Category Archives: Health in Mind & Body

Personal Empowerment (and Kicking Ass)

A Confident Stride

A couple of years ago, as I approached a new decade, I decided that I was no longer going to be bashful in my 30s. To me this meant developing the strength I knew was there, and blossoming into the perpetual self-confidence I felt I deserved but never embraced. Why shouldn’t I? I was young, healthy, smart. I had good ideas, and with a little hard work, a great future.

Suffice it to say, now in my 30s, this is still an ongoing struggle.

So what’s the problem? What I didn’t know in my 20s is that being confident is a verb, an action. It’s not a feeling that floats around inside you. Doing the things of a confident person is what makes you confident. You have to do first, feel later. You cannot sit around waiting for confidence to find you, or blame the lack of it on your inability to accomplish tasks. The years continue on around us regardless of whether or not we feel confident enough to participate. Life is not a dress rehearsal. Continue reading

You Can’t Handle The Truth

Happiness is a Beach in Kauai

So I’ve learned something.

I went to Kauai to find answers, not really even knowing what my questions were, but feeling like there was something I was missing that I needed to find. Or maybe I needed to be found. One of those. I don’t know.

I wait for answers too often. If I want something to happen, I assume things are simply going to work out, eventually. Someone or something will swoop in with neon signs and arrows showing me every step of the way. 

But clearly, for awhile now, I’ve been unhappy. I’ve felt unsettled and awkward, almost like I was intentionally avoiding something. And for the first few days in Kauai, I wasn’t settled either. I was thrilled to be there, of course, but I felt a little like I was phoning it in. The truth was, I was starting to panic. What if I didn’t find answers here? WHAT IF THERE WERE NO ANSWERS?! Gack. Continue reading

Eleven Days After Qutting Smoking and how I tricked my brain to stay smoke free

Artist Jessica Doyle goes crazy while quitting smoking

Somewhere in between determination, heart palpitations, lethargy and giddiness I stopped smoking cigarettes eleven days ago. Oddly enough I feel more level headed than I’ve felt in a long time, albeit a sleepy time.

I slept 16 hours per day during the first three days of the quit and sporadically puffed on a Nicorette Inhaler and on a nicotine-free electronic cigarette. I also thought about bookmarking a national directory of treatment centers on my browser in case I needed further help quitting.

The constant dizziness from quitting didn’t subside until day four and it’s still lingering today. And I can’t beleive the manufacturers of the Nicorette inhaler want you to use 12 cartridges per day! I’ve been using one per day since my quit and puffing on an electronic cigarette five to six times per day. And now, eleven days in, I’m weaning off both the Nicorette and the e-cig.

I’m not really sure what prompted me to stop smoking on November 19th, and can’t really say why I feel good or how come I haven’t gone crazy or regressed back into smoking again. I guess when the time is right you just do it and say frack off to everyone and everything else that gets in your way of completing the task at hand.

There are numerous reasons this quit is sticking…

Continue reading

Renewal

Cleansing Rain

Relaxation doesn’t come easy for me, if at all. I’ve battled severe insomnia since I was a child. I’ve always had difficulty shutting off my brain. Over the years, I’ve developed pretty good skills at hiding it from the outside world, but internally I’m usually worrying over something. I like to drum up things to fret about if otherwise there’s nothing.

Working for myself is both a trigger and a relief in this regard. Since I’m obsessing over details anyway, I might as well direct that energy toward my own business. I work excellently on my own. I don’t need anyone to point out all the various nuances of business that I should be watching. (Even if I’m conversely too lazy to take action on them.)

Occasionally I must take drastic measures and run away somewhere. Travel is my drug of choice lately. It’s the only thing I find just as exciting as art. Sometimes more so. Sometimes it’s exactly what I need to inspire me to do more art. Often, while I’m gone, I still try to work. I answer emails, renew listings, send out invoices, keep everything moving along.

I think I’m afraid to let go. Continue reading

The 20 Year Reunion Part 2 – and into the night we danced

While everyone in attendance likely has a different opinion of how the St. Malachy’s High School 1991 Graduating Class 20 Year Reunion went and of what they remember, made them laugh, made them uncomfortable or even made them think twice of another person, the following is from my point of view only.

A few days before the reunion an old acquaintance that I see once or twice per year facebooked asking if I’d like to get together with a few others for supper and a drink before hand. I immediately agreed as up until then I had many horrid day dreams of walking into and having to face the reunion alone.

I showered and dawned the special $3.00 second hand dress and 10 year old sandals and waited for Lisa to pick me up. We met up with Cynthia, whom I’ve been great acquaintances with since age four and Brian whom I don’t quite remember from high school, but was impressed that he is as geeky and nerdy as I am. We met at the Ale House, a popular local restaurant and enjoyed some great food and conversation together.

My stomach had been hurting and turning for days and as we left the restaurant and began walking to The White Room, a high end licensed venue a few short blocks away, it really picked up in the knot factor. Continue reading

I’m looking forward to June or why May didn’t bring flowers

Beatrice Bird Face illustration

May can just go back to where it came from with it’s rain, fog, rain, showers and did I say rain? It can also take the piercing pain and intermittent numbness in my left hand away too, and the pain in my right shoulder blade away and the dizzying mind numbing heart palpitating hypothyroidism away too. This is why I haven’t been blogging much. I’ve been dealing with a vast array of symptoms for the last 30 days and just doing my best to just be with them.

This is the first cohesive thought I’ve been able to blog during the last 30 days. I got into see the doctor last week as my symptoms had returned with a vengeance. My medication was upped this week to combat the flight and fancy I’m feeling most days. It’s confusing as heaven/hell to feel like you physically have to run a marathon when your mind is quiet and sleepy, and must sleep or rest when your mind is full of vivid thoughts and imagery. This is the yin and yang of hypothyroidism.

It’s not pleasant to wake in bed with a start and then feel like you are going to fall over and have a black out. Focus is not easy right now.

studio - illustrator jessica doyle

And the backyard garden is too sogging wet to plant or work. I’ve been spending my time with friends and family this last month. I guess it’s a good thing that I’ve learned the art of phoning or visiting people when I feel bad or am having an attack as I like to call them.

I’ve been reading, learning and drawing up a storm too as I seem to be able to research, implement, read and draw. I’ve been reading about Bitcoin and hope to offer it on a few select products in June. I read Thomas Moore’s, Dark Night of the Soul, The Road by Cormac McCarthy and Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan, BigCartel Help by BigCartel, PulleyApp Help by PulleyApp and the Bitcoin wiki written by everyone.

I went to a charity clothing swap and got some new-to-me clothes. I’ve donated more art this month to every event and charity possible. I think I’ve been added to a ask for donation list. I went to an art gallery hop and I made a few new real life female friends too which is awesome as it’s been too long. I am going to my 20 year high school reunion next month childless and unmarried. I’ve got two awesome roommates who seem to be able to cope quite well with my health issues. I’m hoping to travel to Fredericton next month and visit with two of my best friends, Vikki and Dana. Vikki has hypothyroidism and has been instrumental in helping me deal with the symptoms I’m experiencing.

Anyway, it’s been a long month, a full month.

The art in this post is a piece that I finished recently, although the photos are only depicting her half finished. I’ll post the finished one once she is scanned in. Her name is Beatrice. Say hi!

Fast and processed foods need to be taxed at the same rate that cigarettes are taxed in Canada

cut up cigarette - trying to quit smoking

I wish the Canadian government would begin taxing fast and processed foods as much as they tax cigarettes immediately. And don’t even try to argue with me by saying it’s food, and a necessity. It’s not food. It’s a manufactured multi-national addiction too, brought to you by multi-national corporate marketing and advertising jingles combined with scientifically proven perfect amounts of fat, sugar, genetically modified soy and salt to make you want to consume it, more and more and more.

Fast food is next on the list for outrageous taxes. The day of the $20.00 Happy Meal is coming quicker than you think to Canada. Continue reading

Life is good. Don’t give up.

vintage coupon from the 1940's

What would a person succumb to if they lost their ability to create or it was forcefully taken away during times of joy, sadness, anger, anxiety, illness or struggle? Most people have developed coping routines, whether they are conscious of them or not, that they do automatically during emotional periods of their lives.

But we only celebrate the joyful and not the sad or desolate times. I’m not saying that we should celebrate the sad or angry times but perhaps by stepping back we’ll realize that those times will pass and they’ll in turn incubate a new time for you.

Over the last few months I slipped into a darkness. I tend to write more during darker times with much of the words being hidden away behind the scenes as WordPress post drafts. I stop drawing… completely stopped drawing. The last time I picked up a pen to draw or doodle with was six weeks ago which spelled a beginning or rather crunch time when decisions must be made in order to find the clarity and love one so desperately needs.

I shut myself in. I barely spoke to anyone. Yes, I did the daily tasks reading and answering emails to the best of my ability and yes, there were happy hours and moments of what felt like normalcy. And in the end those happy times turned sour for days again quite quickly. And yes, people got angry at me online and offline ’cause I didn’t respond quickly enough or with enough fervor. I am one person, not a multi-national corporation and while I do my best to be prompt, it won’t always happen.

I finished my taxes during the last six weeks. I began the task of applying for an art creation grant that I hope to finish and submit later this week. I rented one room in my home only to find out on Facebook that he moved out, without giving notice, and only after he read my last blog post, while I was away in Fredericton having my computer repaired for five days. No hard feelings on either of our parts part. That’s the beauty of choice. A personal blog for me is simply a form of creative expression… a diary… a way to work through life and share ideas and I have no control over what another person decides to do after reading.

I could barely cry during the last six weeks or laugh for that matter. I danced numb and around to music in the studio during the last six weeks. I paced. I watched movies. I talked a lot to anyone, namely my parents, the postal clerks, the cat and two close friends who would listen in real life and also to people online too. I repeated myself a lot while talking. I lost the feeling and sense of touch in my hands and all over my body and feet during the last six weeks and it only returned last Sunday while in Fredericton. My eyes grew puffy and I had to drop dead on the bed to nap even after 10 hours sleep. I never slept soundly and awoke with a start each morning grinding teeth. I applied for a job and went on an interview and was offered that job last week.

I went into hiding for six weeks. I came out of hiding one night and attended the gallery hop only to become more confused after talking to two awesome but drunk doctors that night and being told it was wrong of my docs out West to withhold treatment for ADHD. I didn’t get a chance to say that I moved back east two weeks after getting that diagnosis. And I talked in the backroom with the wife of a gallery owner who has hypothryoidism away from the incessant noise of the gallery and it was the most memorable peaceful time of the whole night. We understood each other and it was good.

And I realized over the last six weeks that there isn’t too many people in real life who “get” me or maybe I just don’t “get” them. And that’s OK. No hard feelings.

I pondered selling my car and have made the decision to sell it after the brakes are fixed. And I couldn’t be more happy to begin walking and taking the bus when needed again for socializing is good when you work and live alone. And while having a car is convenient I can’t justify the cost or alienation from society that I feel when driving.

Over the last six weeks I’ve lost hope in modern politics, farming and energy and long for peaceful, organic and renewable ways of living. I loathe fast paced life and am slowing things down and surrounding myself in joy, simple and exciting things.

We all deserve joy and pleasure after darkness. We all deserve a decent living wage for a weeks work. We all deserve the freedom to speak our mind without fear of what others will say or do when what you speak of, is not threatening, hateful or harmful to a specific person. We all deserve to live with open minded people if we choose too. We all deserve choice and that is where it’s OK to agree to disagree. We all deserve to make our homes what we want them to be. We all deserve friends and family. We all have a right to all of these things and I’ll be damned if I’m going to lose my ability to feel at peace in my own home or place of work because people think I shouldn’t be so damned open and shut online. If people were really so black and white we’d all be from the 1950’s and starring with Beaver Cleaver.

Really, we are just human beings attempting to live in a world that’s becoming more crowded, more fast-paced, more race to the bottom, more segregated, more polluted, more poor, more wasteful and for what? Only to die in 50 to 100 years? Really if you can’t see beyond your own lifespan into a brighter future and work to create a loving memorable environment for yourself in your community then what do you have, but nothing.

Life is good. Don’t give up!

And thank you all for reading, for the thoughtful emails and comments. They brighten my day, everyday.

The Perfect Baking Powder three colour printed coupon form the early 1900’s was put out by the Canada Spice and Specialty Mills which were located in Saint John, NB, Canada and listed for sale in my vintage shop. I’m also loving the change of pace with working on my hobby! Life is perfect!