Waking Up

It’s like I’ve been sleeping. Not necessarily dreaming, but sleeping. Lost in a that void of darkness that is warm and comforting.

Ten years ago in June 2008 I tried to die by suicide. Ten years ago I wanted to disappear into the never-ending blackness and never return. Looking back, it is no surprise why I got to that point. I’ve talked about it before in previous  posts.

Looking back on my road to recovery I realize I’m not exactly where I want to be. Not yet. These last ten months of my husband being gone for work have stressed my mind to limits I didn’t want to reach again. While I may tout myself as being strong and unbreakable, I do crumble just as much as other people. There are things I know I need to implement to continue to have a healthy mind. I haven’t implemented them and I blame work, no time, stress, life. These are excuses and I recognize them for that.

As I address my recovery, I need to go back. I need to unload how I got to that point ten years ago.

I didn’t have an easy childhood. While it wasn’t as bad as it has been for many others in the world, it was bad enough for me. I’ve had thoughts of suicide since I was eleven years old. These thoughts didn’t progress to the how I would die by suicide until I was thirteen. Before that, I just wanted to disappear. I wanted to go to sleep and never wake up. I wanted the constant pain I felt to just stop. When you’re a child,  you don’t understand what these thoughts mean. I am an adult now, so I understand. I know now.

I tried cutting my arms to see how much it would hurt with the pocket knife my father gave me when I was thirteen. I did it again with a box cutter when I was twenty-four. I have a tattoo over the scars now.

When I was fourteen, I started pulling out my hair. On my head, on my legs, my underarms. I would pluck that hair over and over. I had bald spots in my late teens on the back of my head and would wear my hair in a ponytail or under a bandanna to hide it. I don’t know if I did it because it allowed me to feel some sense of control over the life that I felt was rapidly spiraling out of control. I don’t know if I did it because it provided some sort of relief or if I enjoyed the slight sting that would accompany plucking out a hair, but I did it.

Even now, when I’m distracted and playing with my hair, I might pluck a hair or two. It’s not nearly as bad as it was before, but I have moments of almost-baldness in spots.

In my youth, and even now, I wear the mask. The mask of ‘everything’s fine’. There’s nothing wrong. I can handle this. I can do it. I don’t need help. I used to be really bad at asking for help. There are times when I won’t ask for help because the people I’ve asked have made it seem like an inconvenience to them. I’ve encountered this a lot while living in this town for the last five years. Some people are quick to offer, but when they are asked, it’s clear that they don’t want to. I don’t want people to help me because they feel obligated. So I don’t ask.

In two weeks I will leave this town. My family will once again be a complete unit living under one roof. I will have a new home to paint and decorate. I will have an office to set up as I prepare to work from home. I have so many things to look forward to.

I am only leaving behind two friends. I am finally okay with that.

The stress of everything that I’ve had to deal with on my own over the last ten months has finally hit a breaking point. I am writing this post from a coffee shop. I am on stress leave. There have been a host of things from work struggles to family struggles to depression lying to me that culminated in this leave. I am grateful that I have the means to take this leave.

The recent celebrity suicides have reminded me of my own darkness. They have reminded me that it’s been ten years since my attempt. It’s not like you ever really forget. It’s not the last time I had thoughts of suicide either. Just because I think about it doesn’t mean I’m going to do it. My supports have been lacking, but that is on me. I am using this week of stress leave to redefine what I need to be healthy so that I can put those needs into practice. I am cultivating a plan so that I can be the best me that I can.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

The Spring is a Lie

It’s been a while since I dropped a line here. It’s a balmy -5 (Feels like -12) here in Manitoba. My poor kid keeps asking when spring is going to get here. There’s snow on the ground and ice everywhere. For someone from southern rural Ontario, these temperatures at this time of year are not fun. Here’s a super condensed version of what the hell I’ve been up to in the last few months:

Shit I’ve Done

There have been some changes in personnel at work with people leaving for other opportunities or retirement. The team of 9 when I started is now a team of 5. I’m adapting to the changes, but it doesn’t mean I like them.

I’ve sold my house in the town I live in and have bought a bigger house in a smaller town further away from where I am now. I can work from home, so my job is not in jeopardy. This smaller town should allow my family to slow down and take a breath. It’s been almost a year since my husband went to live and work in a city 2.5 hours away. There have been some struggles on my end but we’re all surviving.

I’m listening to the All-Out 90s playlist on Spotify and I still know all the words to all these songs. The 90s was just last week anyway, right?

I had a coffee date last night with a former coworker/current friend for the first time in a while. I always appreciate when he makes time to hang out with me. I miss working with this guy and I’m jealous of his success, but I also support him 100% and will fight anyone who tries to bring him down. Because I’m a ninja and you don’t mess with my friends.

I’m scattered and all over the place but that’s just how I am. There’s not much I can, or want, to do about it.

Shit I Plan to Do

With the end of classes means I have more time on my hands. More time to write, I hope. I’ve been playing around with Pressbooks and have uploaded some short stories from TAK on there. Considering using Pressbooks as my platform for TAK as a whole when I’m ready. Still undecided on that at the moment.

After we move, I want to buy a free standing heavy bag so I can get back to kickboxing. I will be the cool kid who kickboxes in her basement to old DVDs. I need to get back in shape (I’ve been saying this for….10 years now?) and I think this is the best way I’ll be able to.

I have a house to pack. I’ve packed around 11 boxes so far and they’re only books and I still have 2 bookshelves to pack.

Next Friday I take the final exam of my undergraduate career. It’s a scary moment because after this it’s time to apply for the Master’s program I’ve been working towards for the last 3 years. It’s scary because it’s the end of an era: a way of life. It’s scary because there is no guarantee I’ll even get into the program. It’s also scary because damn: what do I do from here?

I have a tattoo appointment because tattoos are life.

The Joy and the Madness

I’ll probably be more active on here again since I’ve found myself with the time. I’ve been pretty active on Twitter in the last little bit. Tweeting about mental health and being a lovable idiot when it suits me.

I also dyed my hair. Because I’m fun like that.

Aw. Aren’t I just precious?

I’ve also remembered that I fit into t-shirts made for children. Specifically, I can wear an XL (or size 14) in boys. This means I get to wear sweet-ass shirts like this for $8 and no tax:

I am going to buy more because they are amazing.

And thus ends the randomness of my day. I’ll be back to posting musings and perhaps more about my book.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

1-800-273-8255 ft. Alessia Cara, Khalid by Logic

Please visit Suicide Prevention Canada if you need support.

I’ve been on the low
I been taking my time
I feel like I’m out of my mind
It feel like my life ain’t mine
Who can relate?
I’ve been on the low
I been taking my time
I feel like I’m out of my mind
It feel like my life ain’t mine

I don’t wanna be alive
I don’t wanna be alive
I just wanna die today
I just wanna die
I don’t wanna be alive
I don’t wanna be alive
I just wanna die
And let me tell you why

All this other shit I’m talkin’ ’bout they think they know it
I’ve been praying for somebody to save me, no one’s heroic
And my life don’t even matter
I know it I know it I know I’m hurting deep down but can’t show it
I never had a place to call my own
I never had a home
Ain’t nobody callin’ my phone
Where you been? Where you at? What’s on your mind?
They say every life precious but nobody care about mine

I’ve been on the low
I been taking my time
I feel like I’m out of my mind
It feel like my life ain’t mine
Who can relate?
I’ve been on the low
I been taking my time
I feel like I’m out of my mind
It feel like my life ain’t mine

I want you to be alive
I want you to be alive
You don’t gotta die today
You don’t gotta die
I want you to be alive
I want you to be alive
You don’t gotta die
Now lemme tell you why

[Alessia Cara:]
It’s the very first breath
When your head’s been drowning underwater
And it’s the lightness in the air
When you’re there
Chest to chest with a lover
It’s holding on, though the road’s long
And seeing light in the darkest things
And when you stare at your reflection
Finally knowing who it is
I know that you’ll thank God you did

I know where you been, where you are, where you goin’
I know you’re the reason I believe in life
What’s the day without a little night?
I’m just tryna shed a little light
It can be hard
It can be so hard
But you gotta live right now
You got everything to give right now

I’ve been on the low
I been taking my time
I feel like I’m out of my mind
It feel like my life ain’t mine
Who can relate?
I’ve been on the low
I been taking my time
I feel like I’m out of my mind
It feel like my life ain’t mine

I finally wanna be alive
I finally wanna be alive
I don’t wanna die today
I don’t wanna die
I finally wanna be alive
I finally wanna be alive
I don’t wanna die
I don’t wanna die

Pain don’t hurt the same, I know
The lane I travel feels alone
But I’m moving ’til my legs give out
And I see my tears melt in the snow
But I don’t wanna cry
I don’t wanna cry anymore
I wanna feel alive
I don’t even wanna die anymore
Oh I don’t wanna
I don’t wanna
I don’t even wanna die anymore

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments


Today’s post is in honour of Bell’s Let’s Talk initiative they have here in Canada. For today, January 25, 2017, Bell will donate ¢5 for every tweet and retweet with the hashtag #BellLetsTalk to mental health initiatives. This is a big deal for a lot of people and it helps open the dialogue about mental health. My post today is going to focus on that, but I don’t want people to feel like they’re reading something they’re not ready for, or don’t want. So keep reading if you want, but I won’t be offended if you don’t.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

It's Not Me, It's You


I am the worst when it comes to self care. I forget about looking after my own mental health more often than not. There’s no good reason for it, other than to say that it wasn’t something I grew up witnessing. Being the eldest in a single parent household I watched my mother work herself to the bone, sometimes doing two jobs at once. In my final year of high school I worked three jobs and went to school full time. I’m even currently looking at getting a part time job so that my husband doesn’t have to work while he’s in his final year of his program.

I know I need to do better. The house can look after itself for the ten minutes it would take for me to do some lead meditation or just read a book by myself.

I downloaded the Headspace app and am encouraging a friend to do it as well. While I can’t afford to subscribe, we can still support each other and inspire each other to do the free sessions.

In the meantime, I recently deleted my Facebook account.

I’ve been on Facebook since it came out; way back when it was supposed to be used as a tool to find out who was in your classes so that you can make friends.

Why did I make this change?

I had been finding that Facebook was increasing my anxiety. I had 40 friends and I was cutting back all the time. I just found that I was obsessively checking it, borderline stalking people and then getting upset over things I was seeing.

And getting jealous.

For no reason.

As well, Facebook was just another way for people to contact me, even when I didn’t want them to. Despite having a public blog and writing on it daily there are times when I want to be able to disconnect from all the crap and just chill on my own. I was tired of the pieces of information that were not essential to my life.

While I have faced harassment through this blog I found that even more harassment was happening through my author page on Facebook. People were getting contacted and being told incorrect information in order to slander my reputation.

So now it’s done.

I’ve still got Twitter and I have this site. I still have a work-related email address that I can filter easily.

Honestly, I feel so much better now that I’ve shut Facebook down. The compulsion to sign in and look at things that don’t matter is basically gone. I sent a message to the people who matter and gave them an email address if they wanted to keep in touch. The people I didn’t message were because I already have ways to connect with them outside of Facebook.

It’s a pretty sweet feeling of release and I’ve spent a whole weekend not even worrying about it.

Yeah. This feels good!

Bye FB


Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 1 comment

Mindful Musings #65

Mindful Musings

Day in

Day out.

Trapped at a desk.

Trapped in a room.

In a basement.

Filtered light and filtered air.

Two screens hum and shine

Along with overhead fluorescent lights.




A wave of nausea presents itself.

The body is reminding you.

Go outside.

Breathe the air.

Soak up the sun.

Be alive.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Musings, 0 comments

The Purge

So you may have noticed my absence this last week. I had taken a few days off from work to organize my house.

When I say organize, I am not exaggerating. Would you like to see pictures of my office in the before set up? This is before I forced my husband to help me tidy. I don’t have any after photos at the moment because there is still some work to be done. But maybe you can understand why I’ve not been able to do any writing on TAK or anything else for that matter, aside from the Mindful Musings I started a while ago.

If you are faint of heart and clutter makes you anxious, look away.

The blue box was not always in there. We brought it in to help with the papers that needed to go. There were some empty boxes that got kicked out as well. This isn’t even the whole room. This is just the messiest parts of it.

I thought I was going to die having it like this for a long time. My poor husband had no choice but to be forced into work right away as soon as the kids were dropped off to care. There was a lot of shredding, recycling, selling and organizing that happened. That desk you can see in the second picture sold that day. Obviously I cleaned it off before I posted it but it’s gone. The replacement desk was purchased on Friday thanks to Dad and it was built Friday night. I still need to paint, get a piece or two of art I wanted from Etsy, get a bookshelf (my manga collection is insane and running out of space) and get a sofa/loveseat/bed thingy.

After this space was cleaned out, I felt great! With the desk being set up and slightly organized (the bog boxes from the Ikea desk are still in the room as our recycle bin is full) I feel like it’s fresher. We’re also going to put up a new curtain rod (the one they left is ugly and missing pieces) as well as new curtains. Well, new/old curtains. We had them in our house in Edmonton. They’re a creamy-beige colour. The curtains the previous home owners left us are these deep brown/red things. Which aren’t bad, but I don’t want something that dark in there.

I’m excited to get this going and I’ll be happier once it’s painted and done. I’ll be sure to post after pictures so  you all don’t think I live in a sty. I’ll also be sure to make you jealous of my sweet writing set up 😉

Until then, maybe you need to catch the Spring Cleaning bug? It’s amazing what it can do for your mental health 😀

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Last night I shut my phone off at about 7:20pm. I made myself a tea and I put on one of my favourite movies (Summer Wars, in Japanese with English subtitles, in case you were wondering). I just sat on my couch fully paying attention to the magic before me while not being distracted by anything. No text messages, no phone calls, no urge to Google something while watching the show because I became distracted for a short moment.

After I enjoyed my movie, I did some reflecting. I have been under a lot of stress lately and it mostly centres on one thing I don’t have control over. So I thought about what I do  have control over. What in my life, right then, could I control.

Last night I resigned from my position on the Board of Directors for the organization I was involved with.

I did this for a few reasons:

  • By volunteering for Co-Chair I was putting myself in a position where I was going to be expected to give more than I am capable of.
  • The sole reason I volunteered for Co-Chair was because the organization needs one, not because I wanted to. It was pressure I put on myself.
  • It’s not fun. I’m not sure what I was expecting when I volunteered for the board. While the people who sit on the board and those who are employed by the organization are a group of the most amazing women I have ever met, volunteering in that capacity does not give me anything in return.

I am one of those people who generally sits and writes out pros and cons before doing anything. I did that before I applied to the job I have now, I did that before my husband applied to school. I did that before I decided on which educational path I want to go for. Hell, when I was mapping out the end of Three Abandoned Kingdoms I did that to make sure I was satisfied with the way I wanted the novel to go.

While I still feel like a fish on land in most respects, the fact that I no longer have to concern myself with the intricate inner workings of the board has lifted a huge weight off my shoulders. I no longer have to attend the morning meeting tomorrow. My husband has already asked for it off, so that means that we have an entire day with the family as a whole where no one needs to leave.

While I was very distraught and upset when I resigned from the board, it was the best thing I could have done for myself at this time.

I learned to say no.


Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 1 comment

Christmas Party #2

Today I have a Christmas Party/Lunch that will occur where I volunteer. I sit on the Board of Directors for a Women’s Resource Centre where I live. We assist women and their children who have been subjected to family violence primarily, but there is a lot that we do. I recently became the Co-Chair for the Advocacy and Events Committee which is why you guys have been seeing so much about domestic violence lately. I don’t think this site is the right spot for those kinds of things, so I may be moving those topics to another location.

In the meantime, today is our Christmas get-together. Volunteers who help out with the Centre will also be present. They were able to schedule it during the noon hour so I could make it on my lunch. Someone who works in the same building as I do is also a Board Member so she is going to give me a ride.

I had a counselling appointment last night and it went really well. Having a third party who doesn’t know me personally and is given just a brief of my situation agree that I am not, in fact, crazy, is really nice. I see her again next week, which is also awesome. I wasn’t expecting to be able to see her the very next week. The last time I went through counselling it was weeks between sessions, so this is great. My counsellor has this comfortable feel to her; like an aunt. So far, I like it.

She also has her M.Ed in Education and Guidance Counselling! That’s the program I really wanted to take! She took it from the school I wanted to as well and without a B.Ed. The last time I looked into it it was made to seem like it would be extremely difficult to do that. Maybe she’ll be able to give me some perspective on this later.

What we did identify last night is that I am under an incredible amount of stress. I didn’t realize how much was actually impacting me until we laid it all out:

  • In the last 2 years I have:
    • Moved from one province to another
    • Had a baby
    • I am on my 4th job
    • We bought a house
    • Said house has issues that have cost a lot of money
    • I did not end up going to school like planned
    • My husband left his job and started school
    • My eldest started school
    • I recently had to deal with some unpleasantness that just pushed everything over the edge
    • We’re waiting on money that may never come
  • Yesterday my eldest son was sent to the office at school for being rude and not listening. He also hit a worker at his daycare.
  • My youngest is getting his final four teeth.

So yeah, it’s been a rough go. That’s a lot to have happen in such a short period of time. I’m stressed. My husband is stressed. My kids are stressed.

I’m hoping these appointments will give me tools to help manage this stress. Help me build an action plan so that going forward I’ll be able to handle all of this better. I can do it. I’ve got this. And I’ve got the support to go get this.


Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

Tonight We're Gonna Party Like It's 1999!

Well, maybe not 1999. Tonight is my work Christmas party! I’m pretty excited. All our remote staff members will be in the office today and this evening we will meet up at the Executive Director’s house for snacks and presents! We’re doing this present exchange thing where you can steal presents from each other? I’ve never done it before, so it will be new to me. My husband is a bit nervous since he’s the introverted type, so I hope he has a good time. There will be other introverts there that he can hang out with, so I think it will be fun. I won’t force him to do anything silly and I’ll be on my best behaviour too.


Speaking of the Husband he has an exam today! This week is all exams for him, but after this week he’s done for the year! I think he’s excited to be done the first term of his program. It’s been a bit rough in terms of adjusting to the reduced income, the new schedule, the new pressures and the new workload. We’ve kind of sorted that out so I think it should be all right.

Due to being under a lot of unnecessary stress lately I’ve booked in with a counsellor. I don’t see anything wrong with taking care of my mental health, yet others see it as a weakness. Mental health is just as important as physical health. I am in a new situation with new stresses and in order to maintain the way of life that I want, I need to get some help. This doesn’t mean I’m weak; far from it. I am strong enough to admit when I need help. I am only human. I’ve spent far too long in my life trying to be a super-human that it has taken me a long time to realise that it’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to admit I can’t do it all on my own.

Because I’m going to see a counsellor doesn’t mean I’m sick or broken. It means I just need that assistance in maintaining a balance. I’m not rich enough to be able to go to meditation or yoga AND kickboxing AND any other potential course to  help me keep my sanity. I would rather admit I need the help and get it than put my family through a tough spot. I’m a Libra. We’re all about balance.


I’m usually really good at maintaining my balance, but like I said, there have been some unforeseen stresses this past month. My place of employment has an employee assistance program to help with things like this.

I am not weak. I will not break. If anything, I am stronger for this.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments