Today Rich and I are celebrating our 28th wedding anniversary.
I was just 18 when we first met back in 1990 but only started dating a month before my 20th birthday. At the time, Rich was my manager at the videostore we both worked at; he was also close to 9 years older than me; our big age gap didn’t seem to matter though.
The stars were aligned from the day I met you Rich. Maybe there is some real science behind the astronomical phenomenon that says Scorpios (Rich) and Cancers (me) are highly compatible for one another and make the perfect life partners or maybe it’s my own true desire to believe that we came together for a much deeper and more meaningful purpose.
Thank you for choosing me to climb mountains with and for continuing to squeeze my hand just a little bit tighter every time I start to lose my grip.
You are forever my light in the darkness, my love, and all my starry nights.
I love you to the moon and back, forever and a day.
In case someone else listening to this today could also use a gentle reminder I just wanted you to know that you are worthy of a peaceful life, that you matter. That you are capable and beautiful and loved. And that you make the world a better place just being in it. You are not alone. Oh and one more thing, you’ve got this!
I’m exhausted. Both my body and mind can attest to this as they screamed in agony yesterday; I surrendered.
My emotions are way bigger than I am right now which is why it’s taken me quite some time to finish writing this. I’ve stopped myself many times from doing so. I’ve even contemplated not writing at all anymore.
Once I say it aloud, or write it all down for others to read it becomes real and I feel like I will have failed everyone, myself included, again. But I also know that you have got to be willing to put yourself out there no matter what anyone may think or say in order for someone else to feel heard too.
When I was first offered the chance to participate in the Psilocybin research trial some 16 months ago now, I didn’t hesitate. Even after the abundance of failed treatments I had already tried prior to this one and especially after just having finished 2 grueling months of very intense sessions of Ketamine which did absolutely nothing for me.
I thought I was prepared for whatever happened next. But by this point it’s probably safe to say, nobody was.
So it’s no wonder why the next steps in my journey have been some of the hardest steps to take. I’d promised myself several weeks ago that I wouldn’t make any decisions until all of my most recent consultations were over. These decisions were not made lightly by any means which is why I’ve been so riddled by constant anxiety and panic lately.
I was praying that my last specialist appointment a few weeks ago would have given me some hope, or some light at the end of the tunnel but of course that was not the case. Instead two new referrals were made in its place. And now I wait again.
I’m starting to feel as though I’m a lost cause and that nothing or nobody can “fix me”, both mentally or physically. Just look at my track record. I honestly just want to give up. I don’t know if I have the strength to fight anymore, maybe merely surviving for the time being is all I have left in me which is why I placed another call to M.A.I. D recently. I was not turned away this time but there is still a long and tiresome road that awaits me.
In the meantime, after playing ping pong in my head for weeks now trying desperately to make the major decision over whether or not to participate in new clinical study for “Deep Brain Stimulation”, I have made peace with my decision not to go through with it at this time. The “what if’s” that something could go seriously wrong…again unfortunately far outweigh the “what if” everything goes right for me.
Just look at my track record.
I don’t want to be a guinea pig anymore.
I think the quote I’ve attached best sums up how I am feeling right now: “There comes a point where you no longer care if there’s a light at the end of the tunnel or not. You’re just sick of the tunnel.”
Now that the Leafs have hung up their skates for the season, it’s time to shift my focus to the “Boys of Summer”.
Thank you to Jacob and Shira for this very special Mother’s Day treat today ❤️(you still owe me a hike though😃!).
Missing my girls so much while they are away on their travels. Love you all to the🌛 and back, forever and a day.
A special shout out to all the beautiful, loving, selfless, exhausted, courageous, badass, inspiring, hardworking, resilient, caring, kindhearted, humble, broken, capable, confident, bold, fabulous Mamas today and every day 💕. You are amazing.
***Update*** The Kids Help Phone, Feel Out Loud campaign raised over 3 million dollars across Canada
What a perfect way to end “Mental Health Week” and celebrate “National Child & Youth Mental Health Day” today.
Stats show that 1 in every 2 of our youth who struggle with their mental health are doing so in silence which is why it’s even more important than ever that we have amazing resources like “Kids Help Phone” at their fingertips and readily available (24/7); a place which offers a safe space for the thousands upon thousands of young people to #feeloutloud every single day. And thanks to the incredible efforts made by “BMO Financial Group”, together they have been helping to eliminate barriers for young people accessing #mentalhealth supports all across Canada since KHP first started in May, 1989.
Every single young person deserves the opportunity to build caring, connected conversations. Every single young person deserves to feel seen, heard and supported.
A heartfelt thank you to both @kidshelpphone and #bmofinancialgroup for giving our youth the hope they need “to thrive in their world”.
On your mark, get set, let’s do this Rich 😇
Kids Help Phone: Call 1-800-668-6868 Text 686868 (Youth) 741741 (Adults) Chat KidsHelpPhone.ca
This week is Mental Health Week which reminds us of how important it is to take care of ourselves and to recognize where we are at in our own personal journey. It also serves as a reminder that by sharing our stories of both triumph and defeat, giving thanks, support or hope to others can build lasting connections, trust and community.
Some days you may move mountains, other days you’ll move from your bed to your couch. Both are okay and necessary. ~ unknown
How do you plan to take care of your mental health this weekend?
This year I have decided to honour Mental Health Awareness Month by participating in the BMO “Walk So Kids Can Talk” Walkathon in support of “Kids Help Phone” this coming Sunday, May 7th; a non-profit organization very dear to my heart (see link below).
Of course, Rich will be right by my side.
As many of you know, in the spring of 2020 I started a graduation lawn sign initiative shortly after the Pandemic began because I wanted to find a meaningful way to honour our graduates, this of course included my youngest daughter, who at the time was all set to complete her final year of High School and was missing out on so many of life’s milestones and rites of passage that came along with it (it still doesn’t feel real today).
It was a difficult time for her as it was for so many other young people as well.
I never could’ve imagined what happened next though…
In a matter of 6 weeks I sold and hand delivered over 700 lawn signs throughout the GTHA that spring (with the help of my wonderful hubby), placing signs front and center on lawns everywhere but more importantly, bringing smiles (from 6 feet away) to the faces of so many people, both young and old alike. The response was overwhelming, but in a very good way.
By the end of my campaign that June I had raised and donated over $10,000 for Kids Help Phone with the incredible outpouring of support and generosity within these beautiful communities. I had chosen this particular charity at the time for so many reasons but mostly it was in knowing that so many of our youth were stuck in their homes during quarantine and needing an outlet for which to talk, vent, scream or cry to when other outside resources were unavailable to them. Kids Help Phone offered that safe space and more and still does.
At the start of spring 2021 it quickly became apparent to me that our soon to be graduating class was once again about to lose out on those same deserving milestones and rites of passage due to the never-ending Pandemic; my middle daughter included who had been working so tiresomely online all year to complete her 4 year undergraduate Degree in Communications.
By the end of that spring I had raised an additional $5k for youth mental health initiatives, bringing the total to just under $16k by then, this time though I decided to spread the wealth around to other smaller youth oriented community initiatives instead of donating all of the proceeds to just one place.
In the spring of 2022 when life was starting to feel a little more normal I had decided not to continue with my campaign efforts as I had recently created a new initiative called @agentlereminderproject, selling handmade, one-of-a-kind apparel and other items, including lawn signs, keychains and cosmetic pouches as well (check it out on Instagram). It was keeping me very busy and still with the same focus in mind of donating a portion of the proceeds to youth mental health initiatives. But as I began to receive more and more emails and DM’s from community members asking if I would be selling graduation lawn signs again last year I decided to give it another go. By the end of its third year I had reached a new milestone, raising $20,000 for youth mental health.
Although I may have started the initiative back in 2020 because I wanted to show our graduates some extra loving during a really difficult time, at the end of the day, it took on a whole other meaning within itself and grew into something even more purposeful than I could have ever imagined; something way beyond the parameters of any Pandemic and something I am most proud of in my life. This initiative opened up so many important conversations in communities all across the GTHA and helped spread some much needed awareness surrounding our youth and mental health; which I am truly grateful for.
It’s that time of year again when I start receiving email and DM requests asking if I am selling graduation lawn signs again this year and me being the people pleaser that I am, I am feeling a sense of guilt and sadness when I tell people, NO, and stating all kinds of reasons why I can’t do it including my need to focus my efforts elsewhere by honouring the state of both my mental and physical wellbeing right now. Of course if I wasn’t such a people pleaser though, I would know that I don’t need any explanation at all because NO is actually a full sentence.
So this year, as I mentioned above I will be celebrating our youth in a different way by participating in the BMO “Kids Help Phone”, continuing the conversation and spreading awareness for youth mental health with my @gentlereminderproject initiative as well.
Yesterday after returning home from dropping Rachel off at the airport both Rich and I needed a distraction and a #summerofrich hike was not in the cards for us as it was pouring rain so it seemed like the perfect afternoon to see the new film adaptation from Judy Blume’s classic book “Are You There God It’s Me Margaret”, which is now sadly one of many books that have since been banned.
I knew it would be light and funny. It did not disappoint. It still didn’t stop me from getting very emotional either.
Having grown up reading Judy Blume books I dreamed of becoming an author just like her. Although her books are purely fiction based they always felt so relatable, especially this one.
It’s a timeless story about a young adolescent girl on the verge of womanhood having to start over in a new city.
I was once that same shy little girl who only days after arriving home from overnight camp one summer (just like Margaret), packed up the life I’d always known and moved with my family to a new city, 5 hours away. I knew no one when I got to my new home only days before the start of a new school year. I had to build all new friendships (just like Margaret), which I did and I am grateful to still be friends with some of them today. When I look back now, almost 44 years later, there is truly no other place I’d rather have called home during those formative years and beyond.
It’s been several decades now since I read “Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret?”, yet every memory of those awkward, messy and weird prepubescent years took me right back to that little girl in me as I watched the movie. From the time in grade 6 when all the girls attended an assembly with their moms and the best advice we were given at the time was; don’t wear white pants, to playing spin the bottle and 7 minutes in heaven at our first boy/girl parties, to buying my first bra, to where I was when I got my first period (it was overnight camp by the way and I was scared and felt very alone; but at least I came well prepared!), to practicing “we must, we must, we must increase our busts with my girlfriends.
Yup it was an awkward, messy and weird time those prepubescent years.
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