Weekend Wrap-Up

Here’s what happened in my life over the past week:

  • Mentally, this week has generally been calm, which has been nice.
  • This week has been Mental Health Week in Canada, and it’s Mental Health Awareness Month in the US. I remain skeptical of the whole awareness thing. Maybe I’m just cynical, but I’m fairly sure people know mental health is a thing; they’re already aware.
  • I had ordered some stuff from a pet supply store and it was delivered the next day, but the delivery person didn’t buzz my apartment, and the store didn’t email me to confirm that it had been delivered, so I remained oblivious to the fact that it had arrived. A couple of days later, I got a snarky email from the building caretaker complaining about me leaving it there. Dude, back the fuck off on the tone. I was mildly tempted to respond with some snark of my own, but I refrained.
  • Water has started leaking from my upstairs neighbour down into my bathroom ceiling for the third time. This is getting rather ridiculous.
  • My parents are in town this weekend, but I’m not planning on seeing them. I still feel like I can’t trust my mom after she spent so much time talking to the hospital psychiatrist. I guess there was even something about talking to her in my discharge summary, because the mental health team psychiatrist commented on my mom being really involved. I should never have let the hospital doc talk to her in the first place, but live and learn, I suppose.
  • I decided to take a coding course to exercise my brain a bit. I started with a language (Java) that isn’t particularly useful to me but is somewhat similar-ish to something I’ve learned before way back in the day (C++). I’ll finish that course this weekend and then move on to something else, probably HTML, which I have some familiarity with already. It’s been fun coming up with bits of code to share with a friend who’s a developer so I can show off my new learning.
guinea pig Casper napping curled up beside the hay rack

Casper likes to snuggle against the hay rack. She was napping, but she woke up as I got close to the cage. Here she’s semi-awake and deciding whether to go back to sleep or not. Her head is more flopped when she’s fully asleep.

Pair of American robins perched on a balcony railing

In birdwatching news, these two robins on my neighbour’s balcony railing are nesting in the bush that’s in the picture. I think the male is the one on the left with the darker colouring.

How has your week been?

Mental Health @ Home Books by Ashley L. Peterson - book covers
Mental Health @ Home Books by Ashley L. Peterson – You can find them on my Amazon author page.

52 thoughts on “Weekend Wrap-Up”

  1. I feel you on the mother thing. My mom is a fantastic lady; but when it comes to be involved in my care (whether it’s physical or mental health), she can be a bit overbearing. She’s a registered nurse, and tends to catastrophize everything.

    I do credit her for attempting to go to therapy for the family (once, and it was decades ago). Unfortunately, however, she stood up in the middle of the session and demanded that we all storm out with her, screaming “Not everything is my fault!” And that pretty much sums up how she feels about therapy.

    Casper is looking very serene, fluffy, and beautiful in her portrait. I’m glad to hear that this week was a bit calmer for you (you’ve earned a bit of serenity in your lil’ corner of the world); and I agree that the only people “awareness” weeks, months, etcetera affect are those who are already aware. (Though I wish that were different for all of the varying awares.)

  2. Your Robins look very different from ours, bigger, the male and female here look exactly the same.

    This week has been a bit crazy for me, gonna take a while for me to get my head ound things, surprisingly.

    I hope you are doing ok.

  3. Sorry to hear about the caretaker’s attitude! Love Casper, as she looks so relaxed. My week’s been so-so. I don’t remember most of it. LOL The perks of having a terrible memory. <3

  4. The caretaker is rather judgemental before knowing the facts.

    Love the guinea pig pic as always.
    I have been watching a lot of dvd’s this week. Managed to keep awake without feeling like having to go for a nap. I even resisted when I felt one occasion I needed it for my mental health and just continued with dvd’s as I planned.

  5. I suppose your mum was just worried about you? It must be difficult for her to see you suffering.

  6. I didn’t know it was mental health week.
    Ironically, I was driving up to the mountains yesterday and I had a complete panic attack and I thought I was going to crash. It was absolutely terrible. I’ve never experienced that type of anxiety before. I didn’t crash. And I made it home after nine hours. I made it about two hours up into the mountains barely. And then spent a couple hours trying to calm down. And then it took another couple hours to drive back. Somehow I lost three hours somewhere in there from having to pull over every mile or so because I was out of my mind. 😆

    As my friend pointed out last night to me, I have had quite a few very trying experiences, pivotal experiences in my life over the past six months. And, in that I’m a therapist now, I appreciate these moments of self realization and true experiential occurrences because it helps me to more fully understand what the people that I’m trying to help go through.

    I may have had a pretty good awareness before, just from my, perhaps, general experience of living life. But these more profound experiences I look upon as a kind of blessing.

    As difficult as they are.

    Thanks again for your blog 🐉

    1. I’ve never had a panic attack before, and having one while driving sounds particularly frightening. And I agree, it’s a powerful thing when therapists have that awareness of what clients are dealing with.

      1. Neither had I. I literally felt like something was terribly terribly wrong. And it’s kind of funny and ironic, because I’ve helped so many people get through panic attacks and severe anxiety over the years. And the things that I would help them with, and the things that they would tell me about their experience, was everything that I was experiencing, but in the moment of experiencing I didn’t even realize it! 🤙🏾. It literally wasn’t until I got back down to the flat earth, that I started to really grasp the whole thing.

  7. Dr. Eli Luylko MD

    Hi can I ask you with what diagnosis you’ve been leaving the hospital?

    because your short story is a classic case of racing thoughts , and the etiology can be many things , I just wrote 1 possible reason ( etiology) for this condition and didn’t want to write the others , cause I want to keep your privacy , if you wanna answer me or talk to me about it let me know please.
    Thank you .

      1. Agreed, sorry for misunderstanding, but when you show the world your thoughts don’t think that professionals in this area can’t write what they think about it in the prospective of psychiatric medicine, and I know exactly what it is.

  8. Good to hear you had a calm week. 🙂
    I’ve often had a feeling that all sorts of awareness campaigns onnly really reach those who are either already affected by the thing that awareness is being spread about, or those who are aware anyway because they’re either interested or affected indirectly, and the awareness of the rest of the world doesn’t change much. I hope I’m wrong though, or that there are exceptions to this rule if it’s true.
    It’s certainly understandable the way you feel about your mum now.
    Coding sounds like a very ambitious brain exercise to me. I’ve always felt that having at least a very basic idea about coding in some common language could be potentially very useful to me as a blind person, as an average blind person generally needs to be a bit more techy than an average sighted person in my experience, if only to lecture IT people about what screen readers are, but I’m pretty sure it’s too ambitious for my particular brain so I stick to human languages. 😀

    1. You’ve already got more than enough human languages to keep your brain busy!

      I agree about awareness campaigns. And there’s nothing wrong with reaching people who are already affected by whatever the thing is, but I’m not sure it’s worth the money that probably gets poured into it.

    2. I was made fun of as an IT professional (Web design, website development, graphic design) for caring about screen readers, alt text for images, colour contrast (colour blindness) and legible fonts etc. I sound like an old fart to the new developers but certain best practices of my day (and before my day) are timeless.

        1. Yeah, it felt so ridiculous, because how can they not care about accessibility? It’s mind boggling, and I didn’t last long in the industry. Though I do feel a sense of “I told you so!” when I recently checked my LinkedIn (although I don’t ever want to return to the web design industry, way too stressful and fast paced) due to getting an email. I was right all along, accessibility is always important and now oldies like me (like the Perl, Cobol, C / C++ legacy programmers before my time who are highly sought aft in banks) are back in demand.

  9. Johnzelle Anderson

    I also find MH Awareness month to be a strange concept; however, if it gets people talking about MH and breaking stigma, I’m for it. I would’ve shot off the snarky email lol. I haven’t been as bird friendly as you. I spent the day installing bird spikes on the nooks and crannies of my porch. They kept nesting and pooping all over the porch, which isn’t healthy with a toddler. The most exciting thing I did this week was dye my hair back to my natural color haha. Glad you had a calm week!

  10. I don’t play along with the awareness month thing at all. I find it does very little in terms of usefulness, and I also think things are so saturated, it’s impossible to keep track of things in order of importance to you. Also, I find the guilt trip you’re meant to feel when you don’t participate in some awareness is annoying. But that’s me.

    I have my causes, I stick to those. C’est tout. 🙂

  11. I really enjoyed this post Ashley. For some reason I thought you lived with family. I think because you were at your moms for passes from the hospital. But you live alone just like I do 😊 💕

    1. My mom came to stay at my place for a week while I was in hospital. I’ve lived alone (aside from the guinea pigs) for the past 12 years. I quite like having my own space. ❤️

  12. Wow – Java coding. That’s great – and must be so good for brain exercise. Impressive.

    Love Caspar and the robins but the ceiling leak doesn’t sound like much fun. Hope the building caretaker stops leaving snarky messages about pet food and gets on the leak next week! Happy Saturday, Ashley!

  13. I occasionally post photos of the robins around here and someone commented how different they were from those in England. Ours are round fat fellows! As for packages, my building has a ‘concierge’ who signs for all our packages and then we get an email through the building web site – never knew this system existed until we moved here and now I would never live anywhere that didn’t have it!

  14. “This week has been Mental Health Week in Canada, and it’s Mental Health Awareness Month in the US. I remain skeptical of the whole awareness thing. Maybe I’m just cynical, but I’m fairly sure people know mental health is a thing; they’re already aware.”

    I feel some cynicism, too, and I believe it’s merited. … Donna Jackson Nakazawa’s book Childhood Disrupted included only one male among its six interviewed adult subjects, there presumably being such a small pool of ACE-traumatized men willing to formally tell his own story of childhood abuse. It could be yet more evidence of a continuing subtle societal take-it-like-a-man mindset; one in which so many men, even with anonymity, would prefer not to ‘complain’ to some stranger/author about his torturous childhood, as that is what ‘real men’ do.

    I tried multiple times contacting the book’s author via internet websites in regards to this non-addressed florescent elephant in the room, but I received no response. Perhaps this glaring omission is still considered gender-politically acceptable.

    According to the author of The Highly Sensitive Man (2019, Tom Falkenstein, Ch.1): “At the same time, academics are telling us that ‘we know far less about the psychological and physical health of men than of women.’ Why is this? Michael Addis, a professor of psychology and a leading researcher into male identity and psychological health, has highlighted a deficit in our knowledge about men suffering from depression and argues that this has cultural, social, and historical roots.

    If we look at whether gender affects how people experience depression, how they express it, and how it’s treated, it quickly becomes clear that gender has for a long time referred to women and not to men. According to Addis, this is because, socially and historically, men have been seen as the dominant group and thus representative of normal psychological health. Women have thus been understood as the nondominant group, which deviated from the norm, and they have been examined and understood from this perspective. One of the countless problems of this approach is that the experiences and specific challenges of the ‘dominant group,’ in this case men, have remained hidden. …

    While it is true that a higher percentage of women than men will be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder or a depressive episode, the suicide rate among men is much higher. In the United States, the suicide rate is notably higher in men than in women. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men account for 77 percent of the forty-five thousand people who kill themselves every year in the United States. In fact, men commit suicide more than women everywhere in the world. Men are more likely to suffer from addiction, and when men discuss depressive symptoms with their doctor, they are less likely than women to be diagnosed with depression and consequently don’t receive adequate therapeutic and pharmacological treatment. …

    This is backed up by numerous psychological studies over the last forty years that tell us that, despite huge social change, the stereotypical image of the ‘strong man’ is still firmly with us at all ages, in all ethnic groups, and among all socio-economic backgrounds. In the face of problems, men tend not to seek out emotional or professional help from other people. They use, more often than women, alcohol or drugs to numb unpleasant feelings and, in crises, tend to try to deal with things on their own, instead of searching out closeness or help from others.”

  15. Well done on the self-control for not snarking at your building’s caretaker. That’s pretty shitty to moan about it without just saying “yo Ashley, parcel’s here” (not sure if he’s really the “yo” type).

    At least you’ve had a more chilled and calm week mentally. I hope this week continues the same way. That may change if the leaking gets worse. Maybe that caretaker should spend less type moaning and more time fixing shit.

    I’m sorry about the distance with your mum now after her psych involvement. Do you think she realises what she did or how you feel about it? I wonder if she’s maybe a bit oblivious, thinking she was helping and not noticing you weren’t thrilled with it.

    It’s nice the birdies have a home with a balcony. I’ve always wanted a balcony. Can’t believe I’m now a bit jealous of bloody birds.

    I learned HTML when I was about 12. I made a website dedicated to, ahem, Elijah Wood and Lord Of The Rings. It was a loooooong time ago. Totally forgotten anything about HTML now and never did get into any other type of coding, which I’m kicking myself for when you see how in-demand coders are and how much you could potentially earn by doing it. D’oh. Enjoy the process of brain-expansion! xx

    1. I’m not sure who pissed in his cornflakes, but the caretaker has morphed from being nice to being a dickwad.

      My mom knows I’m not keen on her interfering, but that’s never stopped her.

      Ooh, an Elijah Wood and Lord Of The Rings website sounds fun! ❤️

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