c.e. taillefer

April 30, 2015

10 Years


Stood a Chance – Taking Back Sunday

It takes so long
You’re never one for looking back
A body like a punching bag
You never even stood a chance

Seek Advice Elsewhere – Off With Their Heads

You hit the bottom, you think that’s all
But the bottom opens up and you continue to fall
And everywhere you turn to yell for help it goes unheard

Devil in Stitches – Bad Religion

She was living on the edge of a knife.
His head was filled with restless ghosts.
It’s so easy to love a bringer of destruction.
She said, “Darling, I love you madly.”

Dipshit – Rufio

Use your mind you dipshit
I’m wondering why not just let me live on my own?
On my own…

U and Ur Hand – Pink

I’m not here for your entertainment
You don’t really want to mess with me tonight
Just stop and take a second
I was fine before you walked into my life

I Don’t Want to be an Asshole Anymore – the Menzingers

I push my emotions off a bridge,
I’ve been taking them hostage with a shotgun
Now I’m somewhere treading water,
Somewhere lost inside the the man that I’m not

Blah Blah Blah – Ke$sha

So cut to the chase kid
‘Cause I know you don’t care what my middle name is
I’m gonna be naked
And you’re wasted

Somebody that I used to Know – Gotye

But I don’t wanna live that way
Reading into every word you say
You said that you could let it go
And I wouldn’t catch you hung up on somebody that you used to know

Flowers in the Window – Travis

wow look at us now
flowers in the window
it’s such a lovely day and i’m glad you feel the same

Demons – Lawrence Arms

And the dying ain’t gonna stop
just because you walk away.
And you can cry for everything that you’ve lost
but you ain’t never gonna bring back these days

Stranger than Fiction – Bad Religion

life is the crummiest book I ever read,
there isn’t a hook, just a lot of cheap shots,
pictures to shock and characters an amateur would never dream up

Under Pressure – Queen

Cause love’s such an old-fashioned word
And love dares you to care for
The people on the edge of the night
And love dares you to change our way of
Caring about ourselves

Don’t Give Up – Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush

rest your head
you worry too much
it’s going to be alright
when times get rough
you can fall back on us
don’t give up
please don’t give up

August 13, 2014

Fix Me, Please


Trigger warning for discussions of mental illness and suicide.


December 6, 2013

Sorry Not Sorry Special Topic: I Have Depression


It feels weird to cash in on the “Sorry Not Sorry” title for something super heavy rather than pop culture analysis and feelings, but a) it’s clever and I like it, and b) it’s pretty apt for how depression remission feels.

Most of the reason I chose to write about having depression is because it’s still something that is deeply stigmatized, and my usual coping mechanism is gallows humour, which, when you’re also being open about your depression is makes things hella awkward hella quickly.

“How’s it going?” “Things are great, I’ve only wanted to die about three times today!” or during casual lunch chit-chat with coworkers, “You ever wish the rapture was real so the world would end?”

I’ve always struggled with moodiness, and an overabundance of feeling (hello, person who cries when they’re angry, that’s me!) but it wasn’t until the past eight years or so where it got really obvious I was struggling.  I was graduating university, having to job hunt, getting married, moving into a new house, deal with personal relationship fall-outs from a few different sources.  It was not a great time to be me, and I was lucky to have a GP who was open to getting me both some pharmaceutical and psychological help. The drugs stayed, the therapy didn’t, primarily because you don’t have to interview drugs and make sure you click with them on a personal level. When the one therapist I really liked moved on, I looked for a new one kind of half-heartedly and gave up.

When you’re depressed, giving up is like your favourite thing to do.  You get really good at it, because you’re practicing all the time.  Grad school looks really hard and expensive, better not apply.  Writing makes me feel gutted and uncomfortable, guess I’ll stop writing.  Showering is exhausting, get rid of that too.  The thought of getting out of bed and facing human people with human words coming out of their human mouths makes you dizzy and ill. Eventually, all you’re good at is staying in bed and staring at the wall. And you get really, really good at it.

Allie Brosh, Adventures in Depression

Allie Brosh, Adventures in Depression


As an added bonus, I wasn’t even a weepy, sad sack.  I had the angry depression. If you think people don’t want to be around you because you’re sad or apathetic all the time, they get especially itchy when you’re the emotional equivalent of a hissing goose.

Allie Brosh, Depression part 2

Allie Brosh, Depression part 2

I was angry about sexism. I was angry about being tired all the time. I was angry when my husband paid too much attention to me. I was angry when he paid too little attention to me. I was angry when the cats stepped on my hair.  I was angry when I was too weak to go to work, but I was angry while I was at work too. Mostly I was angry at my softening, exhausted traitor body.

It was painfully obvious the meds, which worked for a time, weren’t working any more. But I still pushed through for another two years, telling myself, “Oh, we just moved to a new town. Oh, I just started a new job. It’s stress. Oh, I’m just getting used to not having as many friends around.”  I might as well have kept writing during this time because I was spinning wild fictions that were so plausible to my fucked-up brain that I believed all of this, even while loading groceries into the car would make me cry.

The one good thing about anything potentially setting you off is that eventually, the catalyst for making a change can be anything as well.  For me, someone I knew online posted about their experience with seeing the doctor and getting medication that was making a huge difference in their life.  “Whoa,” I thought. “That happens? You don’t just go on meds and they turn into a meat zombie with a brain full of cotton fluff?” The smart-ass part of me put down the book it picked up years ago when I was ignoring it, and said “Wow, finally, welcome to reality.”

So I made a doctor’s appointment and together we came up with a strategy for pinpointing places where we could make changes.  She looked into the possible issues behind my meds not working and making me feel ill. I did a sleep study to see if it was anxiety disrupting my sleep, or my insomnia making me anxious. (It was the former.)  Progress was slow, as it inevitably is in the Canadian healthcare system but I was doing something! What a strange and invigorating sensation!

Eventually, it did come down to the news I was dreading – we’d have to make some changes in my medication.  Obviously what I was on wasn’t working, but I was terrified of the withdrawal process, scared that a new medication would be worse. My current plan wasn’t working but at least I’d come to terms with getting 40 lbs fatter, a little more forgetful, and headachey all the time. Together with my doctor, we made a plan to taper off the one medication and onto the new one, while keeping my second as it was,  as a continuity measure.

Day one felt pretty good.  Cautiously hopeful.  No weird reactions, felt okay about going out for the evening.  Day two, Chris and I had plans to see a movie.  Midway through, I felt a little weird.

Effie. what are you drinking? #ominousevents

Effie. what are you drinking? #ominousevents

“I don’t feel so hot,” I tell him.  “You need to go to the bathroom?” he asks, moments before I barf into the cup I’m holding. WELL DONE NEW MEDICATION.  Take a look at the bottle when we get home, and sure enough nausea is a side-effect. I make it through the rest of the movie, nap off the rest of the queasiness and that’s about it.

Aside from that one blip, things have been… good? and yes, everytime someone asks me how I’m doing, and I say “Good?” it’s always with that valley girl uptick at the end because I still can’t quite believe it.  It’s only been a few weeks, but who knows what the future holds? Hopefully more “good?” for everyone.  And if this doesn’t work out for one reason or another, I know that trying something new isn’t the end of the world.

What’s even the point of telling this story? Well, for one, it’s not unique.  I’m sure the person who’s story motivated me has a similar arc.  Secondly, because it is a bit of a PSA.  I feel better, I feel stronger and willing to talk, which means hopefully, I am willing to answer questions or help people understand some common and harmful myths about being depressed.

Depression is feeling very sad.

This one should be obvious, but no.  It can be that way for some people, but it can also be irritability, anger, anxiety, frustration, exhaustion, or any combination of those.  It’s not even about feeling it – it permeates your entire being.  Your body is Silent Hill and depression is the all the gameplay that takes place in the otherworld.

silent hill heather

“Why was my movie adaptation so baaaad?”

But you’ll get off your meds someday, right?

Maybe! It’s entirely possible I won’t. But to give you an idea of how insensitive this statement is, think about asking a diabetic, “Have you tried tapering off your insulin?” or someone with kidney disease, “You can’t stay on dialysis forever!” I’m not thrilled to think about the cocktail of brain medication I’ll be taking for potentially the rest of my life.  I might even be less thrilled about it than you. But if it’s what I need to do, I’ll do it. Not to mention, it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than Scientology.

Everyone gets a little depressed sometimes!

Not wholly inaccurate.  Sometimes people can get so stressed out or unhappy because of grief, or a bad school or work situation that they have symptoms of depression or anxiety.  Often this can get better once they’re away from or have dealt with that stress. Not always – sometimes that stress is just the breaking point for chronic depression, rather than situational.  Everyone’s different.  But if you’re somebody saying this like depression is going through a sad break up, or getting a bad grade in school, well. You’re probably an asshole.

Is depression a disability? 

Yes – and no.  It’s definitely a mental illness, and many mental illnesses can be disabling, but my depression isn’t so clear cut.  Has my depression been a disability? Oh yeah.  See: getting really good at staying in bed because getting up is impossible. It’s interfered with my life in a way that is disabling.  Can depression be a disability? Absolutely – there are many people on disability leave for issues with depression, or another mental illness. (If you’re Canadian, you might remember the woman who was cut off from her benefits for looking “too happy” on Facebook.) People with major depression and anxiety can qualify for therapeutic and service animals, for example.  That said, I don’t personally feel comfortable using my experience with depression to talk about disability in general.  It can have physiological effects, and mimics a lot of chronic illnesses that are invisible – but most people don’t understand those any better than depression, so I’m not sure how useful that identification would be for me explaining myself to others.

Depression and PTSD is disregarded as a serious issue.

Despite being more talked about now than perhaps ten years ago, it’s obvious that overall, people with depression and PTSD are not getting the proper care.  Suicide rates among soldiers/veterans are rising dramatically in the past few years due to poor handling of mental health in our veteran’s affairs system, for example.

I’m glad I’m able to write about it a little, now.  For every one person like me, there’s probably dozens out there who are too scared to speak out, or don’t know what’s wrong with them.  Hopefully, in time, respectful dialogue will begin to change that landscape.

jesus, how do you even write a conclusion to this kind of thing? in summary, here’s a dog to illustrate that dogs are awesome, and also depression is hella weird to get out of, if you even can

goofy pup





February 14, 2013

State of the Union


See? Topical!

If you’re here, you’ve noticed I’ve moved this blog over to WordPress. This is part of my push to get myself writing more, blogging more, and generally being more present, whether online or off. Welcome if you’re new, welcome back if you’re a reader from before.

Please excuse the mess of some of the posts I ported over from Blogger – the formatting copied in bizarre ways and I’m in the process of tidying them up.

I’ve kept busy, even if I haven’t been writing, doing really important things. World-changing. Life-shattering.


Okay, so maybe I haven’t been doing anything super important.  But I’m trying! This week, for example, marks the first time in therapy since my early college years.  I have no doubt she will have plenty of suggestions to keep me busy not being a caterpillar wrapped in a fear-cocoon.

Here is a list of other items on my table for the near future:

  1. Creating an abstract and paper to submit for the exciting-sounding Feminists in Games conference. I haven’t done any academic writing in seven years, so I don’t even really have a thesis yet, but by golly, I have ideas flying out my butt.
  2. Start the complete re-write of Paucity. Yes, two Nanowrimos weren’t enough to get this beast done – the beast, I might add, being a young adult novel that I started writing to take a break from my ~heavier~ novel.  Now I’m trapped in its merciless claws and I won’t be free until I have something resembling a cohesive story.  New additions and changes include the addition of an enormous river otter goddess into what I envisioned as a previously atheist society, a plague outbreak with magical origins and pirates.
  3. Blogging more! World of Warcraft is releasing a major patch soon, and I have no doubt there will be plenty of changes to talk about, as well as publically pulling out my hair when items no. 1 and 2 aren’t going so well.
  4. Reading. Endlessly. I would love to keep up with my Good Reads account, but I tend to finish books so quickly, it would be a part-time job rating and reviewing even just the new books I read/old books I re-read. All the same, I would like to start reviewing writing more often – nothing like reading incredible writing to help tone up your own.

Once again, welcome and welcome back. I hope you’ll enjoy your stay.