Walk your friends home. Virtually.

Many people don’t feel safe walking home alone, especially at night, but sometimes it’s unavoidable. People will carry mace spray, rape whistles, or simply their keys in order to help them to feel safer. Being alone at night and knowing that no one knows exactly where you are can be a scary feeling.

Thankfully, there’s an app for that.

The free Companion: Never Walk Alone app allows you to log your destination and choose one of your phone contacts to act as your companion. Your contact, who does not necessarily need to download the app themself, can then virtually walk you home with the use of a GPS map. An alert will be triggered on your phone by any sudden movements such as those that could occur if you were to fall, start running, or have your headphones pulled out. If the user does not respond to the notification within fifteen seconds, the companion has the ability to call 911 and provide your location, while your phone will begin to emit an alarm in an effort to scare away any attackers.

This app will allow many parents, roommates and friends to rest easy, enabling them to walk their loved one home. This app is available for download to both android and apple phones.

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Me: Depression

I’ve probably said stuff like this before but earlier this year when I decided wasn’t going back to the university program I was in, I began to feel really excited for my future, like I just knew good stuff was gonna happen and it was coming and that’s a big deal.

Why is that a big deal? Well in the latter half of grade twelve and until after the new year after graduation I went through a period of what I can only call depression. I’m loathe to call it that because I know the connotations and the mentalities often paired with mental illness. I also know what I suffered was very light depression compared to what many people have to go through and for that I am grateful, but when you’re in it, when you’re in it, it does not feel “light”.

I don’t know what caused me to spiral down into where I landed part way through grade twelve but I suspect it was the fact that this was a last year and big changes were coming and I had no clue, literally no clue what I wanted to do. I am a person who craves structure (and with that often comes a need for control) and not knowing what was going to happen FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE freaked me out and as I went through the year still not knowing what I was doing and having nothing I could dig up peak my interest, I allowed myself to shut down.

Shut down? Well, often when emotions intimate me, I’ve allowed my mind to get into the habit of shutting them down. I push the problem out of the way and ignore it. This creates indifference (can’t see it, don’t need to bother with it. It’s no longer there), and then if it’s something important, when the deadline arrives, this method of coping results in a panic and if it’s bad enough, a full-fledged anxiety attack. I’ve only ever had three anxiety attacks that I can think of and I NEVER want to go through that again. The only way I can explain it is something explodes. The emotions that have been shut down and blocked out suddenly… pop. and everything explodes. Sound is extreme, light is extreme, people can’t talk-shouldn’t talk, there’s just sound and crying and panic and breathing, breathing is really loud and hard to do, and nothing makes sense and my mind stops registering anything and the worst thing you can EVER do if this is happening is ask me “what’s wrong?” I don’t know, that’s part of the problem, I just don’t know what’s going on. Something has become the last drop in the emotional pool to knock down the wall and all the hidden emotions are coming out.

That was a sidenote, sorry. (But seriously, the best thing you can do for someone having an anxiety attack, at least one like that, is just sit down and wait it out. Be there. Don’t talk, just be there. When they’re ready, they’ll talk. Don’t ask, don’t probe. Wait, and then listen. Once they’re done, think before you speak, if you are a person of faith, then you pray what God wants you to say then and there, because if that person just opened up to you that way they’re being extremely vulnerable and they’re are going to remember what you say and if you begin telling them what they’re feeling is wrong in any way, you’ve lost and they’re going to shut back down and think twice before opening up to you again. Be there and CARE)

Oh look, another sidenote. On a lighter note, depression… erm, uhh, nevermind.
So that year was hard because I shut down emotions and told next to no one what I was going through because I really didn’t understand it myself so how could I explain it to them and ask them to help me? To me I simply felt hopeless and indifferent all the freakin time and let me tell you, that is a crap way to live your life.
(In hindsight, just tell an adult you trust, they will be able to help. I mean I don’t know that from experience but I can imagine that’s a lot easier then suffering through it alone. At least then someone else knows and you don’t have to fake happy-and-normal with everyone)

I think what also allowed me to get so far down the spiral was that I stopped doing daily devotions and I stopped really pressing into God. I’ve heard a preacher say you can never stand still in your relationship with God. You’re either going forwards or you’re going back. I know I wasn’t going forwards in my relationship with God, so that means I spent a whole year backsliding and having pity parties. That’s a bad state of mind to be in. I don’t remember what happened but one day it was like something clicked and I realized “I don’t have to live like this…” and so I stopped.

I think that’s what makes many people doubt what I went through was real, the fact that it finished so fast, the fact that I could literally “snap” out of it. I am not saying, “get a grip, you can just snap out of it” to people. It was a mindset change. Like I said, something clicked. I don’t know what it was but in that moment it was like a little bit of hope came back. It didn’t have to be like this. This wasn’t all there was to life.

I never suffered suicidal thoughts but one thing I often prayed was “God, if this is life, it’s not worth it.” I’m not sure if I was accusing him, or just letting him know that’s how I felt, but I still agree with the statement, if that was life it wasn’t worth it. Thankfully, that’s not life.

The last year has been tough. I’m still getting back to where I was with God before it all happened and I’ve still never talked to anyone expect a couple friends (actually, maybe only one…) in this much detail about that year, so sometimes I think I’m trying to do it too much on my own but I still have a very hard time opening up to people (seriously, posting this is tough but telling it to someone in person… I mean I don’t want to say impossible, but…). I’m relearning how to read my Bible. I’m trying to get that foundation because I want it so bad. I want there to be a God who wants to have a relationship with me, I want to know him, I want there to be hope, I want there to be salvation. I need it. I don’t just want it, I NEED it, because life without that, it isn’t worth it. It just feels empty and hollow and bleak. Very bleak…

So I’ve been excited and hopeful for what’s to come for the first time in a long time and a few months ago it was decided that my church was going to restart and revamp it’s post-secondary Bible school from when I was a kid and as soon as I heard that I knew, yes, that was what my next year was going to be. It was going to happen if it happened based on my desperate prayers alone and I was the only student. And it’s happening guys, it’s happening and I’m really excited. I’m going to be getting theological training, and mentorship, and church ministry practicum, and I’m going to learn so much and grow so much in my relationship with God and I can’t wait! I know it’s going to be frightening and I’m going to have to learn to open up to people and I’m going to have to let go of a lot of control problems but I’m, well not ready, but I’m waiting in anticipation and I’m probably as ready as I’ll ever be!

I’m excited. I’m really excited that I AM excited. This is new. This is a new beginning, and it’s going to be good.

-Becky.

Some of my "textbooks" for school this year

Some of my “textbooks” for school this year

The Return

Today, my parents arrived back home from their holiday. I feel much better now! It was strange coming back from Vidcon to them not being home (they had left the day before I got back). It least I wasn’t entirely alone, my sister stayed behind too, but still, it was strange…

But now they’re home and all is right in the world! (The dog was VERY happy to see them! I think he thought that they’d deserted us and had given up hope of their return!)

-B

Post-Vidcon

It’s amazing how a habit can be made with such effort and then broken in a single moment.

I didn’t have reliable internet all weekend so that’s why I missed Aug 1-Aug4 for blogs posts. I won’t be making them up. It was because I was in LA at Vidcon meeting people and doing things and having fun! Now I’m home and I have reliable internet but my friends are all gone and my room is empty and I’m alone and it’s 1:20am.

This was not a good trade.

I wasn’t sure I would go back to Vidcon next year, but now that I’m home and everyone has gone their own way, I feel like I NEED to go to Vidcon next year!
#postvidcondepression

A full summary/explaination/future-Becky-will-want-to-remember-all-this-stuff will come tomorrow
-B

Alone

I don’t like being alone.

Now don’t get confused, I’m an introvert, yes, I get energized from being alone, but I don’t like being alone.

Let me explain further. I am totally cool with being alone in my room in a house full of people and I am aware that should I need human contact I can open my door and get it. I can sit on the couch and look out the window while my mum reads a book on the other couch because that’s being alone, there’s no conversation or interaction, but it’s not alone.

I don’t like being alone. When I’m totally by myself I feel like I’m starting to collapse in on myself and yet I feel no inclination to seek human contact if my “inner circle” is gone. I turn into a black hole and begin falling in and tearing myself apart until I can do nothing.

When I’m in this kind of a mood there’s only a very few people who I would want to be in contact with, my “inner circle”. People who I am comfortable being with but can still be by myself with. Mostly it’s immediate family and a couple very, very close friends. It’s like they’re my safety blanket, if I retreat too far into my mind I can snap into that connection and pull myself back into the world… I guess it’s kind of hard to explain.

I’m feeling lonely and there’s no number of youtube videos or tv episodes that can pull me back.

-B

Being a Closet Romantic

I’m kind of a closet romantic. Okay, I’m a hopeless romantic. I cry during books and movies when characters get together; I just giggled and sniffed and cried through the last twenty minutes of Sense and Sensibility (1995) because Marianne and Colonel Brandon, and Eleanor and Edward and, and, and IT’S JUST, LIKE SERIOUSLY THE WORLD IS MADE OF BUTTERFLIES AND RAINBOWS AND I’M ON A ROLLER COASTER THAT ONLY GOES UP!!

haa katie

HAPPY FEELS!

 

 

 

 

 

I seem to give off this sense in real life that I’m very sensible and I think if we’re talking Sense and Sensibility, I’d certainly be more like Eleanor, but while I pretend to look down my nose at the happily-ever-after books my mum and sister get from the library, I secretly love them. I sneak them off of people’s shelves and read them in two hour sittings with this goofy grin on my face for most of the time. Like, I get really into it and sometimes I’m like Okay, time to stop. This is too much now, ODing on butterflies and rainbows here…

My friends used to tease me saying I was gonna grow up to be a nun because I was totally that girl who was still going, Ew boys… and looking away from the tv screen when two characters kissed when she was like fourteen. Yup, I was that girl who insisted romance was blahhhhhh. Now while we’re talking about maturity lets all chant, “Lair lair, pants on fire, hanging from a telephone wire…” Ya, I’ve been a closet romantic probably since about Eowyn and Faramir, or Aragorn and Arwen when I was 11…

And yet, personally, at the rate I’m going I might end up just being a hopeless romantic/cat-lady (but without the cats, because, well, I’m allergic…) because at nineteen and a half I have one friend my age married and three friends my age engaged and I’ve never had a boyfriend. Sometimes I think it would be nice but then I remember how much I relate to a tumblr post I once read that went something along the lines of:

“Boyfriend acquired. Now what do I do with it? How often do I feed it? Do I walk it?”

And I was just like yes! I would have no idea what was going on, so it’s times like that I realize I am still waaaaaay too immature to have a boyfriend. I wouldn’t know how often to feed it and I couldn’t possibly be responsible for all those walks!

So what are some books that made me curl up my toes and giggle while reading? So glad you asked! (Note: This list does not include the books my mother takes out of the library and I read on the DL)

  • Our Mutual Friend – Charles Dickens **btw, this is my all-time favourite book**
  • Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
  • Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
  • Little Women/Good Wives – Louisa May Alcott
  • Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman Series – Pamela Aidan (retelling of P&P from Darcy’s point of view; phenomenal! Would recommend to any Austen lover!)
  • The DragonKeeper Chronicles – Donita K. Paul
  • Divergent/Insurgent – Veronica Roth
  • The Hunger Games (totally almost typed The Hugger Games there, thought you’d all appreciate that) – Suzanne Collins

So lovely people, next times your looking for a good book give one of these ones a try. Sorry to any guys who read this, these are kind of stereotypically women’s books but if you want to read them, go for it!!

I’m off to continue being a bit of a hopeless romantic now, at least it’s not really a secret anymore!

katie

katie pt 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Talk to you tomorrow!
-Becky