A Perfect Day For A Getaway

Forgot to post our #summerofrich adventure from yesterday. 

I needed an escape from the racing thoughts in my head and a hike seemed like the perfect distraction.

There was plenty of clear blue sky  and a warm springtime breeze in the air. We could hear birds chirping from the trees and ducks singing by the pond. Perfection.

But even with plenty of clear blue sky, a warm springtime breeze in the air, the birds chirping from the trees and the ducks singing by the pond, I could not totally escape the trauma that April 4th represents for me (see blog I posted yesterday if you missed it).

I’m easily triggered by the events that took place on that day seven years earlier and this year had been no exception. As midnight approached the night before last I began experiencing symptoms of my PTSD and quickly found myself trying to fight off a panic attack. 

But aside from all that and the trails being nothing short of a mudslide for the better part of our nearly 2 hour hike it turned out to be just what I needed (and boy were we glad that we had decided to leave Maggie at home!).

Sorry though to have disappointed you Rich, who had been camera ready the entire time hoping to take a snapshot of me falling flat on my butt as we navigated our way through the very slippery and often dangerous mounds of mud; fyi there were several close calls 😋).

How did you incorporate self-care into your long weekend?

#coldcreekconservation #nobleton #hiking #nature #springisintheair #discoveringontario #birdschirping #duckssinging #sunshine #mudslide #youareenough #bekindtoyourself #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #mindfulness #therapeutic #selfcare

THC Hangover

On Friday evening after experiencing several heightened episodes of anxiety throughout the day, I found myself right smack in the middle of a full-on panic attack. 

I did my best to try and calm myself down using some breathing techniques but trying to distract myself from what was triggering me in that moment I could barely catch my breath long enough to take some CBD oil; something I don’t hesitate to do several times a day when needed as a therapeutic. 

As soon as the CBD oil started kicking in and my heartrate began to decrease to a more tolerable level I curled up under my weighted blanket, still fully dressed from the day but I didn’t care because all I wanted to do in that moment was close my eyes and go to sleep.

But whose kidding who? Like is sleep ever an option for me? Even if my panic attack had just taken every last ounce of strength I had left inside and crushed it with my blanket, I was still preparing myself for a sleepless night ahead.

And I knew if I lay in bed much longer I would most definitely end up having another anxiety attack of some sort, so I reached for my other bottle of CBD oil on my nightstand, the one with the THC in it. 

I regretted my decision almost immediately even though it took a while for it to kick in. It did not reduce my anxiety or relax me or even help me sleep, instead I spent the rest of the night fighting off my paranoia and hallucinations and by the time morning arrived I was still feeling the effects from the THC and spent the entire day in bed yesterday with a “hangover”.

They say it’s nearly impossible to OD on cannabis but if there is even a slight chance of that happening then I’m pretty sure I managed to do so. Cannabis is supposed to give you a feeling of euphoria but like every other prescribed medication or therapeutic treatment I’ve taken along my journey, including that of Medical Marijuana, “Shrooms”, Ketamine and Edibles I’ve experienced adverse effects from them all.

By morning my Psychosis had pretty much gone away but it left me barely able to finish a sentence or swallow. I had a headache, I felt exhausted, I was beyond nauseous and dizzy and whenever I tried to stand up I felt myself passing out on the floor moments later. But not to worry because I can always count on my family to look after me, and they did just that while between fits of laughter and snapping pictures and recording videos of me to ensure they captured all the highlights. 

I have tried and tried for years now to reap the benefits from using THC and other similar treatments but I think that after what happened to me this weekend I have tried for the very last time and I am just grateful that at least my regular doses of CBD oil still helps me in some small way.

#cbdoil #thc #cannabis #youareenough #youarenotalone #itsoktonotbeok #panicattacks #anxiety #depression #suicideprevention #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #mentalillness #selfcare  

Thankful and Blessed

Today I was so honored to receive an amazing and much appreciated nomination from my very dear friend Sheri Epstein and my very new friend Belora Cotnareanu whom I am so blessed to have both of these strong and supportive ladies in my life. I was nominated in a group that was formed just a couple of months ago called “Creative Cooking During Corona” by  Cheryl Obrant who’s love of food and community has since brought together almost 10,000 like-minded individuals who share recipes and build each other up! See below:


“Is there someone in your life, or even yourself, who has really done something unique and special during these past few months??
Stepped up in an incredible way, given back to others, come up with a unique or innovative business idea……Overcome challenges or adversities and deserves to be Spotlighted and recognized???
TODAY WE FEATURE THE 10th OF OUR #TOP10 a double nomination by Sheri Epstein and Belora Cotnareanu – thank you ladies and we share with you the amazing Kim Newman Fluxgold

Here is the story shared by Sheri and supported by Belora

Kim Fluxgold has suffered from severely debilitating depression for the past 6-7 years. She has tried many things to help her “get better” nothing has made a difference. Although her depression has often made her feel like giving up she doesn’t!

Each day she tries to cope with the challenges of daily life of being a wife and a mother, which in itself is difficult enough. But… on top of that she has made a commitment to helping others who are suffering like she is. Kim writes a blog entitled, You Are Enough, and she even authored and published a book for children, “Where Did Mommy’s Smile Go” to help parents explain depression to young children.

Then the shut down happened and Kim became very concerned for all the grade 12 students who were losing out on the things that mark the end of high school. As a mother of a grade 12 student (as I am also) she knew that this shut down wasn’t just about losing out on part-time jobs and march break plans, but also losing out on prom, graduation, summer plans, moving into residence, frosh week, etc.

As well, she was and is very worried that all this loss could cause many of our children profound sadness, feelings of grief, and depression. Kim wanted to do something to show our graduates –all our graduates – that we are  proud of them and that we honour them.
So Kim designed these wonderful lawn signs and all proceeds from the signs are being donated to Kids Help Phone, which is seeing an increase in calls since the shut down.

Kim did all the advertising for the signs, had them made, and then delivered each one personally (with her family members helping with driving and schlepping) to each grad.

This has put many miles on her car as she has travelled all around the GTA putting smiles on grads’ faces. To date she has raised about $10,000 for Kids Help Phone. I would say that this is pretty amazing for anyone to do but for someone who struggles each day with depression this is AWESOME!

Kim is most deserving any and all accolades that she gets (even if she often doesn’t feel that she is worthy of them).


#womensupportingwomen #empowerment #bekind #itsoktonotbeok #youarenotalone #youareenough #blessed

World Health Day

Today is World Health Day and in its entire history today’s celebration couldn’t be more fitting than ever before. World Health Day is an initiative that raises awareness about the overall health and wellbeing of people around the world which is why today feels très importante! The theme of this year’s #worldhealthday is in support of nurses and midwives who have been the unsung heroes of Covid-19 by sacrificing their own health and wellbeing in order to ensure that we can all live in a healthier, safer world. Feel free to give a shoutout here to a special healthcare worker in your life!

#thankyou #grateful #gratitude #unsungheroes #nurses #midwives #healthcare #essentialworkers #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #physicalhealth #physicalwellness #youareenough #stayhome #flattenthecurve

What Is HS?


A year ago today (it came up on my memory wall) I told you about a chronic recurrent skin condition that I have been battling with for about 3 years now (see blog; Antibiotics: To Take Or Not To Take). Its name is as painful to pronounce as the condition itself and when a flair up occurs it is beyond debilitating. 

Last summer I went to see a specialist who happens to be the only one of her kind in the city who specializes in Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS for short). Months prior to seeing the specialist I had been put on an antibiotic indefinitely which I was not comfortable with but it seemed like the only solution until my appointment with the specialist.

Once I finally met with the specialist she then prescribed me yet another medication that she said would be more tolerable as a long term option. 
We discussed future treatments in case the medication didn’t work, treatments which could include surgery or a very well known drug which treats many autoimmune diseases that would need to be injected into my body weekly for the rest of my life.

As you can well imagine, none of her options sounded too appealing to me. We also had a very candid discussion about many of the underlying causes behind this chronic (and basically) non- curable condition. Included in that list of causes are inflammation in the body and mood disorders, both of which have been the bane of my existence for almost 6 years now. It is also very likely to affect people (this condition in general affects more women than men) who are overweight and who smoke. Well lucky me, I was basically 4 for 4. 

I have another follow up appointment in a couple of months but I have not had a single flair up in 2 months since I began my quest to find all natural remedies for my Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis symptoms. I have lost weight and quit smoking in that same 2 month period and I am living pain free as well; all thanks to a couple of scoops of magic each and every day. And the best part is I don’t need to take medication anymore to keep the flair ups at bay. 

There may be no cure for HS or many of the other daily issues that consume my life but for now I am grateful to have found these products that are helping me focus on finding my way towards living my best life both mentally and physically. 


#myvalentus #valentus #miracle #HidradenitisSuppurativa #magiccocoa #happycoffee #immuneboost #youareenough #noshame #endthestigmatogether #youarenotalone 

A Cup of Magic

The other night I cracked open a can of diet coke from the fridge. It had been well over a week since I’d even had the urge to do so and I actually felt the back of my throat start to burn as I drank it. Just 2 short months ago I literally drank diet coke for breakfast, lunch, dinner and as a midnight snack; I mean if I could have taken it intravenously I would have but now thanks to the delicious cup of hot cocoa (which also comes in coffee) I’ve been drinking every morning for almost 2 months my craving, my desire, my need, my want for diet coke is completely gone. I’m even starting to believe that this magic cup of hot chocolate may be the reason that I wanted to quit smoking too! Can you imagine how the back of my throat would feel today inhaling a cigarette, 21 days smoke-free!


#magic #valentus #cocoa #happycoffee #nomoredietcoke #smokefree #twentyonedays #twentypoundsgone #cravingsgone #painfree #trim #immuneboost

It’s A Chanukah Miracle


As many of you may know who follow my blogs regularly I recently mentioned that I was diagnosed with the onset of Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis which combined have left me in severe and chronic pain over the last few months. 

Osteoarthritis can occur when the protective layer of cartilage in our joints wear down, it can also occur when too much stress is put on a joint, from an injury that may have occurred or even from being overweight. Having had a full body bone scan and some xrays done last month determined this to be my diagnosis. 

And because Fibromyalgia often has many common symptoms to Osteoarthritis but with pain being more widespread throughout your body as mine has been, the diagnosis seemed to go hand in hand, along with the fact that Fibromyalsia is commonly found in patients suffering with depression and anxiety. 
I did also mention recently that I was not wishing to be treated for Fibromyalgia with commonly prescribed medications as they are most often antidepressants and I’ve been there, done that. The pain meds I was taking to alleviate some of the pain associated with osteoarthritis were also not helping. 

I have tried taking out many foods from my diet that may help alleviate some of the pain and inflammation in my body and of course failed at that as well (diet coke probably being the hardest). 
One thing I know I’ve also needed to do for quite some time now is lose some weight, which after gaining approximately 100 pds over a 2 year span while experimenting with over 20 different antidepressants is not an easy task. Lucky for me, when my doctor weaned me off all of my medications 3 years ago more than half of that weight literally fell off, however the rest did not. 
Having a mindset to lose weight when your mind is as dysfunctional as mine is has been very very difficult to do and has also led to a vicious cycle of self-hatred. And then to top it all off, I gained close to another 10 pds in the short time I was taking my new medication (I am off it now). 

So as per usual I began searching once again for some natural remedies and treatments to help me with some of my issues (yes there are many!). Through researching I met a woman who has spent the last 18 years of her life living with several chronic and invisible illnesses including Fibromyalgia. She’s had to endure over 10 different surgeries and was taking more than 10 perscription drugs daily until one day not so long ago she began to advocate for herself and found some products which could help her lose weight, improve her mood and energy level, boost her immune system, lower the inflammation in her body and help manage her pain and she did all this and more. She is now off all of her prescription drugs, has melted away inches and pounds in the blink of an eye, has reduced the inflammation in her body, is no longer bedridden, has tons more energy and the best part of all is she can finally hug her now teenage son for the first time, pain free.

So ya her story inspired me, ALOT and in the last 14 days since deciding to try the same products myself I have lost over 10 pds and many inches, I no longer have any food (or beverage) cravings including diet coke and a few days ago I said to my husband that the pain that had been debilitating my life further for the last several months has gone from a 10+ most days to a 1. 

Who knows if it will bring about other changes as well over time in regards to helping my depression and anxiety but two weeks in I am completely amazed at what it’s done so far but for now I’ll take one Chanukah Miracle at a time!


Please continue to follow my journey at: https://youareenough712.wordpress.com 

#itsoktonotbeok #youarenotalone #youareenough #advocateforyourself #fibromyalsia #osteoarthritis #change #weightloss #nomorepain #chanukahmiracles 



I may be all over the place today as I sit down to write this but it’s just because that’s how my mind works.  My illness causes my brain to always feel like there is a tornado swirling around in my head forcing me into a vortex without the ability to control it.  I know that I am very hard on myself and this week has been no exception.  

I have spent the past few days since making my national television debut on live TV hating myself more than ever even though I have had nothing but rave reviews; but my mind is telling me otherwise.  It’s told me that I am stupid, that people are just being nice, that I sounded like an idiot, that what I said was useless, that I didn’t get my point across the way I could have, that I made a fool of myself, that I should never have done it and that it’s time to give up on thinking that writing and publishing my book was ever a good idea to begin with.  Crazy eh?

I have been told this week by so many of you how brave I am, how courageous I am, how important it is to share my story, even the hosts of the morning show thought so, but yet here I am feeling like I am more worthless, hopeless and purposeless than ever. This week has been met with several other challenges as well which I can not share with you right now but is also a big part of what is making me need to take a step back and try to stop the vortex from pulling me right into the center of the storm.

One thing I know for certain is that the new medication I began several weeks ago is not helping me manage my illness, it in fact has done just the opposite. It’s left me with an increasingly high level of suicidal ideations, it’s left me with close to 10 pounds of weight gain even though my diet has not changed one bit and it’s left me not just tired from lack of sleep but fatigued beyond exhaustion.

Burnt-out is probably the best way to describe the way I am feeling right now and taking a step back as I mentioned is probably what I need to do which includes many of the projects I keep taking on because I have a hard time saying no. I have been trying to do too much which I also wrote about in another blog “Biting Off More Than I Can Chew” back on Sept 25, 2019 (https://youareenough712.wordpress.com) when my immune system first seemed to breakdown and now feels completely broken. 

I am also trying to fight off symptoms from the onset of osteo-arthritis and fibromyalgia (both of which I have been recently diagnosed with) and have taken an added toll on me both physically and mentally and has yet again left me searching for new treatments that don’t include medication. I have already tried changing my diet by adding certain foods and eliminating others that may cause further inflammation or pain in my body but I have had no real success and I will not take certain medications that treat fibromyalgia either as many of them are antidepressants which I have already tried for depression and failed big time.  

But my psychiatrist made a simple suggestion to me this week to get started as I begin to cleanse my body from the medication I am currently on to possibly begin another one. He told me that studies have shown that taking 1000 to 1500 mg of extra strength Tylenol every single day, 2 to 3 times a day can not only help fight off pain but may actually help with mood and anxiety as well if taken on a regular daily schedule. I even asked my good friend Dr. Google and he agreed!

I’ve spent a lot of time over the last month researching natural products that may be a better solution for both my current physical and mental state which could also help with inflammation and boost one’s immune system too and I found such products and began using them a week ago. In the first week since I have been taking them I lost close to the ten pounds I recently gained from the new medication. I’m hoping that this added bonus will soon start showing other signs of improvement to both my body and mind too but for now it seems like a step forward as I take some much needed steps back. (Don’t say I didn’t warn you that this blog would be all over the place!)

At Least It’s Not All In My Head

I’ve mentioned before that many studies show that there is a correlation between the level of inflammation in our body and Depression and that the higher the markers of inflammation are, the more likelihood that your body may reject antidepressants and lead to a diagnosis of “Treatment Resistant Depression”.
Throughout the last 5.5 years my doctor has had to keep an eye on my inflammation markers because they have often been at higher than normal levels and may just be what ultimately led to my diagnosis of “Treatment Resistant Depression”.
For those who missed my blog yesterday “The Physical Side Of Depression” (Nov. 21, 2019: https://youareenough712.wordpress.com), I mentioned how I have been experiencing a terrible amount of muscle/joint pain throughout my entire body over the last 5 or 6 weeks and a feeling of exhaustion much different than my regular feeling of exhaustion from lack of sleep which led my doctor to send me for a full body scan the other day. I received the results of that test yesterday afternoon and the good news for me was that the pain I’m feeling may actually not just be all in my head like my depression and anxiety want me to believe, but the bad news is I now need to have further tests done because the scan found high levels of that said inflammation in my wrists, my arms, my spine/lower back, my hips and my legs.
I’m feeling very overwhelmed right now thinking that “The Physical Side of Depression” may have led me to this point in my journey and that somehow I caused this to happen. I’m feeling exhausted just thinking about the possibility of learning to live with yet another so called “invisible illness” like Arthritis as that is what they are now looking further into. I’m feeling hopeless because what if my body rejects more medications and more treatments on top of all the ones it already has? To sum it all up, plain and simply I’m feeling defeated.
#itsoktonotbeok #depressionkills #anxietyisreal #mentalillness #chronicillness #youareenough #inflammation #invisibleillness
Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.
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