I’ve always been the type of person to keep busy. Even when I was watching a TV, I needed to be reading articles on the internet, drawing, learning how to code, blogging or whatever. I couldn’t justify simply doing the recreational thing without being busy with something I deemed “productive”. In my head I felt like I was wasting my life if I took that extra hour of sleep, nap, caught up on Youtube or even hang out with friends.
Ever since I got a full-time job these priorities changed. I still struggled with the need to “keep productive”, this time with more of a focus on reading a book or writing the blog posts that keep all my sites updated. I now have less time than ever to do any of those things and being able to prioritize has been a challenge.
However, I let myself turn-off the brain when I’m exhausted. An extra hour of sleep, hanging out with friends or letting myself relax and play video games does wonders for the amount of things I can get done the next day (including write this blog post). We live in an age where “being busy” is addictive and seems trendy but it’s important to know when to just kick back once in a while.
Today in Canada, it is Mental Health Awareness Day. Every call, text, and tweet with the hashtag #BellLetsTalk will contribute 5 cents towards mental health initiatives in Canada. Let’s end the negative stigma surrounding mental health, it’s not something that just happens to outcasts or weird people. Friends and family can go through the same thing and being open to the conversation can be a life-changer.
I filmed a Vlog to be a part of the conversation and to let people know that they are not alone.
It wasn’t until I was around 20 that I learnt why I was sick when I was around 4. Growing up I just periodically had to go to Sick Kids for checkups every year and I just assumed it was a regular routine thing for a growing child. I’m completely healthy now, whatever strain of leukemia I had (I’m still somewhat unclear on all the details), it was curable. Doctor visits have become much less frequent and trying to recall the events of back then is actually rather difficult. Here are some things I do remember:
I remember my doctor’s name was Dr. Freeman. Other than that, I don’t remember what he looks like. Every time I try to picture him I get the image of Colonel Sanders from Kentucky Fried Chicken. Maybe that is what he looked like.
I remember ALF came to visit me in the hospital and it was fuckin’ frightening for a 4 year old. Also I’m pretty sure I still have the pogs he gave me.
I remember playing with a kitchen set. It was yellow, and I loved pretending to cook pretend food.
I remember wearing a weird fanny pack for a while when I was out of the hospital. It made me feel like a robot. Around the same time my parents also threw out all the microwaves and we weren’t allowed to have them until 10 years later.
I remember making friends with a girl name Sarah. She had down syndrome. I wonder where she is now and how she is doing.
What I don’t remember is what it felt like to be sick or how I got there. I don’t remember all the depressing parts of being sick. I have Sick Kids Hospital to thank for that.
I’ve been a musician all my life, but I didn’t start to have problems until I started hard 4 hour practicing when I was in university. At the end of my university journey I was experiencing pains in my middle finger and wrists. All those nights practicing passages and octaves 100 times had put a tole to the health of my limbs. I’ve done some therapy and research, and here are some tricks I have been using to prevent some of the pain of repetitive activities. Most of these can be applied if you spend too much time on the computer as well. Continue reading