Posted in Wellness, Word Therapy

You are not alone

The first time I tried I was in my teens. The second I was a mom to two babies. I had lost all hope and I couldn’t see life getting any better. Everything that could go wrong did. I tried to lock myself in the bathroom with a mouthful of pills. I was stopped by the person who loves me the most. I was told to look at my children. I was asked if I really wanted to do this. He called family, telling them he didn’t know what to do. I spit the pills in the toilet. Things did eventually get better. I was lucky.

Chris Cornell, Chester Bennington, Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain, and countless others that we don’t know but don’t make them any less important. They took their own lives, no matter how happy they looked to us. “Within the past year, about 41,000 individuals died by suicide, 1.3 million adults have attempted suicide, 2.7 million adults have had a plan to attempt suicide, and 9.3 million adults have had suicidal thoughts.”-NAMI

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness month. If you read or watch the news you know mental health is a hot topic. Finding help and getting the coverage for it is stigmatized. Speaking about it makes people uncomfortable. But we have all felt despair at times in our lives. Imagine feeling so hopeless that leaving this Earth feels like your only option? Here are some stats from NAMI that alarmed me as the mother of two kids with their teenage years around the corner:

  • 1 in 5 children ages 13-18 live with a mental condition
  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death in youth ages 10-24
  • 37 % of students with a mental health condition at age 14 and older drop out of school

Follow this to know what the 10 common warning signs are.

As much as I talk about anything and everything, I don’t like to talk about how I got to a place where I tried to end my life. Depression has definitely affected me my whole life but I never thought during those two times that it would lead to making that decision. It came on suddenly with such an overwhelming feeling of desperation. I wanted to do something drastic so I didn’t have to feel what I was feeling anymore. I am grateful every day that I failed. With my medicine, writing, and exercise, I can now identify when I am feeling bad and why. I can see things with perspective. I know I am strong enough to handle whatever is thrown at me. I didn’t before. Back then I felt all alone in the world. But I wasn’t then and I’m not now. None of us are. And if you don’t feel that you can reach out to friends or family, here are some places that you can:

NAMI

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Trevor Project

You are loved.

Posted in Wellness, Word Therapy

Happy Mindfulness

Today I turn 43. Not a special birthday. A day where I think about all that has happened since the last April 12th and the changes my family and I have been through. So much changed for the better in this last year. We are back at home, I can say with confidence that I am a writer, and I feel the most settled than I ever have.

Mindfulness is definitely the word I would use to describe this year. I’m learning more why I act the way I do and the actions of others around me. I stop and think more, which has made me a better parent and wife. I take life one day at a time with a lot of letting go and deep breaths. It has brought peace to my soul that wasn’t there before.

It is easier to be grateful these days. I appreciate the outdoors when I walk my dogs, go on Sunday bike rides with my family, and sit in my backyard and write. Listening to music helps me to sit still and relax.

I am taking a hold of aging and attempting to be graceful. I got bangs to cover my forehead wrinkles but I don’t think I can rock a beard like Keala Settle to cover up the jowels. I refuse to subscribe to the thinking that I should dress according to my age and wear what I love, jeans and pop culture t-shirts (with a little bit of preppy thrown in). I haven’t found the perfect Mrs. Roper’s muumuu yet but I will track down that unicorn.

My brain tries to sabotage me weekly. It seems the harder I work to overcome my obstacles, the louder the negative feelings become. But I know that these are only temporary and will pass.

I don’t know if my writing has gotten better. I have become more truthful, which is just as important to me. I have found my process. I have worked my way past the voices that tell me everything I write sucks, and just write what it is I need to say. I know I am going to have to read a piece at least five times and edit the hell out of it before I can feel satisfied with it. I feel freer to write and the judgment I imagine that is forthcoming is not as scary.

I write this blog to process what I am going through. I want others to be able to understand what somebody with anxiety is going through. Or maybe they see themselves in a post. The more people I interact with those that have anxiety, the less alone I feel. Social media (particularly Instagram) has helped with that. And sure, I would love to have followers in the thousands. But it is also exhausting to make yourself relevant in this world. Going viral, using the allotted 25 hashtags, and following someone back because they follow you are all tricks of the trade but once you are in the spotlight the question is for how long?

I have accepted that when I have highs they are in the sky and when I have lows they are below the ocean bed (Kind of like this post). Prozac has brought me closer to the middle and given me balance. I also think feeling at home has been a factor. Happiness is achievable and I intend to keep running towards it.

Please celebrate my birthday with me by reading about and/or donating to

https://www.thetrevorproject.org/#sm.0006isoco1aj1es6wm62lmqtzuku9

https://www.aclu.org/

https://everytown.org/

Thank you!