Author: edmontonwriter

I am a poet and writer of prose

Insomnia and My Mental Health Essays

Good morning dear readers!

Well, a lot has been going on lately, I hope you all forgive me for not posting. One of the things I have been doing is teaching Poetry in the park near my house. I have been publishing a few essays lately, and if you wish to read them, the links are below:

Op-ed piece on stigma and mental illness:

Magazine article:

Personal essay regarding my mental health journey:

Of course, my latest book is still available free on the website, just click on the photo of the Tower Bridge for your copy.

I have to admit to you, dear readers that my mental health hasn’t been the best lately. I have been having trouble getting to sleep and more trouble getting out of bed. Added to that, I have been noticing a trend towards letting little things irritate me, and getting stuck on memories from the past that I really shouldn’t let affect me.

I think a lot of the blame for this present state is that I have been relying more and more on sleep aids to get past my insomnia. In a way, this convoluted schedule has been helpful, I sleep most of the day away, then grab my iPad and start searching for places that accept essays that fit what I feel I am good at, then most of the hours of my day are spent writing, editing, running the piece through Grammarly, then editing again and then reading through the whole piece one last time before sending it. Even this gruelling process doesn’t always make the piece of writing perfect. I miss things a lot. I have almost been longing to do more writing here on my blog because I can just write from the heart or soul, and share things that are important. I usually do proof read my blogs, but just once. I have been so amazed at the support I have been getting.

I don’t know how much I talked about it, but I recently sold my car. It was an interesting story how I sold it, so I will relate it to you here. Someone contacted me and said my price was good and that they were going to have their associate send me a cheque and then pick up the car. A lot of warning bells were going off already. Why would a third party need someone else to send a cheque? Why a cheque and not transfer? He said the car was going to be a gift for his father, but my car was a luxury sport sedan with a 290 horsepower engine. More and more things started sounding fishy, but I was anxious to sell the car quickly. This person’s associate sent me something he called “an e-cheque” which was just a scan of the front and back of a random cheque he found somewhere. It was a cheque drawn from a business account, so I first said that I wouldn’t release the car without the cheque clearing, then said that I needed some kind of evidence that this person had authority to draw cheques on this account.

It was going to take at least a few days for the cheque to clear and someone contacted me about the car after who was willing to pay full price, in cash. I didn’t like the idea of dealing with over $5,000 in cash, but I told him if he came right away, the car was his. He did, I sold it and I never heard a peep from the first guy. Today I picked up my mail and it had a cancellation notice from my bank. I was a little freaked out that I had almost fallen for what to me seemed like serious fraudsters, but so far nothing else has come of it.

One of the things that kind of freaks me out about this incident is that fraud seems to be coming from every direction. The same week this car business went on, I answered an ad that said I could buy a new PS5, a very sought-after game system, for just $400. They sent me a tracking number and I watched the package go from China all the way to the US, and on to Alberta. I waited quite a long time and was excited at the possibilities in getting this system. When it arrived, it was a very small package and inside was no printed material, just a name tag for luggage and a strap to fit it onto a suitcase. I just could not believe that someone could be so blatantly deceptive and just not at all care about lying, cheating, stealing, defrauding someone.

Well dear readers, I hope this gives you some insight into watching out for things that sound too good to be true. The only thing a person can really count on is honesty and hard work if they want to truly get ahead. Thanks for tuning in, hope to chat further soon!

Leif Gregersen

Set Your Clock I’m Going Live

Hello to all my amazing supporters. Just wanted to let you know I am having a book reading and Q and A session tonight regarding my book: “Alert and Oriented x3: A Snapshot of a Severe Psychosis” this will be on zoom and all are welcome. The show is tonight (July 7) at 7:00 pm Mountain Standard Time. Please feel free to share the zoom link below:

Falsehoods, Delusions, and Lies

Hello Good Readers!

I have not been making many entries, what has been happening is that I have been publishing articles in different places, and I encourage you to read them and contact me with what you think of them. I will try and make time for more blogs soon, I love working on this website and the people who join me each time I write something. Please visit OC87 Recovery Diaries where you will be able to either listen to a podcast of my latest publication, or read the essay as a normal article. The link is below, you may have to copy and paste it into the window of your browser. All the best to everyone!

Leif Gregersen

My Wish For You: Be At Peace and Know That You Are Loved

Hello Good Readers. It has been quite a while. I have so much to apologize for, I have neglected those who trusted and cared for me the most, you my dear readers. That has to change.

To begin, I have been writing a lot of essays like the ones I write here, but publishing them, which makes me feel wonderful only I miss the days of my simple blog and some short time spent checking hits. For those of you who like my essays, my latest publication is now appearing in an online magazine called “Anti-Heroin Chic” and can be found by clicking here:

Things seem to be humming along. I am busy but ever grateful for being blessed with many friends and wonderful people in my life. In the past few weeks I have had 2 articles published, 2 more approved, taught a few classes and spent time with some amazing people. I would have loved to make this post another mental health help video, but the link to that essay if already one and I am not only weary but somewhat overworked.

There is one thing I wanted to talk about, I have been reading a book by the most incredible author, Elisabeth Kuubler-Ross. The book is about death and dying and is so incredibly beautiful and comforting. In all the time that has passed, I have my doubts that I have truly grieved the loss of my mom and this book is showing me the work of an amazing woman who wanted to see what she could best do to comfort those who are in their last days, and in so doing, open the door to the final frontier of medicine: How do you give hope and comfort to those who have no hop[e.

It is my hope that many of you look for her books, even if you haven’t experienced a loss. It is absolutely captivating.

All the best dear readers, please feel free to leave any comments about my essay here or on the website. Thanks to all of you for your support and kindness!


Never Get Complacent About the Mental Illness of You or a Loved One

Well, I have to admit it, I have been getting complacent, so I thought it would be a good time to sit down and write. I have some bad news off the top, it looks like there is really no way I am going to have my new book, “Voted Off the Crew” ready for the launch date. On the good side of that, I am having it professionally edited and I think the end result of what will become of the book will be something my readers will enjoy more and I will be more proud of.

As for me, I have been isolating a lot but doing some writing that I really think might help make a difference. I have written essays for the websites, “OC87 Recovery Diaries” and “The News Station”. It feels good to publish, especially since in the case of the above, I am publishing about my mental health experiences. But I almost feel I need to shock myself into getting off my butt and getting down to doing more with each precious day I have.

I think it is something that people with mental illnesses are prone to, for a couple of days all I did was lay in bed. At first I gave myself the excuse that it was because I had a headache, which was true, then I had some pretty severe stomach pains and wanted to use that as an excuse to lie around, but when I got up and went for a mid-day walk, I soon forgot about any headache and my stomach pain went away.

I am not saying that everyone out there with health issues is being weak or lazy, but I am thinking that sometimes when you get into a rut it can be really helpful to get some fresh air and exercise. I love taking walks because they are fairly low-impact and you don’t need any fancy equipment, most of the time you don’t even need to change. You just head out your door and plan not to be back for an hour more or less.

A close friend who was both a medical student and a lifeguard once told me that in the case of just about everything, exercise is the best medicine. Of course there are limits, but if you find yourself in a funk and you aren’t doing anything constructive, try and get a little exercise in. There are also things you can do around the house that can be very beneficial and simple. You can lean against a wall and push away from it, doing what I call ‘low-impact push-ups’ you can do sit-ups, use tension to push your arms against each other at the fists or another point to build tone and strength. You can even find a second hand Yoga mat or invest a few bucks in a new one and go along with some of the many Youtube videos of Yoga classes.

Fortunately, my recent complacency hasn’t made me miss any of my doses of medication. If that happens to you, do your best to resume your medication at the point you are at. Don’t try and catch up and take a couple off doses, if it is Tuesday, start with Tuesday’s dose and move on. If you have been off medications and notice you are experiencing severe depression or voices, paranoia, or any of your old symptoms, either get to see your doctor as soon as you can or get to an emergency room, it could be a long wait, but there will be psychiatrists on call who can assess you and see what the next best course of action should be.

So I am hoping my words will be helpful. Getting complacent is a dangerous place to be in, a person should always remember what things were like when they were in a hospital setting or otherwise having a hard time and make an honest decision as to whether or not they want to go back to all that. Mental and physical health, which are deeply related, need daily and careful maintenance. If you are off your medications and not feeling good about yourself, find a way to see a doctor, and make a phone call before you do anything. There are crisis lines in Canada and the US that can help you through these difficult times, all you need to do is google, dial, reach out, and there will be someone there to listen.

The number for the suicide help line in Canada is: 1(833)456-4566

In the US, the number is: 1(800)273-TALK (8255)

New Book Gets New Blog

Hello Everyone! I can’t contain my excitement, today I learned that the lion’s share of the editing of my new short story collection is done! Not much more to do to get it out to anyone who would like a copy. But, out of respect for the people who have read this blog and want to continue to read about mental health, I have started a new blog on Goodreads. To view it, all you have to do is visit Sign up for the blog and I will inform you of updates, encourage you to pre-order, and to ‘Friend’ me on Goodreads so I can invite you to the launch party where I will be giving away a bunch of books that I will mail out, including a couple of copies of my “Mental Health Memoirs”

In the new blog, I will be giving suggestions on books to read, talking about the writing craft, and just generally keeping people up to date on my work and how it is coming along. The hope is to have my book launch event on May 9/21 which is just 3 weeks away. After that, I have been given the huge honour of a scholarship to a two-week writer’s workshop, so I am hoping to bring readers and writers together after each session to talk about what I learned.

As for those who are having difficulties with their mental health, I often talk about journalling, which is something that is both beneficial for writers and for people who deal with mental illness. My mom used to keep a journal and it was a special place where she could tell her secrets, confess her sins, all without being worried what someone might think of her. She would simply write the date at the top of a page, write a number between 1 and 10 to show what her mood was, and then pour her heart out on the page. Sometimes I wonder if my mom, or even my dad could have been famous writers. Both of them read heavily, and had a great grasp of the English language. I like to think that writing is something that can be learned, it isn’t a skill that you are born with. And it doesn’t really matter much what you write. If you like alien conspiracies, fictionalize one and imagine what could happen. If you like romance, change the names and places and fictionalize a story about a true love you once had, whether it worked out or not.

I don’t want to push anyone into what they aren’t comfortable with, but this is kind of what I do for a living. Seriously. I work at our local psychiatric hospital teaching creative writing to patients, and it is so amazing to teach someone how to write something, and hear them making beautiful sentences and moving descriptions, it really helps people feel better about what they were going through. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot more to say on that. I am keeping a poorly guarded secret that I want to share with anyone who likes to read this blog, if you click on the photo to the right of the bridge with two towers, it will take you to a page where you can download a free book of mine that I wrote about a recent hospital stay. Please download it and read it, and consider signing up for my blog on Goodreads, I would love to have you! More to come, keep on tuning in!

Leif Gregersen,