If I look at a snapshot of my life 18 years ago, I see a young man ravaged by a spiraling alcohol and drug addiction, a man fractured in spirit desperate to claw his way out of the darkest hell of a deep depression. Shortly after entering a treatment program to deal with my addiction issues, I took my first tentative steps into the world of running. Before I knew it, I had found my "people." I had stumbled upon my "tribe."
What's most distinctive and troubling to the graphologist is the way Marilyn contorted certain letter formations. What of that ugly claw-like loop that she made when forming a lower zone for the y in her name? And how about that aggressive-looking final stroke on the M that stabs down, penetrating the baseline of the writing and effectively creating a very crude and ugly image of coitus.
That's the thing about depression. When you're in the thick of it, you don't realize how far wrong things have gone; which is why it's important for all of us to look out for each other, and to watch for those subtle cues and clues that something is amiss with the people we love. It's hard to ask someone "Are you in trouble?" or "Do you need help?" and even "Are you OK?"
Sometimes, amidst the coffee cups and barf-stained yoga pants at the playground, you meet your mom BFF. And sometimes, well -- sometimes, it's the opposite.
Last night, not one African or Caribbean contestant who was not clearly of mixed heritage made it to the top 15, not one. This is 2015 not 1955. What message did last night's Miss Universe pageant send to young ladies or young men for that matter? If you're not white or near white and you don't have long hair you're not attractive or desirable? The judges really need to park their own biases at the door. If they can't then care needs to be made to select judges who don't have racial biases and a rigid idea of what beauty looks like.
Rather than free us from the drudgery of work, technology has made us slaves to our phones and laptops. It has taken the entry of the most technologically savvy generation in history to realize that fact and, hopefully, to change it.
In a recent counselling session, I was struck once again by how much perfectionism limits our potential. The reality is if we allow ourselves to get lost in our perfectionistic tendencies, we will limit our ability to live to our full potential and impact others. To become an exceptionalist, follow these simple pointers.
Kid No. 1: Everything is brand new, washed in delicate soap and properly folded and put away in the matching dresser or hung on color-coordinated hangers. Kid No. 2: Hand-me-downs are washed and haphazardly checked for stains. Kid No. 3: It's cool if boys wear purple polka dots, right?
You may have noticed that your social media feeds have been inundated with the #BellLetsTalk hashtag. That's because Bell Let's Talk day is on Wednesday, January 28. We need workplaces that value their employees' mental health. Employers need to lead by example by recognizing workplace signs of undiagnosed depression, such as difficulty making decisions, decreased productivity, inability to concentrate and any unusual increases in errors in work, just to name a few.
It's the most wonderful time of the year for Canadian mental health advocates! Wednesday, January 28 is Bell Let's Talk Day. On Bell Let's Talk Day, conversations will be taking place online, in homes, schools, and offices across the country. All wonderful, but, will you be participating in these discussions by sharing your personal experiences? Many people won't.
In New York Magazine, Jonathan Chait discusses how hard it is to be a white man these days. In case you don't have the time or moral energy to read his 5,000 word opus of angst, here's a brief rundown.
Bell Let's Talk day is about hope. It gives you a chance to take off your mask and talk about your pain. It allows you to mourn the loss of who you were and to say, "It's okay I'm like this now." It cracks open the darkness for a minute and gives you hope by letting you realize there are people who've made it out to the other side.
Food trucks offer unique and tasty culinary experiences and have become a part of the cultural heritage in the cities they serve. Market trends have clearly established that the food truck phenomenon is here to stay. Eating from a street vendor can be a satisfying and a delicious experience... provided you're street smart enough to choose the right truck.
You feel like you've been through the washing machine at 6 a.m. and want to close your eyes so badly just when you're supposed to be starting your day.
I learned a lot in my 20s. I learned how to survive a breakup and how to reconcile with a friend. Thanks to three years of law school, I learned the rules of civil procedure. I learned how to get out of debt and how to nurse a baby. But there are a few things that I didn't learn, but wish that I had.
To really nail the concept of what mental illness is and how it affects both those who live with it and those who live with us, here are a few tips to guide in what I hope will be an ever-growing trend to encourage communication and break down the stereotypes. So without further ado, here are things to refrain from saying to someone with mental illness.
Both American and Canadian media have showcased the new wave of ethnic Barbie-sized dolls. The culturally-attuned figurines fill the gaping void in a transforming consumer base. Dark-skinned dolls with Aryan noses, Elizabethan hips, and Caucasian hair fail to capture the magic that Barbie has brought to little white girls for over 50 years.
One billion chicken wings, which means 500 million chickens will be killed for us to enjoy the game. Pounds of potato chips consumed; 28 million. Pounds of avocados consumed; 53.5 million. Number of football fields worth of farmland to grow all that corn, potatoes, and avocados is 222,792. And last 325.5 million is the number of gallons of beer drank by Americans that day.
Within the mental health community, we too have discovered that our storms have silver linings. Our "weaknesses," like battlefields, create in us the realization that we can more than survive mental illness.