I would first like to extend my deep appreciation for all of those who reached out to me with advice, support and love, after I posted my last blog. Since then, I have changed medications, returned to therapy, tried Chinese tea for sleep, anxiety, and my gallbladder, and exercised many self-help tricks to aid my sleep and calm my anxiety. Although I have not had a miracle happen, I would like to let those know who gave advice and asked about the tea, that after 6 days of drinking the tea I noticed some success! While my anxiety is still evident daily, and at times it feels like the world is going to end, I started to be able to relax my mind enough so I could doze off some nights. However, I am an individual who needs to learn how to slow down, as my mind races every second, analyzing several things and unable to focus on just one at a time (like sleep). After the 10 days, I was able to get a few hours in every night, and I had to celebrate this as I was not sleeping at all before. Last week, after visiting my sleep therapist, I was told to begin what is called “sleep restriction” therapy. It is excruciatingly difficult, as you are attempting to only be in bed for a specific amount of hours per night. However, I am overjoyed to say that I have had more success. While everyday I attempt to maintain my focus on taking care of myself before anything else, it is extremely difficult some days. Anxiety, stress, depression, it all makes my body feel sore, slow, tired, hot, and unfamiliar. The injuries where the scars are that I am focusing on today have been distressed from these illnesses in the past two months. However, those days that I decide, “I’m going to stay home”, or, “I need to do something for myself”, have a positive impact. With the utter chaos from the final days of classes, and teaching only six days away, I am taking this time for myself to write.
Continue reading “Beauty Behind The Scars – Part 3”
Before I go into this next post, I wanted to share something with you all, in hopes that someone out there has some advice. For four years I have been dealing with insomnia, unsure of whether it is anxiety, PTSD, or another reason causing it (possibly a combination). I was addicted to sleeping medication in the hospital, and after two years I was finally able to ween myself off of the harsh medication, only to put myself on another medication. The day I began school last week my sleep dropped from minimal, to nothing at all. I have been up most nights, thinking of whatever has occurred that day, a book I was reading, a song I heard, and planning the many things I must do the next day. No one functions well on little sleep, and for someone like myself, everything is heightened on these days. My emotions are wild, my mental health declines, and every part of my body aches. I have stuck to a routine, used different medications and essential oils, read before bed, and experiment with different ways to get comfortable in bed. However, nothing seems to be working currently. I am reaching out to anyone and everyone, what has worked for you during a stressful time? Anything is greatly appreciated. Now for Part 2, of Beauty Behind The Scars. Continue reading “Beauty Behind The Scars-Part 2”
*WARNING* There is a graphic photograph of my leg in this post from the hospital. I hope everyone is comfortable with viewing this picture, as it is an important part of my story.
I have taken the past three weeks to reconnect with some family members, explore the east coast, start a new chapter with my boyfriend, prepare for my sixth and final year of University, and ponder about this project. I was inspired by a woman, Sophie Mayanne, who I find enhances the beauty and uniqueness of scars, while making the world comfortable with them. Her Instagram (@sophiemayanne) reveals photos of diverse individuals, exposing their scars and the story that comes along with them. As someone who has many scars and over a dozen stories to tell, I believe that these scars have now become a part of me. For so long they felt foreign, and when others would stare and make faces or assumptions it increased not only my awareness of the scarring, but my discomfort with exposing them to the world. With time, I began to become comfortable with these parts of my body. Through her work, I feel as though Sophie Mayanne is not only making those who she photographs at peace with their scars, but also making her viewers comfortable with all forms of scarring. With the help of a friend and very talented photographer, Vanessa Paterson, I have decided to expose my scars and tell my stories. I have touched on a few of these stories in my past posts; however, there is much more to say.
Thank you, Sophie and Vanessa. Xo. Continue reading “Beauty Behind The Scars-Part 1”
I have taken two wonderful weeks off from my regular schedule to be with family in Nelson, BC. While I love where I currently am, I am full of joy when I visit my hometown. Many days were spent with my mother and father enjoying the beauty Nelson has to offer (even with the horrific fires), discussing life, love, the future, or just simply sitting in silence together, enjoying one another’s company. During our time together, I asked my mother if she would feel comfortable opening up to you all and share some of her story. We both could write hundreds of pages about various struggles, memories, people, etc., but today she would like to share a short version of what happened that day, what she has dealt with and continues to deal with, both negative and positive. Continue reading “From My Mother’s Eyes”
As soon as I was capable of walking on both legs, without any visible casts or scars, people would state “I am so glad you’re okay now”, or when questioning me about the crash would ask, “But your okay now, right?” Some others would question my physical state even with the visible injuries. After discharging myself from the rehabilitation centre, I returned to University of Calgary in an electric wheel chair; however, the only injury that was visible when fully clothed was my left ankle due to the cast. On one of my first days returning to school, I was attempting to get back to my dorm room after a traumatic first day of classes (not all rooms were wheelchair accessible). A construction worker saw me, and yelled, “Wow, I wish I could just zoom around in a chair all day after hurting my leg! Lazy b*tch!” Today, fully clothed, rested, and on medication, I look like your average 23 year old woman. Strip the clothes, bring in the insomnia and chronic pain, and take away the medications, I am the woman who was hit by a vehicle. So when my wellbeing after the crash is questioned, I answer with, “I am much better now”, because the truth is, I am not okay now. I believe I will never be the “okay” that some people think, because my rehabilitation process is lifelong. I have previously discussed how I live my life day by day, because every morning when I wake up, I feel mentally and physically different than the day before. Today I would like to share a bit of my rehabilitation process four years ago, now, and what the future may have to hold. Presently, I see progress that I never believed I would reach during those hospital months, and that’s pretty incredible. Continue reading “Lifelong Rehabilitation”
On the day of the crash, my father received a phone call informing him of the severity of our injuries, and the urgency of his arrival to Calgary. He, my sister and brother, dropped everything that very moment and drove throughout the night to Foothills Hospital. While mine and my mother’s lives were changed the second our vehicle was hit, so were the lives of my family members. Today I would like to share my perspective on their experience, because an impaired driving crash does not only affect those who were in the vehicle. Their journey is important. Continue reading “A Family Journey”
This weekend I had the pleasure of spending the Calgary Stampede with my closet friend from home, Carmin. She always seems to bring complete and utter joy in my life, even when there seems to be no joy left in the world. This year was extremely different from the Stampede I remember four years ago when Carmin came to visit. I was in the trauma unit at Foothills Hospital, still undergoing surgeries and not fully aware of my own injuries, nor my mom’s. This was a time where happiness seemed nonexistent. Continue reading “Four Years Ago”
With my disability, each day is entirely new. I cannot predict how my body or mind will feel the next morning, nor do I know how I will feel in the afternoon or evening. This is one aspect of my life I have come to accept, and one of the ways I have learnt to “live in the now”. While I could write every day about what I am experiencing, and each one would be different, I would like to share a specific story today. Continue reading “Day By Day”
Today I deal with several different physical pains, including arthritic, muscular, and internal, as well as a new discomfort from a knee surgery I had last Tuesday. Each day I feel something new, and something old, and I always recognize where those pains originate from. After I finished my first year of my degrees at the University of Calgary, I returned to my home in Nelson, British Columbia, for the summer. After a month of enjoying the Kootenays, my mother and I ventured back to Calgary in June to visit family, and on June 9, 2013, we made our way back to Nelson. At the same time, a woman was drinking in a bar all day with her friends and decided to get into a vehicle and drive to her two year old son who needed to be picked up. However, she did not make it that far, and I am beyond grateful that her son was not in the vehicle. While driving around a corner in Skookumchuck, BC, her SUV crossed into our lane and hit our vehicle head on. That moment, and the hour that followed, is forever embedded in my mind, and is a memory I would like to share today so that others may feel comfortable opening up to me, their family, friends, MADD, or any other group/individual that is available and ready to listen. This post may seem darker than the ones I hope to write in the future, but it is an important part of my life that has brought me to where I am today, creating this blog.
Continue reading “Today, While Recognizing The Past”