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About

Hi! My name is Chelsea, and I’m a mental health advocate living in Toronto.

I joke that I’m a professional oversharer, but what I really mean is that I share the things that most people don’t – my stories of living with depression (dysthymia), social anxiety, bullying, emotional abuse & trauma, failed relationships…nothing is off-limits.

Mostly I do this through speaking engagements and workshops, but I also have a blog, which you can find here, and I’ve been featured in some short films and written articles as well.

I believe that the stories of real people are the best tool we have to educate the world about mental health. I think that’s the best way to not just make people aware of what mental illness is, but empathetic as well. My mission is to create as much empathy and tolerance in the world as I can, and I only hope that my stories can help.

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Songs I Needed At The Time

I was watching a Vlogbrothers video in which John answers a question – “What have been the most important songs to you?” And he says that’s a good question because the most important songs are not always the best songs, or your favourite songs.

And finally something that I think about way too often for some reason was put into words. I never know what to say when people ask what my favourite song is, because I feel like that answer changes all the time. My favourite song of the moment is probably something that came out within the last few months, or maybe an old one that I’ve ascribed new meaning to. Songs that I absolutely adored 10 years ago are still incredibly important to me, but not ones I actually listen to very frequently anymore.

So, here’s a list of some of those songs, the ones with specific stories attached.

(There’s…a lot of Taylor Swift and Marianas Trench.)

Abuse is Abuse

Here’s a story I haven’t told before. Or at least, I haven’t told this version of it before.

Usually, I tell a story of two teenagers in love who were tragically pulled apart by their terribly cruel friends. He cut himself; she tried to save him. His family was dysfunctional; she tried to save him. He was struggling under the pressures of popularity; she tried to save him.

All of that is true.

But what is also true is that meanwhile, she was constantly losing friends and almost never made new ones, and her confidence in herself was growing weaker by the day. And he did nothing to save her.

For the first two years of our friendship, we were adorable. We wanted the best for each other. We could tell each other things that no one else seemed to understand. It’s no surprise that we fell in love.

But once we did, he used my love for him to manipulate me in subtle ways. It took me FOREVER to realize it because we were once so pure and great together, and he had so many of his own troubles that I ended up giving him a pass on a lot of stuff. Even if I was initially mad about something, he’d find a way to get me to apologize to him instead because I was adding to his problems.

Here’s the thing – did he know what he was doing? In the early days, probably not. Did he feel bad about it? Absolutely. He took his self-hatred out on himself in the form of slashes into his skin.

But did it all still happen? Did it all still hurt me just the same?

Absolutely.

Finding the Blips in the Flat Line

It’s been a long time since I’ve published anything. I’ve still been writing, it’s just that everything I’ve written is so personal (like more than usual) that I don’t want it on the Internet, at least not right now. And nothing I’ve written is about mental health.

Prior to graduating from university, I felt like I couldn’t write fast enough to keep up with all the ideas I was having. I was constantly being exposed to new things and I was actively involved with the mental health community at our school.

Since then, though, I’ve pretty much plateaued. I have nothing else to say. I haven’t experienced anything new in terms of my own mental health, and I haven’t experienced anything new in my personal life that’s worth publishing.

Sure, I’ve taken up rock climbing and the ukulele, done better and longer speeches, experienced my first full time office job, and met the real love of my life, but none of those things have led to any new revelations about mental health.

I guess I should be grateful that my own mental health has stabilized and that I no longer experience the depressive episodes that plagued me in the past. I have lots of time to pursue my hobbies, like writing this blog, because I’m not sad and tired all the time. But…if I’m no longer on the roller coaster, what am I supposed to write about? I still have no problem giving speeches and presentations, because I can say the same thing to different audiences. But blogging requires new material all the time.

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