It’s the first day of Spring and not a cloud in the sky. A picture perfect day to resume our #summerofrich adventures with a 10km walk.
When I was visiting with a friend over the weekend (in a garage from 6 feet apart and freezing our butts off, but well worth the price of our sanity) I was being all like cool and optimistic and like a glass half full kinda gal when I told her that now that March 1st is upon us, it meant just one thing; we’ve almost made it through the winter.
Yup, that’s right, it’s true, I was totally speaking with my glass half full (and from someone who despises winter beyond words) knowing that when March rolls around that we’ve made it through the worst of it and that spring is just around the corner, ready and willing to shine its bright sunlight on the melting snow.
But it never takes me long for my half full glass to evaporate into thin air or in this case freeze over into a block of ice when the real reality sets in that in less than 2 weeks from March 1st it will be exactly one year since the entire world was completely turned upside down.
The month of March has forever changed. It will forever be remembered now not for its promise of warmer days ahead where we spring forward into a new season or see Leprechans dancing in the street or children excitedly awaiting the Easter bunny’s arrival but instead March now feels more like an alien from another planet (which kinda makes perfect sense since March got its name from a Roman God named Mars!).
Ok so what if we turned this back around and what if my glass was still half full? What would March look like then? What if we approached the month ahead by dreaming of those Leprechauns dancing in the street and looked at March through the eyes of those children excitedly awaiting the arrival of the Easter bunny?
What if we allowed ourselves to spring forward and “fall” back into our lives by reliving all the silver linings that have enabled us to get through what has undoubtedly been the worst year ever. (Feel free to revisit my blog “My Silver Linings Playbook of 2020” back in December) https://youareenough712.wordpress.com/2020/12/26/my-silver-linings-playbook-of-2020
What if we welcomed March in with open arms like we’ve always done in the past by leaving the back gate unlatched for him? Let’s welcome March back into our lives as though nothing ever happened so he can get in and get his job done quickly and proficiently for those of us who have been stuck inside our homes (and garages) waiting to go for long walks, basking in the warm sunshine and taking some time to stop and smell some flowers along the way. How does that sound to you?
What do you “normally” look most forward to about March?
#mondaymotivation #marchmadness #springisintheair #marchingintospring #silverlinings #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #selfcare #stopandsmelltheroses #youareenough #youarenotalone #itsoktonotbeok #glasshalffull
I had a very restless and “catastrophic” evening last night. Somewhere between 10pm and 11 I began to have a panic attack of “catastrophic” proportions which soon morphed itself into an anxiety attack and lasted until the wee hours of the morning.
But if it weren’t for a few of my many incredible friends who just so happened to be checking in with me around that time, I’m not sure how I would have ever gotten through last night. They listened to me and distracted me with their own antics and funny memes well into those wee hours of the morning.
I am both incredibly lucky and grateful to have so many amazing people in my life who simply want nothing more than to be there for me no matter what, who don’t keep score, who always know how to make me laugh through my tears, who continue to make me feel empowered and who would unselfishly be there for me until the wee hours of the morning.
Two years ago today I wrote a blog called “What A Catastrophe” which just so happened to show up in my memories on Facebook this morning and I thought I would share it with you all again (and for anyone who may have missed it the first time) after the “catastrophic” night I had. It describes in length just how quickly a depressed and anxious mind can turn anything into a catastrophe in a matter of seconds, sometimes without any warning and often without any real triggers either.
After last night and with very little sleep, I knew that I needed to find an outlet today and definitely a change of scenery. One thing that has been a tremendous source of emotional wreckage for me lately has been the lack of time in the great outdoors. I really hate winter, like really really hate it but I have also really missed my long walks every day and hiking every weekend since the change in weather hit and so today I faced the dreaded winter air head on and went for a long and very challenging hike with Rich and my girls (Jacob was working but I’m pretty sure Football would have won over a hike either way).
The weather was perfect (I could have worn a t-shirt lol), the sun was shining so brightly on us and it felt like we were in a winter wonderland. It’s the moments like today that I hold deep in my heart and it’s moments like today that I need to imagine during my next big catastrophe. And who knows, maybe we can even start a new tradition.
#friendship #whattrulymatters #youarenotalone #familymatters #hiking #humbervalleyheritagetrail #newtraditions #weatheringthestorm #youareenough #anxiety #depression #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #panicattack #hiking #nature #mindfulness #therapeutic
This is the aftermath from the storm we had yesterday afternoon.
For many of us, a fence may symbolize a feeling of safety, protection and healthy boundaries but a fence may also be seen as a defense mechanism that allows someone to shut themselves off or separate themselves from others.
Or what if a fence is really a symbol of an obstacle or barrier that’s standing in our way or restricting us or completely stopping us from achieving our own personal and emotional growth?
Today I’m feeling conflicted about my “broken fence” and today I find myself “sitting on the fence” as to whether or not it’s some kind of a sign?
What if it’s a chance opportunity to break down my barriers or what if it’s a pathway to something I’ve been longing for or what if it’s representative of an opening to “mend the fences” inside my aching soul?
What does a fence symbolize to you?
#mondaymotivation #personalgrowth #perspective #spiritualhealing #soulsearching #brokenfences #sittingonthefence #mendingfences #youareenough #youarenotalone #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #selfcare #healthyboundaries
Over the last several weeks there has been a growing concern in our neighborhood due to a coyote who was becoming more and more aggressive with its prey. They had to close the local parks this week because several humans and pets alike had been attacked and Rich began carrying a stick with him while walking Maggie in the evenings and early mornings after he and Rachel and Maggie were chased home right to our front doorstep by that same coyote one evening last week.
The wildlife service officers have been camped out all week on the perimeter of the park near us waiting for the coyote to make its next move. They told us that people have been leaving their food waste by the forest where the coyote roams freely enticing him to keep coming back for more.
They also told us the other day that by law they are only allowed to move the coyote 1 km away from its home and that would only mean he would just keep coming back.
Well tonight we were just informed that they have “humanely euthanized” the coyote as it was the only option for the safety of the community at large. I find myself both saddened and relieved with the news.
We have invaded his space by building a community around his home and I don’t believe he deserved such a cruel ending to his life as moving him to a safer place away from communities where he could be free to roam and hunt safely would have been a much more humane option.
#wildlife #changethelaws #stopfeedingthewildlife #saddenedandrelieved
My baby is 18 today and in the Jewish religion the number 18 is very significant and meaningful. In Hebrew “18” is pronounced “Chai” (‘Hi’) and when translated to English, it the means “life”; so I thought it was only fitting to remind you today how on this day 18 years ago, you made our “life” complete (it says so right there in your birth announcement).
This past year has been anything but easy yet I find myself in absolute awe of you and all that you have accomplished despite it being so challenging and met with so many obstacles and disappointment.
But as you enter into this next chapter on your journey today that we like to call “Adulthood” just remember that it’s okay to look back on your past, but just don’t stare at it too long. Hold on tight and let your creativity and curiosity continue to guide you as the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. -Eleanor Roosevelt
Your dad and I are both so proud of the beautiful, smart, adventurous and artistic young woman you are becoming and we are truly mesmerized by your determination and resilience as we watch you work your butt off to keep making all your dreams come true.
Wishing you all the happiness in the world today and always.
I love you to the moon and back! ❤🤗😘
#foreverandaday #daddysgirl #happybirthday #birthdaygirl #babysister #eighteen #life #familymatters #celebrate #adulting #neverstopdreaming #dreamscancometrue #futureinteriordesigner #youareenough #rach #rachy #fluxy #littleflux
The other day I posted a blog titled “Socially Distanced Holiday Traditions” where I talked about how difficult the holidays have become for me over the last many years and how this year many of those social pressures, obligations and expectations that so often make it difficult for me to enjoy the holidays in the first place had been decided for me due to Covid-19.
Sadly, it almost felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders and I could actually take in the beauty of some of our holiday traditions this year without all the added anxiety from too many social pressures, obligations and expectations.
I felt way more in control and much less guilty than in holidays past and I was also looking forward to spending some (socially distanced) quality time with other family too, even if it meant having to freeze our asses off in the crisp Fall-like weather in order to do so.
But none of that ended up happening because just hours after posting my blog the other morning, Jacob came home from work feeling sick for the second time in just over a week (after being perfectly fine only hours earlier). This time though he had many more flu-like symptoms than the last time. He complained of body aches, chills, a dry cough and he felt warm to the touch so off he went again for yet another Covid test and then we waited, and waited some more in anticipation of his results while he lay locked away (again), alone in his room in the basement for what felt like an eternity (I’m pretty sure though it felt even longer for Jacob).
It was hard to think positively (or to think of much else) knowing what the outcome could be and knowing just how shitty he felt (I lay awake that entire first night convincing myself that I too had Covid! #anxietysucks). It was the longest 48 hours ever but thankfully once again his results came back negative.
The whole situation made me think of the Yiddish adage “Man Plans, and God Laughs” and just how much life is truly so unpredictable and how quickly unexpected changes can occur in your life; big or small (which is basically the journey I’ve been on for 6 years now!).
I had the best intentions and the best laid plans for the first time in many years when it came to a holiday celebration and as I mentioned above I was actually looking forward to a much less overwhelming Rosh Hashanah this year. In the end it may of still turned out to be another very overwhelming holiday while we waited for Jacob’s results but at least we got to enjoy some quiet family time together (with Jacob on Facetime) and lots of delicious festive food (I think Jacob is secretly starting to enjoy being waited on hand and foot 🙂 even if the first chance he got to be released from what’s beginning to feel like a dungeon he bolted for the nearest exit up the stairs and to the kitchen!).
#shanatova #roshhashanah #happynewyear #youareenough #manplansandgodlaughs #goawaycovid #familymatters #itsgonnabealongwinter #wearyourmask #washyourhands #togetherapart #secondwave #socialdistancing
The “Summer of Rich” began a few years ago as nothing more than a silly declaration from Rich one early morning at the end of June as he waved goodbye to the kids (with tears of joy in his eyes) as they boarded a bus for the entire summer away at camp.
For Rich that moment meant he now had 7 glorious weeks ahead of him to catch his breath and push the reset button because as I have mentioned many times before that for the last 6 years he has had to take on both the roles of Mom and Dad, along with that of chef, maid, chauffeur, Psychologist, designated Schlepper and countless others too.
But this past May right after we found out the girls (Jacob now works full-time as an Electrician) would not be going away to camp this summer due to Covid-19 I wrote a blog titled “Should The #Summerofrich Be Cancelled Too?” (May 27, 2020) and what it meant for the #summerofrich this year.
Since its conception a few years back, the “Summer of Rich” has evolved in many different ways; it’s even got its own hashtag which often gets special shout-outs by its many “adoring fans” who seem to genuinely enjoy following our adventures; so how could we disappoint them?
I may have needed to make several amendments to our itinerary this summer and we definitely had to adapt to many other changes because of Covid-19 and having the kids home all summer which also meant that there was much less of an opportunity for Rich to have some well deserved time to breathe or a push of the reset button but through the many amendments and other changes this summer I truly believe that in many ways, the #summerofrich may have actually evolved into something much deeper and with an even more meaningful purpose.
#summerofrichcoronaedition #labourdayweekend #itsstillsummer #youareenough #nature #hiking #therapeutic #selfcare #mentalwellness #mentalhealth #depression #anxiety #nationalsuicidepreventionawarenessmonth #silverlinings #iloveyoutothemoonandback #silvercreekconservation #brucetrail
***May be triggering to some***
I wanted to start by saying thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who reached out to me and my family last night (and today) and for all your heartfelt messages and good wishes.
The other day I posted a blog titled “Home Alone” where I touched upon my current state of being and how much I had both welcomed and appreciated having the entire day and night all to myself on Wednesday. It was the first time in a long, long time that I felt any sense of ease but then sadly, by the next morning, I was right back to where I had been, only now it felt much worse.
By the time I woke up Thursday morning I felt even more guilt, I felt even more sadness, I felt even more anxiety (can’t believe that’s even possible), I felt even more anger, I felt even more of a burden and both my mind and body felt like they could no longer co-exist because I no longer felt like I belonged anywhere and I just needed the pain to finally go away; this time forever.
I have said many times before that I suffer with suicidal thoughts and ideations pretty regularly (probably daily) and I have acted on these urges several times over the course of the last 6 years but by Friday afternoon the voices in my head had become so unbearable and more graphic than ever; and yes I had a plan.
By midday Friday Rich was very concerned for my safety (and rightfully so) that he reached out to my therapist for support and guidance (unbeknownst to me). She then called me so that we could talk through it and strongly suggested that I go to emerg, which I eventually relented to.
I’m not gonna lie when I say that hospitals have become a very scary place for me due to many difficult and frightening experiences I’ve encountered over the last many years relating to my illness and last night was no different, except it kinda was (because everything in the world is different these days).
After speaking with the Emergency room doctor who promised me he would not put me on a form (a 72 hour hold) he had me wait in a quiet room alone until a member of the crisis team could come speak with me and assess my situation further (they are busier than ever these days).
I spoke with her for quite a while and felt much calmer for doing so but by the end of our conversation she recommended that I be admitted to the inpatient ward (which was when my PTSD kicked in to full swing). She was also very honest with me as well. She let me know that because it was the weekend there would be no access to any kind of supports until Monday, except for what she described as a brief meeting with the “on call” weekend Psychiatrist within the first 12 hours of admission (I should know all this by now). It also meant me having no “privileges” to come and go off the floor, no phone (which is where I do most of my writing), and as she started to explain all of the added Covid related restrictions I felt a panic attack coming on and thought that being admitted was actually going to cause me more harm than good.
She was completely understanding to my hesitation and overwhelm and told me the decision was mine to make and that they would be there for me anytime I felt the need to come back. She was especially understanding to my hesitation and overwhelm when I voiced my concerns relating to medication which as I know firsthand is a huge part of most treatment plans in a psych ward. I have not been on medication in quite some time as most of you know by now as it was way more detrimental to my health both physically and mentally than it was good. I’ve been on over 20 concoctions of medication over time which only caused me further issues (including suicide attempts) and so it is no longer an option for me.
I am home for now and trying my best to rest (I didn’t sleep last night) and I need to figure out where I go from here. I no longer know the difference between right from wrong and I no longer know where I even belong anymore. It’s a very scary feeling not knowing where you belong or what’s right from wrong but what I do know is that as broken as I feel right now, I also know that I have the most incredible support system to hold my hand every step of the way.
Thank you again for being part of my journey: https://youareenough712.wordpress.com
***If you or someone you love is in crisis please talk to someone immediately. ***
#youareenough #thisisreallife #endthestigmatogether #youarenotalone #dontsufferinsilence #mentalillness #mentalhealth #depressionkills #anxietyisreal #suicideisnotselfish #sicknotweak #masksoff #mentalexhaustion #checkonyourlovedones
Today’s #summerofrich adventure was quite the adventure. We headed to a trail near Port Perry and when we got there it was closed (the website gave no indication that it was closed), so we went to another trail a bit further away; and guess what? it was closed too! (Again no mention of it on their website; but it was under construction).
By this point we figured since we had come all that way we might as well venture to yet one more trail (I mean what are the chances it would be closed too!). Thankfully it was not; Yahoo!!! As we reached the start of the trail we saw a sign that read (in pics) “beware of bears”! Ya well who doesn’t like to be a bit “risque” sometimes so off we went into the forest, but with every step we took we started to get more and more nervous (well Rich did lol) which was only about 5 minutes into our hike.
There were no other hikers in sight (maybe they had already been eaten by a bear) and we tried hard to ignore every rustling sound coming from the woods but THEN we came upon piles and piles of bear poop (Don’t worry I saved you from any pics!). So it was at that very moment that we hightailed it out of there and back to safety!
It looks like a hike just wasn’t in the cards for us today (good thing I did an aqua fit class this morning) and instead we headed to Port Perry’s Main Street and walked along the Pier and did some window shopping instead (that’s pretty mindful in my opinion, wouldn’t you agree?) which is where our adventure continued.
Once we had enough window shopping we decided to grab a quick bite to eat on a patio close to the water which was also our first time doing so since patios opened back up. We placed our order and THEN came the lightening, the thunder and soon followed by a terrestrial downpour!
Luckily the umbrella over the picnic table kept us pretty dry for most of the time (and it was too late to make it back to the car anyways), but then the wind turned directions and we were getting soaked!
You can’t fault us for trying today, it was certainly a memorable day and nothing a big scoop of peanut butter and chocolate ice cream from one of the local shops couldn’t fix.
#summerofrichcoronaedition #nohikingtoday #bewareofbears #imisspatios #portperry #scugogtownship #icecreamyouscream #peanutbutterandchocolateicecream #thunderandlightening #youareenough #mentalhealth #mentalwellness