Tag Archives: normal

The Therapy Game

Before I get into my actual post – I would like to apologize for my last post.  I took a brief look at it and cringed at my publicized stream of conciseness.  I thought about taking it down, but decided that my shame would stay my shame forever. (Unless I spoke like a pirate at any point…. that is just clear impressive) Also – my features photo today is of the Bar Mitzvah boy (if we recall from my alcohol induced previous post I was heading to Nashville for a Bar Mitzvah, and his Toronto cousins, which I was luckily enough to be included with)

As I had previously mentioned – my mother asked if she could go a therapy session with me and I agreed. The woman pushed me out of her lady parts – least I could do is say “sure come to therapy with me” and it started of okay.  First my mom asked my therapist questions about my medications (My mother things I’m over medicated….I used to take more medications for my migraines) and then she surprised me because she asked if there was private group therapy group I could join/pay for.  Living in Ontario our healthcare is covered by the government, which is why I have been on a waiting list since January for a CBT group and February for a DBT group, but to go for private group therapy would cost my mom about $200 a session, and there are 28 sessions, which is over $5000 dollars. My mind was blown.

My therapist made some suggestions of some private groups, explained that they would be pricy and I just sat there partly in awe over the fact that normally for everything my family waits for the free version (I had migraines for years, didn’t go to the states for an MRI or a doctor, waited 13 months in Ontario) and my parents were offering to shell out that much money – and then the rest of my thoughts…. what if it doesn’t work? what if this is another thing I fail at.

My therapist asked me if there was anything I would like to share or talk about with my mom there, and I explained how I felt that I was constantly letting her and my dad down. they paid for my higher education…for three different degrees, and I can’t even get a job at a grocery store right now.  My mom put money in both our names that was mostly because the banks only insure up to a certain amount but because I had access to it, I spent 88% of it (I’ll give you a hint… it was about $100,000.00) she has since taken away my access to the money.  But I spent part of it on things we needed, to pay for the taxes, mortgage, bills, but the rest I spent on I don’t even know, clothes, shoes, books, crafts, perfume… I have 3 gucci perfumes…  which is crazy.. because I don’t wear perfume… it causes migraines.  When I brought all this up my mom just scoffed and rolled her eyes, which bothered me a lot, and I started to cry.

My therapist asked why I was so upset and I told her its because I told her that I was telling my mom my feelings and my mom was making them invalid, or as if it isn’t right for me to have those feelings.  Of course my mother told me that she is proud of me, and I’m not a failure and even if when I was in high school, she knew that I wouldn’t have a job later in life, she would still pay for my education because while I saw it as a waste of money, my parents see education as an investment, and never a waist.  Even though I just finished getting my third certificate, my mother offered to pay for me to go back to school if there was something else I wanted to do.

My mom spent a lot of the session saying that they were very worried about me (her, my dad, my boyfriends mom) and they just wanted me to get back to normal… which upset me again, because when I was younger I was bright and vivacious and bubbly and happy all the time, I spoke to random people who happened to sit next to me, and I was so optimistic. Now I cry all the time, I get angry (like child stomping their feet angry) for no reason, getting out of bed is one of the hardest thing I do every day, and I hate being around people.  So what if I never get back to what their idea of “normal” is?

I named this blog “Journey back to Normal” but I think in my one therapy session that my mom was at, I learned that I might have to re-define normal, because my normal, or what used to be my normal, clearly isn’t the same as it used to be.

Of course after therapy when I asked my mom what she thought she had amazing things to say about my therapist, and learned that she has to be very careful about what she says around me… not exactly what I wanted to hear, but at least she caught onto something my therapist was saying.


My actual post ends here… I’m just going to do a brain dump rant under this picture of me and my new potential boyfriendjoeyarvy

  1. This is me and Arvi, My boyfriends cousins dog whom I love greatly and tried to dognap back to Canada, unfortunately my idea of saying he was my emotional support animal failed, because he’s a little crazy, and I think emotional support dogs are normally calm.
  2.  Boy rant.  Yesterday I woke up very early, went to the hospital for my botox appointment, had a very emotional driven conversation with my mother then came home.  On my way home Mitchell called and we talked not about any of my appointments or his day, but about the fact that he had laundry to do. I said if he put it on the bed, I would do it for him because he was going out. By the time I got home, he had put the stuff in the was and I just needed to partially dry some things, and hang them, and then fully dry the rest. Instead because I had basically spent the day crying, I took a nap. I set an alarm to wake me up in 45 min so I could finish his laundry. It was 7pm.  At 10pm he comes into the spare room where I fell asleep (Mitch doesn’t like the smell of some of the essential oils I find most calming) yelling because his things were still in the dryer and he was going to have nothing to wear and it was all my fault and that I was unreliable. He kept on yelling and saying hurtful things to me and then was like “well aren’t you coming to our room?”
  3. So I went to our room, incredibly hurt because he was using words he knew would hurt me the most, and I got ready for bed.  I helped him finish his laundry, we watched TV and went to bed like nothing happened.  but I still feel the hurt. So today I’m cleaning and grocery shopping and I finally found potted lilies.  Lilies are my favourite flower.  So I bought them, using our joint account card, when he asks I’ll tell him its because he felt so bad for hurting my feelings last night, he bought me my favourite flower.  I’m even making his favourite dinner.  Not because I feel like I have something to apologize for or anything, just because 98% of the time, my first thoughts are of him, and the other 2% of the time, I guess I’m sleeping when I shouldn’t be.

Anyways – that ends that portion of the rant.  If you read all the way though… Gold star.  Normally I would talk it over with my therapist, and I probably will, I just have to wait until next week.  I hope you all had better days yesterday than I did… now I’ll go put away his laundry.


Airport Errors

I have a few things to say. The first being i may need to pre apologize for parts of this post as my father-in-law got my partner and I access to the club lounge of the airport which had serve yourself everything.

I’m not sure if the picture worked but it should be wine and cookies. Which was my Shabbat dinner. So tonight’s post is going to be a little bit about traveling with illnesses and probably a lot more about what happens when I drink.

Now I have a bone to pick with some of you my loyal readers. I see you. I know who you are ( not really because that wicked be creepy) but in the last week I have made 2 posts asking for advice (1) where I asked how to like other bloggers blogs and (2) the best way to respond to my moth r attending therapy with me next week. I received the usual follows and likes, which are always nice, but what I really wanted was actual advice. And that’s my bone.

The last week has been a pretty difficult week for me anxiety and depression wise. I can’t remember if I previously mentioned that I was in a car accident and insurance wrote of my scraps (the name of my 2006 corolla) but the amount allowed me to purchase Merv, my 2007 Honda Civic. Both similar cars but because I learned how to drive in Scraps, switching to Merv Isis a little difficult. (FYI, Merv is an old lady. Because that’s what she smells like)

Anyways while going through the process of finding Merv I found myself spending more time with other people. And learning their thoughts about me. For example, I quote my therapist too much. I also tend to talk for no purpose other than to talk. (I’m sure you my lovely readers have noticed. And have had no choice but to read because you all love me too much to stop).

So all this news /”advice” happened just before going on a trip with my partner to Nashville to his cousins Bar Mitzvah. So now I’m sending days worrying about how to act around his family (whom I’ve known the last 11 years). To top that off his mother calls mom because she is worried about me and and would like to talk… because that’s not going to pit me into a tailspin of anxiety and self doubt.

So we reach D Day…. or Nashville day. I get up in the morning, take my pills and go about my routine and realize that half my toiletries can’t come because we are flying from Toronto and we can’t bring more than 100ml of liquid per container…. strike one to make me anxious about this trip. I Figure out that problem (travel lived toiletries) and then decide to get gas for Merv. Except the band has decided to randomly freeze all my accounts. I get that sorted out but… strike two and I’m now crazy anxious. Then we get to the airport to find that out 8:55pm has been delayed until 11pm….. but no problem because my awesome father in law got us into the club lounge where I decided to forgo my clonazapam for 2 glasses of wine. (Not the greatest idea) but it made a beautiful picture I sent to my family as a “good Shabbat” picture. about 30 min after this picture I had downed another glass of or two of wine only to find out that the club closes at 9 and from 9-11 we have to wait with the common folk (AKA with the hard chairs instead iffy the soft recliners). So here I sit waiting for my flight to be called. Trying my best to pretend to be sober wherein I have clearly passed that poking and panicking that out flight will be cancelled and we will miss the bar Mitzvah. So here are my airport errors

1. Do not drink all the free booze.

2. Do not eat all the free cookies

3 if you see someone selling water – buy it because I’ve been dying for water

4. Arrive early, but not super early

4. Bring your oils. My doTERRA peppermint and lavender and ginger have been the only thing to keep me from vomiting

5. When he choice is booze or pills-take your meds

Anyways maybe more later. Happy long weekend to those who have one.

Why “Journey Back to Normal”

The Meaning Behind my Blog Name, I was also going to use this AMAZING photo as my “featured image” for this post… but I couldn’t find any picture of me really on a journey, so I was going to take one of my sisters (she is currently chaperoning a chef school trip in Peru) as we look enough alike – but thats just lying.  So instead, Here is a picture of a moose, clearly on a journey of some kind

As I discussed yesterday – I’ve apparently been blogging wrong, so I am now following a “your first 30 days” of blogging guide that I found on Pinterest (should I post a link? I never know what the copy write/sharing laws are for the internet and blogs and pinterest) so today, the meaning behind my blogs name.

As you can see, my blogs name is “Journey Back to Normal” although I’ve since thought I should change it to something like “finding my new normal” as I am not sure I will ever be what I was before migraines took over my life.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts – I used to be a star, at least I was the star of my life. I went out with friends all the time, I had multiple jobs, I played in different orchestras, I danced, I was a classroom music teacher, I was close(ish) with my family, and I had a wonderful relationship and I was happy almost all the time.

Then the migraines started.

Now they are the star of my life.

I rarely go out anymore and often have to leave early/suffer in pain when I do, even though I know they would hang out and do something quiet with me if I asked, I feel as though I’ve lost most of my friends because of this.

I hardly work these days – I tutor a few students, I hopefully just landed a supply teaching gig at a private school nearby, I also went back to school to become a paralegal, so that I could hopefully find a job working in a quiet(ish) setting in my own office.

I no longer make music (for me that’s a big blow) but I’ve found that the physical pressure from playing the oboe just caused me more pain, and while there are other things I have done/tried, I often get politely “asked to leave” because I don’t show the same commitment as the rest of the choir (sorry, I was recently asked to leave my shul’s choir because of my lack of commitment… because missing a few rehearsals due to extreme pain is showing a lack of commitment… I’m still bitter)

I used to dance around my house, dance with friends, play “Just Dance” and now – moving hurts.

My family, while wonderful, and my boyfriend, while amazing, have had to make so many sacrifices for me because of my migraines. They have had to stay up with me at the hospital, fill prescriptions late at night, listen to my crying and complaining, my sisters both have beautiful children, and I feel like they can’t rely on me to babysit (which I should see as a good thing – but I don’t) and my boyfriend doesn’t get to go out with me anymore. A few days a week he goes out with other friends and people, but I find I often can’t make dinner, or make it downstairs, forget about a date.

My Migraines had completely taken over my life. They caused me to have anxiety (How can I make plans/take a job/do anything if I could get a migraine, and then the worrying would cause a migraine, which would then cause more worrying, and you see where I am going with this) and the anxiety caused me to isolate myself from my friends, family, and the world… and I recently decided no more.

My Migraines may have taken over the last 10-11 years of my life, but now, I’m taking them back. I will try anything and everything to get my life back. To be able to join an orchestra, or dance around my house while I clean, to see my friends and babysit my nieces and nephews.

I will follow my doctors plan to the letter, and if that doesn’t work (because its been 8 years of me following my neurologist to the letter) maybe that will mean its time to find a new neurologist. I will finally read all the migraine books I’ve bought and see what they say. I will keep a detailed log of my migraines, how they progress, what possibly triggered them and what made them better so I know what to do in the future.

I apologize about my rant “Journey back to normal” Its me. Taking my life back from my migraines, and bringing you all along for the ride.


Along with the moose, I’ve decided to share with you some of my own Journeys that I hope to be able to take again.

My sister and I at Canada’s Wonderland,IMG_0436

My other sister and I getting ready to do a 5K walk to raise money for Multiple Myeloma,IMG_0112

and Me – Doing the edge walk at the CN Tower.  All three things I had to miss this year because of migraines (although the edge walk was also due to funds)



In other news – last night I FINALLY started to feel better. I don’t know if it was the Celfay, the lavender, the peppermint, the heat, the cool, the constant eating or the changing or my medication (I used to take 1200mg of gabapentin around dinner time, now I take 300mg 4x a day… and 200mg of Celebrex 2x a day (at least for the next few days)) but it was great. Mitch and I ate dinner together (I ate gluten… possible reason why I feel the way I do today… guess I should add it to my migraine tracker) and we watched like 10 episodes of some Netflix show (Big Mouth… if you are into dirty humor I highly recommend it. At the same time, as a teacher – part of me thinks that all students should watch this show when learning about puberty, its probably much more effective to watch the “hormone monster” make someone do something, than listen to their teachers talk about hormones.

We had a great time last night. Then we went to bed.

This morning I woke up with a migraine. I ate some protein right away and took my meds. I am now only allowed to take my triptan 2x a week, and I’ve used that up, so I couldn’t take that. I went downstairs and made myself eggs (more protein) and had a coffee (sometimes caffeine helps) and drank a bunch of water (dehydration à possible migraine trigger) but still nothing. So I went and I took an Epsom Salt bath, with Eucalyptus, then after that I put a Koool Patches on my head and lavender essential oils on my temples, behind my ears and neck and on my wrists and started to write this post. Which has apparently become a novel.

I also finally started reading one of the Migraine books I’ve bought (after reading yesterdays post, my boyfriend told me I wasn’t allowed to buy anymore migraine books unless I was going to read them) “The Migraine Miracle” by Josh Turknett, MD When I finish it I think I will write a review and make a “book review” section of my blog. Maybe even a “here’s me following so-and-so’s plan” section. So far I’m a fan of the book. But mostly because he calls a migraine “The Beast” and the cover is green.

Anyways, I’m off for now – going to continue reading my book and see what else might help my migraine… It most certainly will not be me going to see Bat out of Hell the meatloaf musical with my boyfriend and his parents tonight. But that is what I will be doing

Tomorrows episode of my blog will apparently be about “my earliest memory” which if I recall correctly, will have most of you wondering why I wasn’t in therapy before suffering with anxiety.





20 Facts About Me

So apparently I have been doing the whole “blog” thing wrong. Everything is supposed to be linked together (insta, twitter, Google+ (who has ever heard of that?) and then posts done in a specific order… at least as far as Pinterest is concerned.

So looking at the article I am reading right now, my first post was supposed to be an introduction post – which you can find here The Start of a Journey. My next post should be 20 facts about me. I guess to give you all more of an idea of who I am, and about me so you are more interested in my wonderful blog.

Some of my facts will be from before I started my migraines, some after.

  1. Until I was in 2nd year university I was almost never sick
  2. I hold grudges against people who forget my birthday
  3. As a kid, I would always be reading, even as I walked home from school – I wouldn’t even notice my dad following me in his car as he drove home from work.
  4. When I was in the 10th grade and agreed to switch from clarinet to oboe, in my mind, an oboe was a bassoon and I was too embarrassed to say anything.
  5. I am a “whoops” baby (My mom says surprise, my older siblings say huge mistake)
  6. Since being diagnosed with migraines I have bought almost every book I could find on the subject, and read none of them
  7. I will re-read the same books over and over again, rather than read new books
  8. Gilmore Girls is my favorite show (although I was not a fan of the Netflix special)
  9. I have played at Carnegie Hall twice (on oboe)
  10. Pride and Prejudice (the BBC version with Colin Firth) is possibly my favorite movie ever
  11. I asked my boyfriend to watch all the Harry Potter with me as a birthday present (save him some money) à he preferred to hire cleaning people for our house.
  12. I have never seen a single starwars movie, but I have seen spaceballs several times
  13. I have an irrational fear of tomato and tomato based products
  14. I have an overactive imagination and am convinced I will win the lottery one day
  15. Every year I re-read the Anne of Green Gables books
  16. I prefer salty snacks over sweet snacks
  17. I hate vacuuming, and once went over a year without vacuuming my house
  18. I worry that my migraines have isolated me so much, that I have very few friends/family that will put up with me anymore
  19. I love having long hair, but I hate washing it, drying it, brushing it – I wish it was all just magically clean and done
  20. I often have fantasies of basically being Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and just being able to point and do things. These are active fantasies I have, and I am now in my 30’s.


So now that pinterst is satisfied with my “second post” ’20 facts about me’ I can tell you all, that from 3am until, well, forever I’ve had a migraine. I almost went to the hospital at 3am but it’s the worst place for me to be with a migraine so I sucked it up until my boyfriend woke up and I asked him his thoughts. Then I spoke to a cousin and used the internet to see what their thoughts were.. In the end I used my Ceflay device for well over an hour (way against their 20 min guidelines) took a bath of Epsom salts and Lavender, drenched myself in peppermint oil, put an icepack on my head and a heat pack on my neck and used my Essential Oil diffuser to make the room smell like lavender (apparently good for headaches and very soothing) I ended up taking a nap. I woke up feeling much better, but still – migraine. One day I won’t have a migraine anymore, and when that day comes, it’ll be better then my dream of winning the lottery

Since todays post talked about me pre-post migraines, my features image today is me, before migraines took over my life.  I was at a nightclub for a friends birthday/Halloween, way back in the days that I could go to nightclubs.  I was supposed to be a fairy, but some crazy person stole my wings… and then apparently I borrowed someones cowboy hat. Also – for those that care, the LV bag I am carrying was soooo fake, the strap was held to the purse with staples

Until next time (where according to pinterst I get to tell you about my Blog Name and the meaning behind it)



My old “Normal”

I guess in order for you to see how my “normal” disintegrated, you need to know what my normal was.

10-12 years ago…. I was the baby of the family (youngest of four). I had these amazing parents (I still have them… they are awesome) who despite statistics, are still married, and happily so, after over forty years. I was a music major in University, and the principal oboist for 3 different orchestras, 2 through school, and one is one of the premiere youth orchestras in Ontario. I had performed at Carnegie Hall, and other major venues (mostly around Toronto). I had an amazing boyfriend (still do) and I worked for my University as a peer health educator (handing out condoms, candy, water, etc for free at pub nights) and I also worked for a music store. I was a mostly A student, a Kick Ass Auntie, a quirky friend with a very active social life, until everything changed.

I find depending on who you talk to, they will either tell you the exact moment their life took a turn, or they will say it was a gradual change. For me – I can tell you the exact moment my life changed… But that is a story that will wait for another day.

My “magic handful” (AKA gazillions of pills) await me

The Start of a Journey

If you had asked me 10 years ago to describe myself I would have used words like amazing, aspiring musician, aspiring teacher, outgoing, creative, energetic, happy, loving and words similar to those.


If you ask me today to describe myself I would use words like angry, frustrated, hopeless, depressed, anxious, sad, and sick.




That’s a big one for me, that’s a new one for me. I’m not sick like the flu or cancer (because those are so similar…) I have an invisible disease – Migraines.


For the last 10-11 years migraines and headaches and pain have dictated my life.   They dictate where I go, when I go somewhere – if I even go somewhere, how I respond and react to different scenarios, who I see, even if I shower in the morning.


Migraines have brought on other problems for me, depression, anxiety, weight gain, pill dependency, the loss of many friends, the loss of a social life, and the loss of patience.


Earlier this year my eldest sister made a comment about me being “sick” and the context of the conversation upset me, so I brought it up with my therapist. She asked “do you see yourself as sick” and I had to think about it – what is sick? And in the end I agreed with my sister, I am sick. I am a sick person. It took me over 10 years to define myself as a “person who is sick.” So I’ve decided – no more.


This is going to be my journey back to what my normal was, when I could go shopping, or to a movie, or just hang out with friends. It’s going to delve into my past, and hopefully make my future a brighter one.



Wish me luck,