2020 is a fucking bitch

Bordel, m√™me pas 48h que j’ai apprise la nouvelle, et √ßa ne passe juste pas.

Coeur lourd et triste ce matin.

Une grande amie est disparue. Une femme qui √©tait toujours pr√©sente pour nous √©couter, nous remonter le moral avec des gif hilarant ou des paroles rassurantes. Une m√®re “Indigne” qui comprenait bien mes rages et crises de parentalit√©, et qui les partageait bien avec moi autour d’une bonne bouteille de vino. Une femme qui en avait beaucoup √† raconter sur la vie, quand tu prenais le temps de l’√©couter. Elle √©tait peut-√™tre introvertie, et parlait peu dans les gros √©v√©nements, mais son oeil observait toujours toute avec une pr√©cision de feu.

Et s’il y a une chose qu’elle voudrait qu’on se souvienne d’elle, c’est qu’elle a bien transmise ses valeurs de f√©minisme, d’ouverture d’esprit, et de joie de vivre m√™me en temps de noirceur √† son enfant, et √† ses amis.

Criss que ça fait mal, et tu vas me manquer, chère amie.

——

Dans les prochaines semaines/mois/ann√©e, vous allez me trouvez gossante, mais je vais CLAIREMENT faire mon r√īle de Maman-Tigre-H√©licopt√®re et poker souvent mon entourage pour m’assurer que vous allez “correct”, au minimum. 2020 est une sale ann√©e de marde, et √ßa ne s’enligne pas pour se terminer facilement non plus.

Et I get it: des fois, c’est + facile de parler √† des √©trangers que des amis. Faque gardes ce num√©ro en t√™te quand tu es vraiment dans un √©tat d’esprit tr√®s noir. Ils vont t’√©couter avec patience, compr√©hension, et douceur.

Suicide Action Montreal
Appelez sans frais, partout au Québec, le 1 866 APPELLE (277-3553)

Update – Fuck 2020 #3

J’ai besoin de vacances. Loin de toute, l√†. Perdue dans un chalet sur le bord d’un lac, sans contact internet itou.

Toute m’√©coeure, m’enrage, et m’√©puise. Je suis tann√©e de voir mes proches l’avoir rough sur pleins de pans de leurs vies (perso, professionnelles, parentales, financi√®re, etc). Je suis tann√©e d’√™tre press√©e par les imp√©ratifs de la surproductivit√© sur TOUS les pans de nos vies, alors que tout mon monde va mal. Je suis tann√©e d’√™tre un vide √©motionel qui flatline tellement je me sens overwhelmed par l’√©tat du monde, et tous les impacts sur moi, mon enfant, mon entourage, mes amis, mes proches…et que, dans mon cas, je re√ßois juste de l’aide du type “Mindfulness: penses √† comment tu te sens en regardant ton jardin int√©rieur/espace de m√©ditation mental, ne penses pas aux autres, juste toi l√†, n’√©coute pu ta voix du pass√©, penses au moment pr√©sent, l√†…”

Fuck ton moment pr√©sent, s√©rieux l√†! Ton moment pr√©sent dans le monde qu’on a est √† chier, s√©rieux ūü§¨

#LesGens m’√©coeurent beaucoup, l’empathie et la patience prennent le bord, c’est assez d√©gueulasse comment √ßa se pogne sur tout et sur rien partout, tant online que offline…

2020, tu es vraiment pas une année facile pour personne

Update – Fuck 2020 #2

Ce soir, je pleure un peu. Un deuil, en quelque sorte.

En f√©vrier dernier, j’ai appliqu√©, un peu sur un coup de t√™te (mais apr√®s des ann√©es de r√©flexion!), au SRAM. √áa faisait des ann√©es que je pensais me r√©orienter dans un domaine en relation avec l’aide aux autres, l’impact social, et l’intervention. M√™me durant mes √©tudes en multim√©dia au d√©but des ann√©es 2000, je zieutais souvent les programmes en travail social et en psychologie, et je me demandais √† chaque session “Et si je changeais…?”

Zoom vers 2020, et finalement je me lance: je m’inscris au DEC en travail social au C√©gep du Vieux-Montr√©al. SURPRISE: je suis accept√©e! Un peu en choc (mes notes post-secondaires ne sont pas trop reluisantes, car mettons que pour plusieurs raisons, au travers des ann√©es, j’ai toujours eu de la difficult√© √† bien performer durant mes √©tudes, et je n’ai donc jamais eu un bulletin…fort, mettons), j’ai eu la confirmation d’acceptation finale poru l’automne 2020. Retour √† l’√©cole pr√©vue fin ao√Ľt 2020.

Mais…bien s√Ľr, 2020 ayant commenc√© de fa√ßon catastrophique (mettons que les frasques politique de nos voisins du Sud, + tous les probl√®mes climatiques observ√©s en d√©but d’ann√©e ont bien lanc√© le bal d’une ann√©e qui s’annon√ßait merdique), je me retrouve donc, comme la plan√®te toute enti√®re, affect√©e par l’arriv√©e soudaine du coronavirus dans nos vies en Mars. Mettons que tout fut mit en veilleuse, et j’ai √©t√© parmi les chanceux du monde du travail √† avoir encore une job, √† ce moment-l√†!

Les semaines ont pass√©es, et toutes les p√©rip√©ties de ces mois en “arr√™t” social et physique m’ont fait r√©fl√©chir…beaucoup. Sur comment je devais envisager mon futur imm√©diat, mais aussi celui de mes proches, de mon enfant, de mes amis…

Est-ce que je peux me permettre de sacrer l√† une carri√®re en tech bien entam√©e? (Veux veut pas, √ßa fait 20 ans que je code des sites web de fa√ßon professionnelle: ce n’est pas rien!)

Est-ce que je peux me permettre de vivre sur un salaire r√©duit pendant quelques ann√©es? Dans l’√©conomie full instable qu’est maintenant la n√ītre? Une √©conomie Post-Covid19, qui aura encore d’autres hauts et bas dans les prochains mois? Alors que les jobs en tech sont pas mal “garanti” pour un long bout?

En tant que m√®re monoparentale, est-ce que je peux me permettre un salaire sous la moyenne nationale, alors que j’ai un enfant √† faire vivre sur mon salaire? (Ne me partez pas sur le sujet du salaire des femmes inf√©rieures √† celui des hommes…)

Avec la flamb√©e rapide des loyers montr√©alais, comment puis-je arriver √† habiter dans une maison d√©cente si la majorit√© de mon salaire sert √† payer le loyer? COmment je fais pour payer le reste des comptes, qui sont quand m√™me essentiels malgr√© tous les “gourous” de la finance personnelle peuvent cracher en ondes? (Ne me partez pas non plus sur le sujet des osti de caves qui parlent de finance personnelle alors qu’ils sont compl√®tement d√©connect√© de la r√©alit√©…)

Et s’il y a une 2e vague du coronavirus: je vais √™tre pogn√©e √† garder mon enfant √† la maison encore, √† devoir combiner le travail + l’√©ducation √† la maison. Aurais-je vraiment le temps de faire mes cours √† moi?

√áa fait des mois maintenant que je tourne en boucle cette r√©flexion sur mon futur professionnel, mon retour √† l’√©cole, et de ce que je veux finalement faire dans la vie. Quand je commence √† me mettre dans le “mindset” du retour √† l’√©cole et de me mettre le nez dans mes cours en travail social, j’arr√™te pas d’√™tre en col√®re, car je vois ensuite d’autres cours qui m’int√©ressent (allo les cours d’histoire, ts√©!), ou d’autres cours qui seraient pourtant + n√©cessaire √† mon domaine professionel actuel (Allo les cours de gestion de projets, ou en cybers√©curit√©!), et je pogne les nerfs parce que je peux pas toute faire en m√™me temps. J’arrive pas √† garder un focus de + d’une semaine sur un sujet, alors je commence √† me demander comment je vais r√©ussir √† √©tudier dans un DEC pendant 3 ans…

Bref, ce soir, je suis triste, parce que je vois bien que je ne retournerai pas √† l’√©cole. Du moins, pas pń•ysiquement, pas √† temps plein. Et pas pour une r√©orientation de carri√®re, for sur. Et pas maintenant…

Je commence √† douter que je retournerai un jour sur les bancs d’√©cole :'(

Update – Fuck 2020 #1

It’s been…a damn fucking while! I know, I know: I always promise to write more, but then time passes, and I just forget to write any stuff here (stupid social medias for taking all my attention away ūüėõ )

Anyway, as promised, some updates on me:

  • started a new job, and FINALLY got my nose into React and full-time Javascript development mode. I still hate how the web has become fully Javascript-y (more thoughts on this in another post), but I must admit that it DOES help create web apps in an interesting AND QUICK way.
  • spent pretty much all my confinement time at my partner’s house. It was A WHILE I haven’t shared my daily living time with someone else, and I must admit that…I MISSED IT big times <3
    While the cohabitation was extraordinary AMAZING and easy-going, it can presents some challenges when merging parental lifestyles into the mix. Still, I would do it again, 11/10
  • the pandemic DID made me reflect A LOT on my future, and what I want to do/desire in every spheres of my live. I still have a feeling of “What do I want to do when I’ll become an adult”, but I feel like if I am “mature” enough to have a clear path in my head, and stop focusing on others’ judgment on my life.
  • I am coming out of this pandemic hating more the people and our society, and wanting more “living in a cabin in the forest”. Fuck did people exasperated me this year! WEAR YOUR DAMN MASK, people!

Now need more wine, will probably write more later… #AllBetsAreOn #WhenWillIWriteAgain?

Ces derniers 10 ans…

Mon dieu que les 10 dernieres ann√©es furent….WOW

La trentaine; le mariage; la maternit√©; la parentalit√©; les 10 projets commenc√©s, et les 9 mourrus au travers de la d√©cennie; la famille; les Repos du Guerrier; la carri√®re qui avance √† petits pas; le syndr√īme de l’imposteur; les cycles d√©pressifs; les crises d’anxi√©t√©; les envies de mourrir; les envies de vivre; les up and down √©motionnelles; les diagnostics; les traumatismes; les peurs; les ins√©curit√©s; les abandons; les traitements; la th√©rapie qui sauve la vie; les Macaques, toujours l√†; un amour qui te trahit; les meilleurs amis qui partent; le divorce amicale; la coparentalit√© de groupe; les enfants des autres; la red√©couverte de soi; les ambitions r√©alistes qui reviennent; la petite famille de chats; les amiti√©s surprises; les hobbies qui changent; la tech; l’infosec qui me passionne √† nouveau; la Nano qui grandit et m’√©merveille malgr√© ses crises et anxi√©t√©s propre √† elle…

J’en oublie, mais en m√™me temps, c’est en m√©moire dans ma t√™te: je constate que la Debbie de 2010 n’est d√©finitivement plus la m√™me que celle qui s’appr√™te √† franchir 2020 et #bientotLaQuarantaine avec s√©r√©nit√©, confiance en elle-m√™me, et bien entour√©e, tant de ses pr√©cieux vieux sages Macaques que de ses nouveaux Macaques.

2019 aura √©t√© une ann√©e o√Ļ j’aurai ENFIN “jeter” pas mal tous les “d√©chets” qu’ils restaient et m’emp√™chaient d’avancer dans la vie. Cet ann√©e finit en force, car de nouveaux commencement me sont arriv√©s depuis juin, et franchement, il √©tait temps!

√Ä 2020 et la quarantaine: la Pirate est par√©e √† ton abordage, pr√™te √† aller cueillir les tr√©sors que tu lui caches ūüėČ

I am now officially #Crazy

Yesterday was my appointment with a new medical team for my mental health “status” and diagnostic.

For those who don’t know, a r√©sum√©: for now 3 years, I’ve been managing a lot of mental health issues, depression, general anxiety, flashbacks, triggers, mood swings, etc… that, when discussed with many health specialists, made us realize that I may have a mental health condition. Like bipolar, or borderline. It wasn’t just depression and general anxiety: it was clearly more.

So I was nervous as fuck, yesterday. Uber-Anxious, too, that they might overlook my conditions, and finally say “You ain’t sick in the brain, go home”, or underestimate it. I was scared of judgment, too, I’ll admit it: that I was wayyyyyy crazier than I thought…

I felt listened. I felt not judged. I felt respected with my analysis, my answers, my hypothesis of my own condition and life, my thoughts, my experiences…

So, by the end of the afternoon, it was official:I am crazy!
(joking! … well, almost ūüėČ )

But overall, it went well. I have a new psychiatrist assigned to me for a while (FINALLY! It took 3 years to HAVE one just for my case!). With her resident-psychiatrist who will be doing most of the work with me. My medication doesn’t change (for now) but we are now doing a very intense follow-up on this. More blood tests, more health log & journal, to figure out the *precise* condition of my brain. But for now, my main hypothesis has been accepted AND confirmed now by 3 psychiatrists, a resident, 2 social workers, 1 psychologist, and my own family doctor:

Non-specific bipolar/not-quite-cyclothymia/Borderline-but-not-totally. All caused by trauma/PTSD.

Yeah, it’s a mouthful. BUT it’s something.

What does it means?

Well, to start: my brain didn’t grow up like everybody else. I came from a family background where extreme poverty, childhood neglect/abuse of different kinds, and malnutrition impacted my brain chemistry when growing up. I probably lack some essential brain hormones and cells necessary to have a “normal” mood like everybody else. My hormones in my body have been impacted during my teenage years by this lack of hormones. So when my periods started, it only started amplifying my mood swings. Mood swings that were HIGHLY different than the average person. Mood swings that made me acted…rashly; irrational; angry at time; depressed as time; imprevisible. Unpredictable, for most of you all. A total chaotic clusterfuck of emotional ticking rage/depression bomb at time.

Not fun.

Yeah, I know, it sucks. It explains a lot, I guess. It explains A LOT of my past decisions during my early adulthood. Of my mood swings, my depressive phases. My HIGH phases (at least 2 per year, in January and September, and a little lower High phase in June, too). It explains a lot of what a lot of people/acquaintances (those who didn’t take the time to know me, at the time) observed as my “chaotic personality”.It explains all the anxiety I’ve developed afterwards, because of my past childhood and my decisions during those mood swings.

It just confirmed everything.

I now am “labeled” by my medical team, and in the health system. We have more tools, now, available for me, to make my life and daily struggles a bit more manageable. It won’t completely heal me: it never will. A life of trauma can NEVER be erased from my DNA and brain chemistry. I’m stuck like that.

But now, I have a team that is behind me, have tools, medications and knowledge to help me get better on a day-to-day basis. I am not alone. I can only facilitate my brain chemistry by following some steps to make it better, more stable. I am not crazy, au final!

This is me. Debbie: an unclassifiable Pirate person, not crazy but scrapped by Life, and survivor of bad stuffs. Crazy cat lady extraordinaire. Badass ass-kicker of liars and douchebags.

I’ll survive this and stay strong!

3 years ago…

[TRIGGER WARNING: mental health, depression, suicide]

Looking at my Facebook memories, and being reminded that…
3 years ago, I wanted to kill myself.

I was lucky, that day in mid-May: two dear friends of mine were holding my hands and were there when I went to the psychiatric emergency of the Douglas Hospital. I had plans, I had the mindset. In my mind, I was ready to end all this suffering in my head and in my heart…

The constant emptiness. The fear of being abandoned. Or lied to. Or abused. Or traumatised yet again. Or being psychologically violated, humiliated, abused, diminished. The fear of being inadequate. Of being an impostor. Of being a monster. Of being too much.

I’ve lived too many traumatic events that left its imprints in my brain while I grew up, and the depressive anxious mind of mine was winning over my will to live. I just couldn’t anymore. All my defence mechanisms & protective actions and shields weren’t protecting me against my sick brain anymore.

But…yeah, I was lucky that some saw it. I was lucky that some had the intuition to reach to me, propose to hold my hands and bring me to the hospital. No judging. No moralising words. Nothing.
Just compassion, care, and love.

I felt it, and it kicked me just enough to reactivate that “warrior Debbie” in my mind, and fight. To finally go get the medical help I needed, because I couldn’t heal alone anymore.I needed help, and I needed NOW before doing the irreparable…And I needed to do it for my kiddo. I just couldn’t live with the thought that she could blame herself for my death. I just couldn’t.
So, 3 years ago, I started what I knew was going to be a hard healing process.

It is still ongoing, mind you all: We are almost there with fine-tuning my medication; I did a lot of introspective work on myself with my psychologist; I work diligently with my doctor and whichever’s psychiatrist assigned to my case; I call my social worker at my Pointe-Saint-Charles clinic when I feel there can be a relapse in my depressive phase; I’m on the waiting list for many medical appointments at the Douglas Hospital for my mental troubles affecting me, and to see how we can start repair (probably never totally repair a 100%. but close enough!) my brain, and make me feel better;I’m talking more about my current conditions, and I’m not shying away: I DO have a mental health problem that can make me not function properly in different spheres of my life (be it work, friends, family, social, etc).

For the last two weeks, being reminded of THAT day 3 years ago on Facebook made me reflect on how far I came around and worked hard.
I am still doing it, mind you. But yes, I saw all the work coming into effect when, in the last few days, I was confronted with some personal events arising. I saw how I kept strong even with the maelstrom of intense emotions; I was able to keep a clear mind and think; I didn’t succumb to some impulsive and risky “bomb-type” decisions; I didn’t overreacted. I was just able to stick to my ideas, my values, and my worth, and move on. Solve that shit like the Surviving Warrior that I am.

There can be relapses, in the future, for another depression phase, or even a suicidal one: a traumatised brain like mine won’t really ever heal from all of that. BUT…with all the help I am getting, and work I am doing, I can only hope that those phases will distance itself each time, taking more time before it happens again.

Today I am happy to be alive, and to have fought that dying thought 3 years ago. Today, I am happy to still be around, and be there for my daughter.
Today, I am happy to be me.

=====

May is the month of Mental Health Awareness in the US. and we had a National Week for Mental Health Awareness at the beginning of the month. It’s important to remind our self that we aren’t the only one struggling alone in our corners: close to 1 person on 4 (25%) will be dealing with mental health trouble during its adulthood.

We need to talk more about our mental health. It’s important! And no, we aren’t alone: people care!

We have two wonderful organisations here that help raise awareness: Mouvement Santé mentale Québec
Association québécoise de prévention du suicide (AQPS)
ACSM РAssociation canadienne pour la santé mentale РFiliale de Québec

And there is also some online groups and websites that give place to people sharing their own personal mental struggles and troubles:
The Mighty
Humain Avant Tout
Project Semicolon

Also, if you need to talk, I am there. I’m always available to hear people’s stories, their own struggles, and be a listening mind. I’ve been there, I know that fight, and I understand.

You are cared. You are loved. You ain’t alone.

Me neither.

#MentalHealth #MentalHealthAwareness #SantéMentale #Suicide #Depression #Anxiety #CPTSD #PTSD #Trauma

On dealing with mental health issues: the BPD probability

In the last few months, I had to deal with the fact that I may suffer from borderline personality disorder (BPD). After talking with my medical team over this possibility, I read a lot on that subject, and I thought a lot about myself in these last few months. It does explain a LOT of past behaviours and reactions. And ever since I became aware of its possibility, I change a lot of stuff in my life to make it better (and it did!).

But there is still one main point characterizing BPD that I have a hard time dealing with: the constant, ever-eternal, chronic feeling of emptiness. 

Boooyyyyyyyy do I have that one HARD! And fuck do I hate it.

But…it does explain A LOT in my past: how I was never able to focus on one project at a time (and especially bring it to “completion”/finish); how I was always jumping from one thing to another, never satisfied, never happy after the happy rush from its beginnings; the hard time to focus at school, always happy to start the semester, but always struggling to finish it (let’s not talk about my university grades; the never-ending ADHD side of myself which always struggle to finish anything…fuuuuucccckkkkkkkk!);

So now, I’m trying to see if I can change this point a little. Push myself a little to NOT drop whatever new project/thing I try or start. It’s hard, but if I deal with it one day at a time, I might manage it…

Quote of the day

When you prefer confiding to strangers instead of your friends, and when you feel better following random strangers’ accounts online than friends’‚Ķ

That’s a weird state to find yourself into! ????

Me, on Twitter

It’s that “Luddite period” of the year for me ?

It’s that time of the year, again…The time when just seeing a computer makes my skin crawls, my eyes roll all the way back to the back of my head, and where my brain just…shuts down.

I have that urge again.

The urge to just drop everything tech-related, and isolate myself in a cabin. Far in the woods. Far from society. For at least a month every year (and since I’ve been working in my work field – that is now 18 years! fucking wow!), I’ve always had that “urge” to disconnect and stop touching a computer. Code nothing. Design and play nothing on a computer. Just….not touch a damn computer. Like if my life would stop right there if I touched a computer. Crazy, i know, but that’s the feelings I felt every single time I was/am in that mindset. I kinda find it infuriating. And debilitating. Especially when I need to work, you see. Because, well…I need to gain money to life? And normally,¬†juussstttttt normally, I don’t hate my work?

Yeaaahhhhhh, kinda a bad timing, that urge ?

I also have some physical symptoms, where I want to cry, or puke, or I just become aggressive when I see a computer. Crazy, uh?

So I managed to grab some tips and advice, to survive that period of the year where I just feel like a fucking Luddite:

  • no touching a computer outside of work. like: REALLY no touching after I leave the office.
  • no reading books or online feeds/blogs/sites related to anything tech/web
  • disconnect by watching numb TV shows
  • bingeing through my Netflix huge¬†to watch¬† list!
  • read! Read, read, reaaaaddddddddd many books: history, scifi, fantasy, etc…
  • take walks, and go on urban exploration and photo walks
  • just sit on my balcony and watch the clouds move by
  • run and play and talk with my daughter
  • no tech conference or meetups
  • no helping friends with their websites
  • sleep!
  • go out with my friends

So yeah….it’s that time of the year, again. Lucky for me, this time, it’s happening during summertime. At least I can enjoy tons of outside activities and procrastinating moments in the sun, I guess ūüėČ

Who else has this type of feelings?