Let’s Talk About Mental Health

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There are lots of reasons I was happy to move to Canada–a loving husband and universal health care are only two out of a whole passel. And since I’ve moved, I’ve found lots more reasons to be happy here. One of them is Bell Let’s Talk. Bell is a Canadian telecom company, and say what you will about the vertical integration/monopolization of that industry here, Bell’s annual Let’s Talk day is something that makes me proud to live in Canada.

Every year on #BellLetsTalk day, Bell donates 5 cents to mental health initiatives for each text message, mobile and long distance call, Twitter hashtag mention, and Facebook share including the image.* As of this morning, there are over 44 million interactions already!

I love that it’s “Let’s Talk” day. Because that’s exactly what we need to do: Continue reading

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I’m in a BOOK!

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You guys! I’m in a BOOK! And yes the capital letters there make it look like I’m yelling. THAT’S BECAUSE I AM!

I AM IN A REAL-LIFE MADE-FROM-PAPER WITH-WORDS-ON-THE-PAGES BOOK!

Ahem. Sorry. I’ll try to control myself. But did you hear? I’m in a BOOK!

Ok, it’s seriously (mostly) out of my system now. You have to understand, I have been a voracious reader for most of my life. When I was a kid, we’d go to the library as a family, and each of us would take out a huge stack of books. It was a point of pride that I read every Doctor Who Target novelization from the Muskego Public Library—as well as everything in the young adult section. And then I moved on to the grown-up science fiction section before I was even in High School. I am a Reader.* It’s part of my basic makeup. In a way, I see books as magical, sacred objects. So much of my upbringing centered around them, it’s hard to imagine my life without books.

Anyway, that might give you an idea why the thought of being in one is so mind-boggling to me. It’s kind of like when Continue reading

My Reading Renaissance (& Whom to Blame)

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When I was a kid, I was a reader. No, a Reader. Capital R. I read voraciously. I started before kindergarten, reading these weird Dick and Jane ripoffs that had a little girl, a little boy, and a dog. I’m pretty sure the girl’s name was Wendy, but I can’t remember the boy or the dog.* Okay, they might not have been “ripoffs”. For all I know, they came first. I do remember other kids in kindergarten not knowing what I was talking about when I mentioned them. I was barely 5, and I was already “weird” for reading books the other kids hadn’t heard of. This trend was to continue for most of my life.

Anyway, from there, I graduated to Nancy Drew, The Dana Girls, and Encyclopedia Brown. I wanted to be a private detective and lapped up just about everything they had in the school library (except for the Hardy Boys, because boys were boring). Then I discovered sci-fi and fantasy, and it was goodbye to every moment of spare time. I was a Reader. Escaping into books was the Best Thing.

We’d go to the library as a family every month, and my mom would come home with Continue reading

Puzzling out Anxiety

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My life is awesome. Really, truly, amazingly fantastic. And if you could hear me saying these words, you’d hear they’re not words of gratitude (though I am SO grateful). Right now, they’re words ringing with defiance. Because at the moment, nothing feels very awesome or fantastic. I know that it is. And that knowledge is a big part of what keeps me going at times like this.

If you know me well or have been following me online long, you’re probably aware I struggle with mental health from time to time. I’ve already talked about depression a bit on this blog, but I also deal with anxiety. In fact, as of late, anxiety has wrestled its way to the top of the heap when it comes to trying to trick me into thinking everything sucks.

Everything does not suck.

At this very moment, I may be scared of pretty much everything. I might be convinced it’s never going to get any better. I’m in an emotional equivalent of a cavern where there’s light outside, but none of it is shining on me.

But you know what? Continue reading

Paralyzed by Success

Last week I explained a bit about why I’ve been absent of late. But a busy schedule isn’t the whole story. To get at that, we have to do the unthinkable (actually, more like the over-thinkable) and delve into my head. Scary, I know. But when it comes down to it, my biggest obstacle has always been my own brain. And this time I’m not talking about my struggle with depression and anxiety (though they do play a role). No, this time I’m talking about how I manage to be my own worst enemy, even when (perhaps especially when) I’m successful.

The Good

Last year at this time, I launched a Patreon site. The idea was people might actually be interested in reading what I wrote (they were!), and that would motivate me to write more (it did!). Also, money coming as a direct result of writing was no small incentive (it was!). As the parentheticals imply this worked! In 2014, I posted fully three times more than I did in 2013. In that respect, Patreon has been a resounding success. (And let me take a moment to once again thank all my spectacular patrons. You all rock my socks off. Legit.)

The Bad

On the flip side, it also backfired. Continue reading

2014 – My Biggest Year Yet

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Hello good readers! I almost typed “good listeners” right there, which probably gives you an idea of why I’ve been so absent here of late. My podcasting schedule got a little crazy over the last few months. I’m working on strategies to manage my time better, and I hope that 2015 brings me success with that.

This wasn’t supposed to be a 2014 wrap-up post.* I don’t really do those. Mostly because I have a terrible memory, and my brain can’t just call up nifty events that happened without some prompting. I can point to a few biggies though. My life changed more in this past year than ever before.

I moved! To a whole new** country!

Continue reading