On navigating a difficult week


Yup! It was one of those. I haven’t had one of those weeks in a while – glad to say – but I guess the time was ripe for it. I found out some stuff that threw me for a loop, which meant sleepless nights, mind stuck in an endless loop of thoughts I didn’t want, and a feeling of helplessness and despair.

I hesitated to write this because I always try to keep things light and fun. But, you know what? Life happens, shit happens. To me too. And it’s good to share. It lightens the load. And maybe it’ll help someone not feel so lonely. Or to seek help.

Not all was bad. In trying to stave off bad thoughts, I did quite a bit of stitching and finished some pieces that had been languishing for a while. One of them was started a few years back with a deconstructed screen done with a needle nose bottle and black thickened dyes. I used it quite a bit and produced different pieces of work. This is the one I stitched on one morning at 2:00 a.m. I am happy that it is finished; I even put the facing on and prepared the sleeve. All it needs now is to get sewn by hand – work to be done at night – and a name. Ideas?

stitching is done

The second piece I finished is my butterflies and moths: once again, the facing is sewn on and the sleeve is waiting to be added.

moths and butterflies

And on Thursday I layered and stitched this piece! It is so good to see it ironed, stitched and ready for the facing to go on. It’s a rubbing I did from one of the manhole covers in Banff, this one on the corner of Buffalo Street. I love how it turned out. Subtle details at the center where the design was flatter but I still like and consider it a successful one. I have another one to do and will hopefully get to it this week.

buffalo street in banff

What happens then when your mind can’t settle and your thoughts are all over the place? You get a phone call from someone offering you a new phone plan and you get all excited and say yes. A day later, you get a call from your bank telling you that your credit card got compromised and they cancelled it. Someone tried to place an order in United Airlines for $11,858.33 or something close to that. That same morning, I got a call from Telus, the said mobility plan provider, to tell me that I had been scammed and someone was trying to open an account under my name.

That … was the last straw! I cried all day as – on top of everything – I had my daughter sign up for the same “scam”. What a mess! I went to lunch with friends and could barely function – and drove myself home in tears. Only to leave again to go to the police station and file a report. I have to say that they were very nice about the whole thing, although there’s nothing they can do about it. No way to find these people.

The straw that broke the camel’s back. I was done! That morning I had decided to call someone to help me. Alberta Health Services Mental Health line was the answer. I got to talk to one of their counsellors that reminded me of the coping mechanisms I already have – and that failed this week – and gave me a few new ones. I am eternally grateful for professionalism that never fails to help. And helpful for friends who listened to me cry and moan and simply feel sorry for myself and understood.

In the words of a wise friend, my walls crumbled, and it was time for me to take a step back and shore them up again. Her sympathetic ear and lack of judgement got me through a bad time and somewhat put things into perspective. That night I took a couple of Tylenol night pills which I don’t do often, and slept through the night until I woke up around 9:00 a.m. Feeling refreshed and almost back to my normal self. And ready to tackle the world.

I have company this week as my daughter has come for her annual staycation with Serafina. It’ll give me a chance to focus on something else. And Serafina will be a furry and warm body to hold when the need arises. And I have a pile of new work to finish. Collages are being created using magazine papers, and that also helps keep the demons at bay, as when I’m working on one of these, only thoughts on which piece of paper to use, intrude.


Yes, I’m still cleaning a little bit at a time. I am in no rush anymore as the sale was postponed until the end of November. November 25th in fact. Make a note of it if you live in Calgary and surrounding areas.

To finish this post, here’s my bit of advice: If you or anyone you know needs help, encourage them to make use of the resources available. I was given a number to call: Wellness Together Canada. They offer 1 hour of support a week. There are organizations that have pay scales to help everyone reach the help they need. Do not wait. If there’s anything I have learned in the past few years, is that you cannot do it alone. I know that when I’m in the place where I was this week, there’s no way for me to take distance from the situation I find myself in and have perspective. I can only see it from my point of view that circles back again and again and again, unable to break through.

Well, there you have it, navigating a difficult week. It took its toll. It made me feel stupid, and tired of being lied to and broke my resolve to always believe in the good. But I am happy to say that I have a new way of looking at things and a new realization that I am not Wonder Woman. I am still resilient, a survivor and strong. But even superheroes need help sometimes. This week, it was my turn.

Thanks for listening. Until I write again, go do something fun and enjoy the last days of Summer.


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  1. I’m so sorry you had a bad week but I am so happy that you reached out for help. It is so important to remember that no matter how strong you are there are times we all need help and a different perspective to guide us out of our head. I know you will find the strength and resilience needed to pull through this rough patch. If you ever need a sympathetic ear please reach out. Enjoy the time with your daughter and know that happiness will return.

    1. Thanks Rhonda. If there’s one thing I’ve learned is to ask for help. So I feel much better now that things have been put into perspective and I have a few tools to help me navigate my brain :). I look forward to seeing you very soon. We are going to have a fantastic time! Take good care,

  2. Ana, I am sorry you were forced to endure this. Thank you for sharing how you worked on your mental health and reached out for help when you needed it. Mental health has too long been a forbidden topic of conversation. Based on your experiences this last week, and that the one structure in your piece is upside down to the others, I am suggesting the title, “Life Happens”. Maybe you could share a picture of Serafina next week. Who doesn’t love a furry pet?

    1. Thanks Julie. Much appreciated. I like the title for the piece. Thanks for suggesting it. And yes, I will definitely share a photo of Serafina (or two). She’s a sweetie … Take good care and thanks for your kind words.

  3. So sorry this happened to you! I was recently scammed by a fake Verizon call. Luckily I was able to catch it before it went too far, but it shakes you to the core, making you question your ‘faith in humanity’ and your own abilities to function as an independent individual. I’m glad you identified your need for resources and that they were available to you quickly and with good outcome. There are lessons to be learned here, but unfortunately the initiators of this activity are never the ones who learn them. Take good care. You are important and you are way better and smarter than the idiots who did this.

    1. Thanks so much Kathy. You are so right … but it still throws you off when that happens. They have become so sophisticated … Oh well … life goes on, so upwards and onwards!! Take good care. And thanks again.

  4. We all have those days. Even though we know that, it’s still necessary to “wallow” in it. I wish you happy days and know that somehow the bad people will get what’s coming to them. Just wish we could have the satisfaction of seeing it happen!
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. You are so right. I know what you mean about “seeing it happen”. Thanks for taking the time to write. Take care and thanks again.

  5. I too am so sorry for what you are going through. These scammers are making life so difficult for so many…so I hope you know you are not alone. There was a segment on 60 minutes last night and even a very tech savvy twenty something was duped and it was her job to know. That’s how sophisticated they are getting. I appreciate your honest sharing…we are all human and life is not always light and fluffy so thank you. Good for you knowing when and where to get some help to navigate. I am sorry you fell victim to these ruthless people. Much love and aloh Ana!

    1. Thanks Glorianne. Yes, they are becoming very sophisticated and it gets harder to know what’s true or not. And they got me at a wrong time when my brain was not working properly. But, life goes on. I’m taking steps to control the situation as best as I can and go from there. Thanks again for writing. Take good care. Lots of love,

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