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R.I.P. Robin Williams

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I was stunned when I found out that Robin Williams has left this world, and I was even more heartbroken to find out how. That definitely hits me deep. He was such a great actor, so funny and had this great sincerity. A lot of comedians seem to battle depression; I suppose comedy is a outlet to deal with those inner demons. I can only hope that those that suffer with their own demons can find a better way to heal their hearts other than ending their lives. Even with my own demons, I can’t imagine ever wanting to leave this world when there is so much possibility and hope.

Life gets better, but you need to hang on.

From Aladdin to Hook to Mrs. Doubtfire and the very underrated The Crazy Ones (which I think I’ll be rewatching very soon now), I’ll always remember his spirit, and will continue to laugh with him when I see him on screen – albeit with deep sadness – as I think about the pain that must have been in his heart. Rest in peace you funny, amazing man. Make those angels laugh.

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International Suicide Hotlines: http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html

US Suicide Hotlines: http://www.suicide.org/suicide-hotlines.html

How You Can Be Super Better

I found SuperBetter.com literally just yesterday, after watching one of the TED Talks with Jane McGonigal. I was a little skeptical at first. The video seemed interesting but I wasn’t entirely convinced that it could help me. I admit that the beginning just seems like a push for people to play more video games, but it does get more interesting closer to the end and does shift to focusing more on health and wellness. The SuperBetter site itself is made to feel like a simple game. Find little ways to improve aspects in your life and find healing by completing tasks, collecting allies, gaining power ups and defeating the bad guys. Who doesn’t love unlocking achievements and completing quests? It all sounded really easy – and fun – so I decided to give it a try. I think the video is worth the watch, and I hope that doing these daily small tasks on SuperBetter will help with my anxiety and stress in the long run. And really, who doesn’t want to live an extra 10 years?

One of the ‘quests’ on SuperBetter is to write a list of all my worries, stresses and fears, and then make a separate list of all the things I’m happy about, grateful for, and find enjoyable right now. So I made my negative list first, and to be honest, my negative list was long. Really long. I was getting a little worried there that my positive list would not be as long as the negative one. But interestingly enough, once I started the positive list, I found that I could really keep going on and on with this list as well.. I was worried my negative list would overwhelm my positive list, but this was not the case. How enlightening, really! How wonderful life is, no matter how negative you may feel at times.

Here’s my positive list from that exercise, because really, that’s what matters the most:

I am grateful for…

– my mom who goes above and beyond to bring me happiness
– my dad who will do whatever it takes to help me with anything and everything
– my brothers who have always been there to help me in any way, and have always looked out for me
– my friends, always there for me through it all to create fantastic memories
– the love of my life, so incredibly understanding, loving, and everything I could ever hope for
– this magnificent country with its magnificent people, health care, opportunities and equality
– television. really. my place to get away, my time to escape and live in another world with crazy friends and stories to stay with me always
– my health. yes there are hiccups but I am so grateful for how I am now when there is so much suffering in the world
– having a roof over my head, a fridge full of food, heat warming my toes, and light where there is darkness above
– creating artwork that has actually had an impact on someone’s life
– the internet. what wonders that have come from it that have had an impact on my life
– being able to travel over 2000 miles, to be able to see the clouds from above: a sight some may never see in their life
– music. it really is life changing
– my culture, its traditions and how proud I am to be who I am
– books. I can learn anything and everything from the words laid before me
– inside jokes. who doesn’t love a silly secret
– being able to (almost) find an app to help me with anything!
– the new year. new beginnings. new outlooks.
– laughter. without it, what is the point in living, really?

Overcoming Anxiety One Worry At A Time

I deal with anxiety. A lot! My life is one worry after the next, and that kind of sucks. So I got my hands on The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook recently, because really, I don’t think I can really overcome something without really understanding it first. I haven’t read a lot of it yet, but these workbooks, like The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook, are incredibly thorough and informative. Reading about different anxiety disorders and the questions that the book asks, I’m certain that I’m dealing with “Generalized Anxiety Disorder”..

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“Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by chronic anxiety that persists for at least six months *but is unaccompanied by panic attacks, phobias, or obsessions.* You simply experience persistent anxiety and worry without the complicating features of other anxiety disorders. To be given a diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder, your anxiety and worry must focus on two or more stressful life circumstances (such as finances, relationships, health, work problems, or school performances) a majority of days during a six-month period. It’s common, if you’re dealing with generalized anxiety disorder, to have a large number of worries and to spend a lot of your time worrying. Yet you find it difficult to exercise much control over your worrying. Moreover, the intensity and frequency of the worry are always out of proportion to the actual likelihood of the feared events happening.

“In addition to frequent, hard-to-control worry, generalized anxiety disorder involves having at least three of the following six symptoms (with some symptoms present more days than not over the past six months):

– tense – feeling keyed up
– being easily fatigued
– difficulty concentrating
– irritability
– muscle tightness
– difficulties with sleep”
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Well, I can’t say that I necessarily suffer from depression, but anxiety sure makes things depressing! I really do appreciate this book though.. it’ll further discuss ways to deal with anxieties and maybe, fingers crossed, I can really use these methods in my life. I really need to push myself to read more.. without my worries distracting me!

Do you suffer from anxiety? How do you deal with it?

#BellLetsTalk Because Mental Health is Important

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Did you know that today is Bell Lets Talk Day? Bell Canada will donate 5¢ to mental health initiatives across Canada with every text and long distance call made by a Bell customer. Mental health initiatives? Uh, heck yes! I’ve been texting like a fiend already today. What a topic that’s near and dear to my heart.

But no worries – people all around the world are now helping with this day because Bell is also donating for every tweet sent using the hashtag #BellLetsTalk – so lets get those tweets going! They are also donating 5¢ for every share that their facebook post receives.

Much love to all those that struggle like I do with mental health issues. You are not alone.

SecretAnxiety1

 

The Sunrise

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The rain is coming down and the skies are dark with clouds. The tree above seems to fall apart like the sky. This painting, though visually different, is actually very similar to The Balloon. Life is harsh now, and you may have lost hope, but times do change, and the sun will rise again to fill the sky with warmth once more.

Half of this painting is dark and dreary. The tree appears to be dying but the other side is beautiful and strong. The painting gradually moves into warmer, brighter colours where the glorious sun rises up. Look forward to that sun because tomorrow is another day!

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The Balloon

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“The Balloon” represents a time when you might feel a little hopeless. Everything around you seems to be crashing down and you are trapped. Trapped and tired. So very tired.

But close your eyes and listen. Listen to that breeze blowing all around you. Feel it surround you. And breathe.

And when you are ready, open those eyes and take a look around you. Look all around, because a glimmer of hope may just be a little closer than you think, if only you would open those eyes.

A Better Rainbow of Crazy. Plus Letting Go: White Rabbit Painting

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about where I wanted to go with my Etsy shop for a few weeks now. I wasn’t really satisfied with what was there and it wasn’t really me. I mean, yeah, the love for cute, colourful animals is a part of me but I’ve felt like I could always do so much more than that.

Under the Skin

I’ve learned that I’ve really wanted to put more of myself into my paintings and into the shop. I guess you could say that I want to bring a bit more “crazy” into Rainbow of Crazy. I’ve gone through a lot emotionally over the last several years and struggled through a lot of physical pain with my fibromyalgia, the brain fogs and the mental ups and downs. I want to bring some of that into my paintings.

A little while ago, Shawn had brought up a great point that I didn’t really think about before: over the past few months, I would talk to him about how I didn’t really know what to paint and how I’d be stuck for ideas, but back when I first started to paint, I created imagery like this painting that dealt with my fibromyalgia, and he said that I never had to tell him about the paintings.. I would just paint them. I didn’t have to hesitate, I didn’t struggle with it. I simply painted what I knew.

I want to explore this emotional side more and see what comes out. I really do want to look at my shop, at a portfolio that I created and be like, “you know what? I’m really proud of everything there. Because it’s totally me.

Let Go

This painting is a glimpse of that “crazy” of Rainbow of Crazy. One of the things people with fibromyalgia talk about is something called “fibro fog”, where your brain just feels really foggy or fuzzy. Though not exactly like that, something that can be a little similar is the feeling of being  disconnected. Quite a while ago, I had read about Dissociation and specifically Depersonalization disorder, and it’s this feeling of detachment from your surroundings, or even from your physical body. Ever feel like you’re in a movie? Floating around aimlessly? Where mentally, your brain actually feels like it’s miles away from your body, like you can see yourself from above. I can’t actually say that I truly have this disorder, but I’ve felt this way before. It was one of the strangest feelings ever, and this painting is kind of my way of touching on that subject and that feeling of just.. floating.

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