So, apparently Monday the 17th was Blue Monday. I didn’t know ’til I was watching the evening news, though incidentally, I did hear New Order’s Blue Monday on the radio in the afternoon, which made me nostalgic for the days when I would listen to Orgy and Coal Chamber, and cut up cutesie socks to turn them into fingerless gloves. I went back to Lindsay for a few days, where I am always bound to be reminded of those things, though I do stay inside for the most part, avoid being seen in public. I only go back to Lindsay when I have an appointment with my doctor. The photocopies in Lindsay are much cheaper than in Guelph, so I try to work out my photocopy dates to happen alongside doctor’s appointments. For the cost of ninety zines in Guelph, you can get two-hundred in Lindsay.
When certain dates come around, I like to keep myself busy, pretend it’s some kind of me-day. Like, when a bad anniversary is coming up, and I know I don’t typically react well, I set it aside as a day of self-care. I might have done that for Blue Monday, if I had known of its existence. Or I might have simply laughed it off, considering its origins. Still, I thought about how I had spent the day, and what I might have done differently. It was probably for the best, though, that I was unaware of Blue Monday, as the date was already etched in my mind for another reason, yet another bad date in my life. Anyway. I got up early and went to the doctor’s office to get my brain meds refilled. From there, I visited my grandparents, and brought my knitting with me. I told my nana about the dreams I have been having about Kirkfield, a tiny village-town I lived in the first few years of my life, and she told me of the dreams she has of conversing with her parents, both dead. She can wake up and then fall back asleep and continue the conversation. My Kirkfield dreams have been continuing for a couple months now. They are strange and beautiful, and often involve me sneaking out at night to spy on the current residents of my old house, which was a known haunted house in the community.
Another date I often set aside as a self-care day is the anniversary of my first suicide attempt. I am too aware of that date to simply brush it aside. For awhile, it was disastrous, when that date rolled around each year, until I made a decision to call the day my own and devote my time to taking care of myself. I thought of it as something like a birthday, but to be celebrated alone.
I have a love/hate relationship with the town of Lindsay, which I have written about in great detail over the years. I wish I didn’t have to go back so often. I used to love being away from that town long enough that when I did return, it was different. A house had burned down, several new buildings were under construction, shops had gone out of business and new ones had come in, new bike racks had been installed downtown, etc. But I’m there so often now that the only thing that changes is the weather. I am still really uncomfortable on the streets of Lindsay, I still feel like a target. Sometimes I feel like I am still thirteen when I’m there: dressed all in black, angry at everyone, totally unwelcome. While I was visiting my nana, she started talking about my short-lived high school career (I dropped out before finishing Grade Nine and I don’t regret it). Usually I get upset if somebody brings it up out of the blue, because hey, it’s not very pleasant to talk about, and it ruins my good mood, but I went with it. And instead of being told that it was such a shame I was so angry and weird and couldn’t just get through it or whatever, I was told it was a shame that nobody knew what to do with me, that nobody bothered to listen to me, and that I was the one who was constantly punished when others were bullying me.
I’ve always been critical of the formal education system, since it did nothing for me. As I don’t believe we were all built to work conventional nine-to-five jobs, I also don’t believe we were all meant to go to school everyday, to learn what somebody else tells us to learn, and to struggle the whole way through. I just imagine schools filled with teachers who, twenty years ago, thought they could do something to change the world, but became disillusioned and burnt out so fast, and frankly, aren’t adept at working with and helping children and teenagers. I have too many stories of folks in the education system fucking up to believe it could ever be good for me.
That was a bit of a tangent. It’s just being back in Lindsay reminds me of all these things, and while I am still bitter, I also sometimes get stupidly nostalgic for those days, even though I know they were horrible. I don’t know why I am always drawn in to pondering that age, but it was a pivotal year for me, I suppose. And I do enjoy analyzing it from the perspective of who I’ve become twelve years later, and I still wonder about all the what ifs. What if I could change one thing? What if I hadn’t been so afraid of everything? What if I could have predicted my future? There’s not much I would change, though. Occasionally, I wish I had found a therapist who I could actually look in the eye, since the ‘professionals’ I was seeing at the time seemed unable to listen, or dig deeper, or ask the right questions, or treat me like a complicated, multi-faceted being instead of just another case, another whiny adolescent.
I keep talking about finding a therapist in Guelph, but don’t put in the effort. I’m afraid of doing the whole waitlist thing again, of ending up with someone I don’t like, of all the million factors that could make it a good experience, bad experience, or simply mediocre. I’m trying to get up the courage, and the patience, to continue that search. I am secretly jealous of my friends who have therapists, so that option is not always one that is available to me.
My writing in this entry is not as focused as I meant for it to be. My mind has been very jumbly lately, and I am trying to collect that scattered thoughts and make sense of them. Stay tuned for more entries on self-care, anxiety, and survival.
One of my favourite houses in Guelph.
Two of my favourite songs and videos when I was thirteen.