Depression, Single Mama

Surviving the Crisis

When my life came crashing down last summer, I went into my now very familiar Crisis Mode. I was in shock. I was in incredible pain and absolute disbelief. I wasn’t sure what to do with myself or how to get through the day. It occured to me later to write down the things that helped, so that maybe I could share it and help someone else.

This is a picture from right in the middle of that time. It’s raw. It’s difficult for me to look at. I still feel that pain, and I can recognize the heart break and disbelief in my eyes.

I want to be clear, when I talk about the things that got me through this crisis, I’m not talking about the things that “fixed” anything. I’m talking about the little things that kept me afloat when all I wanted to do was drown. I’m still working on getting out of the water.

Mindless Distraction. I needed something to take me out of the moment, especially when I found everything to be really overwhelming. Fluffy silly beach reads, funny shows that I could pick up and drop in a second, youtube makeup tutorials, and one that truly got my head out of the moment, a ridiculous bubble popping phone game app. Bubble Witch 3 was my personal favourite. Requires enough focus to get your mind off of the badness, while being simple and silly enough not to require too much attention or effort. Get it here for Android and here for Apple.

Support System. This is the time to shine that bat signal, call in your girls, your family, whoever you can trust and be honest with. You need to tell someone what’s going on and don’t sugar coat it. You need someone who can check in on you, get you out into the world again, or bring you food when you just want to cry. I also found it to be very empowering to join Single Mom and divorced parents groups on facebook so that I could hear from people who knew what I was going through.

Motivation and Understanding. I found it incredibly helpful to read up on the process, to see related quotations and to listen to podcasts related to what I was going through. I saved a ton of motivational quotations on pinterest (My boards can be found here , here and here). I also completely fell in love with Alone: A Love Story, a CBC podcast. Retweet, share to your stories, post lyrics. Whatever you need to do to feel understood and heard.

Music Soothes the Soul, music has always been a major factor in every single one of my life events, good and bad. This was no different. I found that some days I wanted to sob uncontrollably to the soundtrack of my heartbreak. Other days, I wanted Lizzo to build me back up. Sometimes, I needed hard rock to work through my anger. I got myself a spotify account and made playlists for my needs. I have a Ouch Feels playlist, an Empower playlist, a playlist of soothing faves, an Angsty playlist when I want to scream EFF YOU JERK. It truly helps. I will say that sometimes you need to avoid certain songs to feel ok, and that fine. I still can’t listen to any of “Our Songs”.

It’s Ok to be A Cliche. There are so many cliches about getting through the crisis of a breakup. I lived so many of them. Some of them helped, some of them didn’t, but I found comfort in trying. I got a piercing, I dyed my hair, I got a tattoo, I gained weight and then loss some and then stopped caring, I dated, I had casual fun, I drank, I ate, I did what I wanted, when I wanted. I needed to take some time to spoil myself, to take care of myself and to be reckless for a bit. So long as you have good people around you to keep you from going too far, and you don’t hurt anyone or yourself, have fun. On the other side of the coin, it’s ok to cry, to spend time alone, to be angry, to be sad, to let things go a bit. Just remember that you have a life to live, and as tempting as it is to get lost in the fun or the sad, it will do more harm than good. Moderation, my friends. Moderation.

Alright friends, that’s it for now. I have a kid to play with and some lunch to make. I hope this post helps someone get through the initial crisis so that you can start working towards healing. I have more to add, but perhaps I’ll save that for next time.

Daily Life

Musical Sunday

Not sure if it’s the rainy cold weather or the pregnancy hormones, but I have been one cranky blue bitch today. I’m impatient, tired and in no mood to put up with anyone or anything. My husband has been smart and hiding in his computer games, so I’ve decided to take some time to flee upstairs and cheer myself up (or at least do something to distract myself from my unhappy belly).

What better way than to listen to some new tunes. On my radar today: The new Tori Amos album (!), the new Weepies album (note, this will launch some tunes, so be aware) and, thanks to this tumbler page (which I adore, btw), I came across The Civil Wars.

Here is a selection of those:

This Tori Album is very thematic. She definitely has more of a classical feel to it, and has welcomed her daughter to participate in vocals as a character in the story. It’s definitely an odd album, but I really like it so far.

Apparently, this song was featured in Rachel McAdam’s new flick. I love me some Weepies, thanks to my sister. It instantly transports me back to Calgary and our road trip to Banff, which was a wonderful time for Tracy and I. Loving this new album. Definitely great for the fall.

Wow, right? Love them. How did I miss them?

Meanwhile, one I haven’t mentioned yet, introduced to me by my good friend, Isaac (most likely discovered one his journey to the UK this summer), Frank Turner:

We listened to this a lot on the weekend he was down for a quick visit home (I count myself very lucky to have caught him for two visits while he was in town. He is a Rambling Man for sure.)

Enjoy :D

Daily Life, Paganism

Beltane and End of the Song Meme

I hope everyone had a  lovely long weekend! The husband and I celebrated with his family on Saturday and laid low the rest of the weekend. Since Easter was the last holiday I celebrated with my Mum before her death, it was definitely bittersweet for me.

I can’t believe we’re a week away from Beltane! I still have no idea what my plans are, which has sadly become a trend over the last couple of years. It’s been a tough transition, going from working with a tight knit group to suddenly finding myself solitary. I am thinking that whatever I do, I want to make this cake. Honey and Lavender? Sounds like a delicious plan to me! Yum!

And in other news, the song meme is now done! Here are my last few bits:

day 25 – a song that makes you laugh

You know you love it.

day 26 – a song that you can play on an instrument

Sadly, none. I don’t play any instrument :( I used to play the clarinet, but that was about 13 years ago.

day 27 – a song that you wish you could play

I LOVE this song. I walked down the aisle to it and would LOVE to learn to play it.
day 28 – a song that makes you feel guilty

Strange, right? Well, my Mum had asked me to burn a CD for her, and this was one of the songs she wanted. I kept putting it off, forgetting and it never got done. It’s one of those silly things I can’t seem to get over, but I really wish I had made her that CD.

day 29 – a song from your childhood

Paul Abdul and I go way back. My barbies and dolls would put on elaborate performances of Straight Up and Cold Hearted Snake (I blame my love of JEM. Most of my childhood games for the next few years involved some kind of dramatic love story and singing). I think my sister and I played that album until it died.

day 30 – your favorite song at this time last year

Yes, Mumford and Sons. It was about this time last year that I was obsessed with this album. I was also listening to a lot of our wedding music at this time, trying to figure out what songs to tell the DJ to play.

Daily Life

Song Meme catch up, Day 18-24

day 18 – a song that you wish you heard on the radio

Don’t want to bog you down with the same bands over and over again. Basically, I’d love to hear more Tori and Neko Case.

day 19 – a song from your favorite album

Tori Amos, Virgina. Yes, sorry. I know, it’s a lot of Tori, but I love her. This is from Scarlet’s Walk. I have a hard time picking an all time favourite album, but if I had to, I think this would be at the top of the list. This album has followed me on trips to foreign countries, on road trips, through death and births, through university, success and unemployment.

day 20 – a song that you listen to when you’re angry

A Perfect Circle, Pet.  I love me some APC, and this is one of many songs by them that I enjoy when I’m feeling rageful.
day 21 – a song that you listen to when you’re happy

Jason Mraz, I’m Yours.

day 22 – a song that you listen to when you’re sad

Weeping Tile/Sarah Harmer, Dogs and Thunder. This is a bittersweet song for me. It’s beautiful and comforting, but it hurts my heart. I love it so much.

day 23 – a song that you want to play at your wedding

Lifehouse, You and Me. This was our wedding song. Pat and I have quite the tie to Lifehouse. Their first album was a big part of our early relationship, we saw them live, and then while we never really followed them further, this song came out and seemed to fit our day perfectly. It’s also the background music to our wedding video.

day 24 – a song that you want to play at your funeral

Tori Amos, Happy Phantom. Cause, you know, it’s awesome.

Daily Life

Days 15-17

day 15 – a song that describes you

This was a hard one for me. I really cling to the music that’s important to me, so to narrow it down like this was really difficult. I tend to have different songs that I relate do, depending on my mood and what’s going on in my life.

Tori Amos, Spark.

Neko Case, Hold On Hold On

Tori Amos, Wednesday

day 16 – a song that you used to love but now hate

Honestly, I don’t hold on to songs that I hate. I just stop listening to them.

day 17 – a song that you hear often on the radio

Bambi, Tokyo Police Club. I really dig this song. It’s been getting a lot of air time on Live 88.5 lately and I’m really enjoying it.

Daily Life

Days 11-14

day 11 – a song from your favorite band

White Blank Page, Mumford and Sons. One of my favourite bands.

day 12 – a song from a band you hate

Lips from an Angel, Hinder. Thing song, and most of their stuff, puts me into a blind rage.

day 13 – a song that is a guilty pleasure

Blow, Kesha. Yes, I know. Please don’t judge me… I blame van der beek.

day 14 – a song that no one would expect you to love

This one is tricky. Depends on when we met/how we know we each other. For some, neither of these are a surprise.

Dragula, Rob Zombie. Yep. My brother, Mike, brought me up on Black Sabbath and Metallica. I love me some metal and hard rock.

Jolene, Dolly Parton. My Daddy was a big country guy. Big big country. These days I see his influence in my music choices. Neko Case and Sarah Harmer are two of my big faves, and both have big country influences. I love me some Cash, Nelson, Brooks (Thunder Rolls will forever give me shivers), Rankin Family and Parton.

Daily Life

Tuesday Day book and music

A peek at the past week (how I’ve been): Up and down. It’s been a roller-coaster! I had a fantastic night on Thursday with Jamie, but was then sick on Friday. Saturday was an amazing day with Sarah and then L’s bridal shower and my cousin-in-laws buffet and bowling dirty 30 birthday.  Sunday was a good day until some estate drama.

I am thinking… about tactics. How to move forward. How to face adversity, and stand up for myself without aggravating the situation and making things worse. Oh, and babies.  Oh, and about what I’m doing for Beltane. No plans yet, and that makes me sad.

I am thankful for… Good friends! I have had a great week of friends. Long conversations, girly days, sangria in a great restaurant, epic emails, plans and new connections. I am really excited about getting to know a girl friend of mine from University. We’ve been talking about hanging out for a while but never really got around to it. We’ve recently connected on FB and are plotting a craft day. I’m excited :)

From the kitchen… Nada. We’re broke right now. I’m trying to be creative with what we have to make it last longer.

I am wearing… I think this question needs to go. Hrm. Suggestions for a better question? Maybe about my underpants. My underpants are awesome today. Pink, ribbons and a thong on the bottom, black and awesome on top.

I am creating… Nothing yet. Been pondering creative ventures. I’m also in the planning stages with one of my besties about a matching tattoo for us before she moves away.

I am going… to start job hunting soon. My hours are dropping in about a month, so I need to pick up something part time to make up for it. Thinking about book stores and cafes. We’ll see.

I am reading… For a few demons more (some urban fantasy fluff, that I’m enjoying) and The Very Best of Charles de Lint.

I am hoping… For a break. Seriously. I really need a break.

I am hearing… A whole lot of BS, which isn’t unusual. Also some great support from good friends.

Around the house…I have some cleaning to do tonight! Pat and I are hosting Jamie tomorrow, if all goes well. Also, I’ve been trying to sort through all the pictures I’ve inherited from my parents place. It’s a massive collection.

One of my favorite things… Taking time for me. This weekend, that included painting my nails and watching Return of the King extended edition. Also, Face masks from Lush. Seriously, my bestie, Leigh, got me into them and they are now my standby for when my face is acting up or when I’m stressed out.  I currently have a pot of Sacred Truth. It’s awesome.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Tonight, cleaning and organizing. This will hopefully be a de-stress for me as well. Tomorrow, Jamie will be over for dinner and games. Saturday is the anniversary of my Mum’s death, so I’m not sure what I’ll be up for this weekend.

Here is picture! Yay!


Annnnnnnnd Music Meme:

10. a song that makes you fall asleep

In Memory of Trees, Enya. For this, I blame both my amazing massage therapist, Diana, and my oldest friend, Brytani. When Brytani and I used to have sleepovers, she couldn’t sleep without listening to music. Enya was a big staple in our “go to sleep” soundtrack, so after a couple of years of that it’s almost an instant trigger for me.