September 14, 2014: Give Portlandia a second chance

i watched Portlandia once a year or so ago and wasn’t very keen on it and never watched it again.  I decided it was time to give it another go and now I don’t understand why I didn’t like it.  I must have been going through something at the time because the mockery and silliness of it are everything in life that I stand for.

Best bit from today’s episodes:

It reminds me of a penis……

If you’ll recall from a few weeks ago, yesterday was get red hair day.  I’m sure you’ve all marked it on your calendar and have been waiting with baited breath to see it. I spent a little more than usual to have it done using Elumen ( ) It makes your hair look healthier, is very vibrant and is low fade. I’m very pleased with it and the anime/cosplay comments it has received.  After some thought on what to do with my face, I’m afraid I’ve settled on pixelated which is rather boring.  I should have added my cat’s face. That would have been awesome.

new hair

Please enjoy the song I’m playing on repeat tonight. My favourite vaccines song.  Have I posted it before?  It’s possible.  The 3:22 mark is awesome in it’s purist form.

Put a bird on it!

September 12, 2014: attend an AA meeting

This morning’s funeral was easier than I had anticipated. Catholic funerals to me are very formal affairs with people being told when to stand and what to say. Aside from mention of the persons name, it was impersonal. Not much of a life celebration in my opinion but maybe the impersonal part is what brings makes feel like they can make it through that process.

This afternoon I went back to the psychiatric hospital to visit a client. Beforehand I wondered if it would be hard for me to be back there again but I decided that that time in my life was not really me. It was a fucked up psychotic version of me. It wasn’t hard to be there at all. I passed one of my nurses in the hall and I wondered if she recognized me. I don’t think she did. My time there is instilled in my memory forever but my time there to her was probably just a blip. I visited with my client for about an hour before being invited to an AA meeting. I’ve been to an NA meeting years ago but never AA. During the brief meeting one person left and another broke down crying. I had to keep biting my tongue remembering that I was there to participate, not to be the facilitator as is my usual group role. We read passages and discussed what they meant to us with regards to our day. It was short and pleasant enough.

On my way out, I passed the ward I had stayed in. Outside the ward was my tile that I had made many months ago on a your when the hospital first opened. The universe keeps connecting me to that place again and again.


September 11, 2014: Take a COLD shower and other updates

Apparently there are scientific studies to show the benefits of taking cold showers.  Here are the top 8 benefits as per science.

1. It helps with breathing

2. It boosts immunity

3.  It improves circulation

4. It’s a natural anti-depressant

5. It strengthens you mentally and physically

6. It has an anti-ageing effect on the skin

7. It reduces inflammation

Faithful readers know I’m all about trying anything that is a natural anti-depressant, BUT I also enjoy very long and very hot showers. My first thought of a cold shower was In 1999 when I went to Belize and I remember when the plane landed and we walked down that set of stairs onto the tarmac that the air was so hot and thick that you chew it rather than breathe it. After a day of sweating in that weather I told myself how amazing it was going to feel to have a very cold shower.  When my time to shower finally came I ran it cold and remember it being incredibly unpleasant.  In the end my desire for a cold shower faded and the warm one was pure delight.

My past shower experience aside, I was ready to try it again. As I take very long showers I couldn’t do the whole thing cold or I would surely suffer from hypothermia so I did cold shower for phase two only. Yes, my shower happens in phases.  I have a well planned shower routine and phase two was cold time. Strange as it sounds I actually enjoyed it.  It woke me up and I spent my hair drying time dancing so that’s a good sign.  More scientific research is required but so far so good.


Fantastic news for those eagerly waiting in anticipation.  That contest I entered in day 174? Yeah he won! He’ll be featured in a calendar because he’s so goddamn handsome.

Those Tarot cards I did September 2, 2014? Complete and utter bullshit!!! Mind, I did read them improperly so I’ll give them one more chance.

Sleeping?  Well, I think not sleeping is just my life now.  I need to embrace it. Last night I had a dream about this Canadian show I used to watch called Tall Ship Chronicles. I don’t know where that dream came from, although I have been thinking about boats a lot maybe so that might be it.  Anyway, it’s a show about a voyage around the world on a tall ship called The Picton Castle and I really loved that show. My dream self got super excited to experience it again and so I woke up and tried to remember all of it.  It was so many years ago that my mind just made up most of it but we had an amazing journey.  I should scour the internet and try to find it somewhere because I think I’d like to watch it again. Think of the kegs of booze and awesome outfits I could wear as a sailor.

I went to a visitation today for the client that we recently learned passed away.  Although I think I knew this already, today reinforced the fact that I am completely useless in situations of death. Myself and some co-workers attended knowing that for confidentiality sake we couldn’t really explain to the family how we knew the deceased.  It’s awkward because the family knew them and you knew them, but you each knew different parts of them.  And you cannot be fully truthful as to how you knew them.  I tried to be as thoughtful and caring to the family as I could but I’m afraid I was about as useful as tits on a bull (my grandma’s favourite saying…. aside from her racist comments) Tomorrow morning is the funeral which I am attending.  I am attending to remember the person that I cared for and I am attending to support the friend that I love who knew them much better than I did.  I am also attending because my own client was friend’s with them.  They became friend’s through our program.  My client’s words to me were (as a 50 something year old ) I’ve never had a best friend before, but if I ever had, it would have been” them. Tomorrow will be a sad day.

I have rediscovered my love for whiskey.  A good, smooth whiskey.  I don’t want to say I”m using it to cope, but it is certainly not doing me any harm right now.  Hello whiskey my old friend:  It’s been awhile.  I’ve missed you.  You’re as great as everyone says you are.  Have I told you that I’ve missed you?


September 9, 2014: my shoes were made for walking and that’s just what they’ll do

Sunday night’s sleeping pill was sadly ineffective. Although less frequently, I still woke up several times during the night. I thought about it and decided that maybe I’m not getting enough exercise. When I was in my apartment I was walking to and from work (1/2hr each way) and when weather permitted I was walking over my lunch hour. Now I’m too far to walk and my lunch hour walks for whatever reason fell by the wayside. While the reason for resuming my walks is for sleep, today I needed the lunch hour walk for my own solitude and reflection. In the early evening I went for another walk. I don’t know yet if it is coincidence but I am currently very tired.

Yesterday at work I began to feel uninspired and tired. Tired of caring, tired of hearing the same stories of theft, assault and job loss over and over again. I had had enough and wanted out. Then at the end of the day we heard the news that one of our program participants had died. It came as a shock for us and didn’t register for anyone right away. While I didn’t work with this client individually I knew them relatively well because of our group programming.

Today was a time for our team to really process what had happened. For me it led me to think about my own clients that I had lost. It brought back all the guilt of the woulda coulda shouldas. My first client loss was about four years ago. I started to wonder if I had had all the skills and knowledge I have now, would I have done something differently? Could I have done something differently? Would they be alive if I had done something differently? And then I thought of my most recent client loss. They had been in the hospital and I knew it but I didn’t make time to go visit. I could not have prevented that death but I could have visited. I could have shown that I cared and that they were important to me. I still carry that guilt with me. I am also now feeling guilty about my feeling of compassion fatigue yesterday. It seems so selfish of me to be tired of caring for people.

My lunch walk began with those feelings of helplessness to change and hopelessness about my work. I wondered what was the point of it when I couldn’t stop people from being victims of various things. I spent a lot of time dwelling on that and my own sadness and guilt. Part way through my lunch walk I just decided that I’d had enough of those thoughts and changed my music to something more uplifting. I reminded myself that my work is important and I receive regular reminders of that through clients thanks and own accomplishments. Every time I help someone find a doctor it’s important. Every time I see someone in jail it’s important. Every time I listen to someone tell their story of sexual abuse for the first time it’s important. Every time I do a safety plan with someone suicidal it’s important. In times of sorrow and helplessness I need to remind myself of the good. I can’t be everything to everyone but I can be something to someone.

September 7, 2014: try sleeping pills

My sleep lately has been horrible and filled frequent wake ups. I used to be a great sleeper. Ideally I’m an eight to nine hours a night kind of gal and ever so occasionally a couch nap sometime during the day. I love sleep, it’s my favourite. I don’t know why the help my body is fighting something it loves so much. If you love it, you should do it!

I saw my doctor Friday for a form and I mentioned my terrible anxiety due to lack of sleep. Now I have prescription sleeping pills. Zopiclone? Something like that anyway. A google search tells me it’s illegal in many countries. That fact alone should tell me something. Regardless, I took one last night and holy fuck what a glorious sleep I had!!!! 11pm to 7:30am with not a single wake up. It was like reuniting with an old friend. You just click and you’re so happy to remember all the good times you’ve had together. You remember how much they mean to you and how much you’ve missed them. You say “let’s keep in touch” even though you know it may be awhile before you see them again. It was really a good fucking sleep. I want to write poetry about it.

I know they’re addictive and to be used as a PRN and so I will have to be conscious of my use. With that said I will take another tonight in hopes of getting my body back into some sort of glorious routine. I am jealous of cats with all their many naps. Also their internet fame. And simplistic love of boxes.

September 6, 2014: Start a University course….. again

Last year I began a university diploma in addictions however due to my own health and let’s be honest, laziness, I did not complete it. $600 poorly spent.

Well, I’ve done it again except a different course. Lately I’ve been very interested in “alternative” therapies such as art, music and horticulture. Talk therapy is of course important but I particularly enjoy working with an individual on task oriented therapy. It’s an easy way to incorporate skill building, networking and self confidence into the therapeutic process.

My own readings lately have involved permaculture and self sustainability of food agriculture. Essentially a natural and sustainable way to support oneself by producing your own food. With those interests and employment interests in mind, I have selected a certificate course called Urban Sustainable Agriculture. Unfortunately like all University courses in countries that do not provide it for free, the course is rather expensive. One $600 course at a time, I will get through.

For myself, I look forward to increasing my own food production without use of pesticides. For my employment, I don’t know where it will lead but there are options. Horticulture is a bit of a lost art that is a specialized and important skill to learn. In terms of horticultural therapy, community gardens are a means to providing food sustainability to low income citizens and encourages engagement for marginalized populations. It can also be an opportunity for aforementioned populations to learn new skills and earn an income.

The course starts in just over a week and I’m rather excited about it. We’ll see how excited I am when I’m working on it for 12 hours a week.

Here I grow again! *collective moan*

September 4, 2014: speak to a high up political figure

I was honored to be selected to represent our work program for a political tour today. For Canadians and Brits, it was the equivalent of a minister and to Americans the equivalent of a governor. It was a bit of a whirlwind tour and I only had about five minutes. We met at our community garden and I spoke about that program as well as a few others we offer. I discussed the purpose and benefits of the programs and even managed to slip in a bit about about our proposal for a social impact bond to the ministry of economics. At that I noticed One of the three secret agent looking men in suits taking notes. That’s got to be good right? I received in person feedback from our director and general manager afterwards that I had done well and that said political figure had been very impressed. Oh, and of course I gave this person my business card for any follow up questions they had. Because who in their right mind would pass up that networking opportunity?!

It’s funny that up until I was about 25ish, public speaking was one of my worst nightmares. Now I don’t give it a second thought and actually enjoy it. That’s a weird thing for an anxious person to enjoy. Here are some pics of our community garden progress. We started late in the year but luckily it’s still very hot so everything is continuing to grow.




Last night while I spent time in solitude I came up with what I believe to be an award winning idea for the treatment of depression. It stems from the snoezelen room. For those not familiar, it is a multisensory room used for therapy of various ailments such as dementia, brain injury and autism. In my days of working in the private sector I was trained in this treatment. I digress, so for people with depression there should be a large apartment type space for treatment. One room would contain the happiest tail waggingist dogs you’ve ever seen. You walk into that room and you’re just surrounded by non-judgemental love. One room would have a constant rain of glitter with spotlights and cheering to make you feel like a fucking rockstar. There would be a kitchen with ice cream and cupcake bars and every imaginable topping available. And just for funsies there would be two guys in one unicorn costume just trotting around shouting Neiiiiiigh all the time. Science take note, this is genius.