Wednesday 28 January 2015

Mental Illness

January 28, 2015

Today is the #BellLetsTalk day. For every tweet, text, or Facebook with the hashtag, five cents goes towards Mental Health Initiatives. I've been sharing the hashtag on Twitter and Facebook today.

It seems like a good time for me to post about Mental Illness. I just looked back on my posts, and I can't really find anything I'd done in the past about it, but I feel like I should have.

This is the closest I could find.

I'll start by saying, I have been lucky. I've seen people deal with mental health problems. I've seen it in people I know, and frankly, you can see it just walking downtown. It's around, but it's really not talked about a lot.

There are so many kinds of mental illness. I'm going to focus on the one I've had to deal with.

I have personally dealt with depression. It's something that runs in the family, and something I've had. I was lucky. I've never been on medication because of it, and I have been able to get myself out of it. My heart was able to lighten, and it and my head felt less heavy. I'm really careful now because I know what it's like to not be able to get out of bed. I work hard to keep myself motivated and happy.

It seems to be restricted now to just panic attacks. I get those - more so when I'm stressed out (like these last few weeks), but I still get out of bed every day.

The depression hit me most when I was in Whitecourt. I didn't even notice it happening until it was too late. I thought I was dealing with things, and it turns out, I wasn't at all. I didn't get out, I didn't socialise, my work suffered, I didn't write, and sometimes I didn't get out of bed. I tried going to talk to somebody, but I didn't feel like she was helping and only went to a couple sessions.

Somehow, I got out. How? I don't know. I got out of bed. I started breathing again. I started doing things for myself.

It was still a big influence in my life. Moving to Saskatoon helped, and finding a professional I could talk to helped. I don't see her anymore, but it helped. This blog helps the most. I don't write in my journal as much because I write it all here. I'm not ashamed of what I've been through, or how my mind works. If people can relate at all, then I'm glad.

Depression is a constant battle, and I can't even imagine how hard it would be to not be able to deal with it, to not have help, and not have a support system available.

I think it needs to be talked about. All of it, from the little things to the big things. I've only dealt with the little things, but so many people, in so many places have to deal with the big issues in Mental health.

This year (and I plan to every year), I donated to the Canadian Mental Health Association.   I donated specifically in support to Writing For Life because I know how writing can change lives, and hopefully make a bad moment better, but there are a lot of programs to support. It will for sure be something I do every year.

As always,

"Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

©ErinLeahMcCrea All photos I share on my blogs are my own, please Ask Me For Permission Before Using Them.

Also, check out my ongoing book blog:  Proud Bookworm at: 

Blogs I used to write on but not being updated:

Tuesday 27 January 2015

In major need of a Gratitude Post

January 27, 2015

It's been a busy and stressful couple of weeks, and I think it's only just begun. Since I stopped my other blog focusing only on gratitude (it would be celebrating it's anniversary today), I feel I need to dedicate a post to all the good things. They are important, and I've been ignoring the gratitude a bit lately. Some days,  you just have to take a breath, and look at all the good.

I could REALLY use a good dose of appreciation. Today will be a photo post because that's the easiest way for me to share my gratitude. Here are some good things that have happened in the past month.

My sweater and socks match.

Santa gave this to Clint. I made tea with it.

Surviving the coldest week of the year.


Home made meals


Barking Squirrel

Hello, delicious. Pumpkintini



Healthy Eating.
Unhealthy Eating.

Walk for Memories


Pad Thai (Made by me).

Fridge love.

Using cookbooks. 

Healthy Vegetarian meal.

Rejections. Or, encouragement. 



Word Art. I won't move into a house that already has it, but liked this one.

Trying new things.

This month has been all about Clint and I trying to find a house we can call our own. It's taking a lot of time, and it's kind of stressful. One more step towards our future together though. I can't complain about that.

As always,

"Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

©ErinLeahMcCrea All photos I share on my blogs are my own, please Ask Me For Permission Before Using Them.

Also, check out my ongoing book blog:  Proud Bookworm at: 

Blogs I used to write on but not being updated:

Wednesday 21 January 2015

My First Rejection

January 21st, 2015

Let me start by saying, this is NOT what I planned to post today. I had every intention to post - just not this.

However, the mail at work came, and changed my whole day. (My whole DAMN day).

I decided months ago to use my work address for publishers because we are renting, and we move a lot. I didn't stop to consider the fact that, for the most part, I'd receive rejection letters at work. At work.

For those of you who don't know me, here is something personal and true about me. I'm pretty sure I've already shared this though. I cry. I cry when I'm sad, I cry when I'm angry, I cry when I'm frustrated, and I cry when I'm scared. 

I've cried at work before, but I don't like doing it. I've cried when I've been frustrated about my job, and I've cried for personal reasons, usually involving loss of a loved one. I've found the tears to be embarrassing. I think I should be stronger than that.

This was different. I opened up the envelope knowing it was a rejection. I thought I was prepared. I've been saying for MONTHS that I'm ready for a no. Obviously, I wanted a yes, but I was prepared for a no. 

I thought I was. 

The letter itself was a promising letter. I mean, it wasn't a straight up, 'we aren't interested'. It was more of a 'fix your novel we can tell you're a newbie, and then get back to us' kind of letter.

The last sentence alone should have made me happy. It means try again. Better yet, it means try them again.

That did not stop me from feeling sad and disappointed. I stayed quiet about it, only emailing or texting 'my people' (the usual first to knows), to let them know. I sniffled a lot, and wiped the odd tear from my face, but tried to ignore it.

And then my eyes cried in a co-worker's (and friend's) office because I don't have my own office to cry in. Once I started, I was a bit worried that they weren't going to stop crying. But they did. It helped (and it helped to say it out loud). I've cried, and now I can move on to the next step.

I am going to take the advice of the publishing company, and look for somebody to help or mentor me, and help me get my novel ready to publish. 

The rejection stinks. However, I'm not going to let it keep me down. I'm going to get published. (Just not today.)

As to why I'm telling the Internet (and readers) about my rejection and almost failure? I get over things quicker when I talk about them. I could feel bad about this situation for a week and then write about it, but I'd rather just admit to my non defeat right now. It's a writing blog about my writing life. Rejection is apparently a part of that. 

It's not a failure, I know that. But the first few seconds did feel a little bit like it was. It's only a failure if I stop writing and stop trying. It's only being defeated if I don't continue to try. 

I will continue trying to make my novel better, and trying to get it into the publishing world. I feel like one of those inspirational posters, but I guess that's what I need right now.

The letter was encouraging. At no point in it did they say 'you're writing is crap, give up now.'

So, I'll keep reminding myself of that.

Also - Coffee and treats help:

Update: Here was what I originally thought would happen:

As always,

"Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

©ErinLeahMcCrea All photos I share on my blogs are my own, please Ask Me For Permission Before Using Them.

Also, check out my ongoing book blog:  Proud Bookworm at: 

Blogs I used to write on but not being updated:

Monday 19 January 2015

My Walk for Memories

Jan 19, 2015

I'm starting of the week with a blog post. As long as I finish it today, I will be happy. It will start of the week correctly.

Although I wanted to do a week of gratitude, I'm going to focus on one specific moment of my week that I'm grateful for.

I've got a whole lot of things floating around in my brain. They're making me stressed (at times) and busy. This post isn't about that, it's about something else I've been doing, along with others.

Walk for Memories

These past few weeks, I've been fundraising for Walk for Memories, a fundraiser for the Saskatchewan Alzheimer Society.  I started off slowly. I'm not really sure how to ask people for money, and I feel awkward doing it.  The money is for a great cause, but I'm still not good at fundraising. I do a lot of social media fundraising. Facebook and Twitter because it's the passive aggressive approach I'm good at. I asked a few people at work as well.

The good news is I reached my goal. I just wish I could do better. There is always next year.

We did this walk once before, but took an accidental two year break. I'm not sure why we didn't get to it during the two years, but it felt good to join in again.

Why I walk?

My sister and I walk for our Grandma Burton, and my mom walks for her mom.

She lived with Alzheimer's her last few years. I'm not sure what she remembered and what she didn't. She didn't know she had it, but my family watched and saw the changes in her.  

As an example, my grandfather died after she was diagnosed. The night he passed away, Grandma was there to say goodbye. Her kids (my mom and her siblings), explained to her, more than once, that he had died. I wasn't there, but cried just hearing it. Having her ask, "Shouldn't we tell Don where I am?" after they told her he had passed away, must have been heart breaking. 

I think this sums up what it's like having somebody close to you with Alzheimer's. 

I remember one Christmas, when Jodi and I went to pick her up in the home she was living in. It was a bad Christmas as it was because we were dealing with a different loss. We picked Grandma up, and drove her to Plenty. Neither my sister or I were sure if Grandma knew who we were. She didn't know where we were going. She was excited to come though. Although she couldn't remember, her humour was still there. She was quiet and polite most of the time as the disease progressed, but she still came out with things that made us laugh.

Growing up, my grandma was tough. She was smart, she was hard working, and she remembered ALL the important details. 

I sometimes felt like I couldn't live up to her expectations, but I was wrong. That's not a criticism of her, it just means she wanted us to be our very best. She was proud of all of her grandchildren. 

She always remembered our favourite cookies, and our favourite candy. She was loving, and she was kind. 

Her family was her first priority. Always. 

I've missed her smile since she passed away, but I missed her before that.

Another Reason I walk:

I walk for myself. I walk for my mom, and I walk for my sister. I walk for the future. I don't know if I'll end up with this disease, but I might. It might be something that my own family will have to deal with as I get older. This is something that may be passed down, and I hope to make life a little easier for everybody who deals with it in the future, by donating and fundraising for the cause right now. 

This is important. It's a scary disease, and think if life was fair, nobody would have to deal with it. Life isn't fair, and it's something many people have to deal with.

If I do end up getting it, my family will be the people who are hurt by it. I don't want that.

The Walk for Memories Event

This is a great event, and every time I go, I think about how many more people could be involved in it. I think it'll continue getting bigger and better as the years go by. I'm not sure how many walks there have been, but I hope to be involved with many of them in the future.

Here are some more pictures from the event:

(I'm going to publish this, but will add more pictures from my camera tonight. These are just the cell phone pictures, and I don't have many.)
(Update: more pictures added.)

As for why I'm grateful: I'm grateful that my family participates, and we have each other. I'm grateful that my sister and I can tear up during the start of the event, but are still able to laugh at one another. I'm grateful for the people who donated. I'm grateful that I remember right now. 

Side note: I finished the post on the day I started! WAY better than last week!

As always,

"Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

©ErinLeahMcCrea All photos I share on my blogs are my own, please Ask Me For Permission Before Using Them.

Prompts from:

Also, check out my ongoing book blog:  Proud Bookworm at: 

Blogs I used to write on but not being updated:

Saturday 17 January 2015

Best Friend Meetings

January 17, 2015

Darn! Making the three posts a week goal is not working out. I'll get better. There are a lot of unblog post related things going on in my head lately, and I haven't felt like posting. When I have felt like posting, I still didn't do it.

So today is the day.

It is a prompt day. (Or it was when I started this post almost a week ago.) I actually have a lot I could talk about, and I still have to do a gratitude post, but I'll start with this one I've been working on for a long time.

Tell the story of how you met your best friend.

This is taking me longer to write than it should. Part of the reason is because I want to do my friend's justice, and I frankly don't think I can. I guess this is just about how I met them, but still. 

I don't like picking favourites, but these are some friends who have been around FOREVER! 

My best friends:

Karen: It's kind of funny how we met. It was at a Youth Forum, also known as a church event for United Church teens. I think it was a weekend event. It's kind of like a weekend camp for teenagers, so basically boys and girls that have crushes on one another and 'date' for the weekend. I didn't date anybody, but I had fun. It's strange because neither of us are religious now. If you ignore the church stuff, basically it was camp. I enjoyed anything that gave me a break from Plenty. We met in 1996. She was 15, and I was 16. (Maybe, I actually can't remember specific ages.) At this particular meeting, we might have talked about twice. We didn't become instant best friends. We were acquaintances at best. She was this cool girl who showed up late, and everybody seemed to know. We met again at a United Church conference. It was another chance for the youth to meet up. You know, now that I'm writing this, it's kind of a cool idea for youth to keep in touch. Anyway, we hung out more that weekend. We talked, had fun, and found out we had connections outside of the United Church community. (By the way, the United Church, is basically, the easiest church to be a part of. I don't participate in any church anymore, but if I were to choose, it would still be United.) Karen knew my cousin and his kids (cousins), and it was a strange connection, but it probably helped us become better friends. She lived close to my grandma's city, so we would hang out when I went to visit. We didn't become best friends until later, but it was a great friendship. We weren't always close, but we were always friends.

Karen has always been a beautiful person inside and out. She knows what she wants, and she lives a life that not only reaches her goals, but also helps people along the way. It seemed like she always had a clear picture of what she wanted in life. (I, on the other hand, still don't know what I want in life). 

We live in the same city right now, and I'm so grateful that I get to see her and her family. She's got two awesome boys (plus an awesome husband), and I'm really happy I get to be "Auntie Erin".

I could go on and on, but that's how we met. She was a cool girl who I thought would make a great friend, and I was correct. 

When I used to watch Sex and the City, I'd imagine my friends as the characters on the show. Karen would be a Charlotte. (But less uptight -haha).  

Denise: We also met in an unconventional way. I had friends in Plenty, but I met my forever friends outside of my high school. The summer before I started Grade 12, I decided to go to a Writing Camp. Denise and I met the summer of 1997. We were both participants of the Writing Camp. I don't know if she feels like that the way I do about meeting Karen at a church camp. Like it's a silly way to meet your best friend (because it's a dorky writing camp). 

On the other hand, I can admit loud and proud that I went to a writing camp when I was a teenager. I loved it, and I'm a writer, so it makes sense. 

Denise seemed to friend another girl at the camp right away, and I was actually a bit jealous that she wouldn't be my camp best friend. I thought Denise seemed so fun, and I wanted to be friends with her. As luck would have it, 18 years later, she's still one of my best friends. That summer, I met her, and I met my first boyfriend. (I KNOW! I was a late bloomer, and didn't find a boyfriend until I was 16). The boy didn't stay in my life, but the girl did. She was a crazy, loud girl who wasn't afraid of anything. She had and has great confidence in herself and in life. 

We became best friends quickly. When I went home, we talked on the phone ALL the time, we wrote letters, and we hung out when we could. Strangely, we hung out in the same place (Moose Jaw) that Karen and I did when I was in town, but not at the same times.  Denise is my Snotty, and I am her Bossy.

We both went to university in the same city. (Eventually - I took two years off before going back to school). We had off and on years as well. There were times that we weren't as close as others. 

Her friendship helped me through a lot. She helps people. If somebody is hurting or going through a hard time, she is there, she is making them eat, she is making them laugh, and she is there. This isn't just me she's done this for. I've seen her jump in with other friends who needed her.

Update, I forgot two things. One is that Denise is also gorgeous inside and out ( surround myself with beauty.) And two, her SATC character is Miranda. We all know it! Haha. 

Both Denise and Karen have been there through the most worst times of my life. I can't ask for more than that. I can't ever give back all that they gave me. This blog post 'love letter' to my best friends isn't even close to covering what they mean to me.  


Jodi: Jodi and I met sometime after I was born. She's my older sister. We weren't always best friends, but we have been since graduating high school. I remember talking to a friend one time about best friends, and she said, 'well, you're lucky. You have a sister. That's an automatic best friend." At that moment, I realised she was right.

Jo and I make sure to communicate all the time. We email even though we live in the same city, and when we aren't in the same city, we communicate more. We tell each other worries and fears.

She is my smart and beautiful older sister, and I'm so incredibly lucky to have her.

Nehal: We met in 1999 at a job called Community Connections. It wasn't really a job. And to this day, I can't explain what exactly it was. Strangely enough, it was also in Moose Jaw. The city my grandma lived in, and the place I hung out with K and D when I was young. 

I had just returned from Katimavik (A WHOLE OTHER POST). N and I worked together, and we had a blast. We laughed at everything. We hung out a coffee shop. We sang badly. We shaved our heads together. (After bad dye jobs). 

Since meeting her, she's been the one to encourage my writing the most. We aren't in the same city now, and she's busy doing almost everything. (Am I wrong?) But anytime we meet up, it's just like old times. She's my friend, and I'm hers. We used to call each other twins. (Still are). Even though she's a year older. (HAHA).

James: He's my dude best friend. We met in South Korea. It was 2005. He worked at the same school as I. He knew me and probably saw me slowly come out of my shell. He was there when I broke up with my boyfriend (still in Saskatchewan). He teased me about breaking his heart, and while it wasn't really a funny situation, it helped me. I've spoken about him before. Here We started emailing after I left Korea, and eventually we were able to tell each other everything. He knows my secrets, and I know his. And we still like each other. (haha) 

Clint: If my boyfriend and partner of almost three years isn't my best friend, then we are doing something wrong. He is though. He is my best friend. We met because of online dating, but officially we met by the river. We chatted, and he asked me out shortly after. We've been going strong ever since. He's pretty awesome, and I'm able to talk to him about anything that's bothering me, and vise versa.

As an example, I had a bad day at work yesterday. Somebody treated me in a way that made me feel bad and unimportant. I didn't tell Clint about it until today, and now I wish I had told him sooner because he said the words that made me feel better. He helps me see things differently, and he helps me love who I am. 

He's another person who knows it all. My secrets, my past, my present, my future. I couldn't ask for more. 

Nancy: My mom is one of my best friends. As she should be. She raised me, she helped me become who I am, and she is my biggest and best supporter.

So in conclusion, I am incredibly lucky. I have other close friends, and I could go on forever about them, but I'm going to stop at these ones. Another post for another day. I'm grateful for all my friends, near and far. Life is better with friends.

As always,

"Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

©ErinLeahMcCrea All photos I share on my blogs are my own, please Ask Me For Permission Before Using Them.

Prompts from:

Also, check out my ongoing book blog:  Proud Bookworm at: 

Blogs I used to write on but not being updated:

Wednesday 7 January 2015

Blog and writing Schedule

January 7th, 2015

This is more for me, but I figure if I have it written down and posted for all to see, then I HAVE to follow it. 

As I said in the last post, I've been blogging for a year, but I've kind of been winging it. Some months, I aimed for one post a day, other months I just wrote when I wanted. 

I've done my goals for 2015, but I haven't focused entirely on my writing goals. Today is the day! (And only 7 days into the month).

Blog Plans:

Here is my plan for this blog. I want to post three times a week. Probable Monday, Wednesday, and Friday because that spreads it out the most. It will be Monday through Sunday because I'm going with the work week starting Monday for my goals.

 I want to do one prompt post a week, one personal/writing post a week, and one gratitude/picture post a week. It's actually more important than I thought to do the gratitude post. I'm glad I discontinued that blog just because I don't want to have so many blogs, but will be happy to continue on with what makes me happy in this one. 

Writing Plans:

I want to write for 15 minutes (or more) five days a week (or more). It's not hard to do, and yet sometimes (a lot) I don't do it. I NEED to start again. My break from Nanowrimo has gone on long enough. I will finish my novel, I will edit my novel, and I will continue trying to get the first one published.

I WILL write for 15 minutes a night. That's ONLY novel or Creative Writing. Blog writing is different. 

I also want to journal. I have one. I can honestly say, I have no idea when I wrote in it last. It's been a while. This isn't a goal, or a promise. The others I want to do, this one is just something I'd like to have happen. It's not the most important on the list. 

Reading Plans: 

Also, a side note, I've just pledged to read 13 books this year on GoodReads. That will be one a month plus an extra book. 

I also plan to blog about the books I read. As I always do.

That's it for my writing plans for 2015. I just need to figure out how to keep track of it. If anybody has a suggestion, please let me know. There must be some sort of app for keeping track of my writing. I'll look for that tonight. 

As always,

"Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

©ErinLeahMcCrea All photos I share on my blogs are my own, please Ask Me For Permission Before Using Them.

Prompts from:

Also, check out my ongoing book blog:  Proud Bookworm at: 

Blogs I used to write on but not being updated: