Thursday, 3 December 2015

Occupied Thoughts

Its been some time since I posted here. I think I have just had a mental block about what to say. Do you ever get that way? I am doing ok. I know that I have not been in the forums or checking in with you all lately but I hope that you are all doing well and managing your symptoms as best you can.

I am in a really strange place in my life right now. There are some extremely exciting things happening for me, but also some very life shattering as well. The exciting things are keeping me busy, making me stretch my boundaries and constantly push myself out into the world. The hard stuff makes me want to curl up in a ball on my bed and just let life pass by.

When I was a foster parent as soon as a child would leave I would have another within hours. That's how I liked it. No time to dwell on the loss or the grief, a new child that needed me to be active and present in their care. I did that for a really long time. Skipped the agonizing pain of having child after child that I loved and often they called my Mommy leave my life. People would always say, "I don't know how you do it, I couldn't give them back." Each time someone said that I felt a tiny prick in my heart that reminded me that the grief was still there, waiting to be dealt with. When the floodgates of grief finally swept over me I was drowning in it. I was fortunate that there were very talented professionals that did not give up on me.

Now I am bit gunshy. I want to enjoy all the new things that have come into my life, but I am afraid that they are mere distractions from the hurt and pain my family is enduring. I don't know that I am capable of dealing with this stuff head on, but I certainly don't want to let is fester either. As with all things I guess the solution is in finding the balance between the two situations and hoping for the best.

My thoughts and prayers are with you always.


P.S. The good stuff is I was hired to do the social media management for a band, I am a 2016 Design Team member for two companies. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Guest Post: Kim Belanger-Mills Holistic/Vegan Lifestyle Consultant

Got Stress?

Kim Belanger-Mills Holistic/Vegan Lifestyle Consultant
I was asked to be a guest blogger on tips for those with stress. I'm not a doctor or therapist but stress is my business, "Helping those with stress in their life to feel more peaceful and grounded". Why stress? Because I've dealt with my fair share. Here's my story and how I keep on top of stress.... 

I grew up in a very... intense...household. My father was old-school military and made no bones about letting me know that he never wanted me, found me to be a burden and loved his car more than me. My mother was always the victim who couldn't leave my father because she had me. Both angry and depressed.

My childhood was anxious (obviously) and I remember having night terrors. Speed ahead to my teen years I had high anxiety and panic attacks daily.  I asked my parents for help but they just stared at me like I was an alien. I was on my own.

The mental and emotional abuse at home didn't get any better and when I was 19 my mother attempted suicide in front of me. This is when I started to lay down some boundaries with my parents and others.

Here's what I learned... EVERYTHING can be a learning experience and the most important thing is to start with self-respect and boundaries from others. You teach people how to treat you and you deserve your own life  and to be happy. Not 10 years from now. TODAY.
So, fix your relationship, get rid of those who don't positively enhance your life. Parents, siblings, friends, spouse.... *gasp* yes, anyone. It may not make you very popular with those who only seek to control you but that's their business. Your business is being happy, plain and simple.

Something else that helped me immensely is to find things that give me joy. Sounds easy, eh? It's not. First, stop listening to others. You can't find YOUR joy if you are constantly listening to others in what THEY want you to do or negativity about what you "can't do". It might be gardening, walking, running, training for a race.... oh, and remember, there is no such thing as failure. Only failure to try! 

Replace stress and anxiety with something better. Healthier. 

Here are some ideas...

-use essential oils
-meditate (count your breaths, do yoga, do dishes with the tv off)
-exercise (walk, run, bike etc)
-read (as in fiction, for fun)
-get up a 1/2 hour earlier to journal and plan how wonderful your day will go (it's mostly an intention, after all)
-eat more raw food (smoothies are amazing)
-smudge (changes the energy of the room and even yourself)
-find a life purpose (my family and I are planning to buy a farm in 2016 and to open a farm sanctuary)
-receive Energywork (such as Reiki)

I'm not going to tell you that once you have a system of tools in place that your life will be all roses and sunshine. Nope. (2003 my dad died, and 2005-2008 my mom died, I was laid off from my job, started school, was separated, was divorced, had a miscarriage, gave birth to a daughter, was remarried) BUT, I will tell you that you will bounce back quicker and easier. You will feel more confident that you can handle just about anything and you will worry WAY less and hopefully enjoy your life WAY more. Because that's what life is all about, right? Enjoying it!! 

If you would like further information about any of the tips given (essential oils, meditation, Reiki, smudge etc) please visit or information about our farm sanctuary journey can be found at 

Kim Belanger-Mills
Holistic/Vegan Lifestyle Consultant

Monday, 26 October 2015

Shadows of Me

Spoiler Alert: Don't read this post if you are already depressed. This post is really just about me excising some ghosts that I have carried for too long. The weight of them is crushing me today.

All my life I have tried with every ounce of being to be the perfect child, the best student, the ideal employee, best wife, super mom. I have used all my strength and resolve to keep everyone in my life at the time happy. Unfortunately it has drained my cup to the point where I am not sure it will ever be replenished.

Most of the time I was in survival mode. Be a good child so as not to make my father angry, be endearing so that my mother would still want access to me. Do well in school so that my Dad would not be displeased. Work hard so that I could move up the ladder and make my parents proud. Put my husband and family first in all things and put everything I have into making their life the best it can be.

Lets do a tally of how it worked out:

My Dad is dead, even though I sat with him the entire day before he passed, I was the only one that was not at his bedside when he took his last breath. I was taking my son to his specialist appointment in Kingston at the the time. The doctors had said he was stable and that i should go. I drove back as soon as my sister text me and missed him by 5 mins. I never got to resolve anything with him. Just a big black hole of emptiness, of not knowing why I was never good enough.

My Mommy dearest who I have a spent my life trying to be supportive of and hide her mistakes to make her feel like she was a good person. Guess what, she made mistakes, we all have. Her mistakes have cost me so many times and her line is "But what would my life have been if I had stayed?" What was our lives like because you left??? Was her life so much more important that the lives of three innocent girls? So I stood beside her through all the years while my sisters took decades off to pout and vent their displeasure with her actions. Not me, not old faithful obedient one. Now every chance she has to get in good with the prodigal daughters I am tossed to the side until she requires my reassurances again. My kids are not as important, second rate, adopted kids. No need for her to disrupt her singing career to be there to build a relationship with them.

My career, well how fast your skills and achievements are forgotten once you become "Mentally Ill". At one time I was the golden woman. Asked to participate in any number of projects. Now, it seems my phone never rings.

My husband and kids. Well that's all I have left. He has never tried to understand what is wrong with me and resents how the medication has changed me. My kids are all high needs and I hear almost daily how one or another of them hates me, wants to kill me, is running away as soon as they are old enough. Usually due to my asking them to brush their teeth or go to bed.

I was told recently by a loved one that I am not even a shadow of the person i used to be. My question to them is "where do you think that light went?' Keeping everyone else burning bright has cost me my own flame. I feel it burned out inside of me. Nothing left but sooty coals. Nothing left to fuel the fire.

Hoping that your life summation is less bleak than mine. My thoughts and prayers are with you always.


Monday, 21 September 2015

A World Outside My Window: Change

Yesterday was such a lovely day here that we decided to make a day trip to our trailer. I had pretty much mentally checked out of the camp for the season but the kids wanted to have a chance to see their friends and in the case of my son, get in one more ladder ball
tournament. When we arrived I was surprised to see that the two trailers beside mine had been moved. For the first time I could see all the way down my side of the street. The wonderful woman across from me was not there to visit with and one of the neighbours from behind us told me that the elderly man across the road had fallen at his apartment and crushed his skull. He will not be returning to the camp, he will be going to a nursing home. It really made me step back and look at how fast our lives can change. How fast the things that we just take for granted are suddenly altered in ways we never would have guessed. Some of the changes will be for the better I am sure, but the uncertainty of what the new normal will be is also anxiety provoking. Then I looked at my children, off playing ladderball with the other campers, playing in the park and riding bikes past me so fast they were a blur and I realized that they are changing too. They are growing up so fast. I have spent the last 17 years of my life chasing little ones all over the place and suddenly they are all independent little people. The thoughts of what changes that will create for me is a bit unsettling too.....but for the first time in a long time I think that I am ready to look ahead with hope rather that believing the change will be bad. I hope that the changes in your life bring you hope and courage. My thoughts and prayers are with you, today and always.

Monday, 14 September 2015

A World Outside My Window: Back Home and Ready to Focus

What a summer. It reminds me why I like to stay in my own little bubble. I am home from camping now. The children have returned to school. The dog and I are quite ready to slide back into our fall routine. This fall however I have big plans for our little blog here. With the help of some friends that are each brilliant in their fields I want to cover various strategies to overcome depression and anxiety. I know we did this once by looking at various activities, this time I am thinking of a more holistic approach.

From talking to members of the various forums I am involved with it seems that many people are having adjustments made to their medications that they are finding is really improving their quality of life. I am hoping to get some of those people to do a guest appearance via google hangouts to tell us what seems to be working. (Not the easiest task for folks with social anxiety).

As the sunshine lessens we need to be prepared for the onset of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Their are things that we can make sure we add to our diet, as well as special lighting that we can use in our homes. The trick is to not let the depression get a foothold. A good group of supporters is a huge asset.

So here we go, that's my plan for the fall. Be sure to follow the blog and like the FB page to keep up with all the interesting stuff we are working on this fall. Now get out there and soak up those last few rays of sunshine. My thoughts and prayers are with you always.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

A World Outside My Window :Why is life so hard

Summer is usually the one season that I am able to pull myself together enough to pass for a normal person. I was having a great summer, seeing glimpses of my preanxiety ridden self. I actually was on stage with a band if you can believe it. Announcing them to the crowd to top it off. I felt like I was on top of the world. I could feel my courage boulster as I juggled the events at the jamboree. That was Saturday. Monday my world crashed down around me again leaving me struggling to grasp at the fragments of my life. We have had yet another life altering traumatic event occur and I am faced with having to deal with all the aftermath. How many times are we supposed to pick ourselves up and start again? Once more than we fall, as the old adage goes. Once more.......

Friday, 29 May 2015

Reflections of the Road I've Travelled

Well, way back when I started this blog I said that this is the chronicle of my journey with Mental Health. This is the scrapbook so to speak of all the ups and downs that have occurred as I struggle to get my life back on track. 

Honestly, I was thinking it was a shorter trip than this. None the less, the journey has been interesting. I met some incredible people, learned allot, helped out a few peeps along the way. Not such a bad use of a few years. 

Today I decided to take a look back at some of the more positive times I have shared with you. 

As always, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Finding Your Happy Place

Wow, this winter dragged on forever. By the time May rolled around I wondered if Spring would ever be here. Now that the sun is shining...most days...and the birds are singing....sometimes, I am feeling a bit better about life.

A big part of my mental uplifting is the fact that I am able to get back to camping. Being able to get small doses of social interaction and then retreat to the safety of my fenced yard has done wonders for my spirits.

This year I am on the recreation committee and it has made me visible to members of the camp community that never really noticed me before and therefore there are so many more people seeking me out to talk and consult with. I have actually been tagged on more pictures than I would ever have guessed on our camp fb group. I am out there. I am participating in my life again. Still in measured doses, but at least I am trying.

I hope you can find that place that is your Happy Place, that place where you feel free to explore and expand your safe zone. My thoughts and prayers are with you always.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

What Brings You Hope

This is a topic that I have not given much thought to recently. It's unfortunate though, my thoughts tend to dwell too much on the past and bleakly at the future. During a CBT group meeting today we were asked what has brought us hope over the last two months. Have I had hope over the last few months? My mind is wrestling with the very notion of hope amidst the darkness of anxiety and depression but I must admit I have in fact got hope in me somewhere or I would surely not have been able to carry on. My conclusion is that even when our hope or faith feels as small as a mustard seed, it remains.....ready to spring forth and grow given the opportunity.  Search your mind and find what brings you hope.....then give it every opportunity to grow. My thoughts and prayers are with you always. -Tracy

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

#BellLetsTalk January 28, 2015

Its unbelievable how many people are tweeting their little hearts out today about Mental Health and ending the stigma.

About Bell Let’s Talk Day
In 2010 Bell announced that it would be contributing $50 million to mental health related initiatives over the next five years. The Bell Mental Health initiative supports an extensive range of programs to enhance mental health in every aspect of Canadian life.
Last year, 109,451,718 tweets, texts, calls and shares raised an additional $5,472,585.90 for mental health for Bell Let’s Talk Day 2014.As part of this initiative, Bell will donate an additional 5¢ to mental health initiatives for every Tweet with the hashtag #BellLetsTalk and/or Facebook post with the special Bell Let’s Talk image on January 28th, 2015.
And if you are a Bell or Bell Alliant customer, Bell will also donate 5¢ for every single text message sent or long distance call made on that same day.
I love that everyone is coming out to support those of us that are suffering from invisible illnesses that are trapping us in our minds and bodies. Thank you all for making such a huge effort on our behalf. My question is....what happens tomorrow? Will you remember your promises to be more compassionate to those of us that are fighting these battles daily? Will you refrain from telling us that it's all in our heads? Will you really remember to call people that are stuck at home not able to leave and feeling lost and alone? I pray you will. We need you to. I need it. I need to feel that you the outside world will remember me tomorrow when the media is no longer interested in our cause. I need to know that even though I can't interact with you the same way I used to, you still care that I am here. Do that and you will really help remove the stigma. Do that and you will change lives.