Cancer. Death. Divorce. Miscarriage. Infertility. What these experiences all have in common is that they make people clam up. People often don't know how to respond, what to say, what to do or how to react. So often, people don't respond. They don't say anything. They don't do anything. They don't react. And that is wrong. Some would argue that everyone is dealing with their own stuff and don't have the bandwidth to take on other people's problems. But if everyone's head is down and people are only worried about themselves, that is a sad and cynical statement about society. Are people really that busy that they can't be supportive of others?
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.
For those who are trying to conceive, especially single women who may be trying to decide between becoming a single parent or choosing egg freezing, the holidays can be a tough time as it brings into focus family and resolutions for the future. Instead of focusing on your worries, think about the positives.
I get a lot of emails during this time from people wanting tips and tools to help them get through the holidays without letting their eating disorders overwhelm them. But this article isn't for them. This article is for the people who love them and who will be spending meal times with them during these holy days and need to know what they can do to help.
While for many the holidays are the most wonderful time of the year, for others, they are dreading the oncoming festivities because they may mark the 1st, 5th or 50th season without a loved one. No matter what denomination they are or what holiday they celebrate, there is one common factor that binds all of them together: someone they loved is gone.
Teach your children well -- teach them about life and love and joy and sorrow. Teach them to be honest and kind. Teach them to be thoughtful and generous. Teach your children to care for others. Let your own life be the living textbook that your children read. May it be among the most inspiring books they ever open!
Ultimate freedom, waking up late, working in your pj's and taking a spontaneous day off. It sounds like the dream job, doesn't it? Well, if running your own business is that glorious, why doesn't everyone do it? The fact is, being an entrepreneur is probably the hardest thing you will ever do. It will consume your thoughts, your relationships, your sleep and your life. You may never have a "day off" again. Still interested?
At the age of 12, I developed a disorder called Trichotillomania, also known as "Hair Pulling Disorder". Trichotillomania is defined as an irresistible urge to pull out hair from one's scalp, eyebrows, or other areas of the body, resulting in noticeable bald spots/patches. It is classified as a Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviour, and roughly 1 to 2 million Canadians live with one. It's time to spread awareness.
I learned early on when I was coping with my baby's death -- and again after my husband died -- that I had to be very specific about what I did or did not need from those around me. I used to be a shy person.. As I was working through my grief process, however, I started to see that a new, bolder side of my personality was begging to come out.
How does one trust in life again after experiencing two tragic losses? This is a question that I've asked myself since losing my son to stillbirth after a healthy 9-month pregnancy, followed just 18-months later by the death of my husband, a soldier serving in Afghanistan. How could I ever trust in anything again?
Someone who suffers with any form of a diagnosed mental health condition such as anxiety, bi-polar disorder or depression, are usually not able to be as open with their family, friends or workplace. There are no predictions to how someone will feel when they wake up in the morning. Many times people are patted on the back and told they are just having a bad day, or to pretty much suck it up.
Since I have had my double mastectomy, there have also been a number of community-based organizations that have opened and that cater to cancer patients, survivors and their families. When you are a cancer survivor, you are forever embracing uncertainty and, at times, strong emotions. Your rational mind says you should be over thinking in that way by now.
Yes, when I write about how a caregiver should take care of him or herself, I am talking to myself as well as to others. I know how hard it is. For two years, I did not leave my husband. Like so many others, I postponed my own doctor's appointments telling myself I didn't have the time, and turning down invitations from friends. But firm words from two doctor friends helped me decide to take the occasional afternoon for myself.
Once diagnosed with cancer, a patient's life will never be the same. Once the turmoil of the diagnosis, and the subsequent treatment, whether it's surgery, radiation or chemotherapy, is over life as we know it now commences. There are ups and there are downs. Luckily for me, the ups far surpassed the downs.
On August 3, 2012, I will celebrate being five years cancer-free. There are days where fear takes over, and it seems to be taking forever to make it to this milestone. Thankfully though, there's a good side to this story. It's the promise of a warm sunny day, and the peace of a lazy afternoon listening to the pitter patter of rain. It is the promise of a new day, and the feeling of gratitude for the one that just passed. It's about life.