Archive for the ‘Writings’ Category

The Door


The door opens                                  

You walk through
Frown on your face
You’re in a mood

The door opens

Here you are now
Judgemental first
Never asking
In tears I burst

The door opens

Talk over me
I don’t exist
Speaking louder
I still resist

The door opens

Temptation comes
To leave and go
Away I hide
Where no one knows

Closing the door

Hold myself firm
Lay on my bed
Angry bad thoughts
Go through my head

The door opens

Sickness and health
death do us part
Vows we both made
Now break my heart

Words are easy
Actions speak true
The door is closed
I’m all alone


so are you.



Weekly Writing Challenge: Playing with Space

Let's Get Happy.

Happy for you is not the same as it is for me
To me, happiness is joy and feeling completely
For you it is valued in terms of titles and of money
Those are just things and won’t make your life easy.

Get rid of the clutter and the thoughts in your head
Let go of your ego before you wind up dead
Enjoy all your moments, even ones you don't like
Minutes may be all you have before the end of life
Stop pushing down emotions, feel the good and the bad
Don’t dwell on your past; regrets are crutches for feeling so sad

Pretension is for the weak, a game you don’t need
Stretching your truth will lead to more greed.
Stop lying to yourself and be honest with me
When you think of your future what do you see? 

Begin to be mindful of the things that you dohappiness
Begin to be mindful of the words that you use
Open your heart and let love in
Open your eyes before the world dims.
Happy for me is simply just to be 
Happy for me is about simplicity 

Give back to all others before your time is up
Karma goes around and doesn't give up
Take my hand please and let go of your fears
Get rid of the pain you have clung to for years

You have the power to make a small change
I know it sounds basic and maybe even strange
Try it for yourself and then you will see 

What it really means for you to become Happy.

F is for Friendship

weirdAfter a brief conversation (over text) today with a wonderful woman I was inspired to post this. Yes she is one of my true friends and she is real.  I am grateful for all kinds of friends in my life:

Best friends, sister friends, neighbor friends, family friends, work friends, group friends, school friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, team mates, long distance friends, friends by association, imaginary friends, friends of the family,  intimate friends, casual friends, friends with benefits, acquaintances and yes even a frenemy!  I have almost 500 Facebook friends, over 100 twitter friends following me and hundreds of linked in connections.

I LOVE my friends. My real friends. My trusted confidantes, the people I would leave my children too,the ones who have never left my side and never ever will, the people I am never spiteful towards or feel like I must entertain them. I have only a handful of these friend and they are all I need.


I never belonged to a click and I am not part of a group who went to school together and still live in their same town, raising their kids together and getting married off together. Nope – I have acquired my best mates throughout life and when the stars align and we both know – there is always room for one more.

Each of my friends is unique. They don’t all know each other, and some have never met. They are from all different races, different places,  are of all ages, genders and beliefs. I do not discriminate, this is a neutral kind of friendship circle.

My true friends are also my best friends. The best of the best of the best and I am proud to have several. Of course there is my BFF(high school), BFF(college), BFF(Local), BFF(sisters)….etc. I would not nor could not exist in this world without them.

Friends are the family I have had the privilege of choosing. There is no need to list names, you already know who you are. I LOVE YOU ALL.

Andrea, Ange, Fro


Weekly Photo Challenge: Unique


This is what unique is to me. Not because of what it is but because how it changes. This is a photo of the tree line in my back yard. I see it from every window, I look at it all the time, I walk through the trees everyday and it is amazing.
Even though this is such a familiar site to me, the skyline at sunset changes every single day. I find my self gasping almost every night at the sky and calling for the kids to come and see it. I see wonderful colors varying in shade and tone and it is never the same, ever. This is just one little everyday thing in my world that I find to be unique and extraordinary.

Perfectly Imperfect

the-gifts-of-imperfection-quoteI am sorry. I am so sorry. It doesn’t make up for all that I have done. It will never be enough.

I stumbled upon this today in a post I started over 2 months ago. It had the above apology and nothing else. No notes, no title, no images. Here is what it is about:

I feel tremendous guilt for so many things in my life. Some rightly so but most, not so much. I have made mistakes. I have been a terrible friend. I have been an unloving wife. I have been a bitch. I have been way to drunk and said and did things I truly regret. I have been a thief. I have betrayed trust. I have manipulated. I have cheated. I have denied forgiveness. I  have lied, and lied and lied again and never felt bad about it. I have engaged in reckless behaviors. I have broken the law. I have broken hearts. I have been a victim of rape. I have bad habits I am not willing to break. I have a temper. I have a fat body. I have a very small head. My eyes are extremely close together. I have stabbed people in the back. I have been preoccupied …a lot. I have put myself first. I have used people. I have led people on. I have been jealous. I have been filled with rage  and envy. I have been unbecoming. I have taken on more than I can handle. I have been avoiding  the truth. I have turned the other cheek. I have addictions. I have been dis-respectful. I have been pretentious. I have Mental Illness and it is not going away.

This is me. This is some of who I am.  I am imperfect. For the first time in 38 years I am OK with it.

images (2)


Me + You = Two.

Life’s Lessons.

In my younger years, like many other twenty something’s, I thought I knew everything I needed to.  I was set. Good job that I loved, nice apartment in a great city, awesome friends, car to drive, money in my pocket, college diploma, professional designation, weekend parties and Sunday(and Monday) hangovers. It was great. Ahhhh the memories. At that time in my life I was also strongly opinionated, a bit closed minded, emotionally shut down, maybe a tad pretentious and was wearing a large chip on my shoulder. Never the less, I was on top of the world.

A colleague of mine suffered from migraines. She had to take medication, everyday, and even leave work early. If she felt an episode coming on, we had to turn off the radio, turn off all the lights and she dimmed all the computers in the office. Honestly, I thought: “For a headache; take a few ibuprofen or naproxen with a big glass of water and get over it”.  This colleague, let’s call her Jane, talked about some of her “triggers” such as chocolate, cheese, the barometric pressure, stress, lack of sleep…blah blah. I never really gave her my full attention. She went on and on about twitching and auras and sensitivities and how these migraines were diminishing her quality of life. I secretly thought she was making it up.  Seriously, how bad can a headache really be? I had no sympathy for Jane. None, not even a little. While she tended to her headache – or “migraine” as she called it, I plowed through my work and would do some of her work if there was absolutely nothing else I could do. Back then, I had no idea and didn’t even try to learn how bad her migraines really were.

That was, until I started having them myself. Oh ya, good old Karma got me again. I had had bad headaches in the past. I recall having an aura – although I didn’t realize that what it was at the time, I just thought I was going blind.

Shortly after I returned to work from my first maternity leave, we bought a new van. Looking back, a lot had happened from that Wednesday I called the dealer until the Saturday we picked it up. Wednesday night we went in and signed the papers for the van – never test drove it, never looked at it, picked the color and price and signed where needed. Thursday afternoon, my husband was rushed to the hospital by ambulance as the doctors thought the scar from the hernia repair he had done in June had opened and was strangulated, cutting off circulation to the bowel …which happens to be life threatening. Turns out, it did rip open, but was not strangulated, thank god.  We waited in the ER at the city hospital for about 9 hours before he could go home. The surgeon told us to wait by the phone and he would call us to advise when he could repair it. I would be less than a week and definitely before Christmas. The tear was still urgent and needed surgery to be fixed. Oh yeah did I mention this all went down in December about 2 weeks before Christmas??

Friday night I went solo to my work Christmas party. I was exhausted, but was not missing this event. I had just been promoted and wanted to show I was a committed employee, even after hours.

Then finally on Saturday my husband and I went to sign the final deal and pick up the van. I wasn’t feeling too great. I had no idea what the sales person said. I could not sit still. I felt very nauseous. I was not hung over – I didn’t even drink the night before. My focus was off, even when wearing my glasses. I was sweating and shivering at the same time. Noises became louder, lights became brighter. I ate a granola bar to help. I drank water, milk, apple juice, coffee. Nothing helped. By the time we got to my parents to pick up our daughter the right side of my face felt like pins and needles. I was frantically searching my purse for the medication I was taking for depression. I thought maybe I had forgotten to take it and was starting withdrawal. Dizziness set in, and then retching and vomiting so bad, so much that bile came up. My face looked like I had taken a red pen and scribbled all over it because so many capillaries had burst from the force of the vomiting. I overheard my dad say “she has buyer’s remorse”; my mom “she is just over tired”; my husband “I don’t know, maybe too much to drink last night”.

It was none of those. It was my first full-fledged body shocking, mind altering and serious migraine.  I took copious amounts of Tylenol 3, anti-nausea medication and ibuprofen. It helped me pass out for a few hours. I woke up with an absolutely horrendous skull splitting headache. It hurt me to move, even slightly. Any miniscule amount of light was blinding. The sound of the bedroom door opening felt like it was shattering my ear drums. Simply put it was fucked up.

Now, I think about Jane and how I made an assumption about how she felt. I think about her pain, reality and loneliness from her experienced from her persistent migraines. My god, I thought she was just slacking. What a wake-up call.  Like so many others, I am now the Jane in this story. I get a lot of well intentioned advice from people trying to help me with my mental illness. I also get a lot of rolled eyes, a lot of “oops sorry – we thought you would be too tied to come” explanations, a lot of blank staring and most heart breaking so much misunderstanding.

I could never know exactly how Jane felt. I am not her. Now, I empathize with her. I understand her perspective and I have done a lot of reading about migraines. People, even those closest to my heart, will never know exactly how living mental illness has changed my life. Or how it feels to intellectually understand and comprehend what I should feel or why I should not be afraid of the dark, or that I am not the voices in the mind, or how mental illness is a definition, not a sentence. I know I am not a victim anymore, I am a survivor. Emotionally, my brain doesn’t get it. Emotionally my brain is broken. Emotionally I am on a roller coaster. My emotional brain does not connect with my intellectual brain. After trying to fix this on my own and with patchwork for more than half of my life, both sides finally snapped and inevitably led to my 2010 meltdown.

I need medication – a few medications – every single day to remain level. As my body changes, the medication needs adjusting and tweaking every few months. The drugs are not a quick fix. They take a while to work, and there is no magic pill or cocktail to take. The medication is not a cure. The drugs are not something to be afraid of. The drugs saved my life and saved me from myself. It is not perfect. It is better than not being on them. I still cry. I can still create. I can still laugh. I still feel. I feel like my normal, at least some of the time.  Drugs were not enough for me. I also have been participating in a few other forms of treatment and therapy. Keep watching the blog; more to come on those.

For now, my message is simple. Mental Illness is personal. It manifests, presents and affects each and every person who has it differently. Why? The universe did not make any two persons the same. Every single one of us on this globe has experienced life personally and differently. Because you are you and I am me.

My sister summed this up last week to me in an e-mail:

When you don’t have mental illness, you don’t get it so I need to tell you that I won’t try to get it.  It’s very frustrating as a loved one to see you as a victim.  I’m hopeful for you:)” – Sarah Payne – used by permission.

If you are concerned for someone who has a mental illness, or if a loved one of yours suffers and you do not know how to help them. Know this: you cannot fix them. You cannot change them. What you can do is educate yourself. Get the help of a professional. Listen and be a friend – even when it gets really tough and it does. Give them a hug, and tell them you love them, without conditions. Even if the person doesn’t believe you at the time, do it anyway. Do it over and over again. I promise those are the best gifts you can give to a person suffering with mental illness.

Keep in mind, a person who is struggling with mental illness will not likely be able to provide support to you about how your life as an observer has changed. It is so hard to know someone is hurting and not be able to make it all better. Get help, talk to your doctor, therapist, best friend, someone you trust, another person you know openly dealing with mental illness, inquire about the counselling services provided by your employer or your school. Call the nearest centre for mental health listed in the phone book.

I don’t want to hear – we don’t know what to do. Or what should I do?

I cannot accept that anymore. Reach out, keep reaching and reaching until you find the right hand or hands that reach back. There is no one who can help you effectively until you admit you need help and you begin to help yourself.

Please see the resource section of my blog for information on where to go, where to read, get information and educate yourself on the realities of mental health.

Your eyes do not need to be open to see, your mind does.

Happy 38th Birthday to me…

Well, here it is. November 5th 2012 – I am officially 38.  Which technically means I am beginning my 39th year of life – but for my sanity and the fact that last year was pretty crappy – My best year ever begins today. Hurrah. So let’s  begin with a first day check-in. I feel the same as I did yesterday. Nothing special planned, just the usual day. As always everyone’s needs are ahead of my own. I have received a ton of well wishes, had calls from my parents and sisters and began the morning with a nice little card from my husband and songs complete with copious amounts of hugs and kisses from my two little ladies. A great beginning to a mundane day.

What do I plan to do this year? Hmmmmmm let’s see…OK here are 5 intentions for The Great 38.

1. Get Published. Anything really. Amateur or professional – just published.

2. Get my body back – sort of. Diet and exercise will become my driving force like never before. I will stick with a fitness plan and bring back the hour-glass – if I feel a boob lift is in order once I am at the healthy weight – I will look at that in year 40. HAHA

3. More quality time with my best friends. The ones I love so much and miss everyday because we live far apart. More trips with the intention of visiting and more attention on them rather than on me.

4. Make Money.. To quote Jessie J – “It’s not about the money…money” which I believe. However love doesn’t pay the rent and I have been living on love and despair for almost two years. Please support me – see the purelybotanical page!! – launching soon!

5. Walk with my fears instead of running from them. Well, walk with some of them. That’s a start right? I’m 38 now so i guess its time to work on my mental toughness.

Noticeably absent is vacation…Sure there are many destinations I would love to explore. Let’s face it, I am not the hostile staying, eat what you can find kind of girl. I am also not the let’s take two super busy kids on a trip, spend lots of money and come home frustrated and exhausted kind of mom. When I can travel, I will. And I will enjoy exploring sites, taking adventures and living the experience – as long as I can sleep at my 5 star hotel and shower each day. ))))

My birthday wish as always is for inner peace and to listen more than talk. I came close to finding some inner peace in year 37. I am hoping I can put most of my emotional and mental roller coaster ride from the last 5 years behind me and start over-living instead of over- thinking.
Truthfully, things can only look up from here, right. I am tired, frustrated and so sick of pretty much everything. But really what middle-aged mom of two little girls dealing with more than they can handle isn’t…

Happy November 5th to you.


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Oaks & Stones

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i am andrea. this is my blog.

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