December 31, 2019

The Wonderful Year That Was 2019

When 2018 was nearing the end I couldn’t wait to see it go. With 2019 it has been such a fabulous year of personal growth, adventure and change that I am in awe of all that has happened. Beginning the very first weekend in January 2019 I went away by myself to Retro Suites in Chatham and stayed in the Study to concentrate on my writing. It was a great couple of nights, so very productive. It was on this trip that I wrote my piece that would later be featured on the OC87 website. It was also the first piece of writing that I received more than just a stipend for – I Want to Live: Turning a Corner […]
August 10, 2019

When I Grow Tired

Below is a poem I wrote while on my retreat to Prophry Island. Sometimes humour is a useful tool to cope. When I grow tired I forget to take my pills When I forget to take my pills my thoughts race through my head When thoughts race through my head I rush to take action When I rush to take action I hit “add to cart” on Amazon When I hit “add to cart” on Amazon a million boxes arrive at our doorstep When a million boxes arrive at our doorstop my husband has a cow When my husband has a cow it makes me think of milk When I think of milk it reminds me to take my pills […]
August 4, 2019

Island Adventure

We were four strangers meeting at Pier 3 early on a Thursday morning. The sky was overcast and you could see the fog rolling in from the distance. Bags were strewn around, waiting to be place in waterproof bags to protect them during the trip. The Rocket power boat of Superior Sail was being prepared for the voyage including coolers of food to feed us for four days. I was the last one to arrive and stood awkwardly off to the side silently willing myself to take the first step and introduce myself. However, before I could act she moved forward with an outstretched hand “I’m Jean” and with that we all introduced ourselves. Momentarily it was time to talk […]
May 20, 2019

All They Need Is You

My husband and I tried for years to conceive a baby of our own. When it didn’t happen we moved easily to pursuing adoption. We had heard horror stories of waiting for years to be chosen to adopt. We decided early on that we wouldn’t ask for a baby or even a toddler. We would open our hearts and home to a preschooler and we took the required course, filled out piles of paperwork and completed several hours of interviews. We then were quickly matched with a little boy. We were given full disclosure through several meetings and reviewing his file. We decided that despite his rough start to life we wanted to become his parents.  We met him and […]
January 5, 2019

Trying New Things

I just found this unpublished on my posts page. I guess I got so busy I forgot to post it. I’m trying something new lately where I get out of my comfort zone to do something that ultimately makes me happy no matter how much anxiety happens beforehand. Today the boys and I (and Jeremy’s) friend drove 5 hours to pick a puppy. There were four to choose from and I had carefully chosen this breeder. (For anyone that wants to admonish me and cheer for rescue adoptions I agree but in this case after a year of unsuccessful trying I moved onto a very reputable breeder). Now back to happy puppy story. We expected to choose from 3 so […]
June 24, 2018

An Open Letter to Mental Health Services in My Community

On June 14 and 15, 2018 I took part in ASSIST put on by CMHA Windsor-Essex . It is a suicide prevention program and I will forever be thankful to my employer for supporting me in giving me the two days off to take part in such important training that everyone in every community should take. In the training were mental health workers, first responders, clergy, students and blue collar workers. It was an intense couple of days and really brought painful memories to the forefront but I was absolutely ready to take this next step in my efforts to bring about mental health awareness and improve services. During the first day of training I broke into a cold sweat […]
June 8, 2018

When You Don’t Know What to Say

 The past few days have been a struggle . . . first Kate Spade and now Anthony Bourdain . They both fell into despair so deep they saw no way out . . . and they completed suicide. The struggle for me is such a deeply personal one and their actions bring back my past actions and what could have been. Both of these very accomplished individuals had family and friends who loved them deeply and they each had a pre-teen daughter that now has to live without one of their parents. I have been struggling because I feel like I should be able to raise awareness as I always try to do but here is the thing – I don’t […]
May 13, 2018

Lessons From My Mother

Growing up I knew without a doubt that my mother loved me. I also knew that my mother was easily agitated, had high anxiety and suffered from debilitating migraines that could last days, even weeks. I learned early on how to take care of her, to try to keep stress to a minimum. I can’t say my brother and I always succeeded, we were children after all, but I think I did a fair amount of care giving at a very young age. It was difficult for my mother to go into social situations. She would worry obsessively in the days leading up to any event, even those she genuinely was excited to attend (such as a family gathering). Once […]
May 11, 2018

Finding What Matters

The last few years I have been on a path of self-reflection and discovery. Many hours in therapy, in silent contemplation, in writing, in conversing with family, friends and co-workers. One of the things I have grappled with is my health – over the years I truly let myself go and often cancelled doctor and dentist appointments over and over. Case in point: after focusing on overall mental and physical well being all week at work I decided it was time to finally make my 3 month follow up diabetes wellness appointment with my doctor. I keep cancelling it because I say I am busy but really it is because I don’t want to do the blood test because I […]
April 2, 2018

An Awareness Day

When I look at my son, when I watch him when he doesn’t know I am watching I see friendly kind thoughtful sensitive inquisitive smart outgoing creative talkative agile For all these reasons and so many more Take the time to get to know my son, who will always be my boy even though he is a man. Do yourself a favour and speak to him a while . . . it will change your life like it has mine. The fact that he has Autism, Bipolar Disorder or an Intellectual Disability does not define him. Diagnosis do not define him – these qualities listed here and many more – those help define him. Take the time to get to know my son for […]