12 Things to Know When a Parent is Diagnosed with Dementia.

Part of how I deal with my mom’s diagnosis of dementia is by listening to a Podcast hosted by two very smart female comedians. It’s called GUYS WE F****D: THE ANTI SLUT-SHAMING PODCAST. It’s a great distraction, especially when driving home from spending time with my mom, which can be one of the most heart-wrenching times to be alone. Before I found the podcast I used to cry all the way home. It’s a welcomed distraction and very educational. 😉

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How Exercise & Sleep Supports Mental Health

By Allison Smith, Guest Blogger, Certified Personal Trainer and Yoga Enthusiast

Depression runs in my family. Both my mothers’ parents took their own lives when she was a teen, and died herself by suicide recently. As difficult as it was, I was motivated more than ever to help others in pain. And so I was honoured when Leslie asked me to speak to her group Professionals Working Well about the importance of exercise and sleep for our mental health. (more…)

When Open Hearts Connect

Open your heart and experience all the emotions. It’s a gift that I seldom open. Most of the time, I’m scared and afraid. I’m scared you will break it, I’m afraid we won’t be connected anymore.

I opened my heart this past week and here is what I found.

Open heart.
Tears in my eyes.
Moved beyond words.
Heavy heart for those who came before us.
Aching love for all that have been affected
Family, friends, strangers, professionals, caregivers.
Stopped in mid sentence by overwhelming emotions.
Caught off guard when I least expect it.
Move through it  – breathe deeply.
Balancing between incredible outrage for those who suffer and the love I experience for all of us,
even those who dishonour us,
even those who stare and call us crazy.

My experience tells me we are all the same, we come from the same place and we have the same needs;
connection,
love,
even if I don’t care to admit it.

Fear stops me from talking, it stops me from connecting, it stops me from loving. (more…)

Hall Pass

When you have been diagnosed with mental illness, life doesn’t stop giving you obstacles to overcome. Life doesn’t give you hall passes, get out of jail free cards or golden tickets. We deal with and work through all the same challenges as people who haven’t been diagnosed.

 

There is no Difference

We get married and divorced; our loved ones die, and there are wonderful births in our families. Our children do well in school, and they fail. We get jobs, and we lose jobs. We are no different from anyone else. Except, we are susceptible to being triggered by any one of the above listed events. Research has shown that anything that puts a stress on our brain (positive and negative) can affect our mood and our stability. It is critical to have support around you and a way to manage these kinds of changes in our lives. (more…)

Letting the Dragon Out…..

As I stood in the warm kitchen with my back up against the sink for support, trying to contain my anxiety, the voice inside my head  kept repeating:

  • ” You can shut this down right now”

  • “The escape is the backdoor, 2 steps to your left”,

  • “Don’t tell him you are crazy, he won’t want to be in a relationship with you”

This repeated in my head over and over and over again.

The warm breeze of late summer was making everything hotter than it should be. I kept reminding myself that there is an escape plan – the back door and my freedom was just steps away. I could be outside away from this conversation in less than 3 seconds. (more…)

The Difference My Family Made

I went to answer the door buzzer. Who is it I said, and then I heard her voice. That sweet loving voice I had heard all of my life. My sister Heather. I told her:  “Ok just hang on I’m just getting ready. “

Getting ready for what I’m not sure, I probably wanted to clean up the apartment, so I began cleaning, again the door buzzer, who is it I said…..again, her voice and this time, my friend Justin was also there. Hey Les are you coming down? ….…”I’m just getting ready”.  I began cleaning again……….the door buzzer, who is it I said? …….it’s Justin and Heather, Leslie we are waiting for you to come down here – what are you doing up there? …..I’m just getting ready. (more…)