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The title chosen for this post seemed to be the most appropriate descriptor of the past 4-6 months, the end result is ending up Broken, but OK… to a degree anyway.

I have decided to take an extended break from the world of social (antisocial) media. Time to re-examine, re-evaluate, reconsider, etc. on a number of fronts. Over the past 36 years, I get involved and stay involved with various items, projects, and causes, because I see possibilities for making a contribution and moving the conversation forward. When that movement stops, I get restless, which leads to an urgent desire for change of direction and change of pace.

I want to focus my free time on that in which I find joy. That means teaching/lecturing/speaking, particularly with the new content. Some things have been retired permanently and will not be spoken of again. My writing will definitely continue, and I will add to this blog when inspired to find something worth saying, particularly when I can find a teachable moment.

It is time for a break, time to recharge, spend time in nature, spend time with friends I love and cherish, and more. All the things that we do to find our centre again, to recharge our batteries. How long will that take? At least 6 months this time. I’ve let myself run on empty for too long now. Affixing a smile and powering through it is just not working for me any longer. If something major occurs, I’ll pop in to share it, otherwise, this comical curmudgeon is offline.

What was the thing that caused the “Broken”? Dealing with a constant stream of hate that has only increased in frequency since November of last year (it initially began 6 years ago when I began working on my current project). You can ask any Empath, for a detailed explanation of what energy vampires are; basically the non-stop negativity, hatred, inflated egos, squabbling, divisiveness, rumour spreading, gaslighting, narcissism, hypocrisy, schisms, and much more. Some people seem to thrive while spending their entire existence as energy vampires. And these are the people who, when they pick up that you have been triggered by their actions, continue to amp up the volume and frequency. It is what it is, and it comes with the work that I do, I have managed to keep working in spite of the ugly nature of it. Not everybody is pleased with who I sit across the table from and speak the truth to, but somebody has to be the mature adult and have those conversations. I won’t bother to repeat some of the things that have shown up in electronic communications, suffice it to say, vile would be an understatement for much of it. It was so rough in November last year, that a friend in another area of the country saw it, while preparing for a public funeral for a loss in the line of duty and got in contact to check in because they were concerned.

To be honest, I have spent days at a time in level 4 since the start of the year, climbing above level 3 for short periods of time. The recent holidays were more difficult than I let on, likely caused by the multiple triggers in November. I did my usual “sunshine & happiness” routine, but that mask was slipping and reality was becoming visible. That is one thing I have to clean up with the treasured friend who reached out, and I totally stiff-armed her to keep the reality hidden (I owe her a coffee, an explanation, and many hugs).

The graphic above shows the other issues that come from the PTSD source. It’s my daily battle. This would have been my opening tweet/status update/post for Bell Let’s Talk Day. Not this year, as I did not have the energy to sit at the keyboard and pump out my typical 400+ tweets, updates, and photos to raise awareness for mental health in Canada. There are still those who perpetuate the stigma and force these conversations into the darkness. Hello, it’s 2018, get into the current century at least. Every time I hear some tired old trope about mental health, mental illness, mental injury, plus those people who still have the gall to claim it’s made up, or “all in your head” (yeah, that’s why it’s called MENTAL health!), I have to fight the urge to bitchslap them into another dimension where even Google won’t be able to find them.

Skip that walk a mile in my shoes nonsense, how about spending 24 hours in my head. I bet most people wouldn’t last more than 2 hours. A typical anxiety attack for me would push you to your knees, yet I’ll carry on with a lopsided grin. My typical panic attack would see you curled up in a ball on the floor thinking you were about to die, yet, I have my methods and CBT experience to manage through it and keep going. The internal chatter runs non-stop (ever wonder why insomnia has been present for the past few months?) – that’s why wild horses would not get me anywhere near the subway system during rush hour; noise + crowds + people standing way too close is a meltdown waiting to happen, and if it is my only option, I have to build extra travel time in to get off the train for a breather every few stations; yet, that chatter keeps me going some days. I’m lucky, I’m considered high-functioning, I have worked hard to get to that level and I get out and about more than many who deal with the same daily battles. Yet, keep in mind, high-functioning does not equate to cured.

Today and every other day of the year, get out there and talk about mental health. It is the only way we will End The Stigma because current numbers show that 1 in 4 (it has risen from 1 in 5) will deal with mental health and mental illnesses in their lifetime. By eliminating the stigma now, we will save lives, because people will finally feel comfortable discussing it. It is by us openly sharing our experiences that will prove to those who are uncertain that You Are Not Alone and it is how I can honestly stand in front of a classroom of 150 university students and discuss this with them, because I’m Not Ashamed about what I battle every day, about having survived 2 suicide attempts, about some of the causes of my PTSD. Why, you ask? Because some of the one-on-one conversations after class that would bring you to tears, make me smile, because they are that person that I wanted to reach each time I go out and talk/teach/lecture.

And I promise, when I’m ready, you’ll see me reappear on social media again. For now, I’m having an overabundance of “ew, people” days. (I am so going to buy that top for myself this year!)

Remember to LOVE each other INTENSELY, kittens!

I am broken currently, but I am okay, and I am working on repairing it.

Sending an abundance of cuddly hugs and love,

Christine ❤️❤️ (aka City Mom/Yoda Mom)