I Did It..

I survived eight months of school, at a new university, surrounded by new people…and I did not even relapse. I came close, however I was surrounded by people who were able to point out my self-destructive behaviour before it really even started.

I know I abandoned my readers for eight months, and for that I am sorry, but I needed time to process the changes and new life situations I have faced and am continuing to face every day. I am pleased to announce that I feel stronger and more courageous than I have ever felt before.

I have learned some “fun” facts over the last 8 months of my life.

  1. I am extremely jaded. I do not let myself get close to anyone, however I have…friends(?) who feel like they are close to me. I currently have two people who call me their best friends. Bails is one of them, and she is a best friend, but I still keep her at arms length. I feel like she accepts that, and allows me to be jaded. I don’t know if she is just enabling me or if she knows that this is just how it is.
  2. I am lonely, and that feeling is partially self-induced. The legitimate excuses aside, I suck at socializing. I hate having to leave my house to hang out with people, and the majority of the people I have in my life right now do not want to leave the city to come to my house, either because I live too far away, or because they do not have a vehicle.
  3. If I am ever going to meet a woman who will end up being my future girlfriend, I really need to get over myself and get out into the world and be awesome again. The idea of this makes me feel all resentful and I just end up staying at home, surfing Tumblr or playing games with First Boyfriend
  4. First Boyfriend and I are “in love”, but in our own messed up, whack job kind of way. He does not feel things like normal people…and then again, neither do I. His blunted emotions are as strong as they will ever be for me, he wants to spend the rest of his life with me, but he does not know what love feels like, so we met in the middle and decided to call it lurve.
  5. I have severe osteoarthritis in my right knee and I could not walk for over three months. I received a cortisone injection in October, and have been using topical diclofenac ever since. Six months later and I can finally work out again. The sad part is, I hit that dreaded 200lbs again, and that really hit me hard.
  6. Despite having crazy body issues, First Boyfriend still finds me attractive, and because of that, I am not having the same crazy emotional roller coaster that I did when Lumberjack and I were together. Even though I only see First Boyfriend for 12 weeks a year, his affirmations of my sexuality have helped me see my weight problem as something I am capable of changing…and for myself, not for anyone else.
  7. My depression is in remission (though I am considering getting back into counselling for the social issues).
    – Remission does not mean my recovery is over. Every day is challenge just to get out of bed, get dressed, go to school/work, go to the gym, study, play games, and go to bed, but now every one of these tasks are infinitely easier than they were just a year ago. 
  8. I spend a portion of every day metaphorically looking over my shoulder to see if the “Darkness” is lurking, waiting for any kind of weakness so that is can consume me again. I do not believe this behaviour is unhealthy. I feel as though the acknowledgement of that side of me allows me to self-care and move forward the next day. Knowing relapse is a possibility allows me to keep myself in check and hyperaware of my feelings.
  9. NUMBERS DO NOT DEFINE ME AS A PERSON. My GPA and my relation to gravity (i.e., my weight) do not determine who I am or will be later in life. They are just a part of my every day, and some times my grades will be higher and the scale will say a lower number than others. This is part of life, and I am happy to live.
  10. I HAVE BEEN OFF PRISTIQ SINCE AUGUST, AND SINCE THEN MY SEX LIFE HAS REBOUNDED TO ABOUT HALF OF WHAT IT WAS AND I AM FINALLY SLEEPING THE WHOLE NIGHT AGAIN! I was on buproprion for a few months, and now I am considering going back on until after the summer is officially here (my area of Canada gets sporadic sun in the Spring). I do not need the meds to function, but they definitely help me reach a higher level every day and that makes me feel good.

I am absolutely sure that there are more things that I realized about my life, but I have been been sitting in front of a computer for over 12 hours and I would really like to get some sleep.

My new self-care routine is going to involve a little more WordPress and a little less Tumblr. I am hoping to write something every night before bed on the days that I have been to the gym, and I would really like to bring back Positive Mondays.

Good Night, and mad love

Healing Letters Part One

I wrote this a month ago and it has been sitting in my files since then.  I have been trying to decide whether or not I needed to post it (avoidance of drama is my #1 priority lately), but I have learned through experience, therapy, and friends that sometimes things need to be put out into the Universe to finally feel the closure you need most.

So, here is the first instalment of my Healing Letters.  I want to send a very special thank you to Yoshi for looking this over and making sure that there were no “glaring errors to take my power away”.

Dear YOU:

All this time I blamed HIM for driving a wedge between us, but recent evidence has proven the contrary.

With the recent evidence, I am finally able to close the chapter between us and move on to something better. You have taught me so many lessons about what I should expect out of my friends, and for that I am forever grateful.

I must say, I am disappointed in you. For years you led me to believe I could trust you, and as a result I kept your negative comments about people behind their backs to myself despite the internal conflict it caused. I kept my mouth shut, and let you complain about the people you were nice to, and I let you contradict yourself for as long as I was humanly able. This was my first mistake.

I watched you cycle through friends, one after another. I grew cautious, worried when I would be next, though I took relief in your expressions of sincerity towards what we were. You promised to be my “best friend for life”, and I believed you, even when things became crazy. This was my second mistake.

I went through a very dark time because I was exhausted from people using me, walking all over me, and disrespecting me. I let people destroy me, and you lead me down the path of disillusionment that you were holding me up. I discovered very late in our friendship that, in fact, you were putting on a face, and really couldn’t tolerate my darkness anymore. Instead of telling me, you told everyone else, and slowly pushed me out of your life.  Despite seeing you do it to others, I ignored the signs. This was my third mistake.

I brought you to my family’s second home, hoping that tranquility and heat during those cold, dark winter days would help reconcile our friendship from the crumbling situation we were in. I believed that some time away from everyone else would give us a chance to be best friends again, and help both of us heal from our different situations. Taking you there was my fourth mistake.

The following summer, when things between First Boyfriend and I came to their peak, I trusted you to help me. I, in a moment of desperation, sent an email to First Boyfriend detailing an ultimatum that would make or break our romantic relationship. I sent it to you for guidance, figuring that what I sent you stayed between us. A week later, HE confronted First Boyfriend with the details of my email, asking him if he was happy. I packed up everything I had in our camper and ran to my car. I almost left First Boyfriend because I assumed he told HIM everything. Luckily, a family member stopped me, dragged First Boyfriend to my hiding place, and we talked out what happened. He thought I had sent the email to HIM for an opinion…which only left one other person who could have shared.

When I confronted you, you said, “I don’t remember”, and then later “HE dragged it out of me, HE does things to me.” I believed you, and started to grudge HIM for my problems with First Boyfriend and You. This was my fifth mistake.

When school started a few months later, while driving to the school hockey game, you told me that our employers were “pissed at me” and that because “[our boss] hadn’t spoken to me, [I wasn’t] getting in trouble”. Seconds later, you told me that our hockey boss was angry with me because of an event that had happened a week before. These two statements had my anxiety so high that I could barely function. I knew I had to reconcile with the people who were “angry” with me, so I confronted them about the situations.

I spoke to our hockey boss first, pulling her aside during the intermission between periods. When I asked her if she was upset with me, she looked at me like I grew a second head. She told me that I did what I had to do to get the situation under control, and while it could have been handled better, it was fine. I trusted you, so, on the way home, I asked you again what she had said to you. Your response: “I don’t remember”…

Alarm bells chimed in my head; those were the exact words you had sent to me during the fiasco with HIM. Things were falling into parallel again, and you were becoming defensive…

I contacted our boss next; I asked him what was going on. I was in complete tears since I didn’t know what was happening, or how to deal with it. He was in as much shock as I was, so I told him everything you said. He became just as upset as I was, and he promised me that everything would be fixed as soon as he could get things under control. He told me I was doing an amazing job, and that he couldn’t think of anyone else who could do the job better than I was.

With this information in hand, I contacted our co-workers who you said were mad at me. I was told that what you said had been a complete exaggeration to the point where it wasn’t even truthful anymore. There was some disappointment that things were not being put on the website within a set period of time, but otherwise I was fine. I wasn’t getting fired, and I wasn’t losing any pay.

My head was wheeling.

I didn’t know what to do.

After the situation with HIM that summer added to the recent events, I did the only thing I could do to protect myself. I cut you out of my life.

The funny part of it was how little you actually tried to fix it.

We fell into the pattern of ignoring each other, and our “friends” were stuck between us. I don’t fault them for taking your “side” since you were not so distraught with the loss of your best friend on top of major depression, the death of your horse, and a relationship that was falling apart again. They practiced self-preservation, and I am okay with that.

Now, I should probably tell you about that recent evidence I have stumbled upon…

Last weekend, I was partying with First Boyfriend, HIM, and their boss for a birthday party. You came up in conversation, and HE and I started talking about what happened. HE asked me what happened between you and I, and because I had so much angst towards HIM after everything that happened, I told HIM that HE was the problem. HE was what caused the canyon between us.

HE showed me that my belief was inaccurate.

There, in HIS messaging history was you complaining about me, telling HIM that I was going to “drive you to drink”, and that you couldn’t handle me “whining” about my life anymore. When HE asked you what you meant, you willingly sent him screenshots of the email I sent you in confidence.

My heart dropped.

It turns out that everything you told me was a lie. It turns out that all my negative emotions towards HIM were misguided. Everything I “knew” was false.

As devastated as I was, I am happy that I finally have the closure I desperately needed. I am finally over what happened between us.

I can finally move on.

The next time I say the words “best friends”, I am going to make damned sure that I will never make the same mistakes I made with you.

Thank you.

I Fell Again

I haven’t been keeping up with my blog and I am sorry. Things in life seem to catch up with me every once in a while, I end up losing my place, and I fall behind.

Right after I had a conversation with Scarlett about how great I was doing, my brain said “haha, just kidding!” and everything fell apart on me.

Mom and R saw it coming long before I did, and I think they tried to show me the signs, but I completely missed it.

Three days after talking to Scarlett, I had a complete mental breakdown in the parking lot of my former University. I was (unknowingly) self-sabotaging my relationship with First Boyfriend (again), I was struggling with not continuing my job with the school (though I kept a strong appearance despite my disappointment in a few decisions made), I missed Bails, and my birthday was a few days away.

It is funny how a few things can pile up on you when you are strung out from school anxiety.

It is not funny when everything dawns on you all at once.

I had conversations with some of the most important people in my life (mom, First Boyfriend, the school Psychologist – who had supported me through everything over the last two years-’ Bails, and R), and everyone agreed that it was time to tie off anything holding me to that school and find something that will help me grow more as a person.

The day I signed the withdrawal forms was the day I found out I had injured my knee again.

Nine and a half years after my surgery, I heard a pop from my knee while I was laying in bed watching Thor on our television. I winced, but thought nothing of it since my knee has clicked since the surgery was done.

I did two days of volunteer work in the residential areas around my former University following that pop, and climbing up and down stairs became more and more challenging as those days passed by. I wrapped my knee in a tensor bandage for the second day, but by the end of it, I could barely walk.

This same scenario has happened to me before, so I made sure I didn’t use my leg much for a few days, kept my knee wrapped, and I iced it as much as I could.

Two weeks later, I had enough of the intolerable pain.

My doctor is hard to get into sometimes, so when I booked the appointment and found out that it would take a week to get in to see him, I decided to be proactive and go to a Walk-In Clinic to get an x-ray requisition. I wanted to get into physiotherapy as fast as I possibly could so I could go back to working out. I had just bought roller blades that I desperately wanted to try out! The x-rays came back showing my cartilage in my knee is severely degenerated, and they need to see what is actually going on inside before we can start taking steps to get me back to a normal life. I have an MRI next week to figure out our plan of action.

My lack of mobility (though I try really hard to push through the pain) has been a huge downer for me on top of everything else I was going though. My knee blew out on the same week I dropped out of school (for the second time), almost lost First Boyfriend, ended the job I loved with the school, and turned twenty-six, and while trivial, it all felt like life was a mess. I was scared about gaining weight again (and I put on 20 lbs), I was scared about having surgery booked during a semester in my new school and not being about to move it so I would fail classes or take longer to finish my degree that I already have, and I was scared that “karma” was fucking with me again.

I spiralled into a deep darkness that had a few people (including myself) concerned for my well being. I contemplated hurting myself once, and that was the moment that drove me to seek help again. I started therapy within two weeks of telling my doctor just how bad I was, and I saved my own life again by making that step.

I am so much better now.

I can see things clearer.

I have an appointment with a psychologist who works in the hospital next week through a referral program that my doctor put me though. I am going to get a complete psychological assessment (again), and possibly get another, better, diagnosis.

I will have a stable support network consisting of one therapist for as long as I need her, so I won’t have to tell my story over and over at the start of every school year.

I will be able to seek out some kind of accommodations to assist me in my classes for when I am having a bad day and need to tape my lectures, or when I am writing exams and need to be alone and not distracted by who is finishing their exams first.

I am making steps to get better.

Things are not perfect, and I am becoming more and more okay with that.

Since the beginning of August, I have been able to see things in a happier, more positive light, and I feel like I can now say

“Depression be damned! Life is awesome.”

I am past the point of being addicted to the darkness again, and that is an amazing thing.

I am going to continue moving forward, despite the occasional steps back, and I will be a healthier person.

Before I close out, I just want to say thank you to my followers who contacted me to see how I was doing as my blog posts became less often. You are superstars!

Mad love,

30 Days of Truth – Day 29

Something you hope to change about yourself.

One day, after I am finished this healing journey, I will be stronger, healthier, powerful, courageous, and wonderful.

It’s not like I’m not already all of those things, but they feel trapped deep inside myself. I am working to release them, free myself, and be everything I want to be. I am working my pretty little bum off to get to where I want to be.

I want to change the depression and anxiety.

I want to change the flashbacks.

I want to change the sadness.

These are all parts of who I am, and they make me the person I am. Changing them would change me, so I don’t want to lose them forever. I just want to get to a place where those things are not negatives in my life.

I want to change the negative to the positives.

Happiness is what I’m working towards.

DSM-5 and The Crisis in Psychiatry – Philip Thomas

Motivational Monday: Push Yourself Up


Motivational Monday: You Are Unique


Motivational Monday – One Step At A Time


Motivational Monday – Love, Me


Processing Lumberjack: Anger Management

Examples of Lumberjack’s Temper


One day, while Lumberjack and I were driving home from my parents’ house, a truck cut us off. This set him off and he decided it was a really good idea to follow this truck around town while yelling about what a jerk the driver was.

We followed the white F-150 crew cab  for an hour and a half before it out manoeuvred us and disappeared in the residential area by his old apartment.

Because he didn’t get to yell at the driver who offended him so terribly, Lumberjack pouted for the rest of the day and started picking fights with me.


At the beginning of our relationship, I was working at a costume jewelry store as the Assistant Manager. One day I came into work thirty minutes early to pick out some of the new pieces that came in and to be acquainted with the new rework of the merchandising.

When I walked into the store, my boss was talking to the associate helping her about the other employees in an extremely negative way. She told the other girl that I wasn’t “pretty enough to work there”, which caused me to lose my temper, quit with no notice (I had only been there for two months), and walk out of the store.

Three weeks later, when I received my Record of Employment and final cheque, I noticed that the reason I wasn’t working there said I was “fired” and “unsuitable for the job”. I called my previous employer for clarification and she refused to take my call, so I went into the store when I knew she was working.

She told me that I wasn’t allowed in there ever again, and I had been permanently banned from her store. She refused to talk to be about my R.O.E. and called security on my. Thankfully, the guard had become a good friend of mine while I was employed and laughed off my previous employers shrill screeches about my presence.

I called the Head Office and asked for help, but they refused to do anything. They said they couldn’t do anything about her until there was enough complaints from previous staff to warrant a case. Luckily, I had friends who had friends, and I ended up creating a long list of girls and their stories to submit to the head office…

…but Lumberjack decided to intervene.

Just as I was about to present my case to the Head Office, Lumberjack decided to remove the valve stems from her car tires, and threaten her in her store. He called her a “decrepit slag” and accused her of having a drug problem. My former employer, knowing who Lumberjack was, called security, the police and Head Office about what happened.

Lumberjack received most of the punishment, but my case was now invalid, and my R.O.E. still says I was fired and “unsuitable” for work.


Lumberjack worked as a tire boy at a local Automotive shop for a while before he became an Apprentice Mechanic. He worked for a sleaze-ball of a guy who would give any girl with ample cleavage a free oil change (something I usually tried to take advantage of). I am pretty sure this guy was high most of the time, too. He was super chill about ridiculous things that would have set the average person off. This was good news for Lumberjack.

One shift, SleazeBall came out of his office and into the shop. He walked over to where Lumberjack was working and said something relatively offensive about his work.

Lumberjack started slamming cupboards, tools, and anything else he could make noise with (passive-aggressive).

SleazeBall said something sleazy about me.

Lumberjack ran up to SleazeBall with his wrench up, making a swing. My good friend’s boyfriend was working in the bay next to Lumberjack’s and was able to stop any damage from being done.

The SleazeBall just laughed and said something along the lines of “Chill, bro. I was just joking.”

Lumberjack, somehow, continued working there for a few more months.

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Hannah Brencher

writer. millennial communications expert. founder of moreloveletters.com


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