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Coming out of the dark. #NoStigma

Hi guys! When I last checked in with you I told you I was in a very dark place. I am not ashamed at all to admit that I have struggled with my mental health for much of my life. Dating back to my adolescence I have had issues with depression, and anxiety. Sometimes you just need some help.

I recall being pricked up from school, being told we were going out to lunch and instead being taken to see a therapist. You can imagine how that ended. Don’t lie to your kid folks. Just don’t. You think you are protecting them, but really you are just creating a way to protect to yourself. You need to find the courage of your own convictions.

At the end of August my struggles reached what I call a tipping point. I have been working with a doctor and a psychiatrist since December on meds to try and right the ship. Well… the ship decided to hit a reef and overturn during the holiday weekend and I needed to call for help.

I needed to step back from everything. This was hard. I stepped away from nearly everything. I left my job, my home, I stopped reading and watching the news. I stepped away from most of social media. I took very few phone calls, saw very few people. This I am sure seems drastic to some, but I was at a point where if I did not step back… the thought I was having ere going to cause very ad thing to happen.

For those following along on Instagram, or Facebook my departure probably seemed a bit odd. The tone of my posts changed, it I have not made a public statement over my need for more formal help. Those close to me know what happened to me. They knew I was losing my grip, and needed urgent help. We show the best parts of our lives to the outside, we put the best parts of our lives on social media, and tell the best stories to other. There is no reason for me to continue to be okay when you’re not.

I do have to acknowledge the great friends that I have who have all supported me through this. Asking for help can be SO scary.

The good news is there is light t the end of the tunnel. I do not believe that it is a train coming at me. I have started some new medications that seem to be helping stabilize my moods, and also life the depression and anxiety. I am working on a routine, and on coping kills for anxiety.

I am working on self-care plans. Things like going back to prepping meals, going for walks (even if they aware short ones, as I am still experiencing pain and weakness in the ankle I broke last year). I am also working on my art again. I am taking some glass fusing classes at Goddess of Glass in Minneapolis, which will be two-fold. It will let me work on my creative side, but also allow me to make some holiday gifts. I am also looking into a way to or on my drawing digitally. I used to draw pen and pencil on paper… but that takes up a lot of space. So I might invest in the 53 Pencil for my iPad.

Anyone up for sharing their self-care tips? What do you do to take care of yourself? How do you make time for you? How do you leave work at work or the troubles at the door? One suggestion was to blast my radio and sing along or physically find something to touch and leave my troubles on. I’m open to suggestions I figure anything might be worth trying!

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Seasons

The Minnesota state fair opened up on Thursday. This can mean only one thing … summer is coming to an end. Tonight the Game of Thrones finale will air and much of my summer tv watching will come to a close. With the sadness of the winter is coming departure is the notice of Pumpkin is coming.

With fall arrives the smell, the smell of leaves and fall fires, of warm food, the crunch of leaves under foot, new tv. Back to school for kids (school supplies!) Sweatshirts!!

Fall is my favorite season. I thought on it a while today trying to pinpoint why it is my favorite… and I guess… it is probably because it is the season of change.

The whole season is a drastic visual transformation. It exposes the raw and naked beauty of what the true form of nature holds. Leaves are stripped bare from the branches of trees. Forced to sustain and maintain their strength on what is within hidden deep inside. People retreat to things they remember from years past, warm comfort foods. They choose to slow down and take the time to fill their homes with things that feel warm.

The change underfoot from the soft grass to the crunch of dried leaves brings comfort, that grounded feeling. Bring part of bringing the earth back to itself. The earth begins reclaiming of part of itself and changes into its purest form to stand the test of wills during the long battle of winter.

Of course I am a huge fan of the foods of fall, pumpkin, squash, cranberries, apples. My body likes to eat with the seasons, so at the peak of summer I crave those fresh garden veggies… but I look forward to the fall foods all year. We are fortunate to live in a time when we have access to foods year round but eating seasonally available foods just taste better. I’m sorry no winter tomato is ever going to taste as good as a summer farmers market one. No grocery store apple will ever compare to the taste of one I get from the local orchard fresh from the tree.

Spring is my second favorite season, for similar reasons. The rebirth process is beautiful as things awaken and find new strengths, but I find the raw beauty of being exposed much more intense. Winter is the season of waiting. Like holding your breath, to see if you will have the strength to survive. Survive the pain, survive the cold, survive the long darkness. It represents the heart and determination… much like pain, without it growth can’t happen. It’s my third favorite time of year.

That leaves summer… my very least favorite time of year and I’m happy to see this coming to a close. It feels like the season that is the result of every other seasons hard work… and pain, and change. It is the time of year to “relax.” In life if you stop working for change you will lose the momentum you have made. You don’t get to just stop time. It keeps going. Plus it’s just too hot in the summer 😉

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Sunday Love List!

I haven’t shared any love lately for things that are bringing me joy, so let’s just do a quick rundown!

I am groot!

Baby Groot visiting my terrarium

Shine bright like a diamond

Before Photo from Glass Fusing projects at Goddess of Glass

Warning!! This Icecream is awesome I mean awful you should send it all to me so I can save you from it.

Finally a banana ice cream without walnuts!! #foodallergy

The bleach scares me!!

Beauty comes at a price!

Blue green and purple! Feeling sassy!

Thank You Yvonne!!

Brown paper packages – Guava cookie from Puerto Rico!

Quiet lunches on the roof

Obviously.

Clean sheet day with NEW sheets!!

New fizzy water flavors to try!

Please send all the things!! XXL!

The Disney Target sleepwear collection has me wishing I had a bigger wallet


So many choices of color… then glitter??!!

Always on point!!

Glam Nails from Nail Studio Ten!! ❤️💅🏻

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Deep thoughts from the Funeral

Any week in your life when you say goodbye to a friend is going to be difficult. I found myself asking the difficult question, “is this the tipping point in life, more funerals than weddings or baby showers. More sadness than celebration?”

Intellectually I know that is not the truth. Life keeps moving on, and there are always things to celebrate. I have been working diligently in the recent past to celebrate everything I can, and plan to continue that. I believe it is important. 

I am finding strength and support from new friends as I grow and change. I grow more distant from those who I once treasured so dearly.  

I have thought a lot recently about how growth is pain.  Much like fruit on the vine, that which does not grow is left to wither and die. Fruit that does grow, changes and is forced into a new shape, it enlarges, and is forced by the conditions around it, and the nutrition available to adapt, thrive, or whither and die.  Did you know they can make watermelons square, or pears shaped like Buddha? Adaptation to environment, and the result of need or desire for change. That pear or watermelon grew as it was forced, not all end up the same and that’s ok. 

It’s hard to think about loss because it makes us look sat ourselves. What is the legacy I want to leave behind? Would anyone come to my funeral? What would people say about me? As I sat in the pew at mass I did have the passing though that I did not care if anyone showed up at my funeral because those that matter show up when you are here. 

Funerals are not for the dead they are for the living… and while I am out living I want to be surrounded by the amazing and magical people that keep showing up.  This is why I invite people to be part of my life. Be present because you are a gift of spirit. 

You can raise someone up, or drag them down and it is your choice how to handle a situation. I will continue to raise others and myself up, saying yes and showing up when asked at every chance my body allows. We only get one shot in this life, find joy where we can, embrace it where it lives in whatever form it arrives in. 

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Adulting

Sometimes it is strange to me to realize I am an adult. We all joke about that time when you look around and remember you are the adult in the room. You are the one responsible for making decisions, blazing the trail, setting the example. 

I don’t remember a lot of time in my life spent being irresponsible, carefree, or reckless. I know I have made bad decisions, and I don’t know nearly as much about the world as I wish to (or even pretend to). I have subsisted largely in a world of fake it till you make it. This is probably why I am living the way I do now, so very out loud. My life is BIG. 

My old style of living (not sheltered, taking on much responsibility) led me to be less naive than most of my peers. Not to the point of being fully jaded, but to the point where I almost don’t remember that there are others out there who don’t see the world the way I do. I don’t lay blame to this fact, I just forget it because it’s just become such an inane part of me. 

I had a wonderful meal tonight at a tiny local sushi bar with a coworker. We had wonderful conversation and I felt like I learned a lot about how she sees the world. I enjoyed being the one to help crack her shell and expose her to a “hidden gem” in a local neighborhood. 

It never crossed my mind that people who lived so close to places would not see them would not venture outside their bubbles even though it may not be intentional. I love seeing the awe and amazement on people’s faces as they find something new and exciting or trespass outside of their comfort zones. 

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone is quite often cliche I must say, but truly it is awesome to see people start opening up to the possibilities life holds. that is an amazing gift. 
Yes I will admit, I am a pusher. I push people. I push you to try harder; I push you to dig deeper; I push you to feel what it might just be like to feel the fear, to go for what you want. When you push past that fear you find that bliss! You find the amazing confidence, that talent you didn’t know you had. That gift deep within you to grow and foster. Heck you may get to find that new place that none of your friendsknow about that you can show off and be the new in the know person,  and just leave everyone to figure out how you do it. 

You can’t let yourself be intimidated by life, or fear or the unknown. Use your street smarts, and all of your tools and get out there and try new things. I am enjoying trying to help draw my friends out of their shells. I am enjoying watching them start to find themselves and discover who they might turn into as I myself morph into the next incarnation of who or what I am supposed to be as an adult. …

…adult. A dull t. Never a dull moment. I may be the one that works and pays the bills. But I am certainly not going to be giving up on enjoying life as it comes. We only get one ride on this big marble. You know I’m going to make my roll count! 

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Courage

Watching to “To The Bone” on Netflix today a lot of it hit home. I have struggled as far back in my life as I remember with an eating disorder. More than that this movie was a good reminder about living life. 
Folks, I beg you to take note in the real world there is no way to be safe or see and live just the good moments. 

Stop waiting for life to be easy. The more you push through the muck and the mud; the garbage and the sludge the more brilliance and beauty you will find. 

Stop hoping for someone or something to come along and save you. We are meant to be resilient and when you stare down the demons and that awful shit… you are going to have an AMAZING life. 

I offer you this poem for a bit of reflection. Please enjoy and move into the week with intention! 

Courage 

     by Anne Sexton

It is in the small things we see it.

The child’s first step,

as awesome as an earthquake.

The first time you rode a bike,

wallowing up the sidewalk.

The first spanking when your heart

went on a journey all alone.

When they called you crybaby

or poor or fatty or crazy

and made you into an alien,

you drank their acid

and concealed it.


Later,

if you faced the death of bombs and bullets

you did not do it with a banner,

you did it with only a hat to

comver your heart.

You did not fondle the weakness inside you

though it was there.

Your courage was a small coal

that you kept swallowing.

If your buddy saved you

and died himself in so doing,

then his courage was not courage,

it was love; love as simple as shaving soap.


Later,

if you have endured a great despair,

then you did it alone,

getting a transfusion from the fire,

picking the scabs off your heart,

then wringing it out like a sock.

Next, my kinsman, you powdered your sorrow,

you gave it a back rub

and then you covered it with a blanket

and after it had slept a while

it woke to the wings of the roses

and was transformed.


Later,

when you face old age and its natural conclusion

your courage will still be shown in the little ways,

each spring will be a sword you’ll sharpen,

those you love will live in a fever of love,

and you’ll bargain with the calendar

and at the last moment

when death opens the back door

you’ll put on your carpet slippers

and stride out.



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You are Beautiful

“You’re really beautiful” and “you’re really good at what you do; not your job how you handle your interactions with life”

Those two statements were given to me as I walked over the Mississippi River under the stars Friday night. Treasured words given to me by someone I am getting to know better. 

I can’t explain how amazing it has been to continue to see the evolution of myself. This transformation into a different person by simply choosing to live more in the now and do what makes me happy. It is a long road to figure out who and what you are in life. 

To hear that someone who I have only really known for a comparatively short period of time sees beauty in me, and sees that significance in the way I conduct my life is incredible. 

The brief walk and talk we shared from the bar I’m sure was part sweet intoxication, but inside all drunken stupors there is some truth. Truth that the shift I have made in life has given way to my happiness. 

Those statements a out who I am are probably the best gifts I could receive as a birthday present this year; and they reinforce that living my best life and pushing the limits for myself and lifting others up is exactly what I need to continue to do. 

I may just have to start visiting the river more… it may become a new happy place.