Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Be Kind.

Alternate titles could have been: "The Other Shoe Drops", "The Shit Hit the Fan" and "I'm freaking out a little". 

So. Y'all know I've been involved in some secret project for months now. Almost a year actually. A couple of days ago though, it happened. Someone posted a comment on this blog about how they read my "heartbreaking" story in Canadian Living magazine. Whaaaat? Somehow it was published and it's out there and I hadn't even seen it. No big deal, just the second biggest magazine in Canada with over 4 million readers a month. Should be on newsstands by tomorrow night/Thursday morning. 

And so it begins. This particular well-meaning woman wanted to reassure me that Jesus died on the cross for me and he loves me, even if so many people shun me. The next few posts? Not so nice. Apparently there are people out there who believe there's been enough religion shoved down my throat and they should all just leave me alone. Then of course, some guy who wants to sleep with me. 

I'm an Atheist in my head, a Buddhist in my heart and while I couldn't care less to see another Bible for the rest of my life, Jesus seems like a hell of a nice guy. 

Let's just all get along. I know that no matter what I say, the comments on here will be what they will be. But it would be nice if we could respect each other's beliefs while we express our own. Some people, they need religion to make sense of the chaos in the world and the uncertainty in their own lives. For those of us who don't need it, who can find peace both in the suffering and the joy that life brings us, we're just on a different path. 

I don't know how the JWs will react to this. I honestly think they underestimated me this time. I might get disfellowshipped again. I figure it could go two ways: either they will need to make an example out of me (again!) or they will just not do anything, so I'll shut up about it. I promise, I will never shut up about this. :)

As I've said on here more times than I can count, I don't blame the people, and neither should you. They are sheep following a sheperd who is no doubt counting his coins half the day and spending the other half figuring out how to manipulate his followers. We should have compassion for them. 

At least we are free and happy and honest. 

Be kind. For everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. 

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Baby Steps

I had a long week at work. I was so exhausted come the weekend that once again I didn't accomplish everything I was hoping to. Some weeks, I just need to calm down and accept that I'm only human after all and trying to be more than that gives me panic attacks and will lead me to an early grave. 

It's possible y'all are tired of hearing me prepare for this Mental Health week speech thing, but one of our Partners called me on Friday afternoon, he's been struggling with his speech too. So I guess we're in the same boat. Telling terrible, personal stories, hoping it will have an impact on someone. 

I've realized in preparing for it though, I am very, very grateful for my job. Yes, I believe in work/life balance and our priorities should be the people in our lives, not the work we're doing. But we can't underestimate how much head space our jobs take up - even just by virtue of the fact that we spend so much of our time there. 

I have been extremely lucky to land where I am, meet the people I've met and have the opportunities I currently have. My team bought me a big bouquet of flowers on Friday afternoon and I honestly feel the love. 

The journey I've been on professionally though, has been one consisting of millions of little baby steps. When I was JW, I worked part-time and spent 100 hours a month doing volunteer work for them - for years. Arriving here, I felt like I was so far behind other people my age, I would never catch up. But I'm getting closer and closer to where I want to be. 

I saw my mother today, that relationship has been consisting of baby steps as well. Learning how not to push each other's buttons, how to peacefully co-exist with me as a non-JW has been a journey. 

I took her out to get our nails done and she tried to be discreet while she slipped a JW magazine into my favorite Buddhist book. I appreciate the sentiment behind it. I would never expect her to stop trying to win me back over to them. 

But you can count on this: there are two instances in my life where I will ever, ever again step into a Kingdom Hall: if I happen to be invited to my sisters wedding and my mother's funeral. Other than that, we've had a bad breakup and I'm not interested in revisiting it. 

Interestingly, the magazine she left me was entitled: "Why Go On: Three Reasons to Keep Living". Reason #2 was "Because There is Help". Second paragraph was entitled "People who care" and spoke to the fact that JWs have a unique opportunity through their outreach and door-to-door work to encounter "distraught people" who may have felt desperate and considered ending their lives. 

I quote: "Following Jesus' example, Jehovah's Witnesses care about their fellowman. They care about you." I hope that two of my best friends who I turned to when I was "distraught" and suicidal, who told me "there is no help for disfellowshipped people" and asked me not to try to contact their families again, read that article. Hopefully it will help them better understand their Christian obligations. 

I feel like the past five years has been made up of million of little baby steps. I'm not sure where it all will lead yet, but I know this much: I'm on the right path. :)





Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Shelter

I got a new dresser on the weekend. I think my home is almost perfect now. 

Which is great because this is my safe place. If you know me at all, you know I come home as often as I can. At lunch from work, taking a break from the bar downstairs. I don't venture far if I can help it. Leaving the neighbourhood makes me panic. 

I do make the trip up to North York as often as I can to see my adopted family. I had dinner with them the other night. Took the subway home and had an epic panic attack. It's not often someone else cooks for me but I threw it all up when I got home. People with anxiety issues should not take the subway. Ever.

I had my own placecard at the dinner table though, at "my" usual seat, saying "Welcome Margaux, we're so glad you came" from our kid. Got a text today though from them, signed "your other dad". 

I have no idea where these lovely people came from or why they decided to adopt a messed up orphan stray who dated their son for three minutes three years ago. But we're family now. And the only place I'm really at home besides my place is their place. I just wish it wasn't on the subway line. :)




Friday, 18 April 2014

Get it Right

You're breaking my heart, I'm holding on tight. 
Someday we'll get it right. 
I'd call you my darling but you'd put up a fight. 
Someday we'll get it right

Good song. You should click for background music. It's not going to take you more than three minutes to read this blog anyways. 

I received a text in the middle of the night. Happens more than you'd think. I got a new phone last week so all the archived ex-men are gone. It's okay, I kinda felt like it was a new slate to write on. 

I got home from yoga though and was mildly curious about it. Sidepoint: this 30-day yoga challenge is killing me. I saw who was teaching this morning when I walked in and if I could have slipped out some back door, I would have. His class is the worst/best thing in the world. 

I start investigating the phone number issue. To my extreme shock and surprise, it was Him. "Big". Of course I wrote down his number and hid it somewhere before I deleted it. I haven't heard from him in what? A year? 

Wasn't expecting to ever hear from him again. 

One of my friends says that if you don't remember it, it didn't happen. I guess I can buy into that and let this 2 am drunk text go. He and I are obviously never going to "get it right". 

I called Liz, she wasn't picking up. I sent her a note: call me NOW. She had asked me the other day what would I be willing to do for the love of my life?

I've already done that. I left everyone I'd ever known, ever loved, to try to be with Him. It wasn't an experiment, I can't go back. It worked out for the best but I won't lie. I know y'all don't get it, but part of me is always, always waiting for him to show back up. Tell me I didn't do all of that for nothing, that he still loves me and still wants to try to make things work. Keep all the promises he made to me so many years ago. 

That's not gonna happen. As much as I can try to believe in "true love", it just wasn't in the cards for me. I believe you get your one shot at that in life. And we messed it up. I see all the comments y'all have been posting lately on here. You can call me a slut all you want. Truth is, I never have to be alone unless I choose that. I won't apologize for that. Maybe that makes me lucky. Maybe that's what makes me so jaded now. Not being alone doesn't mean you're not lonely. At this point, they're all just different versions of the same guy. But we can't give up trying right?

Big left a really big mess behind when he went away. I think he'd be pretty proud of my life now though. I am. And at least we both had that chance to be drunk, crazy, madly in love once in our lives.  

Maybe someday I'll get it right. 

Sullivan out. 

Not Myself Today

So y'all know I'm doing this panel event at work for Mental Health Week. I've been working on my speech in the evenings this week and I think I'm almost done. I've practiced it a few times, I'm coming in on just over 10 minutes. Apparently I have 15 but no one is going to complain if a breakfast meeting wraps up a few minutes early. Plus, we're having a Q&A at the end, so more time for that. 

I really didn't want to do this, but I've somehow become a voice for this cause and to be honest, it's fulfilling. 

I've been getting a lot of hate on this blog lately, at first it bothered me, now not so much. You have to expect that as a by-product of putting yourself out there. Not everyone will appreciate it. Not everyone will agree with you. And you know what? That's ok. Maybe for every ten hateful comments I get, there's that one person who sends you a message and thanks you for making them feel less alone. For being the voice they have inside them that they can't quite express yet. They'll get there. There are silent heroes amoung us everywhere. They just need to feel like they have a community, they have support and they'll find their voice. 

I know that from what I've been through. When I first ended up all alone, trying to start over, the first thing I did was contact someone I hadn't talked to in years. And she let me back in immediately. I can't tell you what our reunion was like, after all those years apart. Some people though, don't have anyone to call. That's why I write this blog. Contact me. I'll do what I can to help. 

At work they've done a campaign on mental health called "Not Myself Today" and the premise of course is that mental illness is the same as any other kind of illness even though it's not as tolerated or socially acceptable. We have good days. We have bad days. Some days, we are not ourselves. But we're trying so, so hard to get back there. 

For me, losing part of who I am is worse than all the other people I lost along the way. I wish I had loved myself enough when I was whole because I'm pretty sure the old Margaux is never completely coming back. 

The good thing about life is that if you're open to it, the Universe will try to make it up to you. New people will come in, and they'll just love you for who you are. They don't judge you based on who you used to be, they didn't know that person. The only challenge at this point, is letting them in, and not judging yourself on who you used to be either. Onward and upward. I'm grateful for new friends, new experiences, acceptance and tolerance. Life is too short, let's be happy. :)

Sullivan out. 




Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Who you Love

You love who you love. 

I wish there was some way to control it. I date A LOT. I'm lucky in that I've met so many awesome people. Finding that connection with someone though? Not so easy. 

I've had great boyfriends. Was I crazy about any of them though? Not really. We were good friends, we had fun times together. 

Last night though, I went out with someone from my past. That guy, I was crazy about him from the first night we met. It's been a couple of years and nothing has changed, not him or our connection anyways. 

I couldn't decide if this was the absolute worst decision I could make, but I did it anyways. It probably didn't help that it was a full moon. 

I woke up alone this morning, with a few of his cigarette butts on the window ledge. I feel "off". 

I'm in my thirties. I'd like to have a kid. I try to be responsible about who I date now. Good job, stable guy, someone who could put up with me while I put up with them and have some fun together along the way. 

But I'm also a romantic. I'd love to spend the rest of my life with someone I'm madly in love with. The two pursuits never seem to match up for me. 

Love doesn't seem to be much of a science, it's random and rare. This guy? I might not see him for another couple of years. And I learned my lesson the first time around, I won't try to force it. At the end of the day though...you love who you love. And he sure can kiss. :)

Monday, 14 April 2014

Generation F

"Some people never go crazy. What horrible lives they must live." - Charles Bukowski

Here we are, three weeks to the day, and it's over with The Guy. I'm actually not that disappointed that I never even got around to giving him a cool nickname. I didn't really have long enough to pick one out. 

Three weeks seems to be my breaking point these days. I've had some great three week "relationships". It usually ends with me pointing out it won't work, them saying, Yah, I think you're beautiful/talented/smart but I'm not really in the right place right now, and me being like, yes dear, I know, that's why I'm breaking this off now. 

I knew this was happening yesterday, which is why I signed up for the 30 day yoga challenge at my studio. Well, I had a hell of a class yesterday morning and I've already given up and decided to stay home to watch Game of Thrones tonight instead - on Day 2. Yay me for sticking with things. But that episode was awesome. And that yoga commitment was money was well spent

I can't help but think our generation is a little bit fucked up. Thus, "Generation F". Our grandparents lived through the war. Our parents grew up working really hard but being completely out of tune with their feelings. Then, came us. Life was different once we came around, but there were still so many stigmas. Going to therapy was a stigma. We couldn't be open about child abuse. If we were gay we kept it a secret. 

We don't really relate to the next generation after us, the ones who are just 10 or 15 years younger. They feel so entitled. We don't. We don't know what it was like to have the war era affect us, but we don't know what it was like to grow up having a cell phone and a FaceBook account when you were a teenager.

We're not settling down as early or having as many kids, some of us aren't having kids at all. We're learning, slowly slowly the things we didn't learn growing up: how to talk about our feelings, how to take time for ourselves, how to create work/life balance. We're figuring out how to break out of the mold our parents created for us, while still being responsible adults.  

A lot of us are deciding to follow our dreams, even if that's not the safest path. When we do that, we have so much more risk and uncertainty, but also so much more personal growth and fulfillment. At least we know exactly what we want and we're trying to find it. We don't stay in relationships that don't work. We don't stay friends with people who are toxic. We leave jobs that suck the life out of us. 

Maybe we're not "Generation Fucked". Maybe we're "Generation Fabulous". :)








Saturday, 12 April 2014

Atlas


Looks heavy right? I imagine it sucks being a Greek God carrying the world on your shoulders. And not even having a pair of pants. :)

I've had a difficult week. The panic hit on Wednesday. And it hasn't gone away. Four days in I finally decide to take an Ativan. I let it go too long this time though and it's not even working. 

I saw my therapist yesterday. I was cranky. Not only have I been having constant panic attacks, I haven't been sleeping. I was late for work because I was throwing up at home, a delightful by-product of the most awful panic attacks, had a lunch meeting and then had to leave early to make this appointment. 

Him: You're pissed you have to be here. 

Me: I have work to do. 

Him: What's wrong Margaux?

Truth is, nothing's wrong. Work is great. I'm actually taking on some new projects and responsibilities that I'm excited about, working more closely in Communications which I'm passionate about. I'm dating a nice guy. My secret life friend is back in town and that just makes my little group of friends that much more special. 

Him: I'm not sure if it's a good idea for you to work more. And why can't you just take a pill?  And...what's wrong?

Hmmmm. I hate taking pills - it makes me feel like I'm not strong enough to handle this stuff on my own. Sullivan's are renowned for their pride issues. 

What's wrong? Well there has been some worry this past couple of months about my siblings and what each of them have been going through. I'm trying to help. 

Him: Why does it have to be you who does that?

Seriously? Mom off in Panama, Dad in PEI and even if they were in town, this would still be my responsibility. I feel like it always has been. I love my parents, but mom wasn't very um...maternal. Dad wasn't really around. And since we've been in Toronto I just feel like my siblings have always felt that I'm where they go for "home". 

Problem is, that's where the line ends. 

Also, I'm doing this big event at work where I tell my story to raise awareness for Mental Health week. 

Him: You don't have to do that either. 

He doesn't understand. I do. That's why I write this blog. That's why I did an interview with a big magazine. I need to help people. Especially people like me. 

Him: I'll tell you something that someone told me once when I was in therapy. I wanted to be a therapist and they said that I would be no good to anyone else if I didn't take care of myself first. 

It feels selfish right? But it makes sense. That's why if the plane is going to crash you're supposed to put on your own oxygen mask before helping someone else get theirs on. If you're passed out, you can't help them. 

I don't know where the constant pressure has always come from to take care of everyone else around me. Probably started with the family, got worse the longer I stayed JW. I just know it's always been there and if I try to ignore it, if I try to say no, it yells at me, loudly, until I listen to it. 

Him: Who takes care of you? Where do you go to feel safe?

There is no answer to that question. All I know is I've tried carrying the weight of the world, but I only have two hands. What I really want to focus on now is my career, my writing, my personal peace of mind. And I can't do that with all the panic, the insomnia, the anxiety. 

I guess I'll have to make some hard choices. In the meantime, I'll go to yoga. 

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Ready to Run

There is definitely something wrong with me. 

Give me some commitment-phobic, self-absorbed douchebag and I'll pine after him for ages. A nice guy though? Those are dangerous. My current "love interest" is lovely. So sweet. He's kind and affectionate, brings me flowers, goes to yoga, volunteers with kids. Owns a house and a nice car. Likes his job, he's a happy guy. Perfect right?

NO. All I can do is think of crazy ways to break up with him. My brain is twisted and really hard to turn off. But I'm trying not to be crazy Margaux these days and if self-control doesn't work, I can always just turn off my phone. It's broken anyways and deleted all my apps and contacts. So if you don't hear from me for awhile - or ever again...that's why. 

In the meantime...I'm still a bird. And I'm still looking for any excuse, any way to fly away.  

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

After the Rain

"The nice thing about rain is that it always stops. Eventually." - Eeyore

I have some important things to say today, but first of all, let's clear something up. 

These comments I'm getting on my blog "I'm awesome at dating and other lies..." - just to be clear, I did NOT have a threesome. I'm really not the type. The blog was meant to be a funny comedy of errors that turned what was meant to be a low-key, romantic evening into a disaster date. It ends with a friend showing up to crash on the couch (ie. not romantic) but when I said we all woke up together in the morning what I meant was in my tiny apartment. Not in the same bed. Get your minds out of the gutter people!

I'm glad we cleared that up. :)

So you know how I told you I'm speaking on a panel for an event at work for Mental Health Week. I had a meeting with the colleague who's running it today about the whole thing. There's three of us, apparently they get over 100 people who show up to listen to our sad stories. 

She had printed me out a list of questions to think about while planning what I was going to share. How has mental illness affected your life? Have a noticed a stigma around it? What would you like others to know about the situation that you are dealing with? What were key components that changed your life for the positive? 

It's funny to think of myself as someone with "mental illness". Despite a challenging upbringing, I've always thought of myself as a happy girl. My nickname growing up was "Sunshine". 

But I guess that just means I buy into the stigma - the very one I'm trying to break - myself. The whole purpose behind this blog, behind the magazine article I did, behind getting up there in front of my work colleagues and telling my story, is simply to help others. If I took myself too seriously, I'd never be able to out myself as mentally ill. 

It's embarrassing, no doubt about it. I've worked extremely hard to present a certain persona and hide my issues related to depression and anxiety, especially in the workplace. I'm pretty sure that's why I still have a job. 

Here I go back to my Buddhist beliefs, but it's a noble truth: life is suffering. At some point or another, we all face demons, whether we deserve them to show up in our life or not. Living the way I did as a JW, trying to constantly pretend everything was fine and I was always happy is no way to live. This is not to say I dwell in negativity. I work very, very hard to stay positive and upbeat. In answer to the "what would you like others to know" question I would say this: we all go through difficult times. Sickness, death, divorce, unfair situations. We can't be expected to always be fine. The rain falls in all of our lives at different times, in different ways. 

Getting disfellowshipped and divorced were tragic experiences for me, but I also went through hell when my Cat died. We can't control things. I think the most important thing I want people to take away from this experience is that when we deal with depression, anxiety, addictions, that doesn't make us weak. Because we are dealing with them. That makes us strong. 

I've spent years in therapy, going to yoga, meditating, reading positive, life changing literature. These things have changed my life in a positive way. Putting myself out there with new people, trying to rebuild some kind of life is scary but I've been rewarded for the effort. I don't wallow in sadness, I rarely deal with depression anymore. But the post-traumatic stress of what I went I went through years ago sticks with me and I can't always control the anxiety when it chooses to show up. I just have to try to breathe through it (which is sometimes all I can do when the panic gets so bad that even breathing is such a struggle) and if it's a really bad day, go home and try again tomorrow.

The important thing is that we don't give up. Every day that we're still here is a testament to that effort. That we try not to be too hard ourselves, that we try to love ourselves as we are. That even when we're soaking wet from the rainfall, we're looking for the sun.  

Because after the rain, it might be damp and soggy for a long time, but at least the we've weathered the storm. Never, ever, ever give up. You are not alone. :)

Monday, 7 April 2014

Oh Honey!

21 more people. That's all I need to hit 30,000 reads on this blog. I'll be clear, I make no money off this. It's just a personal journey that I hoped would help some people along the way. 

I used to write a diary, I did it since I was about 8 years old. You can come over and read what I wrote when my dad was getting re-married. I think I was pretty mature at 8 years old. 

I said I hoped he would be happy. I think he is. 

The only difference from then to now is that anyone I meet in this world can go Google me and find out all my secrets pretty easily. But that's ok, because my secrets don't hurt me anymore. I'm five years out of the JWs and keeping their secrets only hurts me. 

Here and now. That's all that matters. The past is just memories. The future is always uncertain. The present, that's all we have control over. 

I try to get up early every morning now so I have time to meditate, do yoga, read a little bit. Spend an hour preparing myself for the day ahead. It's helping. 

If you've been through some hard times, it does take awhile to re-wire your brain to be positive, to learn to live with the anxiety, to embrace the uncertainty. But we can do it. :)




Sunday, 6 April 2014

I'm awesome at dating. And other lies...

So I had a date last night. I decided to take a nap since he was supposed to show up at 8. I was meeting my girlfriends at the bar downstairs for a quick drink, then see how the night went with him. 

We've been seeing each other for a whole three weeks or so. I'm the bathroom in my gigantic football tshirt I won one night at the bar downstairs. And there's a knock on the door. Shit. He's early and I look like crap.

I open the door and I'm like, I just need 5 minutes. Jesus, he brought me a brownie. A few minutes later, I hear my name. My girls had been drinking in the afternoon. We go over to the window and they're on the sidewalk yelling to me to come downstairs.  What ever happened to just texting someone when you get there?

Me: I was supposed to have a drink with the girls before you got here. You ok if we go downstairs for one drink?

Him: Totally ok with that. 

And apparently he's totally ok with anything I do because this is how the night went:

I don't have a cute nickname for him yet, so today, he's just "The Guy". We get in the elevator and true to form he picks me up over his head and kisses me. I'm thinking, put me down before you drop me! Not that it's so romantic that this is his "thing". 

We enter the bar. The girls are having another drink. One of them knocks her glass over - red wine everywhere. I try to jump in, but he's like, no, I don't want you to get any on your dress, I'll do it. He mops up the wine. 

One of the girls is honest to goodness gone at this point, the other one, just honest. He starts up a conversation with her, this is one of my best friends, he's trying to make a good impression. She tells him that she knows where he works and if he hurts me, she'll hunt him down. He takes that, then she tells him about her date on Friday and he gives her some dating advice. 

We go upstairs to watch a movie, we'd planned on a low-key night of just talking and hanging out. I decide well, we're a few weeks in, time to tell the JW story. So...I was raised in a cult. And people shun me. And I'm divorced. 

He's sweet about it. 

I change into my negligee to go to bed, look out the window and there's my ex-boyfriend, on the sidewalk, looking up at my window. 

Me: I've gotta go.

I throw a coat on and run downstairs. He's gone. 

I come back upstairs and the guy is like, I think we should talk about this. You see your ex out your window and run downstairs in a negligee without even talking to me? 

I agree. It was not well thought out. 

There's a knock on the door. I open it and said Ex walks right in. 

Him: Is this the guy? 

Me: This is not a good time, you have to leave. 

Back and forth for a few minutes while The Guy pretends to not be in the room. 

He leaves. 

One of the many friends who have a key to my apartment shows up to crash on the couch. 

I'm a train wreck and this date could possibly win "worst date ever" in some kind of competition. 

The three of us wake up together this morning and I roll over and look at this poor guy. He kissed me and just said: what are you doing on Tuesday? :)








Tuesday, 1 April 2014

The Closet

First of all, how sad is it that "How I Met Your Mother" is over? I watched the series finale twice tonight and cried both times. I did a test on the Internet though and apparently I am Ted...that's not all that shocking. I know it's just the death of a tv show and I've lived through much worse, but it's sad all the same. 

Next up...I watched a Ted Talk. It was a lesbian talking about coming out of the closet and that gay or straight we all go through some point in our lives with something we don't want to share. And that hiding in the closet is no way to live. 

I totally agree. I know this is just a silly blog. But almost 30,000 reads into it, I know it must be resonating with people. I know that not just because of the comments and private messages I've received, but because y'all keep reading. I know there are JWs, ex-JWs, JWs who are contemplating leaving, and a bunch of other people who just can relate...not to the exact situation, but to the feelings that lead us here and the need we have to wrestle our demons every day just to stay sane. 

All of us have something that we'd rather keep quiet, hide away in the closet rather than voice it out loud. What happens then though is that then we are alone. In a closet. A dark, cramped, lonely place with only our fear and negative thoughts to keep us company. 

Being out in the open makes us much more vulnerable. I'm not an idiot. I hate the fact that I'm still a JW on paper but can never, ever get out either. I know that any day, any moment, I could get a call or an email from an elder and they'll want me to show up for yet another trial. And I won't go this time. I'm through with being judged for who I am. But then they can send me a letter, make an announcement. Tear me away from my sister who is suffering and sick and needs my support. There's really nobody else I have any kind of relationship or influence with, so it wouldn't really hurt me other than that. 

More than they'd be hurting me though, they'd be hurting her. I know how to play the game, how to act around them. I'd never try to influence anyone to leave. Over the past few years though, so many of them have come to me secretly with their doubts, fears, suspicions. Those people, I help them get out. And I will continue to. I've helped more people get out in a few years than all those years I was in there and helped people come in. 

I'm not trying to imply that I'm in the Hunger Games but a revolution is coming. And at least here in Canada, no one has been as vocal and exposed on this issue as I have. I don't do "anonymous". Anyone can come to me at any time because they know my stand, they know my name, they know who I am. 

I'm out of the closet and it's not always easy, it's not always friendly, but gawd, it feels good. I'm coming up on my five year anniversary. I can't believe it's been so long and all the things that have changed along the way. 

I'm grateful for the new friends who have stuck with me through crazy situations. I'm grateful that at least for the moment, I have a whole family again. I'm grateful for my job, I'm grateful for the people I've been blessed to meet along the way. I'm grateful for you, because you read me and validate the fact that the effort I put into this is worth it. 

Most of all though, I'm grateful to not be locked in a closet anymore. To not live in a life where I felt like I couldn't breathe and everything was dark. I'm grateful for the freedom telling the truth brings with it. 

I'm grateful for spring and new beginnings, and finally, finally shaking the fear that came from my past. 

Sullivan out.