A friend of mine posted a comment on FB about how sick she is of people asking that very simple question: How are you? She said that it’s fake and a meaningless gesture because the typical response is “I’m fine, how are you?” And that is most often the end of the conversation as we make our way through our own individual lives. Isn’t it? I partially agree with her. Does anyone really care how you really are? I often find myself asking that question.

But I tried my best to give my friend a positive response by saying that it is better that someone attempts to say hello, how are you? Instead of ignoring your existence altogether. And I told her, that the next time someone asks how you are, maybe try to respond by asking “how much time do you have?”

Thankfully, I know CMHA genuinely cares. The staff / volunteers are well trained to listen without judgement. That is so important. One of my greatest fears is being judged and shamed for not being “normal” … It puts a great deal of pressure on me in my profession to act normal, fit in or else be cast out like a person with a contagious disease.

This is where I struggle. I have lived with anxiety / depression for over 20 years with no formal diagnosis, medication, treatment, etc. I’m surprised I made it this far! I have had some very close calls / near death experiences. Thankfully, I chose a path of post secondary education and studied at Niagara College and Brock University with a focus on Psychology and Sociology. I learned a great deal about myself and the world we live in. It’s a mad, mad, crazy world. People aren’t “crazy” … Life events and circumstances can make us feel anxious, dizzy, angry, depressed, overwhelmed, paranoid, etc…

It’s so important to be grateful, hopeful and optimistic despite all the constant negative messages – especially on the darkest, coldest and rainiest of days. I know that this much easier said than done. I am a survivor of the war with myself and my personal war against the world to allow me to just be me. To allow myself to let go of all the worry, pain and negativity is my greatest challenge going forward.

I recently wrote a poem titled “These Charcoal Butterfly Wings” … Maybe CMHA will let me share at another time. I am not giving up on life just because of my mental illness. My wings can still fly. One day at a time.

Writing this blog and getting it out was helpful. Thank you CMHA!


Peace & Love,