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Many of us are still mourning the horrific news of the 215 children's remains that were found in Kamloops that was discovered only a few weeks ago. It is suspected that the first residential school opened in 1831 and only closed as recently as 1996. Since then, many of the horrific stories of events that took place continue to haunt the indigenous community, their children and their families. Indigenous children were taken from their homes, forced into Catholic schooling and were taught to bury their indigenous roots. The trauma that these children experienced was an act of genocide. …


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This morning, I happened upon a documentary currently circulating titled “The Wisdom of Trauma” featuring Gabor Mate. If you have done any research around addiction or trauma you may recognize his name. Gabor is a well-known physician whose work in the Upper Downtown Eastside of Vancouver is remarkable. He also has many successful books such as “In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts” and “When the Body says No.” If you’re a fan of Gabor, you would also have jumped on this opportunity to watch the documentary. I took some notes from the film and I thought to unpack them a…


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I had a conversation recently with my brother. We were outside having soup and salad in the sunshine. Mental illness has been very prevalent in our family and it is often a topic of conversation between him and me.

I said to him, “I’m so terrified that if I tell people about my mental illness they will question my actions and judge me for them.” It dawned on me that perhaps this internal paranoid dialogue is very well a symptom of my mental illness.

I used to be very open about my mental illness. That was before my new diagnosis…


Strategies for Pulling Yourself out of a Writing Rut

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Perhaps the kryptonite of a writer is having nothing to write about. As I sit here, I have been struggling to find something to write for a few hours. This happens to me often. I will think of article topics all the damn day long but when it comes time to actually write, I am usually staring at a blank screen for some period of time. Then it hit me, “Write the article you want to read,” I thought. I’m still fairly new to Medium so much as anyone at the…


Photo by Becca McHaffie on Unsplash

I’ve spent the past two days at the local mall. The first day I went with a friend, intending on window shopping and the second day I went back by myself intending to actually purchase.

I’ve been a “bigger woman” for the majority of my life, excluding a brief period in high school when I was in the thick of my eating disorder.

Even as a child, I was known for my big appetite, love for food and extra cushion around my edges.

Growing up like this has been frustrating and defeating, although size inclusivity is becoming more of a…


Exploring personal use of cannabidiol to soothe the aches of mental illness.

Photo by Kimzy Nanney on Unsplash

For the better part of the last year, I’ve been using cannabidiol or “CBD” daily. I had previously been smoking a lot of what I call “Real weed” (or weed with primary just THC content) and was experiencing some pretty serious adverse effects that ultimately lead to hospitalization for mental health purposes.

Following my time spent “On the inside,” I knew I would have to make some lifestyle changes if I wanted to get better. My psychiatrist promptly informed me that even one present of tetrahydrocannabinol or “THC”…


Taking care of yourself when everything in you is done.

Photo by Jonathan Rados on Unsplash

I had a phone call with my psychiatrist recently. I told him my woes about how I was finding it difficult to get out of bed and do everyday tasks. His simple and seemingly obvious response wasn’t so obvious to me, but a light went on behind my eyes when he said it.

“The more inactive you are, the more lethargic you will feel. Even a little bit of activity will give you more energy and increase your motivation.”

This then reminded me of something one of my professions shared…


Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Now, don’t get me wrong not everyone's story is the same. Some of us have heartbreaking childhood stories. For some of us, forgiveness seems unattainable and intangible. Growing up me and my mom had a difficult time. We argued often, couldn’t see eye to eye and spent many days and nights crying over each other. As I’ve grown up though, I’ve begun to see my mom as a resilient human being who has fought through a lifetime of challenges. …


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Moving, in general, can be a major pain in the ass. From downsizing to packing to transporting your belongings; the process of moving can be one of the most stressful experiences in one's life. Let alone choosing to move across the country. Despite all the effort it takes, moving can also be one of the most rewarding experiences in the long term.

In September of 2019, I chose to move from my hometown of humble Sudbury, Ontario to the booming urbanized city that is Kelowna, British Columbia. I left my job, friends and family and most of my personal belongings…


Photo by Katrina Wright on Unsplash

The idea of manifesting something into our lives is not a new one. It is an idea that has been around since the 19th century.

I first remember learning about the Law of Attraction when I was in my early teen years. I remember I went to a close friend's house and her Nana had just acquired it. My friend was very interested and so we watched it. I distinctly remember sitting in front of the television with my eyes open wide trying to retain every word. I wanted to take notes. In my teenage mind, I thought, “If this…

Hannah Merchant

“A little bit of stillness and whole lot of punk rock.” Hi, my name is Hannah and I have a Mental Health condition. Now, show me where the shitty coffee is.

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