Gold Medal Treatment

I’m sure you’ve all heard the news by now coming from the Olympic world.

Simone Biles is probably one of the most recognized and celebrated Olympic athletes in the world today and a true mental health warrior in my eyes. 

I one thousand percent support and admire Simone’s decision to step away from the podium for now in order to focus on her mental well-being but her decision to do so has been met with so much ridicule by the naysayers who are sitting on their butts, most likely from the comfort of their couch, hidden behind their smartphone screens, tweeting out and calling her a quitter or worse. 

It brings us right back to the same place we keep ending up because had Simone broken her ankle during her Olympic performance we would not be having this conversation and instead we would all be empathizing with her and cheering her on as she rehabilitated and got back to the vault. But taking a step back to focus on her mental health never seems to be a good enough reason to the naysayers. 

Mental illness and PTSD can creep up on you ever so slowly and often out of nowhere. She deserves to be recognized for her strength and courage and not criticized and judged. 

You don’t get to the level that Simone Biles has without being mentally tough. She is far from a quitter. She is taking care of her mental wellness and that makes her worthy of an Olympic gold medal in my eyes.

And when she returns, and I believe she will, she will show all those naysayers sitting on their butts from the comfort of their couch what it takes to be a real winner. 

Many people may not fully realize or ever truly understand the trauma and possible triggers (including performing in the Olympics) that Simone has had to overcome being that she was one of MANY young athletes who suffered YEARS and YEARS of sexual abuse at the hands of their “trusted” Olympic Team Doctor “Larry Nassar” who is now thankfully serving a prison sentence of over 100 years for his crimes. 

Mental illness and PTSD are both VERY real and VERY serious. If she is not mentally strong enough to be able to focus on her performance then she could most definitely hurt herself physically and possibly destroy everything. 

Self-care is mental wellness and it doesn’t matter if you can’t physically see her injury; it still matters, even more. 

Sadly though, we live in a world where people judge others on how much money they have, what kind of career path they choose, how big the house is that they live in, how smart they are and even by the amount of medals they may have sitting on their shelf.

But what if for just one second we all took a “step back” and focused on a world where people didn’t see it that way and instead only cared that you are happy, healthy and kind. 

Don’t we all deserve that kind of gold medal treatment?

#olympian #tokyoolympics #mentalhealthwarrior #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #ptsd #endthestigmatogether #goldmedaltreatment #mentalwellness #strongertogether #usaolympian #gymnastics #kindnessmatters #itsoktonotbeok #bekindtoyourself #youareenough #selfcare #yourmentalhealthmatters #sexualabuse #selflove #mindfulness #youarenotalone @simonebiles

Dead Ends

“A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.” ~ Coco Chanel 

It’s been nearly a year now since I last cut my hair and I have to say, it felt quite liberating. 

I’ve never waited this long in between haircuts before but then again I’ve also never lived through a Pandemic before either. 

My hair feels lighter and healthier than ever today now that all the dead ends are finally gone. 

As I watched every last one of those dead ends of hair fall to the floor it almost felt like a metaphor for how we should be living life. 

Just as it’s important for us to trim away the dead ends of our hair regularly to allow for it to grow back stronger and healthier, I do know that it’s just as important to cut off the dead ends (metaphorically speaking) from our lives as well in order to give ourselves the courage and confidence to keep growing stronger and healthier too.

How are you prioritizing your mental health today?

#cocochanel #selfcare #deadends #haircut #mentalwellness #mentalhealth #youareenough #youmatter #ichooseme #liberating #growth #strength 

Happy 21st Birthday Hannah

Happy 21st birthday Hannah

I know this wasn’t what you had hoped for or how you had planned to spend your 21st birthday this year but your resilience to overcome setbacks and challenges when faced with them is truly amazing and awe-inspiring (and of course being the easy going middle child that you are definitely helps too!!).

You have a heart of gold which shines through in everything you do. We are so proud of the beautiful, kindhearted young woman you have become and your dad and I can’t wait to see where your journey takes you next.  ❤

#weloveyoutothemoonandback #foreverandaday #middlechild #hanny #flux #hannahbanana #hannahmontana #hurricanehannah #twentyone #abirthdaytoremember #keepshining #happybirthday #proudmama #youareenough

Where Do I Go From Here?

It’s been thirteen months now since I first launched my children’s book “Where Did Mommy’s Smile Go?” which was a dream come true for me and had it not been for my illness, I can almost guarantee you that it may never have happened; nor would I have found myself pursuing my love of writing, advocacy or helping others either.

But about seven weeks ago that dream which I had worked so hard to make come true for some eighteen months prior all came to a crashing halt in an instant. I wrote a Blog at the time titled “A Labour of Love” where I explained how one evening back in July I found out (purely by accident) that the seemingly well established (twenty six years in business), highly recommended Publishing company that I used to self-publish my book had vanished without a trace with not even so much as a heads up to its clients. 

I was left feeling completely defeated and it has taken a huge toll on my health and safety over the last many weeks. Not only did they close their doors for good (which I may have felt empathy for had they handled it bravely) they also disconnected any and all hope of contacting them and to add even more salt to the wound they also took with them my remaining inventory/and very generous Grant money I had received in good faith by a well known and very prominent Mental Health Foundation. So completely defeated is an understatement as to what this has done to my health and the future of my book.

I still have some copies of my book in my personal possession (so feel free to contact me if you would like a copy!). However last week I had to make the very difficult decision to close down my account on Amazon because the publisher was who held most of my inventory/money in order to replenish the Amazon site and well it seemed pointless to keep my account open without having books to actually sell. 

So what now? Well now I have to start over by having my book re-published somewhere else (even though my current state of mind has been telling me to just give it up). And why does my mind keep telling me to just give it up? Well without going into great detail, the long and short of it is that right now I don’t have any extra funds that it would take to re-publish my book and at this moment in time is a cost that I cannot afford. 

About a month or so ago I began exploring and researching some opportunities that I could do in order for me to make some extra income to help my family out right now (my husband lost his job close to 7 months ago) and to also work toward my goal of re-publishing my book as well. As many of you know I have an entrepreneurial spirit in me and I love to sell many different products over the years but I knew that in order to ensure success I would need a product that brings me passion and purpose. I knew I needed to find something that could add value to my advocacy and I knew I needed to find something that would inspire me on my journey toward wellness.

That was when I found Origami Owl, a jewelry company that completely aligns with my journey. They have a strong sense of community and their mission is to empower women of all ages and to help make a difference in the lives of others. They sell lockets and charms that help tell your story, they have an Empowerment Collection that have inspiring messages of hope, a program and mission called Force For Good which motivates us to do good and the profits from this collection are donated to charities from all over Canada and the US including Autism, Domestic Abuse and Breast Cancer. They have a young entrepreneur program as well that helps young women between 11 and 17 years old to aspire and dream and most recently one of those young entrepreneurs created her own charm to add to the collection called “You Are Loved” and is a semicolon intertwined in a heart which represents Suicide Prevention and 100% of the proceeds go to support Suicide Prevention and Awareness. 

And if all this wasn’t enough reason for me to join Origami Owl, Disney has just partnered with them and will be launching a collection later this month (if you know me well, you will know how much I LOVE Disney and especially MICKEY MOUSE. 

I have attached several pictures but there are 100’s more pieces available so please feel free to check out my website: https://kimfluxgold.origamiowl.ca and thank you as always for your continued love and encouragement along my journey.

https://youareenough712.wordpress.com

#youareenough #origamiowl #jewelry #inspiringothers #empowerment #myjourney #itsoktonotbeok #youarenotalone #mentalillness #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #advocate #endthestigmatogether #wheredidmommyssmilego #author #blogger #disney #mickeymouse #suicideprevention #nationalsuicidepreventionawarenessmonth #projectsemicolon #forceforgood

Home Alone


I don’t remember the last time I was home alone for more than maybe an hour since mid February which is well before Covid-19 hit; and sadly there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight right now. 

Over the last month both my depression and anxiety symptoms have made me feel even more overwhelmed and vulnerable than ever and my thoughts of suicide have become more and more vivid as well which has left me urgently begging for a break from all of the day to day chaos that has been erupting behind the scenes at home.

So first thing this morning Rich and the girls headed up north to spend the day with friends at their cottage (Jacob worked all day and then went to his baseball game), leaving me home ALONE for the whole day and night! And even though I had 2 appointments previously scheduled for this afternoon (one being the always enjoyable Mammogram) that I needed to go to I was still able to spend most of my day just being mindful. 

I went for a long walk in the morning, I ate whatever I wanted (Fyi: Mac & Cheese for supper is still one of the best comfort foods around), I read, I did some writing, I went to both of my appointments and I enjoyed some much needed & very peaceful “me time”.

For the last 6 years I have felt as though I have failed as both a parent and a partner. I have spent all these years feeling like a burden to my family and I am consumed by guilt day in and day out. I blame myself for every bad thing that happens to the people I love and cherish the most and no matter how hard I try I feel completely worthless almost all of the time. 

Me wanting and needing to have just one day to de-stress a bit and spend a day by myself so that I could try to loosen the noose around my neck (it’s a figure of speech!) seems selfish to some and probably makes me look like a bad mom and wife to others but I keep trying to remind myself how important self-care is (remember you should always put the oxygen mask on yourself first on an airplane) and even if one day won’t make everything better, it’s certainly a great place to start. And I’m pretty sure from the sounds of it that today was a pretty great day for some much needed rest and rejuvenation up north as well.

I’m going to go now and enjoy my last few hours of alone time while I get ready to watch “Big Brother” and “Married At First Sight” which are my Wednesday night favourites.

Do you ever feel like you have failed as a parent or as a partner? Does it consume you with guilt? Shame? 

#selfcare #ichooseme #youarenotalone #bekindtoyourself #itsoktonotbeok #youareenough #selfcareisnotselfish #endthestigmatogether #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #depression #anxiety #masksoff #suicideprevention #ilovemyfamilytothemoonandback

I’m A Reality TV Junkie

Anyone who knows me well, knows how completely obsessed I am with Reality TV. It’s a much needed and most welcomed escape from my own reality and struggles for, well, at the very least an hour or two at a time. 

I become totally invested in their lives (maybe a little too much sometimes lol), I cheer on their successes like I would for anyone else, I put a hate on for the mean girls and bullies, I become completely enthralled in all their drama both on and off the screen (bring it on!) and I especially love gossiping with my friends about all the jaw dropping drama unfolding on the screen.

In mid March when the world abruptly shut down that also included the filming of one of my favorite Reality shows (Big Brother Canada) which had just begun airing a couple of weeks earlier. But when the Government executed the lockdown orders, the television network quickly pulled the plug on production and sent the entire cast and crew home immediately. I, along with so many loyal fans were completely crushed (no one could have ever imagined at the time that we’d still be living in the devastation of Covid-19 all these months later). 

Reality shows, like most television productions, are usually filmed several months in advance of airing on TV but not the Big Brother Franchises; they are unique because they film in real time and air 3x a week, in addition to the live feeds 24/7 that you can pay extra for to watch (I myself stick to the spoiler alert groups on Social Media these days which are free). 

But lucky for me I have not been without my fair share of other epic Reality TV shows since the shut down of Big Brother Canada as many of my favorite shows that filmed well in advance of the Pandemic have still been airing weekly ever since, and many have even been showcasing self-filmed quarantine life (you can’t get any more real than that!). 

The demand and popularity for Reality TV has been on the rise for years now. It’s entertaining to say the very least and who couldn’t use an entertaining distraction from our own realities in life right now, which was why when the announcement came that Big Brother (USA) would be starting in early August I was ecstatic! 

It’s become my favorite escape from reality for the last 20 + summers and even though it usually begins at the end of June and carries us through until mid September I know this shortened season will be like no other (G-d willing everyone stays healthy that is).

The contestants this season will consist only of “All Stars” who are considered “Fan Favorites” from past seasons which was the only way the show could happen at all this year as it alleviated months of interviewing, prepping and casting calls to find new players which I’m good with and is certain to make for lots of drama indeed!

So who will be watching with me?

Are you a Reality TV junkie? (it’s ok your secret is safe with me!)

What are your favorite Reality TV shows to watch and help you escape from your own reality for a while?

#betterlatethannever #bigbrother #bigbrotherisalwayswatchingyou #bigbrotherallstars #realitytv #imarealitytvjunkie #icallitselfcare #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #escapefromreality #youareenough 

Unbreakable Bonds

Throughout my illness I have been so incredibly blessed to have such an overwhelming amount of support from friends, family and acquaintances alike. When we go through difficult times in our life,  having a strong network of supportive people to rely on is so important to our wellbeing. And no matter what the role is that someone plays in that network of support is just as vital as the next one and should be cherished just the same. 

Two such ladies in my network of support inspired me to write this blog because I don’t know what I would do without either of them in my life. They are both close to ten years younger than me and live thousands of miles away, one being in Western Canada and the other in the Southern United States. And even though we may have grown up in completely different worlds and gone through completely different (and at times) difficult journeys ourselves we have so much in common and share a bond that is unbreakable. 

We have an “exclusive” and private chat group that probably has hundreds and hundreds of hours of conversations on it by now. We check in with each other many times a week (and sometimes a day) where we share the most intimate details of our lives including our secrets, our heartache and certainly lots of laughter.

It is so comforting to know that they are always just a quick text away and that I can tell them anything without ever feeling like a burden to them.  

We cheer each other on and we cheer each other up, we listen with our heart and we listen without judgment because that’s what a strong network of support is meant to do. 

They may have been my cousins first but overtime they have truly become the sisters I never had. 😘🤗 

#cousinsforever #sisterbond #youareenough #family #familymatters #networkofsupport #ilovemybrothertoo #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #checkonyourlovedones #togetherapart #youarenotalone 

Stop Checking Your Likes

As human beings we have an innate need to seek the approval of others but when doing so we often end up sacrificing our own needs, our own beliefs, our own opinions and our own values. 

We sometimes engage in such behavior because we want so much to keep the peace or reduce our level of anxiety, or maybe we worry about being criticized by our loved ones (and even strangers) or maybe we want so badly to impress others; as humans we want to please others and we want more than anything to just be “liked”. 

But over time our need to seek the approval of others may eventually turn to disappointment, missed opportunities and even resentment. When we are always seeking the approval of others we forget who we are or what we are truly capable of which can in many cases like my own, turn into Depression. 

I’m slowly learning with time (and therapy!) the importance of loving myself first, above all else and that it’s okay to let others down. I spent a great deal of my childhood and young adult life feeling very restricted and controlled. I never felt “good” enough in my parent’s eyes or free to express my “true authentic self” which are some of the many reasons why I am always having to second guess myself and why I fear failure so much or have a difficult time saying “NO” to others and it’s likely the reason why I get so easily overwhelmed. 

I started reading a new book titled “Stop Checking Your Likes”. Many of you will instinctively think that it’s a book about Social Media but it’s really not. But although it may not be a book devoted to Social Media in of itself the reality is that this is where so many people seek out approval these days in order to feel accepted, confident and “liked”. 

The author’s intention in her book is more about teaching her readers how to walk away from the “likes” of others and start focusing on “liking” ourselves instead in order to stop sacrificing our own needs, our own beliefs, our own opinions and our own values and start learning how to validate ourselves with more confidence, compassion and with the greatest of ease.

It’s an important read for all of us!

#mondaymotivation #stopcheckingyourlikes #susiemoore #bekindtoyourself #depression #anxiety #mentalillness #selfcare #ichooseme #seekingapproval #selfconfidence #youareenough 

What You Don’t See

July was definitely a hot one (the hottest one on record actually) and having to take the heat and humidity into account many days in July along with so many Covid related closures and restrictions has made our #summerofrich adventures a lot more of a challenge this year. 

I’ve had to scratch a lot of places off our #summerofrich itinerary but with the arrival of August I can see more and more closures and restrictions starting to lift including many of our beautiful Conservation Parks that have Waterfalls. 

Which was exactly why we headed to Smokey Hollow Waterfall today so we could capture the beauty of this hidden gem that included many adventurous hiking trails. As you scroll through the pictures you can see joy, you can see beauty and you can see calm but hidden on the other side of the camera today was a very emotional, tearful woman. 

What I didn’t capture was the overwhelm I was feeling inside today, the feeling of hopelessness and the thoughts of suicide. What you don’t see captured in these pictures was the breakdown that came next (my family did though and I’m pretty sure so did several hikers too!). 

What people don’t often see captured in pictures is just how real Depression and Anxiety are.

#summerofrichcoronaedition #summerofrich2020 #waterfalls #hiking #naturalwonders #depressionkills #anxietyisreal #mentalillness #itsoktonotbeok #checkontourlovedones #youarenotalone #youareenough 

Know When to Hold ‘Em, Know When To Fold ‘Em

I went to an aqua fit class this morning at my friend’s pool. I haven’t done aqua fitness in probably two years now which was also something I used to do on a pretty regular basis some 20 years ago. 

I love swimming (in a nice heated pool which it was!) but I especially love aqua fitness because you can still reap so many of the benefits of a good workout without having to really break a sweat.

Exercising is not something I truly enjoy but for some reason I love aqua fitness or going for a challenging hike or taking a long walk but when I do any type of exercise at all it’s always best at my own pace and on my own terms because otherwise it will become a surefire way to further compromise my mental health. 

I have learned how to adapt to many things along my journey (fake it til you make it) and every day I continue to work on knowing just how far I can push through many of my limitations meaning that on some days I am able to stay and battle it out for a little bit longer while on other days I may have to take a step back and try to fight again on another day.

I think this was exactly what Kenny Rogers was trying to tell us some 40 years ago when he wrote the lyrics to his classic song “The Gambler” because some days “you’ve got to know when to hold ’em” and on other days, “know when to fold ’em.”

I was really looking forward to going to the class this morning even though up until a half an hour before I was to be there I was still having to push myself to go and was all ready to “fold ’em” and try again another day but I was able to “hold ’em” just long enough to push through (and glad I could), but if next time I need to “fold em” at least I know I can try to fight again another day. 

#selfcare #ichooseme #youarenough #itsoktonotbeok #depression #anxiety #mentalillness #mentalhealth #therapeutic #mentalwellness #blogger #aquafit #aquafitness #knowwhentoholdem #knowwhentofoldem #kennyrogers 

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