Art is about making a connection

Art is about making a connection

Sunday, 3 February 2019


Welcome guest writer, Sarah P.

Sad - 

Sad.  Comforting hug.
A hand sweeps the mind with gentle flow,
Soft and gentle touch becomes a daydream,
Safe in the deepest corners of happiness,
A mind escapes, but touch brings sadness,
A touch becomes terrifying with warm hands,
No words. No fun little girl games,
Comforting hug. Not.

Sad. Uncomfortable.

Mind games plague a little girls dreams,
Little girl don't be afraid,
Little girl touch,
Mind games sent from a touch of a swift hand,
Pain overwhelms from a calloused heart,
Pain.  Touch.  Childish games turn black,
Mind games go away,
Run.  No where to go.

Sad. Threat.

Scared of living in a different world unknown,
Random swirls of panic,
Living in fear from the unfamiliar hand,
Pain and blood pool in the basin of a child's mind,
Run.  Run.  No where to go.
A room no longer safe,
Fear and hands reaching out.  Invasion.

Sad. Little girl alone. No one to help.  Sad.

Tuesday, 25 December 2018

Holiday thoughts of you

Dear Blog readers, 

You are not alone. 
You are worthy and deserving. 
You are enough. 

You are SO enough. 

Remember to nourish your body, mind and spirit. 

Your Blog Moderator, 


Thursday, 20 December 2018

Eating Disorder Recovery Over the Holidays

Holidays. Pretty lights all around. Familiar sights and smells. Family. 

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, its there. In your face. All the time. Every store. Every advertisement. You can’t escape it. For some it is a beautiful time of year. For others it is the epitome of hell. 

Whatever you celebrate throughout the year, I’m sure you can relate to family gatherings, work parties, and getting together with friends. 

It is joyous and exhausting. It is full of expectations and obligations. Warmth and love. Stress and anxiety. All wrapped up with a big bow made of good and bad memories. 

I reached out to the community and asked for some strategies to stay safe, well, and on track this season. 

Here are some of their ideas:

“I made myself a small soothing package that I keep in my purse. It has a fidget toy, a special tiny stone I can hold without being noticed, and a fragrance I can sniff when I excuse myself to go to the bathroom.” 

“I carry a self-care kit with me wherever I go. Then all my things that calm me are in one place.”

“I wear a bracelet my Gramma gave me when I was 16. When I put it on I feel safe.”

“There’s a couple of good friends who understand me. We text each other when we need support.”

“I’m a terrible liar. Like really bad. So I drink as many beverages as I possibly can. Especially with caffeine. Then I can honestly excuse myself to go to the bathroom multiple times without having to lie!”

“Using my dog as an excuse to leave early is awesome. He needs to be walked so I have a limited amount of time to give.”

“Boundaries boundaries boundaries. Set them. Keep them. Allow them to make you safe.”

“If you need to leave then leave. Who’s going to stop you? Go outside for a few minutes. Go for a walk. Offer to go on a coffee run. Your well-being matters more than anything else.”

“Bring a buffer. Bring a person who can run interference. If you have a family member you trust, tell them your triggers and ask them to prepare to change the subject if needed.”

“Offer to take the small children into another room to take care of them. Then you’re awesome and no one knows it’s your way of bailing.”

“Don’t go? Just joking. I go prepared with broken record phrases like:

  • I’m not comfortable talking about that 
  • Enough about me, how are things with YOU?
  • Hold that thought, I’ll be right back”

“Stick to your routine. Plan ahead. But also be flexible. Participating in something you enjoy for one day, or even at each gathering, doesn’t mean you aren’t in recovery. The work is not letting guilt and shame crush you for doing what everyone else is doing. Its okay to celebrate sometimes you know.”

“If you’ve participated in more than you had planned or in more than feels comfortable, do not change your routine to overcompensate. Our brains lie to us. The rest of the world goes oh no I can’t believe I did that and minutes later move on. Tell your brain to shut up and get right back to your routine.”

“Food has no moral value.”

I think it is important to remember that the holidays are meant to be joyful. They are meant to make you feel loved, welcomed, and that you belong. Your ED will tell you that you are unworthy and unloveable. It is lying. Its a liar. Tell that thought “I  hear you but I know I’m enough”.  Surround yourself with people and experiences that bring you joy. If family obligations do not offer you that, make a point of finding that in the next few days. 

Above all else, remind yourself that:

  • you are not your eating disorder 
  • Recovery is not linear 
  • Every moment is an opportunity to stop and reset
  • You are worth recovery so reset and keep going

Take care of yourself, and remember to nourish your mind, body, and spirit. 

- Kira 


Saturday, 8 December 2018

Baby its cold outside #MeToo

One of the most frustrating things about my Dad when I was a kid was when I didn’t listen and he would ask “What does no mean?” It was a simple, and simply complicated question then, and continues to be now. 

There is only one answer to “what does no mean?” and in the moment it is being asked all you want to do is yell “YES” and get your way. 

Boundaries and the ability to follow them and enforce them is learned in childhood. If a child is told no and then gets what they want, they don’t learn the meaning of the word no. If a child who is being tickled says no or stop, and the tickling continues, they don’t learn the meaning of the word no. 

Recently, the term “#MeToo era” has popped up. The troublesome part of this term is the idea that we are in a time period where consent and sexual assault are being frowned upon. As if knowledge of sexual assault is a blip in time and we will go back to harassment, abuse, and rape being the unspoken normal. #MeToo isn’t a fad. It is a global connection among women and a way of saying to each other, I know how you feel, while saying to the world NO MEANS NO. 

The song “Baby Its Cold Outside.” has been removed from the playlists of multiple radio stations. My immediate thought when I heard about it was “its about time.” Not because I was waiting for the day it disappeared from the airwaves, but because I’ve never understood why it was considered romantic. 

Jessica Goddard, a self proclaimed “opinionated millennial” wrote a piece for CBC news in which she argues how ridiculous it is to pull an historical song when we could be using it to start conversations about consent and furthermore that consent is complicated and the song is not reminiscent of sexual pressure. 

“Critics cite the song as inappropriate in the "#MeToo era," where we have come to understand what it means to be a woman in a subordinate position, sexually harassed by a man in a position of power. Yet lyrics in the song such as "Been hoping that you'd drop in" and "How lucky that you dropped in" make it sound a lot like the female character in the song has come over unannounced, surprising the man in his home. She flirtatiously threatens to leave, while accepting excuses to stay. How this is an example of #MeToo, I can't quite connect.“ - Jessica Goddard, CBC

The suggestion that sexual harassment or the pressure put on another person to have sex is not merely “inappropriate”, it is illegal, immoral, and the biggest violation one can commit. 

Ms. Gorddard claims that “[...] the track is being pulled, sending the message that the intention of the song doesn't matter, nor does the context in which it was written. After all, nothing says "happy holidays" like the death of nuance and frantic institutional overreaction.” To which I reply, nothing says “we don’t believe you” like being upset that stations have banned a song about a woman being pressured into sex. 

In a time when girls and woman around the world are being sold into sexual slavery, raped, forced to be child brides ... and here in my own city elementary students are learning that to be liked is to be sexually available. More and more documentaries are being made about how sex is used to control women and how sex is a commodity that both satisfies men and fills their pockets with money - Documentaries that explore global sex trafficking, amateur porn, and wild parties like during spring break where forced sex is the only purpose. 

Consent IS complicated in that it is an ongoing negotiation. One cannot give consent once and be expected to leave that consent open forever. I might be willing to pick up your mail and water your plants while you’re away for a few weeks but not while you’re away for a few months. Or maybe I am available this year but say no next year. Consent is the permission to engage in a mutually negotiated and understood transaction, so to speak. 

In the song “Baby its Cold Outside”, one voice expresses the desire not to spend the night with the other voice. Ms. Goddard argues that voice one showed up unexpectedly and flirts with voice 2, giving voice 2 the message than no means yes. Is this not the epitome of #MeToo? Is this not the common experience being shared by this movement? Perhaps Ms Goddard herself never learned the meaning of the word no. Perhaps she has never been pressured to do something she really didn’t want to do. Or perhaps she is living in the “era” where we allow children to consume unfiltered internet content, sexualized girls in the media, and online conversations with strangers; a world where you can instantly access sex in media format or in real life through online sex apps. 

There is nothing wrong about sex.

Consensual sex between two adults, regardless of the type of sex being had, is always okay and is also a biological imperative. One person convincing another to have sex when they are expressing doubt is not flirtatious as suggested by Ms Goddard. It is in fact exactly the purpose of the #MeToo era, and the We Give Consent movement which is to bring awareness to the fact that no means no. 



Sunday, 21 October 2018

An open Letter to the woman who stole my words

An Open Letter to the Woman who Stole my Words

Dear Fellow Human,

In 2016, I had my first adult piece of writing published on a public forum. I was thrilled. I’ve wanted to be a writer since before I knew how to form letters. My earliest stories were scribbles on lined paper because I didn’t know how to write any words. Writing has always felt like breathing. I can’t go more than a day or two without writing something. Anything. 

Seeing my words on a real website with my name attached, was a moment of magic for me. Someone read my story and thought it was worth sharing. And then thousands of people read it. 

It was magical and beautiful and validating. People were reading my story about what it feels like to be me. And people were clicking “share” and “like” and taking the time to comment on it. So I began submitting more writing to a variety of websites and finding a wider audience. I could call myself a “writer” and mean it. I had been validated. 

And then I was faced with the question: does my story belong to me? We live in a world where it is so easy to claim things as your own. Throughout history we have lived with a finders-keepers mentality whether it is over land, borders, property, possessions, or people. If I want it, I can take it, and now it is mine. We write national anthems and stand proudly under flags on land that used to have different flags and different anthems and we accept that now is the true way. 1000 years from now there will be new borders, new flags, new anthems, and new stories. And those will be truth as well. 

Two years after that magical publication moment, I awoke to multiple comments on that first story. 46 comments to be exact. I scrolled through the comments and came across yours ... 

You wrote: “I already wrote this! The majority is my writing with a few changes.” 

I was so taken aback that I actually reread my story to make sure every single word was mine. My initial reaction to you was shock and anger. 

Over the course of the day I had so many thoughts about what I could write to you. The things I came up with were not very kind. Kindness and compassion are my guiding principles so I couldn’t even speak the words that went through my head. 

My pause in responding made me think about the impulsivity of being at a keyboard. With a few key strokes and a “send” I could harm someone.  We live in a world where our amygdalae are allowed to go wild if it involves a sense of anonymity on a screen. Reactions are immediate. You don’t need to stop and think. You can click-click-click-send in mere seconds. I wondered for a moment if that’s what it was like for you. I wondered if you copied, pasted, revised, and submitted without a pause in your thought process. 

What surprised me was how people replied to your comment; they immediately jumped to your defence. How awful, they said. One person even pointed out that my article was published 13 months earlier than yours, but used that as further evidence that I plagiarized you. Which is backwards. There it goes again - that impulsive need to type and send without a pause for thought and reflection. 

I thought more about what I would say to you if we had the chance to meet. Could I be kind and compassionate? Was it okay for me to feel this anger? Was “betrayal” too strong a word? I googled your name to see if you actually had anything published under your name; not only did I find the story you referred to, I found that it was line for line mine. My story. Not only did you draw attention to your theft of my intellectual property, you did so on a site on which I am a regular contributor. Further research uncovered that your version of my story is also on another prominent website. Under your name. 

This was not an intellectual article. It wasn’t research-based. It wasn’t something that could be judged as “similar”. It was a personal narrative about a day in my life. Your version is word for word MY life experience. And yet is it published world-wide under YOUR name. 

This evening I am reflecting on my choices. Instead of addressing it in a public forum, I emailed the editors and informed them that the comments were to be deleted from my contributor page, and that your stolen version of my story be deleted. 

It has been a few days since your revelation. My anger has not subsided. However, my compassion for you has grown. In what world could a person copy and paste someone else’s personal story, submit it for publication, and then have the nerve to publicly claim ownership? What must your life be like? What might it feel like to be you? To struggle to the point where your only form of expression is to use someone else’s words as your own? 

Life must be hard for you. Life must have been hard on you. I send out warmth and love to you with the hope that you can receive support for whatever it is life has thrown your way. 

In the meanwhile, my story is still my story. I am angry that my story sits on other people’s screens with your minor changes and your name. I’m angry that human adults seem to be giant 3 year olds who take what we want with no concept of the impact it has on anyone else. 

Dear Fellow Human, I ask that the next time you are in front of a screen and you have typed out words, before you press send, ask yourself:

  • will I still think this in an hour?
  • will I think this in a month?
  • do I want the world to judge me based on what I just wrote?
  • will I feel good about my words later?
  • who will be affected and how? 
  • would I say this to someone I love?

If you haven’t taken the time to reflect on yourself and to answer those questions for yourself, you aren’t ready to press “send”. 

The written word lasts forever. No matter who claims ownership. 

Yours Truly, 

Kira, a Fellow Human 

Friday, 21 September 2018

TGIF ... wait what?

When you make it to Friday and then realize you still have to make it THROUGH Friday. 

Chronic pain and fatigue can drain all the energy you have available to you. And yet you still get up every day, go to work, do your job, and sometimes even smile. 

YOU, dear friend, are a warrior. 

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Back to school

Dear Teachers: as you head back to school, remember that you are a human being with a job. You do not have to give up your life for your job. You do not have to feel like you are supposed to have passion and selflessness. Creating a safe and welcoming space where learning can take place and the curriculum can be delivered and assessed does not mean you can’t leave work at work and live your best full life. Teaching is a profession like any other. It does not have to be your calling. You do not have to devote your life to your students. You have to do the job you are being paid to do just like any other career. I LOVE teaching and I am passionate about Special Education. That doesn’t mean teaching is my everything. Work-life balance is just as important for teachers. Boundaries with students extends to boundaries with their families, with colleagues, with worklife. You, dear teacher, are not a superhero. You are a perfectly imperfect human like everyone else. Don’t forget about yourself and your needs in these next few intense weeks (or months!) #teacher #teachersofinstagram #specialeducation #speced #specialeducationteacher #backtoschool #selfcaresunday 

Monday, 20 August 2018

Not sexy. Not sensual. Just me.

Can we be okay with fat bodies simply because we can be okay with all bodies? 

Can we just accept fatness instead of explaining why fat is okay? 

Messages that fat is beautiful, fat is sexy, curves are sensual, or that “men like curves”, all tell me that my right to exist is based on my attractiveness to others. 

I am worthy because I am alive. I am fat. I don’t need that to be explained away with other descriptors. 

The body positivity messages I am receiving are that it is okay to be fat if I am either sexy or beautiful. 

What if I am neither of those? 

Does that mean I am excluded?