartwarming. I am actually getting thanked.  It makes me especially happy to see people from the law community agreeing with me.

So I guess my point is, as much as I toss and turn and night wondering what the bar will do with an aspiring lawyer who needs to talk about her boyfriend problems and self-esteem issues with a nice a lady that doesn’t judge and got a Ph.D. to know exactly what to say and at the same time getting really annoyed that I even have to tell them, it is 100% worth it and I’m not going to stop.

“If physical diseases were treated like mental illness”

“If physical diseases were treated like mental illness”

Came across this little gem today 

Diagnosis-less

Today I saw a Vine in which the creator explained that she “vines” because it helps her deal with her depression and severe anxiety. The way she said it, I got it. However, as it played over and over again I noticed she mentioned she has been “diagnosed” with depression and severe anxiety. 

Some days, I feel like that is what I am lacking : a diagnosis. 

I don’t hide that I see a shrink because, as previously established, I don’t think people should. Very few people ask me why, but when they do I explain I have anxiety and insecurities that I have trouble dealing with, which is one way to put it. “It” however, is a almost constant pain in my chest, nightmares and fitful nights for months, the inability to hold back tears in public many times a day and every once in a while the idea and the desire to just give up (yes, I mean suicide). But without a diagnosis, I get the feeling people just label me as emotionally unstable. I am, I’m not saying the opposite, but most days it feels like so much more than that. I have spent the last year in a generalized feeling of discomfort. Imagine it as a day-in, day-out buzzing sound, annoyingly humming that you are not okay. This is more than an over-emotional drama queen situation. Still, without a psychiatric evaluation, I am under the impression people don’t take my situation seriously. Which makes it hard for me to take it seriously and that leads to me neglecting it and beating myself up over having a self-pity party. 

I know only psychiatrists can give the kind of diagnosis I am looking for. I am simply shocked to realize that I may want one, simply to “allowed” to take my issues seriously. 

 

Deserved but oh-so-risky study break

Dear Mel, 

First of all HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! 

I’m obviously supposed to be studying, but some girl just posted that she’s going to be blogging about her life for the next three hundred and sixty five days and I thought to myself “Well I doubt my life is interesting enough to write about every single day, but once in a while I do have something interesting to say.”

You like you’re having a blast on exchange, which makes me really happy. As you know, my experience with overseas studies had its ups and downs, though at the moment I miss it dearly. Then again, the Bar school is so bad I probably half miss calculus. 

As much fun as you are having the (sad for you, happy for me) fact is that you are to come home  soon. So today, I’m going to tell you about my coming home experience. 

As you might know, I had to spend a night in Paris before my plane took off the next morning. My wonderful mother had booked a hotel room for me at the Sheraton in Charles-de-Gaulle airport. I finally got there, with my four bags, which I got brought up to the room, and got on the elevator. What happened next brought tears to my eyes.

You see, airport hotels are often used by captains or flight crew members on odd schedules, who are possibly horrible jet-lagged and need to sleep so they can function properly on their next shift. This hotel was designed specifically for the purpose. The lights in all the hallways are dimmed and shaped like stars. The floors are carpeted and the rooms are laid out in an oval shape. And all these features contribute to the most important aspect of this jewel of a hotel : silence. 

The elevator doors opened and all was so quiet, it took my breath away for a second. Then actual tears came to my eyes. When you live in a dorm you partially hate because of the rude french staff, for forget just how amazing silence is. 

Obviously, my room was amazing, even when you consider everything is after 4 months in a dorm. 

I went back to the lobby, where everyone seemed happy to be on Christmas holidays, to talk to my mother for a bit. She bore bad news : the power had been out for a few days now due to a snowstorm and it was unclear where Christmas was going to be held and wether or not we would even get a tree (you know how much this matters to me). But I was just so happy to finally be coming home that it didn’t matter. My mother was trying to sugarcoat it, but she really didn’t need to. I kept telling her they’re would be other Christmases (a reasoning I doubt I will ever have again). 

Early, the next morning, early (not bright and early because it was like 4 in the morning) I awoke like it was actually Christmas morning, that’s how excited I was. 

It took me forever to get to the terminal, I was sweating like Marie-Pier doing hot yoga and I had to take stuff out of my suitcases three times, but I finally got to the waiting area. I found out I’d lost my SIM card and spent the rest of the time internally laughing at the french people in Canada Goose coats and shoes. (I mean, not matter how hot your coat is, you’re going to be unhappy if your feet are freezing and wet, just saying.) 

The flight back went by fast enough. When we started approaching Montreal and the plane turned so we could see the ground and the snow upon it, my eyes filled up with tears. That’s actually the moment I cried the most, right there on the plane, seeing the brown suburbs with white spots all over. We landed and the captain announced the temperature was minus 9, which resulted in a general “Oh, that’s not so bad” from the passengers which was quickly followed by a cry of horror when it was announced that with the windshield it felt like minus 17. The lady next to me could not figure out why that made me cheer. 

The rest is simple enough. I found my luggage and my parents. They took me home and the power came back just in time for Christmas eve. 

So here’s to hoping you’re homecoming will be as wonderful as mine. 

Take care. 

 

 

Dang!

After months of absence, for my big return to the blog world (because Bar School world is the worst I have found), I had six hundred words about the silence that shadows mental illness. I wanted to expose the silliness of consulting professionals in every other aspect of life and especially when it comes to our health. Then this lovely boy, Kevin Breel, made all those angst filled words into one home-hitting sentence during a TED talk : “We are so, so, so accepting of any body parts breaking down, other than our brains… That ignorance has created a world that doesn’t understand depression, that doesn’t understand mental health.” 

I couldn’t have said it better myself… and I did try. 

Well screw it, Clara Hugues says “Let’s talk” and now I’m gonna. 

The first problem is the one so wonderfully stated above. We ignore mental health problems like a hangover that is going to to away in a day or so, depending on how old you are. Then, maybe, we try to work on them ourselves. 

But would you try to remove a tooth with an infected root on your own? 

No, and no one would blame you. 

Which brings us to the second problem. Once you accept the fact that your mind is one of, if not the most important part of your body and person and that it therefore deserves the help of a specialist just like any other part of your body and once you find said specialist, you feel like you can’t tell. Like people will look at you funny for not trying to fix something you just can’t fix on your own. Even if they don’t, I always feel like I am making people uncomfortable. They probably are, which is understandable because as Mr. Breely so accurately said : We don’t understand. 

So this is my humble attempt at being one more voice, trying to shout over the shaking in my voice caused by my anxiety, through the heat and sweat it also brings on, one more voice urging anyone who will listen to realize how we must open a dialogue about mental health. 

 

 

Dear Mel, ya’ll need to stop leaving.

The day before he left, we were waiting around in the pharmacy for his prescription to be ready. It was taking a while because he needed an authorization from his insurance company to get an extra pack of pills. I like modern day pharmacies for their odd selection of goods. I wandered off looking for the kids’ section and a stuffed animal to play with. I found a ladybug shaped one, about the size of a basketball. I hugged it and rubbed my nose on it while as he paid. On the way out, I put it back where I had found it and he offered to buy it for me. I refused because stuffed animals in pharmacies are always ridiculously expensive. They probably figure that if you’re buying a stuffed animal in a pharmacy, you’re in the middle of some sort of emergency or last minute shopping deal and you’ll pay just about any amount.

Now I wish I had said yes because I am left with nothing to hold.

Missing someone is sort of like having your hair cut too short. It’s annoying and frustrating and there’s nothing you can do about it. Also, your hair will grow back the same way the person you miss is supposed to come back. But in the meantime, it’s a lot of frustrating moments in front of the mirror looking like something different than what you wanted. Small moments in life when you don’t get what you paid for.

The worst part is, the second I try to think about the day you will both come back, I am slapped in the face by the fact that at that date I will have written the bar exam and I simply can not think about that.

Fuck it, I’m going to dig a whole in a mountain of chocolate and stay there and eat for the next four months.

I’ll save you some, miss you much. 

Seventeen Minutes

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In the summer you missed the fairies having a dancing party in your garden because you went off somewhere not as pretty to do something less important.

When in the winter you stopped loving me, I thought it was maybe because it had grown too dark for you to see.

Middle seasons don’t exist in love and somehow I am always cold.

I fear I have fallen long ago into the gap between us and your ears, so accustomed to my screams, no longer react, but the wolf has come hungry for blood and a beating heart this time.

The world remains beautiful; it just hurts to look at, that’s all.

The pain in my stomach has moved to my chest, but I blame my eyes; evil machines operated by the demons running free and destructive in my head. They stomp so loud – too loud – but still you won’t hear.

The wind blows unpleasant and pushing me and I can’t figure out when it started to break through me.

That summer day you left, you hated me for trying to share the pain and I hated you for not wanting to help me the way I would throw myself at a thousand sharks if they had stolen your smile.

The fairies went to bed and still you did not return and the drums beat louder in my breast.

The time of day when the sun is set but its light remains is the stillest and therefore the most beautiful.

The wind gone, I tried to imitate a flower, standing pretty and quiet, growing in peace and only making people happy.

I smiled at no one because I thought maybe you would like to find me smiling for once.

In the evening, with food and too much noise, surrounded by dark, you could see me so well and I knew even the brightest of lights that winter would not have helped me keep your love.

You held me tight in the morning and it felt a little like love until you left and I again sat waiting.

Dear Mel,

This blog is your fault and it’s driving me crazy.

But more importantly you are soon to be leaving on what might just be (I’m pretty sure it will be) the journey of your life.

(Leaving me here alone for Bar school, but we will get to that.)

Before you go, there is some wisdom, silliness and love that I must share with you.

 

New York with you will always be a second home.

I like to reminisce on our Say yes to the Dress marathon in the Hotel Radisson’s gym.

Imodium is a lifesaver.

Our letters from Hogwarts got lost in the mail.

On a related note, should we try corresponding by owl while you are gone?

The marijuana is very strong in Amsterdam.

You are one of the best, most devoted friends anyone could ever wish for.

I realized this week that, to this day, I cannot wear grey pants with a blue shirt. #toomuchchapters #dontknowhowyoudidit

We started a book club at the beginning of the summer, but haven’t read one book together yet. That’s got to be some sort of record.

Remember to never buy tickets for shows on the canal near my parents’ house.

Does your mom make tzatziki?

I am just a Skype call away for all your venting needs (and all the wonderful stuff too).

I am not mentally ready for the Bar.

My shoes are still bloody from our night on the town that ended with the longest walk of life.

They say what people mean the most if always what comes after “but”. So, be careful, but have fun.

Here come the tears, time for me to go.

I will wait for you at Second cup.