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In My Life, I Loved You More

Summer, 1996

When my Dad figured out that you could borrow CDs and tapes from the library and copy them, he was in bliss, and for a few weeks before our family vacation, you were guaranteed to find him in his office, making mixed tapes. Tapes upon tapes, with his neat handwriting scrawled on the spine.

That summer, my parents took me to Alberta and British Columbia for a 3-week vacation where we would drive across the two provinces, enjoying the mountains, hot springs, valleys and rugged terrains that Western Canada has to offer.

The Beatles became the soundtrack of that summer. I’d known The Beatles since coming from the womb, of course, my Mom being amongst the demographic that created Beatlemania, but my repertoire was limited to the ol’ favourites, “I Wanna Hold Your Hand”-type stuff. My Dad opened me up to a whole other side of The Beatles. The “Strawberry Fields Forever”-kind of stuff — that changed my music life forever.

“There are places I remember, all my life though some have changed…”

“In My Life” soon became my absolute favourite song by The Beatles. I can recall perking up my ears and singing along to that song every time it would play in the cassette player during that road trip. My Dad loved it so much, that on his mixed tape, he put the Bette Midler cover of the same song. She did a great version too.

For years after that, that song became synonymous with my Dad. I always would be playing the song, and would be brought back to that summer of carefree travel through Canada with my Mom and Dad… when everything was the way it should be. I even thought that it would be the song that I danced to with my Dad on my wedding day, and would get choked up imagining doing a father-daughter dance to the song that was my Dad to me.

Summer, 2009

We had set up a hospital bed in our living room. My Dad had become too sick to climb the stairs to sleep in his bedroom. During those months, he had constant visitors, and we were always sure to have people through to keep him company.

He took the news of his imminent death with the courage and grace that I would only expect of my Dad. He had told me that he wasn’t scared to die, but he had been scared to lose his mind, that being what he took the most pride in of the man he was.

It was a quiet Saturday, like all weekends during his illness, I had made the weekend trip to be with him, be with my family. My Mom and sisters weren’t around, so I thought it would be the perfect time for us. I put on “In My Life”.

“There are places I remember, all my life though some have changed…”

“Just like you had given this song to me all those years ago, Dad, this is now my song to you.”

I sat and held his hand while we listened to the song, where we both recalled the sights, smells, and sounds of that wonderful trip we had taken the decade earlier. I can still remember the way he looked, his pleasant face at a place of peace as he shared that moment with his youngest daughter.

Not long after that, he started to lose his mental abilities as cancer ravaged away at him. He died a few weeks later. I’ll always have that song to bring me back to these precious moments with my Daddy.

“In my life, I loved you more.”

Second Single

“Second single” is what I’ve called this time of my life, and let me tell you, it’s pretty awesome.

In the 20s and earlier 30s, I used to feel a lot of pressure to ditch my singlehood and get married. I was so single that people didn’t even bother to give me a “plus one” at weddings. I still held my singleness like a badge of honor, but I did feel a bit of shame to be in my “marrying stage” and not be partnered up.

Then I partnered up for a few years, got married (oops) and now I’m a month away from divorce… and I couldn’t be more happy to be back to single, both in my heart and on paper.

Second single is an amazing stage in life. I’ve allowed myself this time to BREATHE and just be ME again. Dating is a lot of fun – I’ve been having maybe too much fun with some amazing people – but the lads that come into my life know where I stand in terms of protecting my singlehood. Friendships are #1 in this stage of life, especially with the ones who are in a similar stage as I am. Career and entrepreneurship fuels my fire again, but the difference this time, is that everything is on my terms. I’m free.

The pressure to partner up is gone — been there, done that — because I know how much stronger I am standing on my own two feet. Divorce has made me bitter, but it hasn’t made me give up on love, and I know that when the time/person is right, it could happen again…

But for now, it’s just me and Roky, and I wouldn’t change a thing about it.

No, I’m Not High… Here’s Why

“You must be high all the time…” “How high are you?” “Are you high right now?” are common questions that regular cannabis consumers get from those who don’t consume like us.

Truth be told, I consume cannabis daily, yet to say I’m ever “high” would be an inaccuracy.

This is because the plant feeds my body’s needs via my endocannabinoid system, and does all the incredible things it needs to my body because of the THC and the cannabinoids contained within the plant.

My body (and probably yours too!) is deficient in the naturally occurring endocannabinoids that the body produces – this is why I have troubles with chronic pain, anxiety, appetite, mood, sleep, and a few other things when not medicating.

Keeping on the plant on regular intervals and adding phytocannabinoids (plant-based cannabinoids) keeps me balanced, my body feeling good, my appetite somewhat regular, my sleep regulated, and most of all, I operate at a baseline of “good”.

Sure, there is a bit of a psychoactive effect, but my brain works best on THC – it’s like all the pieces that are scattered around my brain line up, and I’m able to see things clearly. Daily use also builds up a THC tolerance, so I’m never as affected than someone who doesn’t use, using.

Cannabis allows me to operate at my best- stable, balanced, aware, in control, and overall more effective when I’m not using cannabis.

I’m not stoned, fried, baked… I’m healthy all because of this incredible plant the earth gifted us.

Be The Hero of Your Own Story: IWD 2019

Normally my International Women’s Day posts shout out all the other amazing women in my life, but this year, I’m celebrating me.

This year, I saved myself. I recognized that where I was, who I was with, and what I was doing was not resulting in the happiness I deserved for my life. Things got really dark for a while and then one day, I booked a plane ticket from Costa Rica back home to Canada with the full intent on saving myself.

I left my husband behind knowing that I was putting myself before our marriage. I recognized that he was not the prince who would save me, and when it came down to it, it was up to me to be the hero of my own story.

I struggled, I cried, I questioned all my decisions, but eventually came to peace with knowing that saving myself was the best thing for me and those I truly love. I let go of the man who had once been my knight in shining armour.

Fast forward 8 months, and I am stronger than ever. I’ve found that happiness within myself again. I have filled my life with people and opportunities that allow me to thrive. I’m where I am supposed to be in BC and on Vancouver Island.

Be the hero of your own story. Don’t rely on the prince or knight to save you. Usually they are just an asshole in tinfoil.

Celebrate yourself this IWD 2019!

Mental Illness is a Bull You Can Grab By the Horns

I’m gonna let you in on a little secret. When you live with mental illness, you celebrate the good days, HUGE.

Each time you come back from a crash, it’s like a rebirth, where you have another chance to get yourself on track.

I was a bit of a trainwreck in December; it was a dark month. But since 2019 hit, I’m celebrating 2 full months and a bit of clean, safe, happy health.

My medications are (finally) perfectly balanced. I’m surrounded by the right people. I’m in the best place for my soul right now. I’ve accessed the right mental health supports (even if it wasn’t in my own community). I’ve shared my story. I’ve helped others.

My doctor told me that I would one day recover from my mental illness, because mine is indeed “curable”, and I’m feeling it. I’m not in the clear, but boy, am I feeling it.

Mental illness is a bull you can take by the horns.

Let’s Talk about Psilocybin

Let’s take a moment to talk about psilocybin. Magic mushrooms.

While cannabis is my only regular substance of choice, I do dose mushrooms every few months as a therapeutic activity, something I’ve embraced for the last year and a half.

Psilocybin is being used increasingly as a tool for therapy, becoming a proven method for helping to manage addiction, depression, and a host of other mental health disorders.

Personally, I like the great deal of introspection that I get when using psilocybin. It helps me access parts of my psyche that are otherwise closed off. It allows me to surface parts of myself that I know need work. It brings up memories that I had forgotten, but remain a part of who I am. It allows you to see the details and intricacies of the world in ways you can’t see when not under the influence.

I am a BIG proponent of psilocybin and mark my words, you’re going to start hearing a lot more about the magic of the mushroom. If anyone has any questions about this wonder of the universe, I’m your girl.

Further Reading:

https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/psilocybin-legal-therapy-mdma-753946/?fbclid=IwAR2vtvaZ_xy-On95mlSSwA3gBI3XEcuyLjv8FKoG3k-FpMQ-6zpiw2dWRzY

https://www.healthline.com/health-news/benefits-of-medical-mushrooms?fbclid=IwAR1Y2NFBg0bXjYmu4Tafb3zkxpuAUPumBIUYivP2YsZUQlz8yhgeFvk-VzQ#The-state-of-psilocybin-research-

https://www.thisisinsider.com/magic-mushrooms-depression-treatment-ssri-alternative-2019-2?fbclid=IwAR2ZjkDc-WqZlz0gGE7NnbO05LPdApe860S2ClwwvVnuDc7TjqG0swcpy-o

I Died in Costa Rica

As I move towards positive mental health, and build my life back in Canada and here in BC, my Mom reminded me of something really important: I was literally dying in Costa Rica.
 
I don’t know if you know what it feels like to experience the loss of your own soul. It’s losing the people, structures, support systems that keep you whole. It’s having parts of yourself so overshadowed by someone else, that you literally begin to forget who you are.
 
I cried every day in Costa Rica for the last 6 months I was there. The depression and sheer emptiness was something I’d never felt before. I was not keeping the best company (save for a few saviors, and you know who you are), and that led to extreme loneliness I’d never felt before.
 
The expat life may look “shiny”, and I probably made it look that way in hindsight, but in actuality, the 2 years I spent in Costa Rica were 2 of the unhappiest years of my life. You can only go to the beach so much, eat exquisite food so much, watch so many sunsets before you learn how shallow of a life expat life can be.
 
I’m now back in the “land of the living” and just by virtue of being in my own country, I feel whole again. I’m surrounded by the necessary supports that weren’t there in Costa Rica. I’m balanced. I’ve regained the parts of myself that had been stolen from me, and I feel more “me” and more mentally healthy than I have in years.
 
This is all just to say that there is a big gap between what you see, what is really going on. While I have no regrets, I’m glad that chapter of my life is over. Because this chapter is undoubtedly the best one yet.