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What is to give light…

I had a bad trigger/flashback tonight.

This afternoon, I hand delivered a bunch of invites for my show to the different psych wards at the Royal Jubilee hospital, to some of the psychiatrists there, as well as to the Medication Partnership Clinic (where they do forced injections), and to the day hospital at Eric Martin (the old asylum). With the show invite, I included a letter with a brief update on my life since exiting hospital in February 2021. I told them where I’m at now and that I’m using my platform to advocate for an end to seclusion and forced treatment. I made sure to include gratitude towards them all however, as I think they’re doing the best they can within a broken system. I commended them all for showing up everyday as I do think most people join these professions because they care.

I hadn’t stepped foot in Eric Martin since I was 18 in 2004 (which was the last hospitalization I’d had before 2020). The lobby had a terrible vibration. There’s screams imbedded in those walls, although the day hospital on the 6th floor did feel okay. I stopped to touch the wall of the lobby as I left, then I saw the video camera watching so I quickly pulled my hand back. It’s a crazy person thing to do, right—to reach out and feel a building’s vibration?

When I got home a friend who’s still detained under BC’s Mental Health Act sent me an article published about her forced treatment. I couldn’t read it all as I got triggered. Her body is being physically crippled from the medication but they won’t stop injecting her.

Suddenly I was there again. My body in real time coiled into a ball as I started sobbing and shaking because I couldn’t stop them. My mind overpowered me.

I don’t want to get into the details of what I’ve gone through because I’m aware I can be a powerful writer and I don’t want to traumatize all of you too. I’m so grateful for a different friend who talked me through the worst of the trigger but it still erupted in waves after she went to bed.

Once I was able to uncoil my body and ground myself back to the present moment, I thought about how awful it would be to have a flashback like that in public. If suddenly when my mind was hijacked, my body physically coiled into a ball, sobbing, in obvious emotional distress—if someone saw that, they’d probably call 911, I’d be committed, and this vicious cycle would continue.

I realize so many of you see me as strong but you don’t see me in these weakest moments—When I’m broken, shaking, and rolled into a little ball, sobbing. When I’m fragile and weak. When I’m terrified.

I realize this is a controversial subject, that there’s lots of opinions and feelings in all directions. I feel like I’m walking alone into a battle that is so much bigger than me. I’m terrified yet I can’t back down.

I’ve been contacting so many people, news channels, and organizations with the headline: “Hope for Mental Health & Addiction in Victoria BC” but I don’t actually have the ability to change the system or save anyone’s life, aside from my own. All I can do is share my story. I’m terrified of the power psychiatry can hold over me, as I do disagree with the detainment I experienced, yet I choose to keep going because these things are still happening and most don’t have a voice.

After I left Eric Martin today, I had an acupuncture appointment which was nice. I know sometimes energy work, just like working out at the gym, can stir stuff up too.

I’m ready for sleep now. Tomorrow will be better. Goodnight 🌙✨(or, Good Morning ☀️)


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