The Problem with #BellLetsTalk

Bell’s Lets Talk day is considered an amazing idea and it truly is but my problem is the way people execute the idea.

People go on Twitter or other social media accounts to try and “promote” the awareness of mental illness but why does this only happen one day a year?

First of all, it only applies to Twitter and somewhat to Facebook so why are people posting to social media that isn’t even relevant to the cause? Furthermore why do people feel their good deed is done by posting a simple tweet but every other day of the year they turn a blind eye to it? I mean does anyone else find it funny that on this specific day almost everyone in the world claims to have a mental illness?

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My Autistic Experience – Every Other Day

During my 6 years of experience at university, I have always lived in residence. If I had lived at home, it would take me 45 minutes to drive to university. The reason I live in residence is because it I prefer the easy access to university. I like that it only takes me 5-10 minutes to walk to school and class. This year in particular I find that living so close to school is good because my thesis project sometimes requires me to be in the lab at difficult hours of the day.

This is not what I want to talk about, though. I want to talk about the “Autism Acceptance is…” sign that I see more or less every other day as I enter the residence building.

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Depression and Disordered Eating

Trigger Warning for: eating disorders and Disordered Eating.

Sometimes I think a lot of people miss the fact that depression can cause other mental illnesses, like anxiety disorders and eating disorders. Mental illnesses can also cause depression too.

When I was first diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder at just 15 years old, I lost my appetite almost completely, like many people do. I lost a lot of weight, and I think I was at my lowest at 100 pounds. I barely recognized myself in the mirror. Yet the depressed mind has this way of convincing me I was still fat (before I was depressed, I wasn’t even overweight, I was at a pretty healthy weight and at an average size). I was put on medication (after the first one caused severe insomnia) and felt my appetite returning.

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Humans of UOIT Project

The UOIT Mental Health Services wants to hear YOUR mental health story for the Humans of UOIT project.

Those interested in participating will be asked to send in, or meet face to face with myself, and discuss their mental health journey. Those interested in remaining anonymous are welcome, that can also be discussed further via email. But, each post will require a short paragraph describing your journey along with a photo of yourself or something that’s meaningful to your journey if you choose the anonymous approach.

If you are interested in being a Human of UOIT, please email the Student Life Line (studentlifeline@uoit.ca.)

Services for Students: Indigenous Student Services

Among the many services that are offered to UOIT students, the Indigenous Student Services provides students the opportunity to learn more about Indigenous cultures and traditions. As UOIT is committed to supporting all learners, the Indeigenous Services provides access to visiting Elders, Advising, councelling, inclusive monthly programming. That includes traditional ceremonies, and cultural workshops, Soup and Bannock and a welcoming and inclusive space found at 151 Athol Street (beside 61 Charles street.)

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My Autistic Experience – Effortless

So I haven’t been writing a whole lot either. The school year has been busy and I have been unable to muster the inspiration to write. I have used up all of the obvious topics from my distant past and am left only with the possibility of more recent events that I have little to no desire to discuss.

I mean things have certainly happened to me between the last time I wrote (October 28, 2015) and now, but I don’t want to talk about them. My tactic for dealing with issues that happen to me is to distance myself from them and to cut myself off of the emotional charge. When I talk or write about something, I have to bring myself closer to the event and accept the associated emotions. I don’t feel better when I’m done. I just feel tired. Any gratification I get from sharing my experience is from the response, from knowing that the lessons I am trying to pass on are reaching people.

So in order to discuss what has occurred, I will discuss the general idea. Perhaps I might distance myself enough while still sharing a possible lesson.

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New Year, New Me?

Welcome to 2016 everyone!

I can definitely say, I did not write in this blog as much as I would have like last semester. With the new year upon me, I decided to do some self reflection on my past, and whether there really is such a thing as ‘New Year, New Me’:

At the start of 2015, I chased after guys who didn’t like me, trying to overcome my introvertedness by becoming more popular and putting others in front of myself.

In hindsight, I regret nothing.

It was eye opening to see how fighting for affection from others ended up tearing me down because in the end, I needed to support myself. 2016 is all about becoming a happier girl seeking out how to be ME and not the ‘me’ I thought people wanted me to be. I still get anxiety and self doubt, and I realize that it is a long road to reach where I want to be.

In order to do that, I created a list of ‘goals’ that I wanted to have for 2016. These are not hard and fast resolutions, they are not things that I can easily falter on. There are phrases that will push me to become healthier in both mind and body. I thought that I would write about each one over this month and encourage all of you to make up a few little ‘action phrases’ to boost you up over this new year!

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“Know your limit. Play within it.”

This phrase might be OLG’s tagline, but I totally love it, and is a great line to help scaffold coping strategies for my life. I see my ‘limit’ as my capacity and as various boundaries that must be maintained, and how intense I can ‘play’, as my stamina. As a person with ASD, I have learned that my capacity for processing environmental and emotional stimulation is smaller than most; therefore I need to be more cognizant of when my coping strategies fail and my shutdown begins. Life is dynamic and a teaching position I started this past September has forced me to further develop my abilities and discernment of novel situations. It has been a steep learning-curve and I thought university was hard! (it still is lol)

Over the past few months (or more), I have been silent on this blog because I felt I had nothing to offer on this topic; I also saw that I needed to hone my skills at coping more successfully before I could ever talk about it. Whether you disagree or not, I would like to further explain…

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