• Blog,  Health

    Mental Health Awareness: What You Need To Know About Therapy

    The idea of seeking therapy is still a fairly taboo topic for most. They don’t want to think of themselves as a person who’s “so messed up” they need professional help. Though, the Wall Street Journal recently wrote a story about how millennials are much more into therapy than generations before. Go, millennials! I’ve been through several boughts of talk therapy throughout the years with varying results. Some people I outright didn’t like. Others just didn’t seem to get me. Now I have a therapist whom I feel gets me and is also ready to hand out the harsh truth in a way that doesn’t make me feel like an…

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  • Blog,  Health

    Mental Health Awareness: When You’re Off Kilter

    I’ve struggled with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Depression for about eleven years now. Despite feeling I have probably had these issues most of my life, it was 11 years ago when things I realized I needed to get help. The real struggle in dealing with mental health issues is when you think you’re managing your symptoms just fine and one day you realize you aren’t any longer. During the last 11 years, I’ve had so many setbacks, medication switches and deeply dark days. Maintaining my mental health is an on-going struggle. That piece is the hardest part for me because I’m of the mindset: I took care of it and…

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    Mental Health Awareness: My First Panic Attack

    I will never ever forget my first panic attack. It caught me completely off guard. I wasn’t even actively anxious about anything. I was just sitting at the kitchen counter. It was the scariest thing I’ve ever experienced. Suddenly my heart was racing, I had intense pain in my chest, I couldn’t breathe, I heard a ringing in my ears and it felt like the entire world was sitting on top of my shoulders. I had no control and I felt stuck in some kind of invisible pressure bubble with no way to escape. It probably only lasted about 30 seconds, but it felt like hours. It was absolutely terrifying.…

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    When Is Enough Enough?

    What is enough? To me, it’s an elusive idea. My general rule of thumb is too much of anything is almost enough. The constant concern about what is enough is visible when we have a party (is there enough food?! Spoiler, we always have so much left over), when I buy Christmas presents (do they have enough to open? Are they going to feel enough magic?) and in my personal growth.  When my oldest was about 2 1/2, I began writing little stories about her. Then when she was about 4, I was overcome with this strong desire to change the world. It was all I could think about. I…

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    What Most People Get Wrong About Anxiety

    Too many people still don’t understand what it means to have an anxiety disorder. If I was able to just turn off the anxiety, I would. If I could just take a few deep breaths and relax, I would. Anxiety disorder is not simple.  Two weeks ago, I was at the nail salon. I just wanted a pedicure and a regular manicure. I have horrible cuticles and if I don’t stay on top of them, it’s really gross. Just trust me. I also wish I could take care of them myself. I try. I fail. It’s my reality. However, on this day I wasn’t able to go to my usual…

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    How To Help A Suicidal Friend

    This week a friend reached out to me to help her suicidal friend. It was heartbreaking to hear this woman’s palpable struggle with mental illness. I was then immediately concerned about how I could help. I am not a mental health professional. My only experience is my own. I can only explain my journey and what I’ve been through. Immediately, I called my cousin who is a counselor and a licensed clinical social worker. She walked me through how I could be of help to this struggling woman with one important reminder: if she’s suicidal, nothing I can say is going to change her plans, but I can offer her some…

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    Blog,  Health

    Break The Stigma About Mental Illness

    A topic I had once stayed quiet about now seemed to slowly be coming to the forefront of my life. I started to open up to friends about my struggles of the last year and a half; specifically the horrendous 2018 I was enduring. One of my friends asked me, a bit hurt, “Why didn’t you say anything sooner?” While I appreciate the care and concern and I know the question was born from a desire to help in any way possible, it was kind of a ridiculous question. It’s like asking a drowning person why they didn’t yell for help. I couldn’t keep my head above water. How was…

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    Blog,  Health

    Talking To My Daughter About Mental Illness

    Even though I would fall asleep praying to God to take me away, I would wake up and cry for having those thoughts. I love those girls more than anything and I knew, despite all my flaws, it was best for them to have their mother in their lives. Those horrible feelings lasted for a couple weeks. In the meantime, I found another provider to help me. This woman put me back on the Cymbalta (an idea that terrified me. I begged her no, but was assured there was no other way to stop the withdrawal symptoms I was experiencing) at the lowest dose, 20 mg, and did a much more…

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    Mental Health Awareness: My Shame, Myself

    Why is it we all so easily feel shame especially when it comes to mental health awareness? Honestly, two years ago I wasn’t talking about my mental health struggles. People in my inner circle knew, but I didn’t talk about it unless I absolutely had to. Then a year and a half ago, I went through something so horrible, I knew it was time to start talking. It was time to break the stigma. I think as women we are more easily prone to shame. Brene Brown said it best in one of her talks about what shame means to women: Do it all.Do it perfectly.Never let them see you…