Denying homesickness only makes it worse.

I once felt sheer hatred towards this town.

I once felt so alone in this town.

I once felt I was slowly dying in this town.

I once felt that I would never, ever, come back.

The thing with depression. When you hit rock bottom, you feel like you are at the bottom of a dark, damp and cold pit crawling on your hands and knees, stumbling blindly amongst your worst fears and thoughts that reside in the darkness, and to make it worse you are chilled to the bone, your naked and shaking, with a heavy sopping wet wool blanket engulfing you. It’s scratchy, smells like wet dog, and is the only thing you can find in that pit to keep you comfort. The blanket makes it hard to move forward, for you keep stumbling, scraping the palms of your hands raw on the unforgiving rocks, slowly scraping away your sanity, your strength, your soul.

That is what depression feels like when you are truly at your worst.

For me, I felt like an injured fox, cornered in a dirty cage unable to fight back, fight for my life, when I was stuck in this town.

And when I say “stuck” I mean I was still attending High School.

Even though my family surrounded me with love, support, and fought for me to see the best doctors that little voice in my head, like a knife slicing through innocent soft skin, kept reminding me.

You are alone.

Some people don’t understand how this mental illness works.

You slowly surrender to this voice in your head, could be more than one voice, could be just a feeling, but you’re hostage in your own body.

The person you used to be slowly fades into just a faint memory, while your body slowly shuts down.

It is downright scary to be a witness to your own mental breakdown.

And I can only imagine what my family went through as I slowly slipped into a very very deep pit.

I can never repay my family for what they did.

They never shunned me,

never stopped trying,

never gave up on me,

even when I felt like that was the only option.

My younger brother used to see me curled up on the couch crying, and he would bring his colourful blankets from his bedroom to keep me warm as I zoned out watching tv.

My mother and father never left me- wether it be checking in on me, taking me to the hospital, dealing with a suicidal daughter, or forcing me to eat when I refused to eat.

My older brother was away at university for the worst of my depression- but when he came home- his hugs-still on my list of favourite things.

My family accepted my weakness, and slowly brought me back to life with the help of multiple counsellors, drugs and doctors.

My family made me realize; this weakness, that I had hidden for so long.

Was one of my biggest strengths.

When I moved away from this town- I felt liberated.

It was a major step in my therapy to leave what I thought was sucking the life out of me.

I felt like a bird, a bird breaking free from the cold metal cage, shattering the locks and bolts, and never looking back.

North Vancouver, where I live now has many positives.

Art class is going well,

Yoga school is life changing,

But a month or two ago I began to feel homesick.

As soon as the sadness hit me I boot stomped that emotion deep down inside me.

Me? Miss Fort?

NEVER!

But day after day,

each struggle became harder,

and slowly I realized what homesickness really was.

I missed the safety, the sacred space, the nest I had up north filled with unconditional love, and mom’s cooking.

My letters and phone calls home made it apparent I missed my family.

A lot.

My Mother and Father’s encouragement trickling through the phone as I broke down in tears helped me through the last few weeks.

After my wisdom tooth episode, my body decided it was time to heal

But as usual it made a big fuss about it and it wasn’t until I got home that I truly felt better.

Funny how subconsciously my body knew where it was meant to be.

Sunday night after class I took the skytrain to the airport

Ever since my mom had booked me a flight home, my heart warmed at the thought of being in an arm’s reach of my mother, father, brother, and family friends.

I made it through the mid-term exam, the anatomy quiz, the workshops, the lectures, and before I knew it I was speed walking toward the skytrain station. I would have ran, but my bags filled with yoga homework, clothes for cold weather and sugar cookies I had made the day before for my family weighed me down.

I was going home.

For the first time since I moved away.

I was going to see my two dogs who last time I saw was in the rear view mirror driving away at a kennel when I drove down to Vancouver with my mother in the summer.

I was going to sleep in my bed, stay in my room, shower in my shower,

be surrounded with familiarity.

My soul healed just at the thought of this.

As I tugged off my muk luks and emptied my pockets at security I became more and more excited.

What was the first thing I was going to do when I got home?

Raid the fridge?

Fall into bed?

Snuggle my puppies?

Sitting at my gate I chatted with the gentlemen sitting near me

We were all heading up north

All for different reasons

All from different backgrounds

Fort St. James, Burns Lake, or Vanderhoof,

We all knew where each other was going

That first feeling of community,

from two strangers.

I smiled to myself as I boarded,

I pulled out my mittens and adjusted my poppy,

turned off my cell phone, and buckled in to my window seat.

Said goodbye to the city lights of the night

and for the first time in a very long time I was happy to be on the plane, I wasn’t fantasizing about missing my flight, hiding in the bathroom as they announced my name over the sound system, or closing my eyes and trying to get this over with as soon as possible.

For the whole 50 to 60 minutes I chatted with one of the gentlemen from the gate

We soon became friends.

It was a nice way to start off my time home.

Arriving at the Prince George airport I could see my parents pressed up against the glass of the windows waving, I couldn’t help but smile.

I didn’t get far into the airport before I was engulfed in a mom hug then soon a dad hug and was ushered out to the car- to some yummy dinner!

The two-hour drive home was filled with chit-chat, laughter, and catching up.

It felt different,

I don’t know how to explain it exactly-  I was “visiting”

Something I had been wondering what it would be like for so long- to visit my parents, like my parents do with their own.

First thing I did when I got home was drop my bags and bear hug my two dogs Boo and Humphrey. It felt so good to hold them, the feel of their wet noses sniff and nuzzle my face, their tails wagging, their bodies leaning into me so eventually I was flat on the ground in puppy heaven.

Best. Anti-Depressant. Ever.

I then got a tour of the fridge.

Mother had gone shopping for her IBS daughter- gluten dairy free glory cluttered the shelves of the fridge. The fridge was practically a treasure chest of sally proof food.

Walking into my bedroom I noticed my room had been cleaned, flannel sheets had been put on my bed, and extra blankets lay folded at the foot of the bed.

Mom had lotions, shampoo, conditioner, a towel, and cozy sweaters for me to borrow while I’m here.

Even wool socks sat neatly in a pile in my room.

As I went to look for a toothbrush- I turned around and found what else mom had put into my room for my arrival.

Let’s just say…My family-

loves Halloween.

My mom knew I was sad to have missed celebrating with her, so she decided to leave some of the decorations up for me to see.

Of course she put the shrieking midget that pulls its face off to reveal its skull and bulging eyeballs in my room. I giggled to myself as it howled with pain and grumbled about brains as I pressed what I thought was the off button.

Little did I know that when I reentered the room- that I didn’t turn off the creature, so when it shrieked for a second time- it really did get me.

This was about 1am in the morning…

I dragged the monster up to mom’s bedroom begging her to turn it off.

You got me I admit, and for good reasons I haven’t looked under my bed yet.

Once the adrenaline worn down to a mellow whisper, I peeled back the soft sheets and slipped into  my bed.

I had forgotten how comfy this bed was, how plush and magical it seemed compared to my bed back in the city.

I slept until 1 in the afternoon that day.

I woke up with a smile, and have been doing so since that Monday morning.

This is what I was “homesick” for.

It truly should be called “familysick”

But it just doesn’t have the same jingle.

This is one of the views from my home.

xx

Country mouse moves to the City.

Here I am. I actually did it; 

I have moved out of my sleepy little village and have been thrust into a whole new and scary world.

North Vancouver.

Its mind boggling really, the amount of strangers you see in one day here. I was so used to bumping into friends on just a trip to the post office where now I can sit on the skytrain and be utterly surrounded, but still feel completely alone. 

Its a beautiful feeling really, gone are the anxieties of seeing ex boyfriends, nasty people, or just people that you generally avoid because well… You damn well want to. 

But then again those are replaced by drug addicts, men with wandering eyes, or drunk people who have wet themselves and decide to sit beside you. 

Did I mention the last bus I was on smelled like farts and bananas? 

It is an amazing feeling when you have accomplished a dream, it seems unreal. You worry one day you will wake up and still be in your bedroom back in your hometown. But I actually did it, and how inspired and happy i felt when I went for a walk yesterday. That feeling of confidence and power. Not the cocky average teenager stereotype of “invincibility” but more like a feeling of wholeness and pure satisfaction.  

I am still nervous about living in a city, it is a whole different way of life. But I cant wait to embrace and live that way of life, to mix it with my Fort St. James ways (if that is possible) and to overcome the fear and be able to reassure myself that yes… I can do this. 

I am in search of a job, a dentist, a hairdresser, a doctor, a counsellor, a salon, and something for my blisters on my feet. Gone are the days when there is very little to choose from. Now I have to get out and  embrace my inner Nancy Drew and investigate my best options. 

North Vancouver is such a beautiful place. Thank god I live beside a green belt (trees and forest creatures, and a river). If i had chosen a cement box to live in I might have gone completely mad. The people are friendly here, at least the majority of the ones I have encountered. And only a few have smelt like they are in dire need of a shower. I love the cultures and the different styles here. You can be yourself and you wont be judged for it. It is accepted. Something I have longed for for many years. 

I still have lots to learn about this new life in the city, and I am excited for every lesson life decides to throw at me. 

Except the skunk that lives in the children’s park down the road that I have to walk by at night… Id rather not deal with that life lesson because frankly I don’t like tomato juice.

xx

Soon I will become the adult version of me… “Hmm maybe prostitute isn’t the right word. Somehow I sense grandma would not like that.”

Just to let all my relatives know I have no intentions on becoming a prostitute.

It is simply a metaphor.

🙂

So I got a blackberry, and you know what happens when you give a human something that vibrates,flashes pretty colours when you get a message, something well…

awesome, shiny, and new. You become a savage cell-phone user…

You get into the habit of procrastination, oh trust me I was pretty good at procrastinating before I got this beast of a phone. But I can’t blame this phone for me being lazy enough to screw over the blogging world.

So I decided to blame it on being a grade 12 student.

This whole grade 12 thing?

Tis a wee bit nerve-racking, all this pressure to become something,

all this pressure to not end up sleeping outside Tim Horton’s in a cardboard box having entertaining conversations with a tomcat who could less if you were dead or alive.

My older brother got it easy! Ever since he was what like a preteen he knew what his career would be.

Me? I am not so lucky, my mind was like a prostitute to careers, it would change its fancy everyday. Hmm maybe prostitute isn’t  the right word. Somehow I sense grandma would not like that.

Maybe sleaze is better since I didn’t make a profit for changing my mind so many friggin’ times??

Hah.

It seemed everyday something new and exciting interested me, and I set my sights on being that certain amazing person when I grow up.

“I”M GOING TO BE AN ARTIST!, AN ACROBAT!, PROFESSIONAL SOCCER PLAYER!, TEACHER! BIOLOGIST! JOURNALIST! PALIENTOLOGIST! CORONER! NEUROLIGIST! PSYCHOLOGIST! ARCHIOLOGIST! PHOTOGRAPHER! EDITOR! ILLUSTRATOR! SINGER! DANCER! CHOREOGRAPHER! AND THE LIST GOES ON!

** I am just that brilliant that I can’t go find a dictionary and spell some of these words correctly, and the spell check can’t spell them either… ^

maybe I was one of those kids whose curiosity was on overdrive. Not like A.D.H.D though mind you…

It seemed spastic, my mind always is spastic, have you read my writing ?

It’s like a Pomeranian chasing a laser pointer,

on the couch,

attacking the curtains,

smashing into a wall,

jumping repeatedly on the spot,

drool flying everywhere,

I think you get it.

Anyways, do you understand what I just said?

Its okay if you don’t just smile and nod that’s what people usually do, well that’s what I do when I’m stuck in a situation where I have no clue what the hell is being said, (like in math class).

So I’m sure everybody realises that normal people need money to prosper, especially when your last name isn’t “Bieber” or “Sheen” or “Woods” they just need to show up, play a sport and shave on TV,say something or sleep with someone, sing a song that makes little girls wail asking their parents “why can’t I have that JB cutout cardboard that is  life-size  in the shoppers drug mart???”

Like I said, I need a job that can support my Pomeranian of a mind and well, I think being a Pomeranian wouldn’t make any money.

I have always had a knack for drawing and writing, making people laugh, and helping people when they are stuck in a tiffy.

I invented the word “tiffy” to describe that moment when you find yourself standing under a large industrial fan while someone is throwing shit at it. Maybe I didn’t invent the word tiffy but I’m sure that my definition of tiffy was never thought of before.Ive said tiffy to many times…

And now ladies and gentlemen we move on to the conclusion: precisely a more thought-provoking, delicate matter…

I’ve read in magazines that sometimes if you ask your friends what they could see you doing as a career it can be a good tip in helping you decide what you will be doing after the sweet/nasty life of highschool. More nasty than sweet to be honest, more like sitting in a hot tub of acid with frustrating passive aggressive hamsters. Anyways. I’ve got ten months to decides what my next step will be after the exams, after that hat with the annoying tassel, after I get prettied up to spend five hours in a prom dress, after I move onto the next step of my life. I will become an adult version of me.

Why do I find that mildly disturbing?

I’d jump from one scenario to the next: from highschool kid to “______”.
*okay not all the hamsters attending highschool with me are passive aggressive, nor are they hamsters…
How do you know what you want to do? Does it fall from the sky and smack you in the head? Do you have to go through a near death experience to know what you want to do? Or can you just wake up one day, and swing your feet outta your bed, sit up, yawn, and say ” I know what to do with my life now”
Well, if it was that easy, maybe there wouldn’t be anybody having deep conversations with an aloof cat beside the dumpster.

Hopefully the adult version of me will look back on this while I am sitting in a comfortably furnished loft, (the kind you see in CSI… You know the ones where they find the dead model in the bathtub, only mine would not have a dead model in the bath tub, only a rubber ducky…) then I would laugh at how pathetically stressed I was over something that somehow figured itself out, then go to the nearby Timmy’s and order two lemon and honey teas, tea bag left in, and nod kindly to the scruffy man and his cat sitting outside the door, sit beside him and indulge in conversations only cats could think of.

Ciao

xx