Why, Yes! Since You Asked

Something that I’ve noticed when well-intentioned friends and family offer to help “Spoonie” me:

Those offers are more appreciated than you know; the tricky part is the follow through.

I often hear “you never asked!” or “I didn’t know what you needed” or “Wish I could but that day doesn’t work”.

It totally changes the dynamic from someone understanding that you need assistance and making that happen and you being put in the position of asking a favour, two very different things.

Here’s the thing: as a formerly vivacious, uber-capable person, it kills me to ask for help. I never have, not from my parents, not from anyone. My self-esteem as a fully functioning adult is pretty beaten up already.

If you genuinely want to help, having a take charge attitude is incredibly helpful to someone like me. It shows me that you have the time and willingness. It tells me that I’m not cutting in to your personal or family time. It makes me feel that I still have value and am not burdening you.

There are so many things that you can do without being asked that improve quality of life for “Spoonies”:

Offer to help get garbage to the curb

Shovel out a walkway; lend your green thumb for some gardening

Drop off a casserole; send Skip the Dishes gift cards

Help with organizing files, cupboards, closets

Splurge on a house cleaning service gift card, it takes the embarrassment of an untidy out of the mix

Offer to help picking up groceries or shopping or send complimentary Uber / Lyft rides

Splurge on paraffin manicures or pedicures for friends with arthritis or fibro

Doing these things spontaneously, offering them at any time rather waiting to be asked is huge for me. A friend who also understands that sometimes shit just gotta get done and that every visit doesn’t need to be or should be a social event is golden. I want to see you, need to be connected to people who know who I was but every once in a while, if you could throw on a Super Hero cape, that’d be amaze-balls!

No one wants to feel indebted, least of all the people in your life who for whatever reason may not be able to reciprocate in kind. There are so many other things that I or we can still do to enhance or enrich friendships, all you need to do is be there and really mean it.

Xoxo, Karin

~ kei
29 October 2018

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I’ll Fight You

do unto others…

the golden rule is sadly tarnished

rules of engagement

more like

ignored so hard, I’m bleeding inside

i retreat, regroup, rethink

how can two people who once loved so deeply

not even be able to speak?

is this your strategy? is this how you do unto me?

I try that weapon, the blade turns

slicing at what’s left of my heart

betrayed at night by the enemy within

a traitor subconscious

dreaming a language that was ours alone

skin to skin, soul to soul

the code i know you know

something in me won’t let that go

do unto others…

I’ll fight your silence forever

to save my illusions of you

~ kei
26 May 2018

Let’s Talk ~ The Morning After

I support this initiative to shine a light and to generate funds that are for: “Fighting the stigma, improving access to care, supporting world-class research and leading by example in workplace mental health.”

Five years ago, I was literally brought to my knees by events in my life that escalated my Depression and Anxiety to a level beyond my ability to cope. How humbling for someone who has always considered herself and been considered “the strong one”.

I have never spoken about this at any length to anyone other than my best friend, who’s intervention saved my life.  In fact, for the first two years, I did everything to hide my struggle but it’s time for any and all mental health challenges to come out of the closet.

This year, I had the courage of my convictions and my diagnosis, adding the Bell “Let’s Talk” frame to my profile photo on Social Media. I meant what I said. I will listen. How disappointing then, to see the number of short-sighted and erroneous comments made by many people, “Scam” being among the most prevalent. Let’s start with this:

  • Scam 
    skam/
    noun informal
    1.
    a dishonest scheme; a fraud.
    “an insurance scam”
    synonyms:
    fraud, swindle, fraudulent scheme, racket, trick; More 
     
    verb
    1.
    swindle.
    “a guy that scams the elderly out of their savings”
    synonyms:
    swindle, cheat, deceive, trick, dupe, hoodwink, double-cross, gull

Now, here is a link to the results of this initiative:

Clearly; not a scam by any stretch of a narrow mind. See the entire initiative at this website:

Someone needs to explain to me the hostility and spreading of misinformation that this particular campaign engendered. There are many fundraisers out there that benefit the sponsor as much and sometimes more than the cause. The annual CHEO, Heart & Stroke and Dream Of A Lifetime are some that are better known. Why the backlash against Bell? Is it because their marketing team scored big with harnessing the power of social media and is highly visible? Shouldn’t that be the point – especially for the historical stigma that is attached to Mental Illness?

Social Media works. In generation “Click and Care”, to which the vast majority of us belong; this is a brilliant strategy. At the end of the day, 31 January 2018, more people became aware, more funds were donated and yes, Bell may even have scored a handful of new customers. Tell me how this could possibly be a bad thing.

To the linear thinkers who were so eager to jump on an idealist bandwagon – do your research before making such blinkered comments. This campaign is far larger than Ma Bell and if you can’t see that, you need to reexamine your compassion. To the folks out there who say “why doesn’t Bell just donate a large sum of money…” you missed the point. For those individuals with a large audience of people who are inclined to agree because they think a “popular” person must be right, you missed an opportunity.

Let’s talk.
~ kei
1 February 2018

Of Culture, Kilts and Korma

This might be controversial, certainly it’s a hot-button topic. I am one of those people who feels a wrongness, a divisiveness in the rampant calls of “Cultural Misappropriation”.

I am not asking to be schooled for my feelings. I have seen the outrage against public figures and I’ve read the articles about people who “just don’t get it”. Intellectually, I can see some areas of concern but in my heart and in my widely varied gene pool, I’m having a hard time with the vociferous protests. More to the point of my post title, I feel like all the gains made by the ideals of love, inclusiveness and caring for my fellow humans – a set of values that had its renaissance and greatest resonance in the 1960’s and into the 1970’s – is being lost.

Again, I’m not asking to be educated. I have a degree or two, I don’t live in a cave. This is what all the outcry makes me feel.

The diversity of my family background, my friends, associates and colleagues; has given me a wealth of cultural experiences. There have been discussions, get-togethers, shopping, suppers and all of these things have deepened my understanding of customs and things that are not my own.

A few quick points; starting with the most recent backlash against a public figure (can’t recall the name – sorry) who was seen wearing “dreadlocks”. I know that as a fashion, this hairstyle is most commonly associated with a particular group. I also know that if I don’t put my hair into braids at night, it will twist itself into very long dreads by the next day. The notion that early man, forebear to all of us, shared a similar hair style, isn’t much of a stretch is it?

There are certain cultural icons that have been marketed to the world outside by the identifiable group itself. To turn around now and be angry just doesn’t make sense to me. So many people have begun a journey of learning and understanding with one small token, one small idea.

In the most simplistic of explanations, the outcry of “cultural misappropriation” feels like a kid who gets mad and grabbing their bucket, stomps away from sandbox.

I’ll continue to read and listen. I see nothing wrong in continuing to talk about ways to respect other people, culture and customs but I stand by my belief that making ourselves insular is taking a huge step backward for all of us hanging out here on planet earth.

~ kei
14 June 2017