Going out the door

I went out the door and have since, come back from acupuncture.

On my way home an old disheveled man sitting under an overpass going into Chinatown said as I smiled with him walking by,

“There is no beginning and there is no end.”
“God is inside of me, and outside there.” he frantically waved his hands around himself.
“He’s everywhere”

I stopped. I listened. I said “I agree with you. He is in me and he’s in there” as I stomped on the ground with my right foot. He laughed and said “true”. I began to walk away smiling. A genuine smile. The man yelled “thank you, I love you!” I smiled saying thank you and walked on.

How come when I’m at my lowest, there is always an angel who understands. Of all the people I passed and looked at, this one person, I genuinely smiled with rather than, at.

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My brother turns thirty today. He’s two and half years younger than I. I miss you Stephen.

I’ve been putting a box of ‘stuff’ together for him of toys that he used to play with as kid, I bought locally here in Vancouver – cap gun & caps, goo, slinky and marbles. Also found some incredibly hot sauces for when he BBQ’s at his new home. LOL. He loves hot sauce so let his tongue burn with every bite! Also threw in some drawings of mine, dishtowels, alphabet & number magnets, photo albums and floating candles with holder.

These are the two hot sauces I bought from the Gourmet Warehouse. May he have lots of burnin’ fun and a great B-day, although this gift will not get to him for another 10 days or so through Canada Post. He doesn’t have a Computer so he won’t see this but my mother will 😉

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Sober since August 26th, 2005.

This is me 11

Today is day 200. I’ve been clean of GHB for 200 days. I’m proud of that fact. I used once three weeks into my sobriety and re-committed again. I had two glasses of wine this past weekend on Saturday night and have re-committed again. I find myself hitting a tuff spot. It’s not that I want the G back but I find myself searching for something, anything to change or alter my state of mind. This feeling is familiar to me, 20 years familiar. Truth is, it feels like my life has been cycling in three or four year cycles. I’m in the down time right now. More than ever I know it’s crucial to keep going and focus. Focus being the elusive enlightenment I crave the most.

This is me 21

My ex-husband used to say, I would look for problems when there was none to be found, only happy in a tumultuous non-routine life. Today, f@#$! Am I searching for someone to blame… You betcha! Who in their right mind wants to blame themselves. I’ve been blaming myself most of my life! I don’t understand why it’s not ok to talk about addiction and/or mental disease. If sites like http://www.recovery.com talk about it all the time, why don’t we?

But who is saying it’s not OK? Is it you? Or is it me? Is it an ideal created by society? Such as what fashions are OK to wear and what ones are not?

I’m so tired of hiding the crazy side in me. It’s agonizing. I am so scared of what people will think? OMG! I have to let that go. I don’t even know who these people are. Are you one of the ones who will judge me because I’m crazy and like to wear orange pants on occasion? OK this is making me laugh. It’s been difficult to write by hand lately in my journal. I have this online journal now. I’ve been swaying back and forth, to and fro to write or not to write about what I want to write about online. Well – decision made.

This is me 3

This is the web space I payed for. Money. f@#$. See I’m censoring myself. For who?

Fuck I feel better. There.

On to business. There is this project I’ve been planning to undertake for the past two years perhaps, of typing into the computer all of my journal entries, so they are digitized. I will be able to edit them better that way. Who knows, maybe I’ll be the next James Fry. A Million Little Pieces, whether non-fiction or not, is only so, in the eyes of the beholder reading it. This book held my attention for five days until I finished reading it! He understands.

Another book I could not put down was “Addicted – notes from the belly of the beast”. It is a collection of short ‘true’ stories of writers lives and the addictions they have succumbed too, lived with, recovered from or are still dealing with.

The more one reads, reaches out, talks about the more one understand and accepts. Knowing I am not alone in my struggles and joy is inspirational.

Perhaps, drug use and the creative mind go hand in hand?


In Search Of

Over the next couple of weeks I’ll being creating much of the background design for my site. Having been sidetracked and thus overwhelmed by the immensity of this task, I have decided by far, I Jessica Doyle am not a master programmer nor coder. I understand the basics, like in arythmatic that 1+1=2. The weight has lifted! I have decided to barter or subcontract any and/or all programming/coding I cannot resolve myself within a reasonable amount of time in hopes of creating a network between said person or company. Perhaps in return they will barter or subcontract work to me. Currently I am in negotiation with a company. I’ll keep you all posted.

I’m also on the hunt for a Fine Art Representative to sell or license my art and illustration to galleries, greeting card or stock illustration companies to name a few.

With all that said. This is what I’m good at!
• Colour & Typography
• Painting, Drawing & Illustration by hand or digitally
• Writing
• Filmmaking & editing
• Print or Package Design including magazines, biz cards, brochures
• Design Consultation
• Creative & Art Direction
• Image restoration, cropping & colour correction for web or print design

…and this is what I’ll be doing over the next month.
UPDATE (OCT – 2007) “This” will be ongoing for the rest of my life.

• Design website (www.jessicadoyle.ca) in Photoshop
• Implement Google Adsense, Amazon Books, Affiliates, RSS’s into the website design
• Pick an image viewer to integrate into WordPress (Coppermine, Zenphoto or WPG2)
• Make sure film footage can be uploaded in the programming part
• Have said website coded into a theme for WordPress along with any needed plugins & upgrades
• Upload visual, written & moving stimuli
• Begin contacting galleries, potential employers & advertisers
• Create, write, design & film in peace
• Barter or subcontract extensive programming & coding (i.e PHP, Java, etc…)
• Begin search for rep

*The above vector illustration was rendered in Adobe Illustrator by Jessica Doyle.


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Money – Migration – Median

I ended having written “Hence, the Canadian Migration to Vancouver” in my last post. Yes, the Greater Vancouver Regional District is a beacon to Canadians looking to escape long cold winters and hot, humid, smoggy summers. In fact many people move here as I have in search of more. More being, in the way of housing, experience, lifestyle or job choice. Many people are searching for a greater acceptance of every walk of life than where they had lived before, regardless of where they migrate to or from. The GVRD’s slogan is “Building a Sustainable Region”.

I read an article in the Georgia Straight this evening entitled “Real Estate Sticker Shock”. It hit home with me. Charles Smith states that from the air, Vancouver is simply planned better with high rises located in central communities with transit access and are not, to quote “…all over the place in a disordered jumble of development” as in Toronto.


Vancouver has international appeal. With the Olympic Games coming in 2010 Vancouver development and promotion are at an all time high. Adbusters and Greenpeace are going to have a field day! Hooray!

Why then can’t the middle class afford to buy a home of any kind in Vancouver? Smith mentions in the last paragraph that Vancouver could begin to resemble Whistler in that none of the people who work there can afford to live there. To me that is all to true and a question my boyfriend and I are contemplating seriously. Can we afford to live in Vancouver? We rent currently at $1000 a month, heat and hot water in, a 600 square foot dwelling with 400 square foot deck. It’s a nice place. We don’t need to worry about maintenance and have a gorgeous view with ample room on the deck to garden in huge pots.

My Brother, on the other hand just purchased a 30 year old home in Saint John, New Brunswick for $85 grand. That same home here would have sold in the vicinity of $550 grand! Yes, they are two different areas of Canada but it makes one contemplate. Truth be told, both my boyfriend and myself, as far as wages are concerned would earn the same income on the East Coast as we do here in Vancouver.

The question becomes why do we stay? Love. Beauty. Ocean. Mountains. Culture. Health care. Opportunity. I could also ask myself why not go? The answer would be the same. The mountains are not as magnificent but NB has just as many striking natural beauties as well. I made the choice to stay in Vancouver. Forever? That is like saying never. It’s all about choice.

Over the next four years as Real Estate booms I ponder ahead to 2011 when the excitement of the two week advertisement bonanza is gone, done, no more. What will happen to all those condos being built? Who will live in them? Will there be culture? A condo culture? Will there be any Children? Will ALL the middle class just pick up and move East to populate smaller towns and cities to raise families because there will not be enough daycare here to look after the children while both parents work to afford a condo? And what about single parent families? What if this all happens before the 2010 Games? Who will manually labour to build all the condos for the planned Southeast False Creek Development located between Science World and Cambie Street? We won’t be able to live there either because of the recent changes. 80 percent of it will be sold at market value with the remaining 20 percent being affordable housing as mentioned in City’s Axe Falls on Kids by Pieta Woolley in the Georgia Straight.

Asking questions, pondering possible outcomes or solutions to these questions and above all gaining awareness. Being aware gives one the ability to make informed decisions. Being too aware could cause anxiety or mental breakdown. KISS – keep it simple stupid.

Be yourself – within yourself you will find the median.

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Snow – Vancouver – March?

Having lived in Vancouver for three years now, there has, on rare occasion, been white fluffy stuff falling from the sky. Mainly in January though! But, being from New Brunswick and having endured/enjoyed almost 30 some years of six month long winters seeing snow today/tonight was/is beautiful.

The city is calmer. Noise is reduced as snow acts as an insulator. And, living one block off of a main thorough fare in east Van; getting a break from the incessant traffic noise is welcome. Having another form of precipitation other than rain, drizzle, fog, mist or showers during the winter here is a nice change. The snow brightens everything up. The clouds are orange and purple hued reflections of city lights rather than grey, dark grey or black. This forces most folks here to stay home (lack of snow tires and skill to drive in 5cm of snow – haha). Good day to take off of work or to stay home from school.

Snow in Vancouver in March

On the flip side my boyfriend Eric’s irises, tulips, hyacinth’s and croci had popped up a little over a month ago during a warm spell and are now rather confused as to what to do. Yesterday it was warmer in New Brunswick than here. It more than likely has to do with global warming. Hooray! Global warming takes the blame again. Maybe it was all the Atlantic hurricanes this past season that Hrhum… were caused by GLOBAL WARMING. The phrase “Global warming” does not sound threatening enough. Perhaps a more catastrophically inhumane phrase such as “GLOBAL DEATH” would get the idea across to all of us. “Global Warming” just sounds so warm and fuzzy to a Canadian.

Why wouldn’t we want warmer weather up here north of the equator?

Hence, the Canadian Migration to Vancouver.

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Confusion leads to unorganized thought. These thoughts lead to numbness – that feeling you get when you have so many ideas popping into your head, literally at the same time causing such a ruckus you are unable to start, let alone complete one of those ideas. One could call this a panic or anxiety attack. Or one could call this a means to an end simply the way my day happened to start. This confusion is a run-on sentence of words. You open your eyes and they taking visual stimlui adding to the run-on-sentence.

Now the run-on-sentence has images to go with it. How about sound? And the feeling of being cold. LOL! Gobbleygook would be a good way to describe this condition with a word. Even now my brain wants to go all over the place!

WordPress. Freegan. Cat. Missy. Me. Rain. Storm. Computer. Type type type. Words. Too many. Puff puff on a cigarette. Pepsi. Walk around the apartment. Can I learn code? Themes. God. Art. Creation leads to emotion leads to stimulation. Exhaustion without even doing anything physical. Building. Condos. Across the alley. Sirens. Noise. Cat snores and purrs. Not to mention money. What about money? Why. Must. Should. I hate the word “Should”. Sit and contemplate. But do not abbreviate from the directness of this post. Are you confused. I’m confused. If you are still reading. I’m surprised. Guise. Does getting it out make it better? Sometimes. How to get “it” out. Write. Configuration. Code. Colour. Theorize. Conceptualize. Flies. Brother. House. Bought. Gift. Birthday. 30. I’m 32. Age. Irrelevant.

There. There are so many things that interest me. There are so many things that make me up. There are so many things that i want to do. Even this blogging thing has rules. Why are rules so hard to follow? Stay inside the lines when you are colouring teachers would say. Then others say,

“You need to know the rules before you can break them”.

That sentence is a rule in itself. There are rules everywhere. The W3 rules. The design rules. The coding rules, driving rules, social rules, money rules. Plan your rules. I have a planner and it’s closed today. Maybe my head just needs a break today.

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This afternoon I went to Daytox here in Vancouver to attend the Benzodiazapine support group and receive acupuncture. Odd thing was today, I happened to be the sole one in acupuncture and thereafter in the support Group. LOL. Yes, it was funny but on rare occasions at Daytox you could end up being the only client/patient with the nurse/councilor or acupuncturist in a group setting. Today I happened to be that only one. There has in the past been two or three of us but today was a first.

One needle in the crown, one needle in my forehead just where your hairline begins then five needles in each ear are the standard treatment for addiction and withdrawal. Today the third eye located just between the eyebrows was pierced also.

Quiet buddist chants eminated from the CD player. I sat back in one of 30 or so High backed black chairs, resting my feet upon another and closed my eyes. Colours began to appear softly on my eyelids. Indigo, Purple, and light green yellow being predominant. When I’m unable to close my eyes during treatment I write or draw in my journal to clear my mind. After 45 minutes it was time for the benzo support group.

I’m on a Benzodiazapine named Diazapam better known as Valium. Many people are in this world. This is a legal addiction. I began at 10mg’s per day and now I am down to taking 3mg’s per day. YAY! During a taper (when the dose is reduced) a person can have many withdrawal symptoms; hallucinations, tinnitus, trembling, insomnia and gastrointestinal upset to name a few. Upon stabilizing on your newly reduced dose the side effects diminish and the body and brain begin to function normally again. It’s best to taper off a benzo slowly – “listen to your body”. Each benzo user is unique and each user uses various benzos and their subsequent reactions to tapering are often quite different.

After Acupuncture I sat waiting to see if any others were coming… do dee doo dooo. The councilor walked in 15 minutes late. Acupuncture had been quiet and the acupuncturist opened the door to the treatment room late. That made me late. Late, smate – it doesn’t really matter. I hadn’t seen this councilor in some time. We had a great one on one talk about design, the WWW and recovery from addiction.

I came home. I ate. I took a nap with my cat. Naps after acupuncture are the best. And now well, I will continue researching into WordPress, maybe paint and see where this evening takes me.


Above is Missy sitting on one of my paintings.

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by Jessica Doyle

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