Embracing Hurt

Today it hurts and that's ok.

I find myself laying here at the end of my weekend.  I'm slightly tired, drawn, I have given a lot of energy lately, happily and with purpose.  But I feel sad.  It is not overwhelming me because I know it's place.  I know it's origin and I accept it for what it is.  A moment in my life that I can put where it belongs.  I can allow it to be and know it is not all that I am.  Today has passed in minutes, in seconds, many of them great.  I will not allow this feeling to consume my day or the memories of it.  It will only own the time I spend acknowledging it.

I can be sad, it's ok to be sad.  It is a real emotion that is far less desirable than others.  It does not have to come with the title of depression and if it does that is also ok.  There are losses.  There are voids and people that I miss.  There are struggles I face, that people I care about face.  They sometimes make me sad and that's ok.

I can allow myself to be uncomfortable.  I don't need to always be in control.  I can accept moments that force me to cope, to identify what is inside me and allow it to guide me towards the balance I need.  These feelings are important, I do not need to fear them.  They are there to remind me.  They are reminding me to put myself in check and to care for myself with the same love and compassion I would like to offer others.

Today there is hurt, but hurt is not defining today!


Power Shift

I've been so incredibly and happily overwhelmed by the reaction to sharing my story.  I've had the opportunity to meet so many incredible people, share stories and take part of so many important discussions.  I had a moment today during my most recent speaking engagement at UofT that I felt the need to share.  On a side note, moving forward, I will do my best to find my way here at least weekly.  Both fortunately and unfortunately I was not prepared for just how much would come from this and between that, work, hockey, life, well this has fallen by the wayside.  So, I do promise to try harder to stay consistent moving forward.

So today, I spoke with a group in partnership with UofTWellness and the Hart House.  It was a last minute engagement aimed at providing students and staff the opportunity to come out and share some time focused on Mental Health.  I'm always amazed by the questions I'm asked and the discussions that come from sharing my story.  As though the walls just fall for a moment and people feel the freedom of acceptance and understanding.  I find it so refreshing, cathartic even! It is perhaps some of the best therapy I've ever completed, entirely exposed and recognizing that there is no value to my editing my answers for approval.  Today I was asked, "now that you've shared your story, do you feel any less like a pariah?"

Seriously contemplate that question for a moment because I'm pretty confident it revisited every potential issue that I ever contemplated in breaking my silence in the first place.  However, the answer came so easily to me.

Take the power away from those who judge you and the judgement no longer matters.  I spent ten years petrified of how people would react to me, see me, judge me.  I would be shocked if anybody could come close to attaining any negative judgement even close to that I had of myself.  The failure, the shame, the embarrassment.

I had lunch a couple of days ago with an incredible man, Dr. Peter Jensen, and when I told him I was forced to stop my schooling when I was "diagnosed" he commented on the fact that it seemed I had never let academics get in the way of my education.  Every day in this life is a day we can learn.

Today, for the woman who posed that question to me, I thank you.  I had learned the lesson but to realize it out loud was an entirely enlightening experience. Others judgements' only have as much power as we give them and if the judgement is ignorant or without grounds, the level of impact that will have on us is entirely within our control.